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MSMC eyes 8 Vidarbha coal blocks

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									                              CURRENT NEWS
                                   February, 2007

Iron ore worry for Posco
Cuttack, Feb. 27, 2007: With Orissa High Court ordering status quo on the grant of
prospecting licence to Posco for the Khandadhar iron ore reserves on Monday, there is
fresh uncertainty for the Korean steel major’s proposed 12-million-tonne steel plant in the
state. The government had recommended the grant of prospecting licence in December
last year but Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Limited (KIOCL) appealed against it on
technical grounds. The Union ministry of mines had sought some clarifications on the
proposal after the Orissa government recommended Posco’s application. The desired
documentation with the clarification was done after that. The state had recommended
6,204 hectares at Khandadhar, Sundargarh district, in favour of Posco to assess actual
reserves after considering 130-odd applications. KIOCL, one of the applicants, contested
the government move over preferential rights for allotment of mining lease under Section
11(1) of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957. The company
had already done prospecting work in the Khandadhar mining area and incurred an
expenditure of Rs 2 crore for the same. Advocate-general B.K. Mahanti said KIOCL’s
application was not taken into consideration in 2006 as the PSU had failed to make any
headway in setting up its proposed Rs 700-crore plant in the state over a “period of time”.
Posco’s application was forwarded to Delhi for approval as it was prepared to make a
sizeable investment by setting up a steel plant at Paradip, Mahanti said. The two-judge
bench of Acting Chief Justice A.K. Ganguly and Justice N. Prusty asked the state
government to file a counter-affidavit by March 12 and issued an interim order for “status
quo on leasing out… (the) Khandadhar iron reserves till then”. The legal battle assumes
significance as Posco-India’s interest in the proposed steel plant in Orissa largely depends
on it.
                                                [Source: http://www.telegraphindia.com]

India and Australia discuss enhancing cooperation in mining
sector
Feb 23, 2007: India and Australia today discussed the possibilities of further enhancing
cooperation in the mining sector. At a meeting between the Minister of Mines Shri Sis
Ram Ola and the visiting Premier of Western Australia Mr. Alan Carpenter here today,
the two sides felt the need to encourage mutual investment by the companies from India
and Australia. The two leaders reiterated the vast possibilities for projects in untapped
mineral sector in India and Australia - particularly Western Australia. Referring to the
MOU between India and Western Australia in this regard, Shri Ola said that a highly
conducive atmosphere has evolved between two countries for greater investment. He also
pointed out that India has huge potential for prospecting minerals and an investor friendly
policy is currently under consideration of the Government. Shri Ola invited investments
in both prospecting and mapping/surveys to establish mineral resources with the help of
latest technology. He underlined the keen desire of the Government to replace the $ 20
billion worth of mineral imports by domestically prospecting for the same. Mr. Carpenter
also felt the need for taking forward cooperation and informed that Western Australia has
vast areas with tremendous potential for finding minerals. The Indian companies could
take advantage of this as also the Australian companies could benefit from the
possibilities in India. He invited Shri Ola to visit Australia. Shri J.P. Singh, Secretary
(Mines) also participated in the meeting alongwith senior officers of Ministry of Mines
and Ministry of Coal. Mr. Carpenter was accompanied by a high level delegation
including the Australian High Commissioner to India.
                                                  [Source: http://www.equitybulls.com/]

Rich deposits of gold found in Rajasthan
Jaipur, 22 Feb, 2007: A little over two years after it set up shop in Rajasthan, Australian
exploration company Indo Gold has struck gold in a little-known village in the desert
state. "Significant gold deposits have been discovered in the Jagpura mines in Banswara
district in south Rajasthan. The deposits are world-class and we hope to start commercial
production in four years," said Mike Higgins, MD of the Brisbane-based firm which has a
joint venture with a private Indian firm, Metal Mining India. India is the biggest importer
of gold in the world, buying 470 tonnes per year. The closure of the Kolar gold fields in
Karnataka had led to dwindling domestic yield and rising import bills. Currently, gold is
found only in the Hutty mines of Karnataka with an annual yield of about two tonnes.
The annual yield from the Jagpura mines is estimated to be in the range of eight tonnes.
                                            [Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com]

Chandrapur is India's most polluted city
Nagpur, February 20, 2007: Vidarbha has been in the limelight for sometime now —
mostly for the wrong reasons. This time it is pollution, with Chandrapur making
headlines      for     being    the     most     polluted    city   in     the   country.
The city has earned this dubious distinction due to rapid industrialisation — particularly
several opencast coalmines being mined recklessly; and operation of a super thermal
power station within the heart of the city. The mineral-based industrialisation and rapid
urbanisation in this district has resulted in pollution and environmental degradation and
its effects are being felt on a wide scale, the Maharashtra State Pollution Control Board
(MSPCB) admitted in its recent report. However, the board hardly tried to regulate those
industries. On the contrary, it allowed industries to operate on their whims and fancies
that led to such a situation.

        The ambient air quality monitoring data collected by the board over the last three
years from different points shows the city attaining the most-polluted distinction in terms
of Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM). The main sources are: 26 coal
mines, mostly open cast in the city and its surrounding areas, over half a dozen coal
washeries, the Ballarpur Paper Mills at Ballarshah, sponge iron units, several cement
factories and the super thermal power station that generates 2,340-MW power that is
situated in the heart of city. The annual average of RSPM of the city, which was 73
micrograms per cubic metre a few years ago, has now touched over 290 micrograms per
cubic metre Durgapur locality tops the RSPM list, with an annual average of 293
micrograms per cubic metre. Talking to Hindustan Times, VM Mothered, the regional
officer of MPCB, admitted to the mess and said that the board was now concentrating on
the problem in Chandrapur. “We have given an ultimatum to Western Coalfields Limited
to check coal dust and resort to scientific mining by June this year. Ultimatums have also
been given to other industries, including the super thermal power station,” he said.
Moreover, the board has decided to upgrade its Chandrapur office from a sub-regional to
the regional office, Motghare informed. The MSPB also noticed that industrial and other
activities have extensively contributed a rise in health problems, mainly respiratory
problems, for local population. SSN Rao, a retired government officer, said that the two-
thirds of the city’s health problems were due to the urban air pollution. According to him,
what is most disturbing is the increasing evidence of a link between ultra fine particle
pollution and an incidence of heart disease. The retired officer, who was one of the
victims, said, "I had to undergo by-pass surgery last year, thanks to my acute respiratory
problem, triggered by air pollution in the city."Rao insisted that the government should
identify the PCB officials, who do not strictly regulate environmental norms on local
industries, and take stern action against them. “The alarming situation shows pollution
control officials are hands in glove with the industries,” he alleged. Dr DS Wasnik, a
well-known physician of Chandrapur, said that the ozone and fine-particle pollution leads
to heart attacks, asthma, chronic lung diseases and other health problems. "Over 50 per
cent of my patients suffer from breathing problems," Wasnik added. According to former
Lok Sabha member from the area, Naresh Pugalia, "The Western Coalfields’ reckless
mining, an easy-to-get permit for setting up a coal washery and a nexus between the
pollution control board personnel and industries are responsible factors for this situation."
                                               [Source: http://www.hindustantimes.com]

It's Mittal vs Rio Tinto for Sesa Goa
Mumbai, February 19, 2007: The race for Mitsui Corp’s 51% stake in Sesa Goa might
turn out to be a duel between the world’s largest steel company, Arcelor Mittal, and the
second-biggest mining firm, Rio Tinto. The two giants are believed to have bid at over Rs
2,100 per share for the Goa-based company, valuing it at almost Rs 8,000 crore. Its
current market cap is now about Rs 7,494 crore. Others in the fray include Vedanta
Resources, the Aditya Birla group and Australian mining major BHP Billiton. The JSW
Steel group was believed to have shown interest in the stake, but it couldn’t be confirmed
if it is still in the reckoning. The second round of bidding closes by 4 pm on Monday. “At
present, Arcelor Mittal and Rio Tinto seem to be favourites to get into the final round.
After the second round gets over on February 19, Mitsui is expected to list two of the
highest bidders and call them for the third round by February 25,” said sources close to
the development. Sesa Goa shares rose 1.3% to Rs 1,904 on BSE on February 15. The
scrip has risen by almost 35% since the beginning of the year and in a month its market
cap has expanded by Rs 1,000 crore. At stake for the bidders is Sesa Goa’s 150 million
tonne of iron ore reserves in Karnataka and Goa. Some industry analysts believe that the
Goa-based company’s reserves are of low grade and that the present valuation, therefore,
may be too high. “But more than its present reserves, the valuation by the bidders is
based more on Sesa Goa’s prospective lease for mines in Jharkhand,” said an industry
observer. Discovery of substantial reserves in Jharkhand will also increase Sesa Goa’s
mining life, which according to its last annual report, is 15 years,” one of them added.
        Recent government regulations allow 100% FDI in mining of minerals and
precious metals, which has prompted foreign mining majors to make a beeline for India’s
mining sector. However, the rider here is export of iron ore has become a hot potato with
the steel lobby strongly opposing it. The London-based Rio Tinto, which has iron ore
reserves in Australia and North America, would be banking on Sesa Goa to finally make
a firm presence in India after repeated attempts earlier. It had first approached Mitsui for
buying the stake in late 2005, but the talks broke down. The company had also mooted a
JV with Orissa Mining Corporation, but without any result. The company produced about
130 million tonne of iron ore in 2005. Interestingly, India, which has iron ore reserves of
23 billion tonne, exported about 100 million tonne of iron ore in 2005. According to
industry observers, Arcelor Mittal has been known to be interested in Mitsui’s reserves in
other parts of the globe, too. “Its bid in Sesa Goa is part of this interest,” said industry
sources. The Japanese major has reserves in Australia and has about 5% stake in CVRD.
Mitsui Corp, whose exit from Sesa Goa is part of its plan to sell off non-core business,
had opened its data books for the bidders to conduct due diligence. “In the third round,
the company will give access to its production plants for diligence,” said sources. Mitsui,
a diversified conglomerate valued at over $8 billion, had bought out Finsider
International’s 51% in Sesa Goa in October 1996 through the UK-based Earlyguard.
                                          [Source: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com]

Mines ministry disappoints steel makers
Mumbai, February 18, 2007: The Cabinet note prepared by the ministry of mines
excludes almost 15 million tonne of steel capacity in India from the access to captive
mining of iron ore. The note, which has okayed the recommendations of the Hoda
Committee, with some modifications has said that captive capacity should be allotted to
steel makers who have their steel making facilities in the states that have ore reserves.
The Hoda Committee had recommended a large-scale opening up of the mining sector
and had urged for creating global norms for mining in India. According to sources the
Cabinet note, prepared by the mines ministry is yet to be considered by the Union
Cabinet and is likely to be considered only after the Union Budget. The note has been
signed by mines ministry joint secretary Ajita Bajpai Pande and is titled National Mineral
Policy 2007.Steel makers like Essar Steel, Ispat Industries and the government-owned
Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd of Vizag are situated in states that do not have iron ore
reserves. The Jindals have around 30 per cent of their capacities in states that do not have
iron ore. Tata Steel and Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) are largely located in iron ore
owning states but SAIL’s plants in Durgapur and Burnpur are in West Bengal, which
does not have any iron ore. The total integrated steel making capacity of the country is
around 32 million tonne of which around 15 million tonne is with Essar, Jindals, Ispat
and RINL. The policy mandates that steel makers who are based in states that do not have
iron ore should depend on independent mining companies for the supply of ore. The
Indian steel makers have been fighting to get captive mining leases but the state
governments have also insisted that these companies produce the steel in the states where
they mine their ore. As a result of these almost all steel companies have scampered to
sign Memoranda of Understanding with the state governments or Orissa, Jharkhand and
Chhattisgarh for setting up steel making units in these states. The Jindal project,
announced in West Bengal also got delayed as the company did not have any access to
low cost ore.
                                         [Source: http://www.hindustantimes.com]

Shri Shekhawat Urges Mining Industry to do Better for Welfare of
Miners
Vice President Presents National Safety Awards (Mines)
Wednesday, February 14, 2007: The Vice President of India Shri Bhairon Singh
Shekhawat has urged the mining industry to do better for the welfare of the miners. After
presenting the “National Safety Awards (Mines) for the year 2002 and 2003” at a
function here today, Shri Shekhawat said that mining industry is employment intensive
and supports and sustains the livelihood of the millions of our poor and deprived people.
Extraction of mineral wealth in economically backward and tribal regions has the
potential to create exponential opportunities for income generation for the poor. Shri
Shekhawat called upon the mining industry to remember that in real terms only a safe
mining is productive and it results from well-planned efforts. Good design of the health
and safety functions for our mines would result in a work environment where managers
and supervisors would work with the people and foster a climate of teamwork with
shared values and objectives. When such a work environment is achieved, team
members would naturally be challenged to provide creative new solutions to any
hazardous operations that might tend to compromise security. Shri Shekhawat has said
that mining industry is important to our economy, but it is also a hard reality that mining
has been and continues to be hazardous. It has rightly been deemed to be a war with
unpredictable forces of nature. Extraction of minerals from below the surface of the earth
is fraught with innumerable risks. There are dangers form collapsing ground, explosion,
fire, inrush of water, release of noxious and inflammable gases apart from the risks of
injury, prolonged hard physical work in cramped ill-lighted conditions and other
occupational health hazards. The work of the miner is not only risky but is also
extremely arduous and tiring. Shri Shekhawat has opined that minerals all over the world
have been integral to the growth and development of civilization. But only a few
countries in the world have been endowed with rich treasure of mineral wealth like ours.
The growth of mining sector in India has indeed been significant, the value of mineral
production constitutes about 2.6 per cent of the GDP; export of minerals also stands at
more than Rs.80 thousand crores. Continued growth of the mining sector is critical to
achieving high growth rate of GDP.
Shri Shekhawat expressed his grave concern that in the present era of globalization which
is characterized by fierce competition, there have been pressures to achieve higher and
accelerated production. Introduction of new mechanized technology has led to new
health and safety hazards in mines. Moreover, with the exhaustion of easily mineable ore
reserves, mining activities are being gradually extended to greater depths and to adverse
geo-mining locales, thereby further adding to the complexities of health and safety
problems in mines. It is a matter of great anguish when we learn about accidents in mines
causing death, disability and misery to miners. What often escapes our notice is the
untold story of misery and hardship it brings to the family and dependents of the miners.
Despair turns into anger and outreach when it is revealed that these accidents in mines
could have been so easily prevented only if elementary safety precaution were not
ignored or neglected, he added..
         The Vice President said that the mining sector has been further opened up to
private and foreign investment, with increased mechanization, modern techniques and
increased depth of mining a new safety ethos must emerge in the industry. Engineering
and enforcement will still be needed, but greater attention should be focused on
education. We need a new safety paradigm wherein the safety is fully integrated into
production with observance of safety norms becoming in an integral part of the work
culture. Shri Shekhawat emphasized the importance of the safety and protection of the
environment. He urged the scientists and engineers to put in place sustainable mining
practices so that while tearing the bowels of the earth, they keep the environmental
factors and safety of workers uppermost in the mind. He said that we always need to be
environmentally sensitive and ever remember Mahatma Gandhi’s words of wisdom,
“Nature has everything for man’s needs but not for man’s greed” and make the
environment fragile by indulging in over exploitation of nature’s wealth. The Minister
of State Independent Charge) of Labour and Employment Shri Oscar Fernandes and
Secretary, M/o Labour and Employment Ms. Sudha Pillai also addressed on the occasion.
                                                                 [Source: http://pib.nic.in]
Mining mafia defy SC's directive in Haryana
Mewat (Haryana), Feb 11, 2007: Defying the decree of ban on mining passed by the
Supreme Court and the State Government, mining is reportedly rampant in Mewat. The
mining in Utawad village of Mewat district is causing serious threat to the eco-system as
social activists allege of mafia-official nexus behind the illegal mining. "Mining is going
on even near the 250 year old hills of Wasida and that too at great depth. Rather than
doing mining at 300 meters from monuments it is being done at the places which are 10
meters from the monuments. The residential buildings are also developing cracks,"
complains Ramesh Arya of Bandhua Mukti, an NGO founded by Swami Agnivesh. He
also alleged that State Government and Police nexus behind these activities. Khalil
Ahmed of Mewat Vikas Manch says that the mining activities at places which are near to
temples, mosques and other religious places have resulted in overflowing of water. Last
year, taking cognizance of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), the Supreme Court issued
notice to Centre and State Governments and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI),
directing them to take action to stop illegal mining. The petition was filed by three
eminent persons who alleged the State Government for not taking any action against such
activities, which are posing serious threat to not only the cultural heritage but also to
ecological balance.
                                                     [Source: http://www.dailyindia.com]

Steel future in Chiria reserves
Bokaro, Feb. 11, 2007: Supply of iron ore from the Chiria mines will determine if India
can become the number two steel producer in the world by 2015, declared Union steel
secretary R.S. Pandey. On a two-day visit to the steel city, Pandey today told
newspersons that talks with the state government were in the final stages and he was
hopeful that SAIL would be able to bank on Chiria to fuel its expansion plans. The per
capita consumption of steel in India, at just about 38 kg, is far below the figure for global
leaders at 400 kg, pointed out Pandey. But the demand for steel is increasing fast and
although SAIL units have been set a target of 7 per cent growth, they are actually
growing at 14 per cent, said the steel secretary. Pandey was hopeful that India would be
able to meet the steel production target of 80 million tonnes by 2012. Chiria, pointed out
Pandey, has been supplying iron ore to both Burnpur and Bokaro and the expansion plans
of both will suffer, he acknowledged, if the Jharkhand government has its way in getting
judicial approval of its decision to cancel IISCO’s mining lease over Chiria. With the
merger of IISCO with SAIL, the latter hoped to gain access to the rich and abundant
reserves of high-quality iron ore in the Chiria mines of West Singhbhum. The previous
NDA government in the state had cancelled the IISCO lease and offered Chiria to other
players who were eager to set up greenfield projects. “We are having talks with the state
government; they are aware of our problems and are cooperating as best as they can,”
said an evasive secretary, when quizzed on the attitude of the government. While the
UPA government in the state is more favourably inclined towards the public sector steel
major, there is mounting pressure from other producers to get access to Chiria. With a
housing boom in the country and better highways and roads coming up, Pandey hoped,
the demand for steel would grow and SAIL would remain the leader in the domestic
market.
BSL managing director V.K. Srivastav announced that Bokaro Steel is committed to
spend 2 per cent of its profit annually, which came to around Rs 10 crore last year, to
develop places around Bokaro.
                                              [Source: http://www.telegraphindia.com/]

AP Cong. welcomes Centre's nod to uranium project
Hyderabad, Feb. 10, 2007: The ruling Congress in Andhra Pradesh on Friday hailed the
Centre's approval of a uranium mining project at Thummalapalle in Kadapa district,
saying it will help address an electricity shortage in the State and boost development.
"The project not only addresses the power woes of the State, but also facilitates the
industrial progress of Kadapa district," Congress spokesman N Tulasi Reddy told
reporters here. Referring to similar "safe" facilities at Jaduguda in Jharkhand, he allayed
fears that the uranium project will endanger health and degrade the environment in the
district. According to him, the Kadappa mining project involves the extraction of uranium
from underground mines in 879 hectares spread across five villages -
Mabbuchintalapalle, Thummalapalle, Rajukuntapale, Bhoomayagaripalle and Kottala.
The Uranium Corporation of India Ltd (UCIL) expects to extract 3,000 tonnes of ore a
day and the mines are likely to last for 30 years, he said. Making a comparison of the
mean power consumption per capita among countries, Reddy said India was lagging
behind many nations and has to produce 20 times more than the current level of
electricity generation to reach a satisfactory level. "Since thermal and hydel power
generation have limitations, power generation from nuclear energy is the order of the
day," he said. India, which produces only 2.7 per cent of its total power from nuclear
energy, is way behind other countries in this field, like France (79 per cent), Japan (29
per cent), America (19 per cent) and Russia (16 per cent), Reddy pointed out. "The
proposed project will enhance uranium production in the country. It also has employment
generation potential of about 1,000 people directly and thousands indirectly," he said.
                                                           [Source: http://www.hindu.com]
Cabinet approves land acquisition for uranium mining in
Cuddapah
New Delhi, Feb 8, 2007: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on
Thursday gave its approval to the acquisition of land for uranium mining in Andhra
Pradesh's Cuddapah District. The Cabinet approved a deposit of Rupees thirteen crore
seventy lakh fifty thousand with the State Government for land acquisition for the
Tummalapalle Mining and Milling Project. The project is being set up by the Uranium
Corporation of India Limited (UCIL), a Public Sector Undertaking under the Department
of Atomic Energy. The project will meet the uranium fuel requirements of the country's
nuclear power programme. Besides developing the area, the project will also provide
direct employment to nearly a thousand people, including those affected by the project.
The total uranium resources of the country established so far are 94,000 tonnes. Majority
of these resources occur in three uranium provinces, namely, Singhbhum, Mahadek in
Meghalaya                                 and                                 Cuddapah.
Cuddapah uranium province contains Proterozoic unconformity related uranium deposit
at Lambapur-Peddagattu in Nalgonda district, Andhra Pradesh. The Cuddapah basin also
hosts a unique strata bound uranium deposit associated with siliceous dolostone at
Tummalapalle in Cuddapah district.
                                                   [Source: http://www.dailyindia.com]

India to avert CBM, coal blocks overlap
New Delhi, Feb. 7, 2007: India's Petroleum and Coal ministries say they will hold talks
to exploit coal-bed methane and coal blocks and to avoid overlapping. The ministries of
Petroleum and Coal would soon hold discussion to deliberate on exploitation of coal and
coal-bed methane in the blocks where both overlap, said a Petroleum Ministry
spokesman. He said the two ministries would also talk to develop a road map for
harmonious operations of coal and CBM in the overlapped area. The meeting is taking
place against the backdrop of complaints made by the players in the field that
simultaneous extraction of methane and coal through underground mining was
dangerous. They also said such recovery in a multi-seam scenario had not been practiced
in India so far. India has an estimated 350-400 CBM in its category-I basin in Damodar
valley. The Coal Ministry says it has already identified 145 coal blocks with reserves of
over 4,500 million tons for captive purposes, The Financial Express newspaper said
Wednesday. There was an overwhelming response to the CBM-III round of bidding. The
global exploration and production companies had for the first time participated in the
bidding process, said the Coal Ministry. During the third round of bidding for 10 CBM
blocks, 54 bids were received from 26 companies, including eight global and 18 domestic
players. India's Directorate General of Hydrocarbons has told the players that
simultaneous mining of coal and extraction of methane seams were being practiced by
several countries.
                                                  [Source: http://www.earthtimes.org/]

India discovers uranium deposits in Andhra Pradesh
New Delhi: India has identified the uranium deposits in Andhra Pradesh, which can meet
the fuel requirements of India's nuclear power programme and mining for the uranium
ore will start by the end of this year. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs,
chaired by the Prime Minister, on Thursday cleared the mining project to be started in
Tummalapalle by sanctioning Rs 13.70 crores for land acquisition through the State
Government. Officials said the state government would acquire the requisite land for the
Tummalapalle Mining and Milling Project and hand it over to the Uranium Corporation
of India Limited (UCIL) for starting exploration and mining. UCIL is a fully government-
owned undertaking functioning under the Department of Atomic Energy. The project is
estimated to provide direct employment to 934 persons in various categories and would
include the project-affected displaced persons, the official announcement added. "The
approval of the project will meet the uranium fuel requirement of the nuclear-power
programme," Finance Minsiter P Chidambaram told reporters.
                                               [Source: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk]

Uranium deposits in State
Hyderabad: The government has identified Uranium deposits in Andhra Pradesh. The
deposits are expected to meet the fuel requirements of India's nuclear power programme
and mining for the uranium ore will start by the end of this year. The Cabinet Committee
on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister, cleared the mining project to be
started in Tummalapalle by sanctioning Rs 13.70 crores for land acquisition through the
State Government. The approval of the project will meet the uranium fuel requirement of
the nuclear-power programme and also would provide direct employment to nearly 1000
people.
The state government would acquire the requisite land for the Tummalapalle Mining and
Milling Project and hand it over to the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) for
starting exploration and mining. UCIL is a fully government-owned undertaking
functioning under the Department of Atomic Energy.
                                                  [Source: http://www.andhracafe.com]

India’s Hind Copper to reopen mine by end 2007
New Delhi, Feb 3, 2007: Hindustan Copper Ltd, India’s third-largest copper producer, is
planning to revive a closed copper ore mine with annual capacity of 450,000 tonnes
before the end of 2007, a company official said on Friday. Deals have also been signed
with arms of four overseas firms for exploring other copper deposits in India. “Maybe we
will have a foreign partner for the mine, there is Indian interest also. We are planning to
start it towards the end of 2007,” the official, who could not be named, said of the mine at
Surda in the eastern state of Jharkhand. Copper prices hit a record high of $8,800 in May
last year as miners struggled to keep pace with demand, especially from rising Asian
power China, and overcome supply problems. But since they have retreated as outlook
for demand became less certain. Copper has been trading at about $5,700 per tonne.
Hindustan Copper has rights to explore copper deposits in the states of Rajasthan,
Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh. The firm has three operational mines in India and is the
country’s only integrated producer of refined copper. Its total mining capacity is 3 million
tonnes annually. It also has five closed mines in Jharkhand.
                                                  [Source: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk]
Inter-Governmental Forum on Mining Minerals, Metals and
Sustainable Development
Feb 1, 2007: The Union Cabinet today gave its approval for seeking membership by
India in the Inter-Governmental Forum on Mining, Minerals and Sustainable
Development and also confirming its acceptance of the Rules of Procedure and Terms of
Reference of the Forum. The objective of the Forum is to enhance and promote the
contribution of the mining, minerals and metal sector to sustainable development. The
Forum provides for members to discuss ways and means to expand the benefits of
sustainable development while responding to the challenges posed by mining. This
Forum has evolved from a Global Dialogues process launched at the 2002 Johannesburg
World Summit on Sustainable Development co-sponsored by Canada and South Africa
and hosted by UNCTAD. Currently the Forum has 36 countries as its members. The
current members of the Forum are Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi,
Canada, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Republic of Guinea, Kazakhstan,
Jamaica, Kenya, Kyrgyz Republic, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico,
Morocco, Mongolia, Niger, Nigeria, Philippines, Romania, Russian Federation, Senegal,
South Africa, Surinam, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, United Kingdom, Uruguay and
Zambia. The Secretariat functions of the Forum are presently discharged by Canada.
India has been invited to join the Forum as a member. The Government and the mining
industry in India stand to gain from the benefits of consultations of sustainable
development for effectively responding to the challenges posed by mining.
                                                              [Source: http://pib.nic.in]

Oriental Trimex eyes Gujarat for mining
Mumbai/ Ahmedabad February 01, 2007: Firm will enter capital market. Delhi-based
Oriental Trimex Limited, a marble and granite processing and designing company, has
said it was scouting for sites in Gujarat for granite and marble mining. The company is
setting up new marble processing units at Kolkata and Bangalore and a granite processing
unit at Balasore in Orissa. Oriental had also recently announced its plans to enter the
capital market with an initial public offering of 10 crore shares of which 6 lakh will be
reserved for shareholders. At a price band of Rs 40-48 per equity share, the issue opens
February 8 and closes February 14. Speaking about the company’s plans, managing
director, Rajesh Punia, said, “We are planning to expand our marble processing unit at
Greater Noida from 12,600 metric tonne (mt) to 25,200 mt, and will be setting up two
more such units each at Kolkata and Bangalore with a capacity of 12,600 mt.” This apart,
the company has applied for acquisition of land at ten more places in Orissa, which have
a combined mineable capacity of Rs 452 crore. “But in west, we see Gujarat as a
potential region and the quarries are still unexplored here. We are conducting surveys in
northern Gujarat and might apply for land acquisition in the coming years,” he said. The
company’s two granite quarries in Orissa are situated at Rairangpur and Behrampur,
spread over 6.90 acres and 38.1 acres respectively. According to Punia, the granite mines
are still very much unexplored even though India accounts for 20 per cent of world
reserves in granite. The granite exports last year were to the tune of Rs 300 crore, while
those of marble stood at Rs 350 crore. “The marble and granite that we explore and
process are of export quality and available at a very few places like Orissa and Gujarat.
The granite and marble available in Rajasthan do not have that quality. Hence, we are
eyeing Gujarat now after setting up our units in Orissa. Once all these units begin
functioning, we expect our exports to rise by at least 20 percent,” said Punia. The
company is also setting up its retail outlets at New Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai. Till
December 15, 2006, Oriental Trimex registered a turnover of Rs 58 crore and a profit of
Rs 2.76 crore.
                                         [Source: http://www.business-standard.com]

								
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