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Friday, September 16, 2011

POSCO to form iron ore and coal JV Colombia

Friday, 16 Sep 2011

POSCO said that it would set up a company in Colombia for iron ore and coal resource development in an effort to secure a stable supply of key materials.

The venture with Blue Pacific of Colombia, an iron ore and oil developer, will be formed late this year at the earliest, the Korean steelmaker said.

But POSCO gave no details.

The steel company also said it has signed a preliminary agreement with Colombian auto parts maker Fanalca to build a steel pipe plant, which could have an annual capacity of 200,000 metric tons.

According to Posco, demand for steel pipe is expected to reach 200,000 tons in 2015, compared with an estimated 30,000 tons in 2013, as the Latin American country begins several oil and natural gas development projects in the next few years.

(Sourced from koreajoongangdaily)

Coal stockpiles at Qinhuangdao Port decrease significantly

Friday, 16 Sep 2011

Coal shipment at Qinhuangdao port, China top coal loading port increased by 9.27% or 458,000 tonnes from a week earlier to 5.508 million tonnes in the week from September 5 to September 11 averaging 786,900 tonnes per day.

Coal handling at the port has witnessed a sharp rise of nearly 1.76 million tonnes within five weeks on the back of stronger demand before overhaul of Daqin railway starts.

In the week, coal haulage to the port via railway registered 4.904 million tonnes, a drop of 5.02% or 259,000 tonnes from the prior week, averaging 700,600 tonnes per day. This marks the end of three consecutive weeks’ increase in coal deliveries to the port.

Up to September 10, coal stockpiles at the port fell by more than 8% or 604,000 tonnes to 6.676 million tonnes. Thermal coal prices at major ports around Bohai Sea headed up after 9 consecutive weeks' fall. The latest Bohai-Rim Steam-Coal Price Index, or BSPI, indicates that the price of thermal coal with calorific value of 5500 Kcal/kg averaged at CNY 826 per tonne up 0.12% or CNY 1 per tonne from a week earlier.

(source steelhome)

Turkey’s steel product exports to UAE fall 18 percent in Jan-Aug

Friday, 16 September 2011

In the January-August period of this year, Turkey's steel product exports to the United Arab Emirates, its largest steel export market, fell by 18.03 percent year on year, dropping to 1.1 million metric tons, according to the data provided by the Istanbul Mineral and Metals Exporters' Association (IMMIB). The revenue generated by these exports came to $762.36 million, decreasing only by 0.4 percent as compared to the corresponding period of 2010, due to increased steel prices.

Meanwhile, as compared to the first eight months of 2008, Turkey's steel product exports to the UAE in January-August of the current year regressed by 76 percent in volume and 82.7 percent in revenue.

Steel product exports to the UAE accounted for a 9.5 percent share of Turkey's total steel product exports in the January-August period this year, down from the 12.5 percent share recorded in the first eight months of 2010, and significantly down from the 33.3 percent in the corresponding period of 2008.

In the first eight months of this year, Turkey's leading exported steel product to the UAE was steel bars, including rebars, with a volume of 930,655 metric tons, up 12.37 percent year on year, followed by steel billet with an export volume reaching 141,096 metric tons, 68.28 percent lower as compared to the year-ago period.

In the period in question, steel bar exports accounted for 80.95 percent of Turkey's total steel product exports to the UAE, while steel billet constituted 12.27 percent of the total exports.

Tags: rebar , billet , longs , semis , Turkey , UAE , Middle East , imp/exp statistics , steelmaking , Non-EU Countries

(sourced steelorbis)

Huadian Power to buy 85pct stake in Haoyuan Coal

Friday, 16 Sep 2011

China Knowledge reported that Huadian Power International Co Ltd the largest power producer in Shandong Province of China will acquire a 85% stake in Inner Mongolia Haoyuan Coal Co for CNY 715 million.

Upon the completion of the acquisition, Huadian Power International will acquire a colliery located in Erdos of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region with recoverable coal reserves of 54.6 million tonnes.

The colliery currently has an annual output capacity of 600,000 tonnes, which is expected to increase to 1.2 million tonnes in the fourth quarter of this year.

Since 2009, Shanghai and Hong Kong listed Huadian Power International has acquired coal assets with an annual output capacity totaling 12 million tonnes principally in Shanxi Province, the Inner Mongolia, the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and Anhui Province.

(Sourced from China Knowledge)

European benchmark coal for next year gains most in two weeks

Friday, 16 Sep 2011

Bloomberg reported that thermal coal for delivery to Amsterdam, Rotterdam or Antwerp with settlement next year rose 85 cents or 0.7% to USD 126.75 per ton at 10:45 AM in London.

That’s the biggest gain since August 31.

(sourced from Bloomberg)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sierra Iron Ore completes second tranche of financing

Thursday, 15 Sep 2011

Sierra Iron Ore Corporation announce that it has received additional subscription agreements totalling 286,360 units completing its 2nd tranche of the non-brokered private placement offered to qualified investors for additional gross proceeds to the company of USD 229,088 .

The total of both tranches of the non-brokered private placement will result in the issuance of 3,824,941 million units at a price of $0.80 cents per unit; each unit consists of one common share and one-half of one share purchase warrant. A full warrant entitles the holder to acquire one additional share at a price of USD 1.00 for 24 months from closing. All securities issued are subject to a hold period of four months from closing. Finders' fees will be paid to qualified parties.

The private placement will provide general working capital and an allocation for the financing of the company exploration/development field work program at the El Creston property.

E auction of iron ore begins

Thursday, 15 Sep 2011

BS reported that the E auction of iron ore as directed by the Supreme Court commenced and on the first day of auctions witnessed the total sale of 400,000 tonnes at around 25% more than the base price.

The auctions were held through the e-auction portal

As many as 60 buyers from the steel and sponge iron manufacturing companies in Karnataka participated in the E auction and bought about 100 lots of 4,000 tonnes each of iron ore.

The auction is understood to have fetched around INR 180 crore.

According to industry sources the public sector MSTC, which was appointed by the Supreme Court to conduct the auction had fixed a base price of INR 2,700 per tonne for iron ore fines and INR 3,700 per tonne for iron ore lumps with 63% and above grade.

(Sourced from BS)

China Coal Energy Coal production in Aug up by 17pct YoY

Thursday, 15 Sep 2011

It is reported that China Coal Energy filed its coal production grew 16.9%YoY to 8.84 million tons in August. Coal production grew 8.2%YoY to 69.34 million tons in the first eight months.

Coke production grew 26.7% to 190,000 tons in August. Total coke production grew 2.2% to 1.42 million tons in the first eight months.

Coal sales grew 18.3% to 11.63 million tons in August and sales of the fossil fuel grew 13.2% to 88.93 million tons in the first eight months.

(Sourced from

Coal of Africa ink environment deal

Thursday, 15 Sep 2011

It is reported that Australian junior mining company Coal of Africa Limited edged closer to the possibility of being able to mine at Vele, its new mine which has been shut for more than a year after activists objected due to its proximity to the ancient Mapungubwe cultural site in Limpopo.

The company signed the memorandum of agreement with South African National Parks and the Department of Environmental Affairs as part of the steps it must take to have a compliance notice served on it last year lifted. The compliance notice shut down activities at Vele after the Department of Environmental Affairs said CoAL was not in compliance with the National Environmental Management Act.

A coalition of civil society organisations which includes the Endangered Wildlife Trust criticised the agreement for the breadth and scope of the blanket confidentiality provision in the agreement.

It said "Considering the Department of Environmental Affairs is concluding an agreement that relates to a national treasure like the Mapungubwe National Park on behalf of the South African public, all information around such negotiations and the implementation of the agreement should be public as a matter of principle.”

The company said as part of the agreement, CoAL has agreed to work with SANParks and the department to find biodiversity offset programmes and action plans to preserve the area around the site.

Mr John Wallington CoAL CEO said the agreement was the first of its kind.

The agreement was concluded in two months, he said, and the groups were anxious to make progress on defining the action plans over the next three months. Mr Wallington said "We will have more detail once we have put meat on the bones. I think this is fantastic news for the country and what it does is create a new benchmark for co-operating with various stakeholders for this type of development."

The agreement calls for the monitoring and implementation of the plans through a steering committee and adequate staffing and funding of efforts to measure compliance and implementation.

The agreement brings CoAL a step closer to mining. However, it must still have its water use licence reinstated after it was suspended. The matter is still subject to a ruling by the Water Tribunal.

There is also a court fight the project must face brought by the coalition of activists against the project which is challenging its mining licence.

(Sourced from Businessday)

Iron ore spot offers slip below USD 190 per tonne

Thursday, 15 Sep 2011

Reuters reported that spot iron ore prices fell below USD 190 per tonne on Wednesday as Chinese steel mills continue to stay on the sidelines of the seaborne market as steel prices fall despite the traditional consumption peak season.

Steelmakers in China, the world top iron ore buyer and steel producer, have stepped away from imports and have preferred to buy domestic ore to lower production costs after offers inched above USD 190 per tonne last week.

An iron ore trader in Beijing said "Spot prices have fallen by USD 1 to USD 2 to below USD 190 per tonne this week and I am uncertain on the outlook for iron ore prices in the fourth quarter as construction activity will slow down reducing demand for steel and iron ore."

Shanghai rebar extended losses on Wednesday tracking Asian equities and other commodities amid euro crisis fears have discouraged steel mills from buying large volumes of the raw material.

The benchmark January rebar contract fell to a more than two week low of CNY 4,763 per tonne down by 0.4% from the previous close.

China is expected to extend its anti-inflation campaign and is unlikely to ease its tight monetary policy in the months ahead which will make it more difficult for steel mills to obtain sufficient credit for a large restocking of iron ore.

(Sourced from Reuters)

Banks muscling in on physical iron ore trading and lured by volume

Thursday, 15 Sep 2011

It is reported that an increasing number of investment banks are poised to muscle into the trading of physical iron ore a business long dominated by trading houses lured by the market’s huge size and its shift to a more transparent pricing system.

Mr Colin Hamilton Macquarie analyst said “The global market volume is a major incentive, the iron ore market dwarfs any other metals and now they have a functioning financial market.”

He said that “The majority of the commodities banks including Macquarie are looking at physical iron ore.”

About 1bn tonnes of sea borne iron ore are traded every year with about 20-30% sold on the spot market and the rest sold in long-term contracts. The banks may never match trading houses in this market, because their risk limits will curb both speculative trading and deals in some risky parts of the world.

Even so banks will build their physical iron ore businesses for several reasons. Involvement in this market will help them to limit risk in their burgeoning iron ore derivatives businesses as well as to forge deals to finance companies in the booming mining business.

Mr Abe Ulusal a trader at Mitsui Bussan Commodities said “Having access to the physical material will give banks more leverage and will limit their risk on the derivatives side.”

After pioneering iron ore derivatives trading, Deutsche Bank started trading physical iron ore in 2010. Other banks such as Citi and Goldman Sachs are now following.

Iron ore swaps trading started in 2008 but began to gain more traction in 2010, when iron ore miners dumped a decades old annual price benchmark system and moved to pricing in the shorter term.

Iron ore swaps allow producers, consumers and financial market participants to hedge or bet on prices in the future.

The volume of swaps cleared on the Singapore Exchange reached a record annualised level of almost 50 million tonnes last month and although it is still small compared with the physical market and it is growing quickly.

(sourced from Gulf-Times)

Canada threatens to tighten coal plant emissions rules

Thursday, 15 Sep 2011

It is reported that Mr Peter Kent Federal Environment Minister of Canada is serving notice that he won't tolerate companies trying to sneak around pending regulations to clamp down on greenhouse gas emissions.

Mr Kent said regulations for coal-fired electricity plants are not yet final and he could still change the rules especially if corporate interests are trying to skirt them. He added that "Until the final regs are written, they're not written. He emphasized that he has changed regulations at the last minute before for biofuels and he wouldn't hesitate to do it again if necessary.”

He also said in the interview the aim of that grace period was to make sure there was no stranded capital long term investments made under the old regime that would be rendered worthless if the new rules were to apply right away.

Mr Kent said he never intended to create a loophole that would prompt companies to build rule-breaking plants quickly. He suggested he will close that loophole, if necessary.

Calgary-based Maxim Power Corp. is rushing to build a coal-fired plant in western Alberta that would emit far more greenhouse gas than proposed federal regulations would allow. However, under the new regulations, a company already operating by July 2015 could take 45 years to comply.

Maxim officials have told the Alberta Utilities Commission the company had assurances from Environment Canada that its plant would fall under existing rules as long as it is up and running by that time.

Environment Canada has never backed up that claim, environmentalists pointed out.

One option could include changing the date when the stricter standards apply to new plants. The clock would not start ticking for older plants until July 2015 but new plants would face an earlier compliance date.

(sourced from winnipegfreepress)

Race for resources - NMDC confirms bidding for 50pct stake in Legacy Iron Ore

Thursday, 15 Sep 2011

Press Trust of India reported that Indian state owned miner NMDC today said it has submitted a formal binding bid to acquire 50% stake in Australian exploration firm Legacy Iron Ore for an undisclosed amount.

Mr Rana Som chairman of NMDC told PTI over phone from Istanbul that “We have submitted a formal binding bid for acquiring 50% stake in Legacy, as was envisaged in the MoU inked with them and if Legacy's Board approves it, we will be taking stake in the Australian firm.”

He, however, declined to comment on the deal size by saying that it is still confidential".

However, according to industry sources, the deal size is in the range of AUD 32 million to AUD 40 million (INR 150 crore to INR 200 crore).

Legacy said in a filing to the Australian Securities Exchange yesterday that it has received a formal proposal from NMDC to form a strategic alliance. Trading of its shares on the ASX has been halted till tomorrow.

(Sourced from PTI)

Talbot to sell stake in Mozambique coal venture

Thursday, 15 Sept 2011

Argus reported that Australia Talbot Group is selling its 58.9% stake in the 1.4 billion tonne Revuboe thermal and coking coal project in Mozambique that has the potential to produce up to 17 million tonne per year of coal.

The Revuboe joint venture partners, Japan Nippon Steel with 33.3% and South Korean steel maker POSCO with 7.8% have the first right of refusal for the project once bids are submitted next month.

The project sits to the south of the Riversdale projects in Mozambique, which was bought by Rio Tinto earlier this year for USD 3.9 billion and has little supporting infrastructure.

(sourced from ArgusMedia)

Rio Tinto to invest more in Pilbara iron ore expansion

Thursday, 15 Sept 2011

Rio Tinto is to invest USD 833 million (Rio Tinto share USD 706 million) in major power and fuel supply projects as part of its drive to substantially increase iron ore production capacity in Western Australia.

Rio Tinto's integrated Pilbara power and gas network will be upgraded with a USD 520 million investment and a further USD 313 million will be allocated to fuel infrastructure facilities.

The projects are needed to support annual production capacity of 283 million tonnes per annum, a milestone Rio Tinto has targeted for 2013. The fuel infrastructure project will also help support the next phase of potential expansion, to 333 million tonne per annum in 2015.

Mr Sam Walsh CEO Iron Ore and Australia said "This investment marks yet another significant step towards the expansion of iron ore production by 50 per cent in the five years to 2015, a timeline we recently brought forward by six months. These projects provide certainty in meeting our power and fuel supply requirements, both now and into the future."

Power infrastructure
A USD 520 million (Rio Tinto share USD 417 million) upgrade of the integrated power and gas network will deliver an additional 120 MW to sustain the current 230 million tonne per annum capacity and support expansion to 283 million tonne per annum. Two 40 MW open cycle gas turbines will be installed as part of a new power station near the West Angelas mine site and a 40MW open-cycle gas turbine will be built at the existing Yurralyi Maya Power Station near Dampier. The investment also provides for associated power infrastructure such as substations, gas pipelines and transformers.

Fuel facilities
The USD 313 million investment (Rio Tinto share USD 289 million) in fuel infrastructure will support the expansion programme to 283 million tonne per annum, and provide some of the capacity needed for expansion to 333 million tonne per annum. On completion, the fuel network will have a total storage capacity of 100ML, with 56ML additional capacity at Parker Point port terminal at Dampier. Two new inland distribution hubs will also be created, removing the requirement for two trains to transport fuel from Port Hedland, some 400 kilometres to the north.

Rio Tinto's schedule for expanding its integrated Pilbara operations is as follows
225 million tonne per annum - current operating capacity
230 million tonne per annum by end of Q1 2012 - Dampier port incremental (in implementation)
283 million tonne per annum by end of H2 2013 - Cape Lambert 53 million tonne per annum increment (in implementation)
333 million tonne per annum by end of H1 2015 - Cape Lambert 50 million tonne per annum increment (in feasibility study)

Euro coal prices drop another USD 1 per tonne in active trade

Thursday, 15 Sep 2011

Reuters reported that prompt physical coal prices fell by another USD 1.00 a tonne on Wednesday having dropped steadily for the past few days on weak demand in Europe and Asia.

European DES ARA prices have held steady in a narrow range for most of this year, between around USD 125 to USD 130 dollars, because frequent buying by one utility has been enough to prop up prices.

However, the number of October to December DES cargoes offered has been rising and bids from a handful of buyers have been dropping, pushing DES prices out of the range.

A November DES ARA cargo traded at USD 121.50 on Wednesday down around USD 1.00 from the previous day. December cargoes were offered at a similar level.

One European trader said "There have been more sellers today, it's been fairly active and it's looking weaker every day."

South African FOB prices have also been dropping steadily for the past several days. There has been limited spot buying by Chinese and Indian traders but not enough to support prices.

(sourced from Reuters)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Rio Tinto eyes India's thermal coal market

Sept11, 2011

By Vishwanath Kulkarni

Perth: Rio Tinto Ltd, the Anglo-Australian mining firm, is eyeing a share of the rapidly growing Indian thermal coal market.

“India's coal imports are projected to touch about 200 million tonnes over next few years. We want to be part of that supply,” said Dr Nik Senapati, Managing Director, Rio Tinto India.

Rio Tinto has been selling other mineral resources such as coking coal, alumina, borates and rough diamonds to Indian companies.

“Last year, we sold some small quantity of thermal coal to India through a trader. Now we want to get into Indian thermal coal market directly,” Dr Senapati told a group of visiting Indian journalists.

The company is in talks with the Indian buyers in sectors such as cement and power to supply the thermal coal. However, Mr Senapati did not comment on how much the company expects to sell in India.
Cost Strategy

Rio Tinto produces high grade thermal coal from its deposits in Eastern Australia. In a bid to make it competitive with those from Indonesia, Rio Tinto proposes to ship the commodity in large (cape size) vessels to India to reduce costs, Dr Senapati said. India currently imports a bulk of its thermal coal from Indonesia, while it relies heavily on Australian coking coal to produce steel.

Last year, Rio Tinto supplied three million tonnes of coking coal to Indian steel companies such as JSW Steel and Tata Steel.

Rio Tinto has seen its business from India grow to more than a billion dollars in the past five years. The domestic thermal coal output in India, constrained by environmental regulations, is insufficient to meet the rising demand.

India's coal import stood at 70 million tonnes in 2010-11. In the current fiscal, the shortfall in coal demand-supply has been pegged at 142 million tonnes, which will be met through imports.

Keywords: thermal coal market, Rio Tinto, Dr Nik Senapati, imports

Sourced TheHinduBusinessline

Coal demand to go up to 1000 MT by 12th Plan-end: Plan Panel

September 11, 2011

Delhi: The Planning Commission has estimated the country's coal demand to go up to 1,000 million tonne (MT) by the end of the 12th Plan period (2012-2017), necessitating over 200 MT imports.

"... The domestic output is unlikely to exceed 750 MT leaving more than 200 MT shortfall to be met from imports. Even this assumes that the domestic output will be able to increase by over 200 MT from current levels," it said in an approach paper for the 12th Plan Period.

The Planning Commission said the demand for coal rose by about 8% a year during the 11th Plan and may rise by about the same magnitude during the next Plan.

"Coal output expanded at about 7% per year in the five-year period for FY05 to FY10, with specially strong growth in both FY09 and FY10," it said.

However, in FY11, coal production remained stagnant, it said, adding that the domestic coal output was originally targetted to reach 680 MTPA in the 11th Plan. It was scaled down to 630 MT in the Mid-Term Appraisal.

The Planning Commission said uncertainties in coal supply were affecting the power generation.

"Coal India is not entering into Fuel Supply Agreements for more than 50% of the requirement of the thermal plants, and that too only for five years," the Planning Commission said.

The Commission also added that private sector investors in power generation were unlikely to able to access financing from banks if there is uncertainty over coal supplies.

Stressing on aligning domestic and international prices, it said that Coal India should explore the possibility of developing a mechanism to enable power producers procure a mix of domestic and imported coal consistent with their technical constraints.

sourced BS Agency PTI

Coal shortage forces NALCO to cut aluminium production

Sept11, 2011

Bhubaneswar: A shortage of coal has forced state-owned National Aluminium Company Ltd (NALCO) to cut its daily aluminium production by about 78 tonnes, an official said Saturday.

The price of aluminium in the international market is USD 2,380 per tonne.

The company was running about 931 aluminium smelting pots in its smelter plant at Angul, about 161 km from here, to produce about 1,200-1,300 tonnes of aluminium daily despite low power supply for the past several days.

It had to shutdown 60 of the pots Friday to ensure safe operations of the remaining pots as coal stock reached a very critical level and power generation came down further, a company official said.

The firm requires about 16,000 tonnes of coal daily to produce about 900 MW power at the captive power plant that feeds its smelter to keep all the smelting pots running in full capacity.

However, the power plant was producing only 600-720 MW power in the past 8-10 days because there was no adequate coal, he said.

NALCO has received on an average about 10,000 tonnes of coal daily for the past about a month and as a result it had to exhaust almost all its 15 days of coal stock.

"The current stock available can last for only two and half days. Unless we get adequate coal, we have to shut down more pots in the coming days," he said.

The official was however hopeful that the situation will improve soon as efforts are on to get more coal from various sources.

Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) - a unit of Coal India - supplies linked coal to NALCO from mines located in Talcher of Angul district.

The coal productions at the mines have been affected in the past weeks due to several reasons, including heavy rains, a dengue outbreak and strike by labourers.

"We are trying to source coal from other mines of MCL. They have also assured us to supply from their mines other than Talcher," he said.

sourced: zeenews, Agency IANS

Iron Ore-Key indexes fall, Chinese buying slackens

Sep10, 2011

* Reduced buying of iron ore pulls back key indexes
* Chinese steelmakers reluctant to buy more ore amid rapid price rise
* Gloomy Europe and U.S. economies weigh on commodities
* Shanghai rebar trades almost flat all week
By Ruby Lian and Jacqueline Wong

SHANGHAI, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Slower demand for iron ore by Chinese steelmakers marginally dragged down major global iron ore indexes, but solid fundamentals may cap falls as the country still expects to post annual record steel output.

Steel mills and iron ore traders in China, also the world's top steel producer and consumer, have become increasingly cautious about purchases amid the rapid rise of the key steelmaking ingredient price since mid-August.

"Iron ore prices have been rising to a relatively high point, with downward risk also mounting as the macro economy still remains uncertain," said an iron ore trader in Beijing.

Prices of Indian iron ore fines with 63/63.5 percent Fe grade stood at around $190 per tonne, including freight, on Friday, up 3 percent or $6 since mid-August.

Global major iron ore indexes, mainly tracking the spot Chinese market, fell on Thursday, indicating steel mills' reluctance in building up more stocks.

The Steel Index for 62-percent Fe grade .IO62-CNI=SI fell $1.1 to $179.9 per tonne.

The Platts Iron Ore Index for 62-percent grade IODBZ00-PLT fell 50 cents to $182.5 per tonne, and Metal Bulletin Iron Ore Index .IO62-CNO=MB eased 10 cents to $181.09 per tonne.

A few cargoes from Australian miners were traded at lower prices late this week, with a cargo for 63-pecent Fe fines sealed at $184 per tonne, down slightly from earlier this week, also helping to ease the upturn in spot prices, traders said.

"Several tenders were priced lower compared with the beginning of this week, pulling down the spot market, as steel mills are hesitant to buy more when offers hit $190 per tonne," said a second iron ore trader in Beijing.

However, global miners are upbeat about raw material prices as demand from China remains strong and there is no sign yet of any slowdown in the global iron ore market despite a growing crisis in Europe and a weak U.S. economy.

Iron ore exports from India, the world's third-biggest exporter, fell 21.86 percent to 25.29 million tonnes during April-July as a result of higher costs and slow efforts to resume shipments in the Karnataka state.

"The tightness in Indian iron ore supply will continue to support iron ore prices before the rainy season in its eastern region ends," the first trader added.

China's inflation eased slightly to 6.2 percent in August from July's three-year high, raising expectations that the central bank will hold off on further policy tightening amid worries about a global economic slowdown.

However, the global economic outlook remains a concern among market players and is weighing on the broad commodities market.

Shanghai's most active January rebar contract was almost flat on Friday, down 0.04 percent at 4,801 yuan ($752) per tonne from the previous close.

($1 = 6.384 Chinese Yuan) sourced Reuters

SAIL to invest INR 20000 crore in West Bengal

Sunday, 11 Sep 2011

Mr CS Verma chairman of Steel Authority of India Ltd on Saturday reiterated his commitment to invest over INR 20,000 crore in West Bengal.

The investment plans include ongoing modernization and expansion programs at the Indian Iron and Steel Company plant in Burnpur, Durgapur Steel Plant and Alloy Steel Plant.

Mr Verma after his meeting with the state chief minister, Ms Mamata Banerjee told reporters that “IISCO's modernization with latest state of the art technology is in the advanced stage of implementation.”

The 2.5 million tonne plant of SAIL at Burnpur at an estimated cost of INR 16,000 crore is expected to be complete by June 2012.

The company has earmarked a sum of INR 3,000 crore to be invested in Durgapur Steel Plant and INR 1,000 crore for Alloy Steel Plant.

According to Mr Verma, SAIL's proposed wagon making factory at Kulti in South 24 Parganas, is coming up at an investment of INR 200 crore.

(Sourced from BL)

India to restrict entry of ships over 25 years of age

Sunday, 11 Sep 2011

Union Minister of Shipping, Mr GK Vasan informed the Lok Sabha that the government has decided to impose certain restrictions on the entry of over 25 year old ships into Indian ports or territorial waters.

The Minister said that most of the ships involved in accidents/collisions were very old. Therefore, the government will be issuing a notification under the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 that if the ships are more than 25 years old they will be allowed in only if they satisfy the following conditions:

1. They should be classed with classification societies which are full members of the International Association of Classification Societies.

2. Have adequate insurance coverage for liabilities including collision, wreck removal and salvage.

3. Appoint an Indian ship agent to represent owner/charterer.

4. The Indian agent should notify the port authority and the Customs collector at least 48 hours prior to arrival, details of the ship including insurance etc.

There are about 93 Indian flag ships which are above 25 years of age. However, they will not be affected as they are all classed with the Indian Register of Shipping, which is a full member of IACS.

(Sourced from Exim News Service)

SAIL and Kobe JV deal in 4 months

Sunday, 11 Sep 2011

Steel Authority of India Ltd is expected to sign a 50:50 joint venture agreement with Kobe Steel within 3 to 4 months that will help it acquire the Japanese company's patented technology.

Mr CS Verma chairman of SAIL after meeting West Bengal chief minister Ms Mamata Banerjee said that "We are engaged in a feasibility study about the proposed venture. We are also finalizing the JV agreement and hope to complete it in the next three to four months. Following this, we are looking at finalizing the JV.”

The two companies are in talks to set up a 0.5 million tonne Greenfield steel plant in India utilizing Kobe Steel's pioneering steel-making technology, used for value added applications.

Mr Verma said that "The 0.5 million tonne project with Kobe would be implemented at Alloy Steels Plant at Durgapur and the investment would be INR 1,500 crore.”

The new unit will put into use Kobe Steel's iron making technology to make nuggets. It will produce a special type of alloy steel which will have specific applications.

(sourced from BS)

POSCO to raise stake in Brazilian iron ore miner

September11, 2011

Korean newspaper the Korea Economic Daily reported Friday that South Korean steel giant POSCO plans to buy additional shares of Brazilian iron ore mining company Namisa following recent board approval.

According to the report, POSCO will buy an additional 2 to 3 percent in Namisa from fellow shareholders.

POSCO originally bought a 6.5 percent stake in Namisa for $505 million in 2008, when a group of six Asian steelmaking companies bought respective stakes in Namisa. Other shareholders in the iron ore miner include Japan's Nippon Steel Corp., Kobe Steel Ltd., JFE Steel Corporation, Sumitomo Metal Industries and Nisshin Steel Co. Combined with POSCO, the six steelmakers own a 40 percent stake in Namisa.

Tags: iron ore , raw mat , Brazil , Japan , Korea , Korea S. , Far East , South America , investments , M&A , POSCO , mining , JFE Steel , Nippon Steel , Kobe Steel , East Asia and Pacific

(sourced steelorbis)

China steel products output up 13 pct on yr - stats bureau

Sept11, 2011

SHANGHAI(Reuters) - China, the world's top steel-producing country, produced a total of 77 million tonnes of finished steel products in August, up 12.9 percent from a year earlier, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Friday.

China produced 75.7 million tonnes of finished steel products in July. (sourced Reuters)

Zimbabwe may give mines more time on ownership plans


* Zimplats accounts for 10 percent of Implats' output
* Implats shares up two percent

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe may give foreign miners more time to submit plans to transfer majority stakes to local black investors, the state-run Herald newspaper said on Friday.

Firms such Zimplats , the local unit of South Africa's Impala Platinum have asked for an extension of the deadline to submit empowerment plans, the paper said.

"Our teams are now working with some mining companies that have asked for more time to work on their new proposals and we will keep the public updated on the developments," Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere told the Herald.

The paper said Zimplats was working on a proposal to submit by the end of November, two months past the original deadline to transfer majority stakes.

"It appears that the timeframe that Zimplats was given to amend its proposal was short and the company has now requested for about two months to work on another proposal," said the paper, which is widely seen as an official government mouthpiece.

"A new proposal would be submitted to government before the end of November. The new plan will have an element of the community share ownership trust," Zimplats deputy chairman Much Masunda was quoted as saying.

Implats' shares fell more than three percent on Thursday on reports the government was moving to revoke Zimplats' licence. The shares recouped about two percent on Friday morning, outpacing a 0.25 percent rise on the blue-chip top 40 index .

Zimplats' accounts for about 10 percent of Implats' annual group output of close to 1.8 million ounces of platinum.

(sourced Thomson Reuters)

CSN bids for major stake in Usiminas

Sunday, Sept11, 2011

Companhia Siderurgica Nacional SA (CSN) continues to grow its stake in Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais SA (Usiminas), its flat-rolled steelmaking rival in Brazil.

On Thursday, Brazilian newspaper O Estado de Sao Paulo reported that CSN has made an offer to the other shareholders in Usiminas--which include Camargo Corraa, Votorantim and Nippon Steel--to acquire a 26 percent stake in Usiminas. CSN is bidding for Camargo Corraa's and Votorantim's shares in the company. Camargo Corraa and Votorantim own a combined 13 percent stake in Usiminas, while CSN owns 10.84 of Usiminas' voting shares after buying added Usiminas stock in late July. However, the reports have been confirmed by either CSN or Usiminas.

Based on the shareholders agreement, Nippon Steel, which holds a 27.8 percent stake in Usiminas has the first right to refuse CSN's bid.

Also according to Thursday's report in the newspaper, Nippon Steel has approached Gerdau SA about becoming a possible shareholder in Usiminas as well.

Tags: flats , Brazil , Japan , Far East , South America , investments , M&A , steelmaking , Gerdau , Nippon Steel , East Asia and Pacific

Optimum says possible offer to be at least 38 rand/shr

Sep11, 2011

* Proposed price raised from initial offer of 34 rand/shr
* Change follows Glencore purchase of more shares in Optimum
* Alternative buyer withdraws interest in company

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Optimum Coal said on Friday that should an offer be made for the company by a consortium including trader Glencore and a vehicle of politician turned businessman Cyril Ramaphosa, the price would not be lower than 38 rand per share.

A consortium including a Glencore subsidiary, Piruto BV, and Ramaphosa's Lexshell 849 confirmed on Sept. 1 that it was interested in buying a controlling stake in South Africa's sixth-biggest coal miner, deemed attractive due to its reserves and access to the Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT).

Optimum said the change came after a member of the consortium bought additional shares in the company.

Glencore said on Thursday it had raised its stake in the takeover target to 25.8 percent after it bought about 2.5 million shares at a price of 37.99 rand a share. The price is more than the 34 rand per share the consortium had so far publicly offered.

"The board has been informed by the consortium that if the proposed offer is made within a period of 6 months from 6 September 2011, the offer consideration will not be lower than 38.00 rand per Optimum share," the company said in a statement.

Optimum also said an alternative party, which was mentioned in an announcement earlier this month, had withdrawn its interest in acquiring a controlling stake in the coal producer.

The 38 rand offer would value the company at 9.57 billion rand ($1.34 billion).

Optimum, a mid-size producer with large export capacity at Richards Bay Coal Terminal and reserves, attracted keen buying interest from local and international companies since BHP Billiton originally put the mine up for sale.

South African coal is a key source of supply to both the European and Asian markets, particularly India - South Africa ships around 30 percent of its coal to India and increasingly, to China.

The acquisition would give Glencore access to two operating assets, the Optimum Collieries and Koornfontein Mines, as well as 8 million tons of coal export entitlements from RBCT.

Shares in Optimum, up 42.4 percent so far this year, were flat at 37.50 rand by 1256 GMT, compared with a 0.59 percent fall in Johannesburg's All-Share index .

(sourced Reuters)

Metalloinvest and MMK sign long-term iron ore supply agreement

Sept11, 2011

Russia's leader in the mining and metallurgical industry Metalloinvest and one of the leaders of Russia's steel industry Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works (MMK) have agreed on pricing for iron ore supply based on current market indicators and price dynamics in the global iron ore market.

Accordingly, Metalloinvest's Mikhailovsky Mining and Processing Plant will supply iron ore to MMK for a period of up to three years.

Tags: iron ore, raw mat, Russia, CIS, MMK, mining

(sourced steelorbis)

Indonesian coal export ban could benefit SA producers - Report

Sunday, 11 Sept 2011

It is reported that a ban on the export of lower quality coal in Indonesia, the world’s top thermal coal exporter, could open a window of opportunity for South African producers.

Investment bank Dahlman, Rose & Company in a report stated that the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry of Indonesia has drafted a decree, which would affect coal with a heating content below 5700 kilocalorie per kilogram or roughly 10,300 British thermal unit per pound.

Indonesia is the largest seller to both China and India, two of the world’s fastest growing economies. Should the decree pass, Dahlman, Rose & Company said it expected South African coal to be bid away to Asia even more, which could increase the price in the Atlantic basin and benefit exporters from both the Appalachian and Illinois basin regions.

South Africa based XMP Consulting senior coal analyst Mr Xavier Prevost said that the opportunity for South Africa would be to leverage on the gap in the market created by the possible ban.

Notwithstanding that South Africa had good export markets, he said that the country had to overcome many bottlenecks affecting its coal industry.

Mr Prevost called for improvement in the country’s rail capacity and for investment in new coal projects. Coal exporters have been eager to send more coal abroad to meet the rising demand from Asia, but have been hampered by infrastructure bottlenecks.

(sourced from GannoDiamond)

Price rise in coal from Indonesia hits power companies in India

Sunday, 11 Sep 2011

The government of India has confirmed that the increase in prices of coal from Indonesia has hit power producing companies in India.

Minister of State for Power Mr KC Venugopal informed the Lok Sabha that "Some power generation companies in India are facing the problem of an increase in the price of imported coal due to new regulations in export of the commodity in Indonesia.”

Some Indian power companies or their group companies hold shares in or have acquired coal mines in Indonesia, Australia and South Africa.

New regulation issued recently by the government of Indonesia prohibits the sale of coal, including sales to affiliate companies, below a benchmark price based on international rates. The regulation requires that all existing contracts are modified from this month to comply with the new coal pricing regulation.

The target for electricity generation is fixed on a year-to-year basis, keeping in view the performance of existing units and their maintenance program, the contribution expected from new generating units programmed to be commissioned, the availability of fuel, water, etc.

Private power companies like TATA Power and Reliance Power have written to the Power Ministry in the past, requesting it to mediate with the procurers of electricity from their Mundra (Gujarat) and Krishnapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) projects, respectively, for an increase in tariffs.

The two firms had asked the Power Ministry to allow them to increase the tariffs of their projects as the imported coal sourced from Indonesia for these projects has become dearer.

(sourced from NDTV)

Mechel’s Trade Port Posiet posts record coal shipment in August


Russian mining and steelmaking group Mechel has announced record coal transshipment results achieved by its subsidiary Trade Port Posiet in August. In the given period, Trade Port Posiet loaded 26 cargo ships with a total of 509,000 mt of coal products, achieving the best monthly result in the port's history. The record was achieved due to improvements in the port's technical support made under the large-scale modernization program scheduled to be completed by the end of 2012.

According to the company statement, Trade Port Posiet is currently undergoing technical reequipment and expansion of the port's infrastructure, aimed at increasing the port's annual coal transshipment capacity to 9 million mt. Investment in Port Posiet coal complex's technical modernization will amount to $73 million.

Tags: coking coal , raw mat , Russia , CIS , Mechel , trading

sourced steelorbis

Aquila Resources updates on West Pilbara Iron Ore Project

Sunday, 11 Sep 2011

Aquila Resources Limited report an update to the JORC Mineral Resource estimate for the West Pilbara Iron Ore Project located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The Company has a 50% interest in the Project.

With the assistance of Golder Associates Pty Limited, maiden Mineral Resource estimates have been completed for the Weckl and Buckland Hills within the Mt Elvire Project, adding 296 million tonnes to the previous JORC Resource Statement total of 927 million tonnes, advised to the ASX on 1 November 2010, taking the total Mineral Resource inventory for the Project to 1,223 million tonnes.

Weckl and Buckland Hills Deposits - Inferred Resources

TonnesFe% SiO2%Al2O3% P % S % Mn % MgO% LOI%
Weckl10154.411.943.600.080 0.0210.0250.0505.76
Buckland Hills14957.07.012.41 0.1350.0100.096 0.0588.28
Buckland Hills - Southeast4656.58.052.42 0.1420.0160.024 0.0548.04
Total29656.08.852.82 0.1170.0150.061 0.0557.38

The Weckl Deposit is the first area of mineralization identified in the south-eastern area of the Mt Elvire Project. The Deposit is a Detrital Iron Deposit, comprising three narrow valleys incised into the Hamersley Range.

Buckland Hills
The Buckland Hills Deposit is located in the western area of the Mt Elvire Project, 30km east of the proposed railway to be constructed for the Stage 1 development of the West Pilbara Iron Ore Project. This Deposit is contiguous with the Bungaroo South Deposit owned by Iron Ore Holdings Limited.

Guinea adopts new mining code boosting state share

Sep11, 2011

By Saliou Samb

CONAKRY (Reuters) - Guinea's parliament adopted a new mining code that more than doubles the share the West African state can take in mining projects to 35 percent and toughens procedures for acquiring development permits, the government said on Saturday.

The changes, detailed in a February draft of the code published by Reuters in April, are aimed at boosting the country's share of its vast minerals wealth while providing clarity on the country's laws to investors.

But mining companies lobbied hard against the changes arguing they would undercut their profitability and lead to reduced investment.

"The National Transitional Council (Guinea's interim parliament) made these changes in the interests of the country," Mines Minister Mohamed Lamine Fofana said in a radio broadcast on Saturday. "The new mining code will allow future investors in Guinea to work in transparency."

An NTC official said the code had been adopted unanimously by lawmakers on Friday.

Guinea is the world's top exporter of the aluminum ore bauxite and holds some of the world's biggest unexploited reserves of iron ore that have drawn billions of dollars in planned investment from miner Rio Tinto and Vale.

The West African country held its first free elections since independence in late 2010, ending nearly two years of junta rule that were punctuated by a stadium massacre and widespread reports of corruption.

The new code would give the Guinean state a free 15 percent of mining projects along with the option to purchase an additional 20 percent, bringing total potential share in projects to 35 percent.

That more than doubles the 15 percent share stipulated by the old mining code written in the 1990s, and has drawn protests from mining companies that argue it will cut into their revenues without reducing capital outlay.

The code also toughens up procedures for companies seeking to get a mining permit, requiring them to complete a feasibility study and environmental and social impact studies beforehand.

sourced Reuters