Aurizon lines up Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal to strengthen mining ties
Australia’s largest rail freight company Aurizon has signalled its intent to buy the Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal (WICET) on the east coast in Queensland.
It is part of AU$4bn wider plan that will see consortium partners buy up mines currently using the port, including mines owned by Glencore and Wesfarmers.
Glencore and Wesfarmers are one of several mining industry players that own the Wiggins Island terminal, a facility that current provides a capacity to handle 27mn tonnes. The other partners holding stakes include Aquila Resources, New Hope Group and Yancoal.
- Indian mining giant Adani to go ahead with Queensland coal mining project
- Dacian – spearheading Australia's gold mining resurgence
- Read the November edition of Business Review Australia magazine
However, there is vast room for expansion should Aurizon decide to if the deal goes ahead – the site has the potential to handle 120mn tonnes of export goods.
The project is unique for Queensland as it is the first fully privately-owned facility of its kind, meaning it can be developed and expanded without the need for government funding.
Should the takeover go ahead, it will further strengthen Aurizon’s presence in the mining freight sector, with the company hinting it would seek to boost competitiveness by lowering port charges.
WICET’s current CEO is Ben Yaksich, who holds senior experience at several large mining houses including BHP Billiton and South Walker Creek Mine.
Timeline: India takes unicorn leap with six in five days
We chart an historic week in India’s tech industry, where in just five days, between 5-9 April 2021, the country achieved six new unicorns, bringing India’s total to 10 in 2021 to date, an immense unicorn leap from just seven in 2020 and six in 2019.
April 5: Meesho
India’s first social commerce unicorn, Meesho raised US$300m from SoftBank, Facebook and Shunwei Capital, giving the Bangalore-based startup a US$2.1bn valuation, a threefold jump from its previous funding round in 2019. Founded in 2015 by two IIT-Delhi graduates, Meesho connects producers and resellers, helping small businesses sell through social media. It has 45m customers and has enabled 13m entrepreneurs to start their online businesses with no investment.
April 6: CRED
Founded just over two years ago, Bangalore-based credit card repayment app CRED raised US$215m from Falcon Edge Capital and Coatue, nearly trebling its valuation to US$2.2bn from its January US$80m round. Allowing customers to pay off their credit card debt while earning CRED coins which they cash in for rewards, CRED has grown rapidly during COVID-19, doubling its customer base to nearly 6 million in a year.
April 7: API Holdings / Groww
The first epharmacy startup to gain unicorn status, PharmEasy (API Holdings), which has digitised 60,000 brick and mortar pharmacies and 400 doctors across India, raised US$350m in a round led by Prosus Ventures. Founded by four former Flipkart employees as a way of making investing simple, investment platform Groww became India’s second-youngest fintech unicorn, raising US$83m in Series D funding led by Tiger Global, quadrupling its previous round in September.
April 8: ShareChat
New Delhi-grown social media startup ShareChat, founded in 2016 by Mohalla Tech raised US$502m from Lightspeed Ventures, Tiger Global, Twitter and Snap taking its raised total over six rounds to US$766m and pushing its valuation to US$2.1bn. The funding will be used to grow its user base and short video platform Moj, which launched in 2020 following TikTok’s ban in India. The regional language startup claims 280m users.
April 9: Gupshup
AI-led conversational message startup joined the unicorn club after raising US$100m from Tiger Global giving it a ten-fold valuation of US$1.4bn. The smart messaging platform, which has seen accelerated growth during the pandemic, was founded in Bangalore in 2005 by serial entrepreneur Beerud Sheth, whose online freelancing platform Elance is now listed. Gupshup’s API enables 100,000+ businesses to build messaging and conversation experiences across 30+ communication channels.