Aquila Resources (ASX: AQA) and Vale of Brazil have patched up their quarrel over the big Isaac Plains export coking coal project in Queensland.
In a statement to the ASX yesterday afternoon.
Aquila said its subsidiary; IP Coal Pty Ltd had "reached agreement with Vale Australia (IP) Pty Ltd ("Vale IP") to resolve a number of outstanding issues between them in respect of the Isaac Plains Coal Mine".
"The issues between the parties arose from a difference of view where IP Coal maintains that each of it and Vale IP have clear rights to separately take their share of Isaac Plains coal and deliver it to their respective customers.
"Vale IP does not agree with this and has asserted that a further agreement is needed to permit this.
"Whilst IP Coal does not agree with Vale IP's view, in order to resolve the outstanding issues between the parties, IP Coal has agreed to enter into a lifting agreement with Vale IP which applies with immediate effect until 30 June 2013.
"This new agreement replaces the current lifting agreement between the parties which was due to expire on 31 March 2012.
"IP Coal has also agreed with Vale IP to discontinue the damages claim commenced by IP Coal in the Federal Court on 11 July 2011, with each party bearing its own costs.
"Resolution of these two key issues assisted the parties in also reaching agreement on approval of the budget for Isaac Plains for the current financial year (as referred to in the Company's December 2011 Quarterly Report, which was released on 25 January 2012).
"Aquila considers that the resolution of these issues will now enable IP Coal and Vale IP to focus their efforts on delivering value from the Isaac Plains Coal Mine for the benefit of their respective stakeholders."
Aquila launched legal proceedings against Vale last July for four coking coal shipments (totalling some 200,000 tonnes of coal) it says Vale stopped from being exported.
Aquila and Vale each have a 50% stake in the mine and the dispute related to the terms of coal sales and an inability to negotiate a marketing agreement.
Aquila shares lost 4c to $4.94 yesterday.
And Qantas (ASX: QAN) revealed yesterday that its Asian expansion plan is back on track after being forced to put off the planned introduction of a premium service airline in Asia with Malaysian Airlines.
Instead Qantas will launch a budget airline based out of Hong Kong under a new agreement reached with China Eastern Airlines.
Jetstar Hong Kong will begin flights next year, flying short-haul routes in China and to Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asia.
The new airline plans to start operations next year with a fleet of three Airbus A320s, growing to a fleet of 18 by 2015.
The value of the joint venture is $US200 million ($A191 million).
Qantas will be tipping $US99 million into the venture.
The venture adds to the Singapore based airline, Jetstar Asia and the (domestic focused) Vietnam-based Jetstar Pacific operation.
It plans to start flying in conjunction with Japan Airlines and other Japanese partners as Jetstar Japan later this year.
Jetstar chief executive Bruce Buchanan said the airline wanted to capitalise on the enormous potential of the Chinese market in which there is only one other budget carrier.
"Jetstar Hong Kong's fares will be 50 per cent less than existing full-service carriers, which we've seen create new travel demand in our markets across Asia because it enables people to take more trips, more often," Mr Buchanan said in a statement on Monday.
"Jetstar's vision is to make travel more affordable for millions of people across Asia, and the demographics of China with its booming middle class are a key part of that plan."
Hong Kong was a major travel hub in Asia, with about 40 million passengers travelling through it a year, he said.
China had a travel market of almost 300 million passengers per year, and that was forecast to grow to 450 million by 2015, Mr Buchanan said.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said yesterday there are no plans to pursue a premium franchise with China Eastern like the proposals that failed to get traction with Singapore or Malaysia Airlines.
Qantas shares rose 3.5c to $1.765 yesterday.
Copyright Australasian Investment Review.
AIR publishes a weekly magazine. Subscriptions are free at www.aireview.com.au