ELECTRICITYXstrata contractAPA and AGL have won a 17-year contract to supply Xstrata's Mount Isa operations with electricity from the proposed $500 million Diamantina power station, which guarantees the future of the Carpentaria Gas Pipeline owned and operated by APA. Two 121 megawatt units are to be built. Analysts said the contract removes uncertainty hanging over APA. The deal will require a capacity upgrade to the pipeline. The power station is owned jointly by APA and AGL.ENERGYNo delays for dealFinal approvals for Australia's next big offshore gas project will not face unexpected hurdles, according to Japanese company Inpex. Company spokesman Sean Kildare told a conference in Darwin that Inpex was expecting to make a final investment decision (FID) on the massive Ichthys gas project within the next 12 weeks. "There are no show stoppers or bottlenecks that would cause a substantial delay to Ichthys' FID," he said. The Resources Minister, Martin Ferguson, said the project would be a "game changer" for Darwin.MININGExco in demandWashington H. Soul Pattinson has more than doubled its stake in Exco Resources to 13.25 per cent from 6.52 per cent. Ivanhoe Mines is the largest shareholder in Exco, with 22.58 per cent.STOCK EXCHANGENZ chief moves onThe New Zealand Stock Exchange chief executive, Mark Weldon, will step down in the first half of 2012. Weldon, 44, owns about 5 per cent of the stock exchange and led the company's initial public offering in 2003. He has been the stock exchange boss since June 2002. NZX shares have gained 54 per cent this year, the best performer on the NZX 50 index.