News

China continues to show off its influence over the London market as some of the big miners took a heavy dent on the first day when most trading desks were full after the festive celebrations.

Rio recovers from a dog of a deal

After a disastrous M&A adventure in 2007, the mining giant has staged a remarkable recovery

Alistair Dawber: Textbook tactics – but they don't always work

Bid. Rejection. Go hostile. For BHP Billiton, and Marius Kloppers, the $38.5bn (£25bn) bid for PotashCorp must feel like Groundhog Day.

BHP Billiton hopes jump in profits will help PotashCorp bid

BHP Billiton is hoping that a huge jump in annual profits, set to be announced this morning, will be enough to frighten off any potential rivals for Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, which last week rejected a $38.5bn (£24.9bn) bid from the mining giant.

Australian vote heightens tax uncertainty

Several FTSE 100-listed resources companies are set to face nervous markets this morning, in the first day of trading since Australia's indecisive election result over the weekend raised the spectre of more changes to Canberra's planned super-tax on mining industry profits.

BHP goes hostile with $40bn PotashCorp bid

BHP Billiton has turned hostile with the $40bn (£26bn) cash offer rejected by the Canadian fertiliser giant Potash Corporation as "highly opportunistic" and "grossly inadequate".

Investment Column: Six ideas for striking it rich in mining

Randgold Resources; Ariana Resources

China sales fuel Rio Tinto growth

Rio Tinto trumped analysts' expectations yesterday when it unveiled record first-half earnings, driven by booming commodity sales, particularly to China.

Rio Tinto to spend $790m on Pilbara

Rio Tinto said yesterday that it plans to invest a further $790m (£495m) in its iron ore project at the massive Pilbara site in Western Australia.

Rio Tinto invests $170m in Guinea

Rio Tinto outlined plans to invest $170m (£107m) in the Simandou iron ore project in Guinea yesterday, despite ongoing disagreements with the West African state's government over various blocks on the asset.

Australian Prime Minister to call snap election

The Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, is expected to call an election today, taking advantage of a rebound in support for her Labor party – narrowly ahead in opinion polls – and a robust economy.

Rio to sell South Africa project

Rio Tinto is selling its Chapudi coal exploration assets in South Africa for up to $75m (£50m).

Leading article: The real political power Down Under

The message is clear: Australian politicians tangle with the mighty national mining industry at their peril.

No agreement in talks on Australian mining tax

Talks between the Australian government and leading mining executives failed to break the deadlock over the proposed 40 per cent profits tax on the resources industry, both sides confirmed yesterday, with more negotiations now scheduled for the end of the week.

Afghans draft in PwC to open up $3trn mineral reserves

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has been called in by the Afghanistan government to develop its $3trn mining and minerals industry.

Mining industry claims triumph over Henry tax as Rudd goes

The mining industry could barely contain its collective glee yesterday as Australia's new Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, offered fresh talks on the country's proposed resources super tax, which the miners have spent millions of dollars campaigning against over the past two months.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there