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Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Coal Association of Canada

Headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, The Coal Association of Canada represents companies engaged in the exploration, development, use and transportation of coal. Its members include major coal producers and coal-using utilities, the railroads and ports that ship coal, industry suppliers of goods and services, and municipalities that have an interest in furthering the objectives of the Coal Association.

The Coal Association of Canada provides a forum to discuss and coordinate the views of its members on matters of common interest. It provides a respected voice which enhances the viability of the industry by advocating the clean use of coal through technology development. The Association's "Coal Core" program of Communications, Outreach and Education is instructive in helping stakeholders learn about the use of coal in the 21st century.
1 Browse Membership Directory
2 Complete List of Members

sourced : The Coal Association of Canada

Xstrata gets in on BC coking coal action with C$40m acquisition

Sat,08 October,2011
By Matthew Hill

TORONTO – Diversified major Xstrata has further dug into Canada’s coking coal, with the C$40-million purchase of the Lossan metallurgical coal deposit in British Columbia from Cline Mining, the Switzerland-based company said on Friday.

The acquisition follows hot on the heels of Xstrata’s August acquisition of First Coal Corporation, which also owns coal licences in the Peace River region of the province.

The company isn’t the only mining giant that has been kicking up dust around Peace River, with rival Anglo American announcing earlier this week that it had lifted its ownership of Peace River Coal to 100%, and was doing a study to raise output there from one-million tons yearly of coking coal to 3.5-million tons by 2015.

The LSE- and JSE-listed miner paid $166-million to the minority owners of Peace River, Northern Energy & Mining Inc (NEMI) and Hillsborough Resources, to buy their respective around-12% stakes in the coal assets, as well as a royalty.

Anglo American made an about turn earlier this year, after having previously said it would lead the sale of Peace River Coal.

“We see significant resource upside and plan to invest in further exploration studies to ascertain its full long-term potential,” CEO of the firm’s metallurgical coal business, Seamus French, commented earlier this week.

Coking coal prices spiked to over $300/t earlier this year after flooding in Australian mines dented global production, though they have since subsided slightly.

Coking coal is used to make steel, and the proximity of north-eastern British Columbia’s coalfields to rail and port facilities that link them to China, which supplies around half of the world’s steel, makes them attractive.

Xstrata said that Lossan had a 240-million ton resource, and covered an area of around 3 800 hectares, meaning that the company now held nearly 100 000 hectares in the area.

Local media reported that Xstrata, the biggest exporter of coal burned in power stations, offered $147 million to buy First Coal Corporation, a privately owned company.

The company operates mines in South Africa, Australia, and Colombia.

TSX-listed Tech Resources is Canada's biggest coal producer.

(sourced MiningWeekly)

Moody's warns Belgium it risks credit rating cut

Sat Oct 8, 2011
By Daniel Bases and Philip Blenkinsop

NEW YORK/BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Moody's warned Belgium on Friday its credit rating could fall due to the burden of bailing out Dexia, the French-Belgian financial group, and the prospect of higher funding costs and weak economic growth.

The ratings agency said it had placed Belgium's Aa1 government bond ratings, one notch below the top Aaa status, on review for possible downgrade.

Moody's joins Standard & Poor's and Fitch, which have put their AA-plus ratings for Belgium's on negative outlook in the past year. Both said Belgium's lack of a fully fledged government undermined budget efforts in one of the euro zone's most indebted states.

Moody's cited three reasons for its review: materially increased funding costs for sovereigns and banks of countries with high debt, risks to growth of Belgium's open economy, and the weight on public finances of supporting the banking sector.

Dexia is on the verge of being split up by Belgium and France, though a Dexia board meeting to discuss the group's future has been pushed back to Sunday from Saturday. Dexia, whose shares fell 42 percent this week alone, has been struck by both its heavy exposure to Greece and troubles accessing wholesale funding.

Belgium is to pay for the likely nationalization of Dexia's Belgian banking business and its share of guarantees for a "bad bank" of Dexia assets, including euro zone periphery debt.

In the course of its near-term review of Belgium's rating, Moody's said it will include a close look at the potential for additional government measures to support "the banking system, or individual banks."

"In this regard, Moody's intends to assess the potential costs and additional contingent liabilities that the government may incur in supporting the Dexia Group," Moody's said.

Belgium has found itself in the middle ground between the core triple-A-rated euro zone countries and those at the periphery of the single currency bloc whose sovereign debt has sold off sharply since the middle of 2010.

It has been without a new government since a parliamentary election in June 2010, and its public sector debt totalled 96.6 percent of annual output last year, putting it behind only Greece and Italy in the euro zone and on a par with bailout recipient Ireland.

The spread between yields on Belgian 10-year bonds and those on equivalent German bunds, a sign of the perceived risk of Belgian debt, pushed to a three-week high of 222 basis points on Wednesday; the spread fell to just below 200 on Friday.

Belgium's caretaker government plans to restrict the 2011 budget deficit to 3.3 percent of gross domestic product, comfortably below the average for the euro zone, and the chances of a new government forming have increased markedly in recent weeks.

Belgium is planning to bring the deficit down to 2.8 percent in 2012.

Belgium's debt agency has also sold 35.4 billion euros ($47.8 billion) of bonds this year, just short of its 36 billion euro target for the whole year, with two further debt auctions scheduled.

Financial markets were already unsettled on Friday after Fitch Ratings cut Italy's sovereign credit rating by one notch and Spain's by two, citing a worsening of the euro zone debt crisis and a risk of fiscal slippage in both countries.

(sourced Reuters)

China to cut retail fuel prices by 300 yuan/t -Xinhua

Sat Oct 8, 2011

BEIJING Oct 8 (Reuters) - China will cut retail ceiling prices for gasoline and diesel by 300 yuan ($47) per tonne effective from Sunday, state news agency Xinhua said on Saturday.

The cut in fuel prices of about 3 to 3.5 percent would be the first this year.

(sourced Reuters)

Brazil's Vale says not worried about iron ore prices

Sat Oct 8, 2011

MANJUNG, Malaysia Oct 8 (Reuters) - Brazilian iron ore giant Vale SA said on Saturday it was not concerned about iron ore prices despite a recent drop in the price of copper.

"We will look at the market and see how it behaves 2-3 months," Vale executive director Jose Martins told reporters at the groundbreaking ceremony of the company's $1.3 billion iron ore distribution centre in Malaysia's northern Perak state.

"We are not concerned about the behaviour of the price because we follow the market. Whatever the market says we follow. We are not pricemakers, we are price followers."

Copper capped its biggest weekly gain in more than six months with a 2 percent burst on Friday as encouraging U.S. job data helped the metal recover after falling to a 14-month low early this week.

Martins said any decision to change Vale's settlement currency from the US dollar to Chinese yuan would depend on how convertible the yuan is, with any decision to make it more convertible "very welcomed".

(sourced Reuters)

Evraz UGOK iron ore concentrate and agglomerate production goes up in Sept

Saturday, 08 Oct 2011

Evraz UGOK a subsidiary of Russian mining and steel producing company Evraz Group increased its iron ore concentrate production by 6.4%YoY to 809,000 tonnes. Its output of agglomerate in the given period increased by 3%YoY to 137,000 tonnes.

In the January to September period of the current year, Evraz UGOK saw a 14.2%YoY growth in its iron ore concentrate production to 7.572 million tonnes and an 11%YoY increase in its agglomerate production to 1.376 million tonnes.

(Sourced from SteelOrbis)

Chinese see softening in iron ore and steel prices on opening

Saturday, 08 Oct 2011

It is reported that the Chinese steel mills that have been holding up the Australian economy are under pressure with steel prices falling and iron ore prices expected to follow.

Mr Yin Jimei an analyst at Iron & Steel Information Website in Tangshan said the steel and iron ore markets are bracing for volatility on a declining trend.

Mr Xu Xiangchun at Mysteel in Shanghai said market anxieties over the global economy have coincided with softening domestic demand including a decline in railway construction due to a series of scandals in the Ministry of Railways.

He said that "Capacity utilisation is on a downward trend because demand and prices are falling and prices for raw materials are high.”

Mr Xu Lejiang Baosteel chairman said last week that steel was the least profitable sector in Chinese manufacturing, with margins less than 3%. He said that ''Steel mills are restructuring and it is possible that we'll see steel mill bankruptcies in the near future. Iron ore prices are likely to fall.''

Dragonomics a Beijing consultancy said real estate data was now a better guide to activity than construction data. It said ''Some questions arise from the apparent disparity between the reported volume of floor space under construction which is up by 30% this year and property sales, which are up only 13%. The sharp rise in new construction is likely a mirage.''

Investors are hoping that a social housing program will offset a slowdown in the private sector real estate market.

(sourced from smh)

JSW Steel operating at 50-60pct - Report

Saturday, 08 Oct 2011

Dow Jones Newswires citing a person familiar with the matter reported that JSW Steel Ltd has nearly doubled its steel production since the beginning of this month.

The person said “At present, the plant is operating between 50% to 60% capacity.”

JSW Steel has been facing an acute shortage of iron ore over the past couple of months as the country's apex court banned iron ore mining in three districts in the southern state of Karnataka to prevent illegal and excessive mining.

During September end it was operating at 30% capacity due to the iron ore shortage.

(Sourced from Dow Jones Newswires)

Poor coal supply forces NTPC to reduce output in Bihar and West Bengal plant

Saturday, 08 Oct 2011

ET reported that inadequate coal dispatches have forced state run NTPC to slash output at two of its plants in Bihar and West Bengal, affecting power supply to parts of northern, eastern and western regions during the peak festival season.

Output at key plants has been falling of late because of poor coal supplies. Some 35 of India's 86 thermal stations have a coal stock position that will barely last seven days.

Stocks at 26 of these plants are just enough to generate for the next four days, according to the Central Electricity Authoirty. The installed capacity of these 86 thermal power stations is 85,477 MW.

(Sourced from ET)

Universal Coal continues to progress Berenice Cygnus coking coal project

Saturday, 08 Oct 2011

Universal Coal continues to progress the Berenice Cygnus coking coal project in South Africa forward at speed with the company appointing DRA Mining Ltd to undertake a Concept Study.

Mr Tony Harwood chairman of Universal Coal said “We are delighted to have the strong technical DRA team to assist Universal in determining the quality and size of our future coking coal operation at Berenice-Cygnus.”

This study comes hot on the heels of the announcement earlier in the week that the JORC Resource has been increased to 1.325 billion tonnes at the project. The upgrade was achieved after the company received outstanding slim diameter analytical data from infill holes which were completed during the first phase drilling program.

Another significant outcome to the upgrade is the 56% increase in the coal Indicated to Measured Resource categories over the previous estimate, which was delivered mid-year.

Berenice now comprises
1. 7.9 million tonnes in the Measured category
2. 394.5 million tonnes in the Indicated category
3. 922 million tonnes in the Inferred category

A Feasibility Study is forecast to commence in 2012.

(sourced from proactiveinvestors)

Transnet eying 80 million tonnes on Waterberg coal line

Saturday, 08 Oct 2011

According to the head of the freight rail unit at logistics group Transnet, a planned rail link to the Waterberg coal fields could eventually handle up to 80 million tonnes of coal a year if there is enough demand.

The Waterberg area in the northern Limpopo province is expected to become the country next coal hub as reserves in the Witbank area near depletion.

Coal producers have been slow to build new mines in Waterberg because of a lack of infrastructure linking it with export terminals on the coast, but Mr Siyabonga Gama CEO of Transnet Freight Rail said the rail project was on.

He said that "For all intents and purposes, that project is going ahead, adding that the line would be expanded in phases. The idea is that the Waterberg line will be a heavy haul line. We have a plan that will see the Waterberg line going to about 80 million tonnes if there was demand."

The capacity of an existing rail line in the area is limited to around 4 million tonnes per year. Mr Gama said a feasibility study on the expansion of the line will be completed by April and will determine the exact dates and costs of the project.

The 464 kilometers line would connect with an existing line at Ermelo in Witbank which already links to the main coal export terminal at Richards Bay. Including wagons, rolling stock and other necessary infrastructure, cost estimates for the line are around R37bn.

Mr Gama said the main Witbank rail line to the Richards Bay Coal Terminal might also be expanded beyond the 81 million tonnes Transnet is hoping to reach by 2015. The company managed to carry only 63 million tonnes to RBCT last year.

He said that "We intend to go to 97 million tonnes, and studies indicate we could even go to about 120 million tonnes of coal being handled on that line, although there were no firm timelines yet for that target.”

He added that "Over the next 12 years the rail system will need between R350bn and R400bn of investment. He also said if we could get 30% of that investment from the private sector and that would be good progress."

The lines have suffered from decades of underinvestment, but recent improvements have been paying off. Mr Gama said the firm should be able to meet miners demands within three to four years. He said that Transnet currently transports coal at a record rate of 1.65 million tonnes a week and should meet its target of carrying 70 million tonnes of coal in this financial year.

Mr Gama said a plan for how private players can participate in infrastructure would be completed by early next year. He added that while the private sector could invest in wagons, the running of lines would remain in state hands and dismissed arguments that South Africa should emulate countries where private players own and run part of the railway network.

He also said "You have to run them (the railway lines) as an integrated and a holistic network to realize the benefits of efficiencies and the benefits of investments, adding that so far concrete commitments from private investors have been limited.”

He added that "A lot of players say that they want to get involved but when we start flashing out the details, the amounts some of them we never see again."

Mr Gama dismissed criticism of Transnet's performance on the line leading to Mozambique port at Maputo and said the firm was ahead of demand on that corridor and would transport 4 million tonnes of coal on that route this financial year more than double what it carried last year.

(sourced from miningmx)

Mr Whittall to leave Pike River Coal

Saturday, 08 Oct 2011

It is reported that Mr Peter Whittall CEO of Pike River will be leaving the company at the end of November.

Mr Whittall became the public face of the company after 29 men died in a series of explosions in the West Coast mine last November. His departure is part of the downsizing of the company which is now in receivership.

Receiver PricewaterhouseCoopers's Malcolm Hollis said Mr Whittall had been kept on to help with the insurance claim and the pending sale of the mine.

The company has moved its HQ to smaller premises in Wellington and from Friday only Mr Whittall and an IT manager will be based there, leaving a company which once employed more than 157 staff with just 18.

The other remaining staffs are based in Greymouth.

Last week Mr Whittall gave emotional testimony to the Royal Commission of Inquiry which has been investigating the safety procedures at the mine and the response to the disaster. He has faced criticism from some family members of the deceased miners who claim he gave them false hope that their loved ones would be rescued.

However, Mr Whittall said he was giving families what he believed was an accurate picture and he himself was not given accurate information from the police and fire service.

(sourced from NZHerald)

Sesa Goa sales in July September quarter down by 15pct

Saturday, 08 Oct 2011

Vedanta Group firm Sesa Goa reported 14.84% YoY decline in sales of iron ore to 1.55 million tonnes during the quarter ended September 30, 2011.

The company had reported sales of 1.82 million tonnes during the corresponding quarter last fiscal.

However, it managed to achieve higher sales realisation from Karnataka during the quarter, at 0.71 million tonnes, vis-a-vis 0.45 million tonnes of iron ore sales in Q2 of FY'11.

During the quarter, Sesa Goa's sales from Goa went down by 9.78% to 0.83 million tonnes from 0.92 million tonnes last year.

In addition, the company's total production of iron ore went down by over 61% during the July-September quarter to 1.12 million tonnes, largely due to the apex court ban on mining in Karnataka.

It had reported total iron ore production of 2.88 million tonnes in Q2 last fiscal.

Sesa Goa said in a statement that sales were benefited by higher volumes in Karnataka prior to the imposition of a mining ban."

Currently, the company does not produce any iron ore from Karnataka, following a ban imposed by the apex court in August on mining in the state.

(Sourced from PTI)

$100 million for expansion into Kalimantan mining: AKR

Sat, 08October, 2011

The Jakarta Globe, one of the leading English news paper in Indonesia reported that, AKR Corporindo, a fuel and chemical distributor, has set aside $100 million to finance its expansion plans, including a push to acquire a coal-mining plant in Kalimantan, a top executive said.

The company’s president director, Haryanto Adikusumo, said on Wednesday that AKR would also spend some of the funds that it raised from a sale in a plantation company to build roads and coal terminals in Kalimantan.

“This diversification aims to meet growing demand in Indonesia, India and China,’’ Haryanto said.

Jakarta-based AKR is also building a coal terminal at Kalimantan’s Timbau Bay to ferry coal to overseas markets like China, the president director added.

AKR’s coal sales are forecast to increase to 1.2 million tons in 2012 from around 200,000 tons this year. AKR already has a coal-mining plant in the area that started commercial operations in the middle of this year.

Haryanto said that AKR targets revenue to increase to Rp 18 trillion ($2 billion) this year from Rp 12 trillion in 2010. Its first-half revenue rose 74 percent to Rp 9.06 trillion from a year earlier. In the same period, its net income more than doubled to Rp 266 billion from Rp 94 billion.

AKR’s coal expansion is in line with moves by other Indonesian companies, such as vehicle distributor Astra International, that have announced massive expansion plans.

The acquisition of coal mining companies is a frequent choice, to benefit from the rising price of coal in the global market. Astra, the largest automotive retailer in Indonesia, has allocated $1.5 billion for investment, which includes the purchase of a coal miner next year.

AKR raised Rp 2.2 trillion from the sale of its stake in Sorini Agro Asia to agribusiness giant Cargill this year. Sorini is one of the world’s leading producers and suppliers of sorbitol and operates seven manufacturing facilities that are located in East Java and Lampung.

Shares of AKR rose 6.45 percent to Rp 62,475 on the Indonesia Stock Exchange on Thursday. The shares have risen 43 percent this year.

sourced The Jakarta Globe, by Faisal Maliki Baskoro via coalspot

Bandanna Energy cancels sale process after bids fall short - Report

Saturday, 08 Oct 2011

Dow Jones quoted a person familiar with the matter said Bandanna Energy Ltd has failed to ride the wave of consolidation taking place in Australia coal sector closing its books to potential suitors after a sales process didn't generate adequate bids.

It comes just six weeks after Bandanna told investors it was in discussions with several parties over possible transactions including asset sales, and had received new interest from companies with big mining operations in Australia and overseas. Bandanna which holds several exploration permits in the Bowen and Galilee basins of coal-rich Queensland State appointed UBS AG earlier this year to advise on the sales process.

The person told Dow Jones Newswires that "There's no longer a formal process going on"

Bandanna failed sales process underscores how buyers are prioritizing deals for companies with producing mines and the ability to export coal to high-growth markets in North Asia in the near term.

(Sourced from Dow Jones)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Stocks Fall, Euro Erases Gain as Fitch Cuts Credit Ratings of Italy, Spain

Fri,Oct7, 2011
By Rita Nazareth and Cordell Eddings

U.S. stocks fell, halting a three-day rally, and the euro erased earlier gains versus the dollar after Fitch Ratings downgraded the government debt of Spain and Italy. Treasuries retreated, pushing 10-year note yields toward their biggest weekly increase since July.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index slipped 1 percent to 1,153.44 at 12:34 p.m. in New York after rebounding more than 8 percent from a one-year intraday low on Oct. 4. The euro lost 0.2 percent to $1.3405 after climbing as much as 0.7 percent. The 10-year note yield increased nine basis points to 2.08 percent and has climbed 16 points in five days.

Faster-than-forecast growth in U.S. employment was overshadowed by concern Europe’s debt crisis will worsen. Italy had its foreign and local currency long-term issuer default ratings cut to ‘A+’ from ’AA-,’ while Spain had the same set of ratings cut to ‘AA-’ from ‘AA+.’ The outlook for both is negative.

Government data showed payrolls climbed by 103,000 workers, topping the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey of economists for a rise of 60,000. The data followed reports earlier this week showing faster-than-estimated growth in manufacturing, construction and service industries, improving retail sales and signs that European leaders were stepping up efforts to tame the region’s sovereign debt crisis.

The 30-year Treasury bond’s yield climbed nine basis points to 3.04 percent and is up 12 points the this week. Two-year yields climbed one basis point to 0.28 percent, up three points on the week.

‘Positive Surprise’

“We saw a positive surprise in payrolls and the market has to respect that and push yields higher on the optimism, but no one is too excited about the data given the uncertainty in Europe,” said Suvrat Prakash, an interest-rate strategist in New York at BNP Paribas SA, one of the 20 primary dealers obliged to participate in U.S. debt offerings. “The uncertainty isn’t going away anytime soon.”

The S&P 500 rebounded more than 8 percent from a one-year intraday low on Oct. 4. The benchmark index sank 14 percent in the third quarter and this week came within 1 percent of extending its decline from its April peak to 20 percent on a closing basis, the common definition of a bear market. The slump pushed the index to 12 times reported earnings, the cheapest valuation level since 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The S&P GSCI commodities index is poised to snap a streak of four straight weekly declines.

Jobs Revision

The government jobs data also showed hours and earnings both increased and revisions to previous reports added a total of 99,000 jobs to payrolls in July and August. The jobs report last month showed no gain in non-farm payrolls for August.

“This is yet another data point suggesting that the U.S. is not moving toward recession any time soon,” Richard Skaggs, senior equity strategist at Loomis Sayles & Co. in Boston, which manages more than $150 billion, said in a telephone interview. The revisions to prior months “were significant,” he said. “Last month, the unchanged number really sent stocks for a loop.”

The rate by which data on the economy has been trailing forecasts has been decreasing since June, according to the Citigroup Economic Surprise Index. The U.S. gauge, which fell below zero on April 29 as the S&P 500 was peaking, has climbed from a low of minus-117.2 on June 3 to minus-14.7.

Earnings Season

Alcoa Inc., the largest U.S. aluminum producer, will mark the unofficial start of the earnings-reporting season when it reports results on Oct. 11. Third-quarter profits for S&P 500 companies are projected to have grown 13 percent, according to analyst forecast compiled by Bloomberg, down from an estimate of 17 percent when the index traded at a three-year high at the end of April.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.8 percent to extend its weekly gain to 2.6 percent. Gauges of energy producers and auto companies climbed more than 1.7 percent to lead gains among 19 industries.

European markets closed before Fitch downgraded Italy and Spain.

The yield on 10-year Italian bonds rose seven basis points to 5.49 percent. The nation said it plans to sell securities maturing between 2016 and 2025 on Oct. 13. Spanish yields fell two points to 4.97 percent.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy will meet in Berlin on Oct. 9 to discuss Greece’s debt problems as the nation edges closer to default. It will be their eighth one-on-one summit in 20 months.

The BSE India Sensitive Index, or Sensex, added 2.8 percent after Citigroup raised its rating on the nation to “neutral.” The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of Chinese companies listed in Hong Kong advanced 3.7 percent. Benchmark indexes gained more than 2.6 percent in Russia and South Korea.

(sourced Bloomberg)

Australia Newcastle Thermal Coal Falls 1.1% to $121.14 a Ton

Fri,Oct 7, 2011
By Rajesh Kumar Singh

Power-station coal prices at Australia’s Newcastle port, an Asian benchmark, dropped 1.1 percent in the week ended today.

Coal prices at the New South Wales port declined to $121.14 a metric ton from $122.54 the previous week, according to the globalCOAL NEWC Index.

Xstrata Plc (XTA), the world’s largest exporter of power-station coal, BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) and Rio Tinto Group are among mining companies that ship coal through Newcastle.

(sourced bloomberg)

Turkey triples its pig iron imports in January-August

Friday, 07 October 2011

According to the customs statistics provided by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK), in August this year Turkey's pig iron imports amounted to 159,788 metric tons, increasing by 46.34 percent as compared to July this year.
In August, Turkey's average pig iron import price stood at $539.44/mt, decreasing by three percent or $15.75/mt compared to the previous month.

In January-August period of the current year, Turkey imported 709,380 mt of pig iron, up 212.7 percent compared to the same period last year, with an average import price of $534/mt. The figure increased by 18.6 percent or $83/mt compared to the same period last year.

Turkey's top pig iron source in August this year was Ukraine which exported 54,729 mt of pig iron to Turkey, with an increase of 74 percent compared to July this year. Meanwhile, Russia which was Turkey's top pig iron source in the previous months, exported 44,904 mt of pig iron to Turkey in August, decreasing 37 percent from July levels.

Tags: pig iron , raw mat , Turkey , Russia , Ukraine , CIS , Middle East , imp/exp statistics , steelmaking , Non-EU Countries , Mediterranean

(sourced steelorbis)

ArcelorMittal SA calls off ICT acquisition

Friday, 07 October 2011

ArcelorMittal SA, South Africa-based subsidiary of global steel giant ArcelorMittal, has called off the acquisition of Imperial Crown Trading (ICT) worth R800 million ($101.02 million). A spokesperson from ArcelorMittal confirmed that the company is no longer buying ICT.

The announcement was made following ArcelorMittal's decision not to proceed with the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) program. ArcelorMittal had announced the acquisition of ICT to recover the rights of a 21.4 percent undivided share in the Sishen iron ore mine which were granted to ICT.

ArcelorMittal also stated that it cancelled the BEE deal due to a failure to agree on the terms of extending the pre-deal period.

Tags: S. Africa , Africa , ArcelorMittal , M&A , steelmaking , South Africa

Indonesian Miner Plans $167m IPO to Fuel Sumatra Coal Boom

Fri,October 07, 2011
By Francezka Nangoy

Coal miner Atlas Resources aims to raise as much as Rp 1.5 trillion ($167 million) in an initial public offering to help finance its expansion plans.

The company plans to sell 783 million shares, or about 25 percent of its equity, according to Atlas’s underwriter, Indo Premier Securities. The shares will be offered at Rp 1,500 to Rp 1,900 per share to generate Rp 1.17 trillion to Rp 1.49 trillion.

Indo Premier managing director Moleonoto said Atlas would allow an over-allotment of up to 117.5 million shares if there is an oversubscription.

Atlas corporate secretary Aulia Setiadi an said on Friday that most of the proceeds will be used to build supporting infrastructure in its Sumatra coal mining hubs in Muba and Oku. Atlas also operates mining centers at Berau and Kubar in Kalimantan and in Papua.

The company is focusing on its Muba hub because it is the largest facility, with capacity set to reach 5.1 million tons a year by 2013. Atlas will invest $106 million on infrastructure there, Aulia said.

The company is currently waiting for an exploration permit for Papua, but output at the three other hubs is expected to reach 9.3 million tons in 2013.

Atlas’s current total capacity is about 2.5 million tons. In the first four months of this year the company’s total production was 400,000 tons. It produced 1.3 million tons in 2010.

Aulia said that as well as receiving funds from the IPO, the expansion will draw on the company’s internal cash flow and bank loans.

Abdi Andre, Atlas’s president director, said in a statement that about $25 million of the IPO funds will go to compensation for the restructuring of the company’s supply contract with Hong Kong-based Noble Group Limited, with the aim of starting a new marketing and sales contract.

Another 27.5 percent of the proceeds will be set aside for acquisitions in new fields should an “opportunity arise,” Abdi said. Atlas has no current plans to acquire another company, he said.

Indo Premier’s Moleonoto, said that despite the volatile market, he was confident the share sales would be successful.

“We are optimistic because Atlas has an interesting investment scheme and growth prospects,” Moleonoto said.

Book building and an international roadshow will be held from Oct. 10-18. Atlas expects to carry out the IPO from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2 and list on the Indonesia Stock Exchange on Nov. 8.

In the first half of 2011, Atlas booked Rp 402 billion in revenue, up 47 percent on the same period last year. Profit zoomed to Rp 46 billion in the year’s first half, up from Rp 2.5 billion in the same period last year.

The listing underlies the boom in the nation’s coal mines, which have been in high demand recently.

(sourced TheJakartaglobe)

Iran sees four percent rise in iron ore output

Friday, 07 October 2011

Iran produced about 14 million metric tons of processed iron ore in the first half of the current Iranian year (started March 21), which represents an increase of four percent compared to 13.3 million metric tons in the same period of the last Iranian year, according to the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO).

Tags: iron ore , raw mat , Middle East , production , mining
(sourced steelorbis)

India’s Vedanta sees decreased iron ore output in H1 FY 2011-12

Friday, 07 October 2011

Indian miner Vedanta Resources has announced its production and sales results for the first half and second quarter (ended September 30) of the financial year 2011-12. Iron ore production in the second quarter of the year decreased due to the mining ban in the southern Indian state of Karnataka.

Vedanta produced 5.51 million mt of iron ore in the first six months of the financial year, down 36 percent compared to the same period of the previous year. In the second quarter of the financial year, iron ore production decreased 61 percent year on year to 1.12 million mt, due to the production halt at its Orissa operations in November 2010 and the planned reduction in inventories.

Vedanta also stated that in August this year it completed the acquisition of a 51 percent stake in three iron ore assets in Liberia, West Africa, with 1 billion mt of reserves, for a consideration of US$90 million.

Tags: India , Indian Subcon , steelmaking , European Union , South Asia
(sourced steelorbis)

Russian coal output rises in first nine months

Friday, 07 October 2011

According to the State Statistics Committee of Russia (Russtat), in the January-September period of the current year Russia produced 240.412 million mt of coal, up 2.8 percent compared to the same period last year. In September alone, Russia increased its coal output by 5.2 percent year on year to 27.8 million mt.

According to the data for the first nine months of the current year, Russia's coal exports increased by 9.5 percent year on year to 79.63 million mt. In September alone, Russia exported 8,49 million mt of coal, up 2.8 percent compared to the same month last year.

Tags: coking coal , raw mat , Russia , CIS , production , mining
(sourced steelorbis)

UK banks downgraded

Fri,October07, 2011

Leading British banks saw their credit rating slashed Friday amid fresh concerns over future bailouts and a stark warning from the governor of the Bank of England over the serious nature of the current global financial crisis.

In remarks reported Friday, Mervyn King, the central bank governor, warned that the world economy was slowing down “much faster” than expected just a few months ago.

“This is the most serious financial crisis we've seen at least since the 1930s, if not ever,” King said in a stark reference to the Great Depression.

His remarks followed the bank's decision Thursday to inject a further 75 billion pounds (116 billion dollars) into the economy, under the so-called scheme of Quantitative Easing (QE), which has now reached a total level of 275 billion pounds.

Rating agency Moody's said Friday that it had downgraded the credit rating of 12 banks and financial institutions in Britain, including partially state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Lloyds.

Moody's said it now believed the British government was “less likely” to support some firms if they got into trouble. It emphasised that the downgrades did not “reflect a deterioration in the financial strength of the banking system.”

Other banks and firms included Santander, Nationwide and a number of smaller building societies.

The move triggered a fall in leading banking shares on the London Stock Exchange of more than 3 per cent.

It coincided with a report in the Financial Times Friday that RBS, the bank at the centre of the 2008 credit crunch, require additional recapitalization.

“Moody's has lowered the amount of support it incorporates into the institutions's ratings to reflect the overall weakening support environment,” said a statement released by the agency.

The downgrades include a two-notch cut for government-controlled RBS, and a one-notch cut for Lloyds TSB, a division of part-nationalized Lloyds Banking Group.

It categorized the two banks as having a “high likelihood of support.”

Spanish bank Santander had its British business downgraded by one notch, while Nationwide Building Society suffered a two-notch reduction.

George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, said the rating agency's decision was in line with government policy to tackle the “too-big-to-fail problem.”

“Credit rating agencies and others will say, well actually these banks have got to show they can pay for their way in the future.”

But he dismissed suggestions that British banks were not sufficiently capitalized. “They are not experiencing the kinds of problems that some of the banks in the eurozone are experiencing at the moment,” said Osborne.

The Financial Times said Friday that the government was concerned that RBS “may need more government money” as part of a wider European effort to recapitalize the banking system - Sapa-dpa.

(sourced iol)

Ridley ink coal shipping deal with Northeast BC coal producer

Friday, 07 Oct 2011

Prince Rupert Ridley Terminals has struck a new deal with a Northeast BC coal producer.

Ridley and Peace River Coal say they've concluded a long term terminal services agreement, cementing their relationship until at least 2021.

The companies say the deal ensures Peace River Coal can meet its shipping needs and will help Ridley continue with its terminal expansion.

Peace River operates the Trend Mine near Tumbler Ridge and has several other coal projects in development in the area.

Mr George Dorsey president of Ridley notes Peace River parent company, Anglo American is already a long-time valued customer of the Prince Rupert terminal.

(Sourced from

ArcelorMittal Kriviy Rih crude steel output in Jan to Sept down by 9pct YoY

Friday, 07 Oct 2011

It is reported that in the January to September period of the current year, the crude steel production of ArcelorMittal Kriviy Rih, Ukrainian subsidiary of global steel giant ArcelorMittal, totaled 4.118 million tonnes down by 9%YoY

In the first nine months of the year, ArcelorMittal Kriviy Rih registered a 10% decrease YoY in its finished steel output to 3.568 million tonnes. During the period in question, coke production at ArcelorMittal Kriviy Rih decreased by 3%YoY to 1.943 million tonnes while its iron ore concentrate output increased by 6%YoY to 6.957 million tonnes

(Sourced from SteelOrbis)

NTPC asked for status report on deallocated coal blocks

Friday, 07 Oct 2011

BS reported that against the backdrop of the power ministry asking it to review the decision to deallocate NTPC five coal blocks the Coal Ministry has sought progress report from the state owned firm on development of mines.

A source in the Coal Ministry said that "Last month, the Ministry of Coal wrote a letter to NTPC and had asked the power major for the progress report on the coal blocks, including the development of the end-use plants for which the mines were allocated."

In August, Power Minister Mr Sushilkumar Shinde wrote a letter to Coal Minister Mr Sriprakash Jaiswal asking for a review of its deallocation decision. Earlier, the Power Secretary had requested the Coal Secretary to review the government's decision to deallocate the coal blocks and restore them to NTPC.

The coal ministry had deallocated five coal blocks of the country largest power producer, NTPC, over its failure to develop the blocks within the time frame stipulated in the production sharing agreement.

The five block are
1. Chatti Bariatu
2. Chatti Bariatu
3. Kerandari
4. Brahmani
5. Chichiro Patsimal were awarded to a joint venture between NTPC and state run Coal India.

The coal ministry had decided to deallocate mines awarded to companies that had failed to develop them in a time-bound manner on the recommendations of a panel that reviewed the progress made by steel, power, cement and other firms in developing 88 coal and lignite blocks allotted for captive use.

The coal ministry had cancelled the coal blocks of Damodar Valley Corporation, Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corporation, Tenughat Vidyut Nigam, Bihar State Mineral Development Corporation and the Jharkhand State Electricity Board.

(Sourced from Business Standard)

European benchmark coal for next year gains most in three weeks

Friday, 07 Oct 2011

Bloomberg reported that benchmark European coal advanced, heading for a highest daily gain in three weeks.

Thermal coal for delivery to Amsterdam, Rotterdam or Antwerp with settlement next year increased 0.8% to USD 120 per tonne as of 10:35 AM in London. That would be the biggest one-day rise since September 15.

Bloomberg tracks data from information supplied by ICAP Plc, GFI Group Inc, Spectron Group Ltd, Credit Suisse Group AG, IHS McCloskey, Tradition Financial Services and Tullett Prebon Plc.

(Sourced from Bloomberg)

Brazil to hike royalty on iron ore mining

Friday, 07 Oct 2011

Bloomberg quoted a Brazils’ mining ministry official as saying that Brazil plans to boost taxes on iron ore while cutting the levy on fertilizers as part of a plan to overhaul mining regulations.

Mr Claudio Scliar Brazil’s ministry’s secretary for geology and mining, said in an interview that the government is studying a plan to double the royalty on iron ore to 4% of gross revenue from 2% of net sales now.

He also said that “The levy on fertilizers may be reduced from 3% to prompt producers to increase domestic output of the crop nutrients.”

Brazil’s government has shifted its focus to mining after boosting state control over the oil industry in 2009. The ministry aims to send Congress three bills this month to alter minerals royalties, change the way mining concessions are granted and create a new regulating body.

(Sourced from

CIL MCL outsource Bhubaneswari open cast coal mine to Essel Mining

Friday, 07 Oct 2011
BS reported that the operations of Bhubaneswari open cast mine under the command area of Mahanadi Coalfields Limited, a subsidiary of Coal India Ltd, has been outsourced to Essel Mining, an Aditya Birla group firm.
It is for this first time in the history of CIL that operations of a coal mine has been fully outsourced to a private firm even though the ownership remains with MCL. The Bhubaneswari open cast mine has a capacity of 20 million tonnes per annum.
According to a government decision, three coal mines in MCL have been offered for outsourcing- Bhubaneswari and Kaniha, both in Talcher coalfields and Kulda mines under Basundhara coalfield in Sundergarh district.
While full outsourcing activities have begun in Bhubaneswari, other two mines are still to adopt the same though contracts have been awarded, according to an MCL official.
Essel Mining, which has been awarded the contract for 15 years for the Bhubaneswari mines, performed the ground breaking ceremony at a site near Jilinda village in the presence of MCL chairman and managing director Mr AN Sahay.
However, the ground breaking ceremony was disrupted by affected villagers who held demonstrations at the site. Later, they were pacified after the MCL CMD assured to look into their demands relating to rehabilitation.
All works related to the Bhubaneswari mines including production, removal of over burden and street lighting will be done by Essel Mining. The private company has been given a target to produce eight million tonnes in the first year.
(Sourced from BS)

Eagle down hard coking coal project Vale appeals injunction

Fri,07 Oct 2011

Aquila Resources Limited refers to its announcement dated 8 September 2011 regarding the interlocutory injunction obtained by Aquila Coal Pty Ltd restraining Vale SA wholly owned subsidiary, Bowen Central Coal Pty Ltd from seeking to vote on a resolution proposed by Vale in relation to the Eagle Downs Hard Coking Coal Project.

Late on Tuesday 4 October 2011, the last day of the appeal period available to Vale, Aquila Coal was served a notice of appeal by Vale. Aquila will defend the appeal.

Aquila will continue to keep the market informed of developments in respect of the above.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

SAIL's Visvesvaraya steel plant to get captive iron ore mine

Thu,6 Oct,2011
By Meera Mohanty,ET Bureau

NEW DELHI The mines ministry will soon allot an iron ore lease in Karnataka's Bellary district to SAIL's Visvesvaraya Iron and Steel Ltd (VISL) plant, ending the company's sevenyear-long wait for a captive mine. The 140-hecatre area, in the North East Block range in Sandur, could contain about 11 million tonnes of iron ore, said people familiar with the exploration work.

Located at Bhadravathi, the loss-making VISL is struggling to meet its requirement of 5 lakh tonnes of iron ore. The raw material that it sources from NMDC works out to Rs 5,000 a tonne. Getting supplies from SAIL's mines in Jharkhand, more than 2,500 km away, is also not a viable option as freight cost alone would add up to Rs 2,800 a tonne.

Sales of VISL, whose clients include major automakers, the defence ministry and the Indian Railways, remained nearly flat at Rs 553 crore and losses before tax amounted to Rs 129.92 crore during the last fiscal. The special alloy and forged steel plant is currently operating at around 50% of its capacity of just under 2.3 lakh tonnes of hot metal, according to the company. SAIL has maintained that any capacity expansion could only commence after the allocation of a mine.

Founded 90 years ago, VISL was dependent on the Kemmangundi mines, a part of which fell under the Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary where mining was banned. Ironically, VISL will be auctioning about 100,000 tonnes of iron ore fines from its stockpile of an estimated 1.7 million tonnes at Kemmangundi. At the time of the ban, the Supreme Court had directed that this 1 lakh tonnes either be immediately used or auctioned.

Deadline extended on Mac Coal offer

October 07, 2011 12:00AM
By Tony Grant-Taylor, Herald Sun

GLOBAL steel giant ArcelorMittal again has extended the deadline for Macarthur Coal shareholders to accept the $4.8 billion takeover offer tabled by the European group.

ArcelorMittal, the world's biggest steelmaker, and US coal miner Peabody are offering $16 a share for a stake of at least 50.01 per cent in Macarthur.

The companies last month said they had secured shares equivalent to 21 per cent of the Queensland-based group.

The bidding vehicle, PEAMCoal, yesterday extended to 8pm on October 28 the deadline for shareholders to accept the offer.

PEAMCoal originally had set a deadline of September 27, before pushing that to October 14. The takeover offer is backed by Macarthur's board.

The extension came as shares in another coal miner, New Hope, edged up only 1c yesterday, or 0.2 per cent, to $6.11 after rallying on Wednesday after its call for expressions of interest from potential bidders.

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Analysts say New Hope may be hard pressed to drum up offers at $7.60 or more - the starting price nominated by stockbroker RBS Morgans as the level necessary to win over New Hope's majority shareholder, Washington H Soul Pattinson.

Most bidders for coal assets over the past year have seen their share prices slump - including US groups Alpha Natural Resources and Peabody.

Alpha in January agreed to buy fellow US group Massey Energy, only to see its shares slump more than 60 per cent as investors worried about a fall in demand due to European and US economic woes.

Broker Bell Potter director Angus Aitken says New Hope could be worth $5.8 billion - about $7 a share.

But Rick de los Reyes, a manager at T Rowe Price Group's Global Metals and Mining Fund, said: "This deal is more attractive than the other coal deals that we've seen this year".

"The fact Australia is close to China, China went from net exporter to a net importer of thermal coal and New Hope has (its own) port capacity, that's huge."

New Hope said this week it would invite selected groups to submit formal offers.

Anglo gets full ownership of Peace River Coal

Thu,Oct06, 2011

ANGLO American said yesterday it had acquired full ownership of its Peace River Coal partnership in British Columbia by purchasing the 25,17% in the metallurgical coal venture that it did not already own for $166m.

Anglo American has purchased the 12,18% stake held by Northern Energy & Mining for $76m, and the 12,99% held by Hillsborough Resources for $81m plus $9m for Hillsborough’s royalty rights.

Anglo American will be progressing a feasibility study to increase production at Peace River to 3,5-million tons a year by 2015 from 1-million tons, it said yesterday.

Reuters has reported that Anglo American might be among the bidders for Australian coal miner New Hope, which put itself up for auction yesterday.

New Hope said it had received several informal approaches and it would invite selected parties to bid, starting a process that could test Australia’s openness to foreign mine owners. New Hope would not name the interested parties.

Analysts said firms in rapidly growing China and India were probably among them, although industry officials in India said New Hope might be too expensive for an Indian company to acquire.

A takeover of New Hope, which has its own port, would be the latest in a string of deals in Australia’s coal sector, reflecting demand to feed Asia’s strong growth.

Chairman Robert Millner hinted that New Hope could be a reluctant target, but the company was obliged to explore any deal that would give shareholders best value. The company has A$1,5bn ($1,4bn) on its balance sheet and does not need a partner to fund expansion.

"We have not been out shopping the company. We are going down this path purely because we have had these approaches from numerous third parties," Mr Millner told Reuters, adding they were "preliminary and incomplete proposals".

New Hope’s open-cut New Acland mine produces thermal coal used in power plants. New Hope sells about 65% of its coal overseas and the rest to the domestic market.

A potential buyer could be China’s Yanzhou Coal Mining, which earlier this year unsuccessfully bid for Australia’s Whitehaven Coal.

Murray Bailey, the MD of Yanzhou’s Australian operations, Yancoal, is a former chief operations officer at New Hope.

London-based bankers said that Anglo-Swiss miner Xstrata, its peer Anglo American and commodity trader and miner Glencore might also be interested in New Hope.

"This is a region of the world where Xstrata is a major player and the product is important to them," one of the bankers said, although he added that he was not aware that any of those companies had appointed banks to work on a potential bid.

Indian firms such as GVK Power & Infrastructure and Adani have also been active in Australia.

Australia has scrutinised foreign miners’ bids very closely in recent years, particularly those from state- linked Asian companies, and has at times rejected them or imposed strict conditions.

New Hope is 59,7% owned by diversified investor Washington H Soul Pattinson, where Mr Millner is also the chairman.

New Hope had been talking to the interested parties for four to five months and would look at setting up a data room after indicative proposals came in within the next two months, he said.

"As there has been more and more interest, we decided this was the best and fairest way to go down this process," Mr Millner said. (sourced Bloomberg, Reuters)

London Mining CEO confident on Sierra Leone

Thu Oct 6, 2011

LONDON Oct 6 (Reuters) - Iron ore developer London Mining Plc said it is confident about operating successfully in Sierra Leone, amid growing global resource nationalism in the mining industry, because the country is keen to bring in foreign investment.

"The government are completely behind developing Sierra Leone's prosperity. They understand that Sierra Leone needs foreign capital to develop its industries, particularly the resource industries," Chief Executive Graeme Hossie told Reuters on Thursday.

London Mining, along with rival AIM-listed iron ore group African Minerals Ltd , both expect to ship their first iron ore from Sierra Leone this year.

The West African country is due to hold a presidential election next year, a decade after the end of a bloody 11-year civil war, in what will be seen as a bellwether of recovery.

"They want to show some examples of success and they want to attract capital into the oil exploration field because offshore oil has been found and that requires a huge amount of investment," said Hossie.

"They want to make sure they don't do anything that will scare off international investors."

(sourced Reuters)

Delta SBD awarded second Narrabri coal contract

Thursday, 06 Oct 2011

It is reported that Delta SBD has been awarded a drivage development contract at Whitehaven Coa Narrabri Mine in northwest New South Wales, one month after it began work on the surface build of a longwall at the mine.

The Narrabri contract includes provision of supplementary labour hire two loaders and two personnel transporters for control and operation of the Narrabri twin miner development panel. Mobilisation for the new contract will begin in October 2011 with Delta to employ 60 new employees to deliver the project.

Mr Stephen Bizzaca CEO of Delta said the contract was significant because it was the first of its kind Delta had been awarded outside of the Illawarra region in New South Wales.

Delta was also awarded the Narrabri longwall project surface build and subsequent underground build. Work on the surface build of the longwall at Narrabri began on September 5 2011.

(sourced from Proactiveinvestors)

Orissa under reporting iron ore prices

Thursday, 06 Oct 2011

BS reported that the union ministry of mines has turned the heat on the Orissa government over the issue of alleged under reporting of pit mouth value of ore prices by some unscrupulous miners.

Holding the Indian Bureau of Mines responsible for its faulty procedures adopted in fixing sale value of iron ore, the state government had earlier sought the intervention of the union mines ministry in the matter.

The ministry, in turn has stated that the IBM has been publishing the average sale value based on the PMV which is reported to them by the lease holders. Substantiating its claim the ministry said the average price of iron ore for all grades for April 2011 for grades that are mostly mined in Orissa compare favorably with the all India prices.

This in stark contrast to the contention of the state government which had alleged that there was a glaring difference in prices of sale value of iron ore in Orissa compared to that of other states as well as all India average.

In a recent letter to the state Mr Naveen Patnaik Chief Minister, the Union minister of state for mines Mr Dinsha Patel urged the state government to develop adequate systems to ensure correct reporting by the lease holders by benchmarking the expenses that are allowed to be deducted from the market value of mineral for the purpose of calculating PMV.

Mr Patel has said in his letter to Mr Patnaik that “In a recent initiative taken by the Government, Rule 45 of Mineral Conservation and Development Rules-1988 have been amended to allow the state to ensure end to end accounting of minerals where the state government could check the prices at each point of sale to avoid under-reporting or any circular trading. You may like to direct your mining department to harmonize their work flow processes especially issue of transport permits around this system.”

The Union minister letter has come in response to the Chief Minister letter to him regarding concerns on systematic under-reporting of sale value of iron ore by IBM on which royalty is chargeable on ad-valorem basis.

According to the Union minister letter, the price of iron ore fines with Fe content of 62% to 65% in Orissa for April stood at INR 2,513 per tonne higher than the all-India average of INR 2,393 per tonne.

(sourced from BS)

South Korea’s steel export value up 40 percent in September

Thu, 06 October 2011

According to the data released by the Export and Import Division of South Korea's Ministry of Knowledge Economy, in September this year the country's trade surplus reached $1.4 billion despite unfavorable economic conditions. South Korea's trade surplus was $800 million in August this year.

The country's total export value in September rose 19.6 percent year on year, reaching $47.1 billion, while its steel exports were valued at $3.4 billion, increasing 39.6 percent compared to the same month last year.

South Korea's export value of ships in the given period fell by 32.7 percent year on year to $3.1 billion, while its automobile exports reached a value of $3.9 billion, climbing by 40 percent year on year. Furthermore, in September South Korea's general machinery exports came to $4.1 billion, with an increase of 40.2 percent compared to September 2010.

In the given period, among the major export partners of South Korea, exports to the United States and the European Union decreased slightly; nevertheless, outbound shipments to emerging countries continued their steady path of growth compared to the same period last year.

Meanwhile, in September, South Korea's imports rose 30.5 percent year on year, reaching $45.7 billion. Inbound shipments climbed due to rising demand for raw materials, while imports of coal increased by 73.4 percent year on year.

Tags: Korea S. , Far East , imp/exp statistics , steelmaking , East Asia and Pacific

(sourced steelorbis)

Peabody ArcelorMittal extends offer for Macarthur Coal to Oct 28

Thursday, 06 Oct 2011

Peabody Energy and ArcelorMittal have extended their AUD 4.9 billion takeover bid for Australia's Macarthur Coal until October 28th 2011.

Macarthur has accepted a sweetened AUD 16 per share bid from Peabody and ArcelorMittal after failing to find a rival bidder.

The bid had been due to expire on October 14th 2011

(sourced from Reuters)

Brazil’s iron ore export volume up 19 percent in August over July

Thu, 06 October 2011

Brazil's iron ore export value in August this year rose by 25 percent compared to the same month last year, increasing to $4.5 billion, according to the information released by the Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade. Brazil's iron ore export volume amounted to 32.5 million mt in August, with an increase of 18.9 percent compared to July this year and of 8.9 percent compared to the same month last year.

In August, Brazil's iron and steel export volume amounted to 771,000 mt, with an increase of 21.4 percent compared to the previous month and an increase of 131 percent compared to the same month of 2010, while these exports were valued at $514.8 million with an increase of 189.1 percent year on year and up 17.3 percent compared to July this year.

Tags: iron ore , raw mat , Brazil , South America , imp/exp statistics , steelmaking , mining
(sourced steelorbis)

India and Afghanistan ink pact for cooperation in mining

Thursday, 06 Oct 2011

PTI reported that further cementing bilateral ties, India and Afghanistan on Tuesday signed three pacts including an agreement on strategic partnership in mining.

The Strategic Partnership agreement was signed by Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Afghan President Mr Hamid Karzai.

The MoU signed between the Indian and Afghan ministry of mines on cooperation in the field of mineral resources development aims at promotion of private and public sector investment in mining and mining-related activities as well as mineral exploration and exploitation and capacity building in the field of geosciences and mining in Afghanistan.

(Sourced from PTI)

Moldavian Steel Works’ crude steel output up 46 percent in September over August

Thu, 06 October 2011

In September this year, Moldavian Metallurgical Works (MMZ), a steelmaker based in the Transnistrian region of Moldova, produced 62,675 mt of crude steel (up 45.9 percent month on month) and 54,387 mt of rolled steel (up 11.2 percent month on month), including 30,218 mt of reinforcing bar and 24,169 mt of rod.

In October, MMZ plans to decrease production amid the unfavourable situation in the global market and will focus on production of rod from high-carbon steel grades. The company will ship material to Russia, Ukraine, Africa, the EU and Latin America in October.

Tags: rebar , raw mat , longs , Moldova , CIS , production , steelmaking , crude steel , Moldavian Metallurgical Works
(sourced steelorbis)

Demand for low grade ore from China has helped Goa mines

Thursday, 06 Oct 2011

PTI reported that iron ore exporters from Goa today claimed that the demand for low grade of ore in China has helped to prolong the life of mining industry in the state.

Mr Shivanand Salgaoncar President, Goa Mineral Ore Exporters Association said "The ore which was stacked as rejection at the mining site was exported during last few years after China boom.”

He said that "The high grade ore in the earth is left untapped. This will increase the lifespan of the industry. Thanks to China boom, traditional mine owners prospered. Lot of dumps that were lying idle were exported to the neighboring country."

Responding to a question on possible life span of ore mines in the state, Mr Salgaoncar said it was not possible to say for sure as to when would ore reserves in Goa exhaust. He said that "Each mining firm will be able to tell you what the lifespan of their lease is. I have been hearing since 30 years that the lifespan is not more than 30 years. But ore still exists."

Mr Salgaoncar whose association has 34 major exporters as its members, said that there cannot be any particular cap prescribed for extraction of ore. He added that "It is for individual lease holder to decide how much he can extract and for how much permission he has received."

(Sourced from PTI)

NLMK acquires Indian electrical steel service center

Thu, 06 October 2011

Russian steelmaker NLMK has announced that it has acquired an India-based electrical steel service center National Laminations for a total consideration of US$8 million. The acquisition will improve NLMK's position in the Indian market as one of the leading suppliers of grain-oriented electrical steel, controlling production from crude steel production to delivery to the final customer.

National Laminations is a grain-oriented steel processing and distribution company with processing and warehousing capacities of 16,000 mt and 15,000 mt per year, respectively. The company supplies processed materials to a wide range of customers, including local and international transformer producers.

Tags: flats , India , Russia , CIS , Indian Subcon , NLMK , M&A , steelmaking , South Asia
(sourced steelorbis)

623 PLs for mining leases pending in Goa

Thursday, 06 Oct 2011

PTI reported that State Mines and Geology department has conceded that there are 623 prospecting licences for mining leases pending with them while environmentalists are asserting for cap in the Iron Ore mining in Goa.

A cabinet note moved has mentioned that state has 595 deemed leases, of which 410 applications for renewal are being processed. The department has told the state cabinet that there are 623 prospecting licenses.

The Shah Commission appointed by the Central government and state legislative assembly's Public Accounts Committee is investigating into multi crore mining scam, which has been estimated somewhere around INR 1,200 crore to INR 10,000 crore.

The ministry of Environment and Forest has fixed a moratorium on new mining leases and renewal of old leases since last year onwards asking the state government to frame its mining policy. While environmentalists and state main opposition party, Bharatiya Janata Party are pressing for a cap on the iron ore to be tapped from Goa, the mining industry has said that 'any capping would be deterrent for their trade.'

Goa basically has low grade Iron Ore which has received huge demand in the international markets after China boom of 2005 when the neighboring country began building infrastructure for Beijing Olympics. The state which has mining as the biggest industry after the tourism trade, had received INR 1,000 crore in the form of royalty earned on exports. As per the figures furnished on Monday till date between March to September 2011 the state has earned INR 450 crore as a royalty.

Of the twelve talukas, seven talukas has active mines. As per the figures provided by the state government to Shah Commission and there are 90 mining leases and total 54 million tonnes of Ore has been exported from Goa.

(sourced from HindustanTimes)

OneSteel to acquire iron ore assets to increase its sales

October06, 2011

The second largest Australian steelmaker OneSteel has announced its financial results for the financial year 2010-2011 (FY 2010-11) ended on June 30.

OneSteel posted a sales revenue of A$7.13 billion ($7.47 billion) in FY 2010-11, up 15 percent compared with a net profit of A$6.2 billion in FY 2009-10. When the same periods are compared, the company's net profit fell 11 percent from A$258 million to A$230 million ($241 million). OneSteel's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of A$642 million ($673 million) in FY 2010-11 was four percent higher than the figure of A$618 million in the corresponding period of the previous financial year. The company's net debt increased from A$964 million in FY 2009-10 to A$1.7 billion ($1.8 billion) in FY 2010-11.

Meanwhile, in the period in question OneSteel achieved an iron ore sales volume of six million metric tons. Iron ore sales are expected to increase to approximately 9-10 million mt per year following announced port expansion at Whyalla and agreement to acquire WPG Resources' iron ore assets.

Company chairman Peter Smedley commented on the operational results of the company, "In August, the company announced its intention to expand iron ore sales to 9-10 million tonnes per annum facilitated through an estimated $200 million expansion of the company's port facilities at Whyalla, underpinned by an agreement with WPG Resources to purchase its iron ore assets for an estimated $346 million. The acquisition is expected to be completed in October and will allow OneSteel to bring high quality ore to the market quickly, taking advantage of favourable market conditions for iron ore."

WPG Resources' shareholders have agreed to sell a collection of iron ore assets to the steelmaker. Approval for the $346 million sale was given at a meeting of WPG shareholders on October 4. The OneSteel transaction is expected to occur on October 6.

Tags: iron ore , Australia , Oceania , fin. Reports , M&A , mining

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(sourced steelorbis)

South East Asia's aggressive power demand growth will require investment of US$125 billion by 2020 - WOOD MACKENZIE

Thursday, 06 October 11

Wood Mackenzie says that South East Asia’s demand growth for new power generation is so aggressive that new power generation investments of at least US$125 billion (bn) will still be required between now and 2020. A recent report titled ‘Power Crunch in South East Asia’ provides insight into this by examining regional demand hotspots of Java-Bali, Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Graham Tyler, Head of Asia Gas and Power Research, says, “South East Asia’s power demand growth will outpace Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in the next decade. The major demand centres alone will see demand grow from about 92,000 Megawatts (MW) in 2011 to 163,000 MW in 2020, creating a drop in reserve margins, particularly in the 2014 to 2015 period. Therefore timely investments for new power generation will be required.”

The report forecasts that capacity additions in the region are expected to top 30,000 MW and 85,000 MW by 2015 and 2020 respectively. This requires an increase in power project investment from US$44 bn by 2015 to at least US$125 bn by 2020, even if an economic downturn with GDP growth levels similar to 2009 occurs for two consecutive years from 2010-2013. The bulk of the new investment is in coal, amounting to 42% of the investment. The remainder is dominated by gas, which accounts for 18% of the total.

Mr Tyler says, “If immediate actions are taken to correct the existing situation and attract the level of investment required, the impact of power shortages will be softened from 2015 onwards. To achieve this, governments need to encourage the project financing required to meet the power capacity investment levels by speeding up regulatory and approval processes.”

Wood Mackenzie places reserve capacity at an optimal level of 15%. This is crucial to meet unplanned or unexpected power needs. A fall below this will be uncomfortable but if it drops below ten percent, scheduled power cuts should be expected as a regular feature, especially in peak demand seasons that usually fall within the warmer or drier months of the year. Vietnam is hardest hit in the drier months as 40% of their power needs are currently met by hydropower.

The report highlights that Vietnam and Indonesia are most exposed to a potential power crunch and hence require the most investments, representing about 60% of the total required. The regions in West Java and South Vietnam, are particularly in need of new capacity, as they currently have low margins and an over-dependence on power flows from other regions.

Malaysia and Thailand will also see reserve capacity fall below optimal levels in the period to 2015, but the impact should be more manageable as they have been quick to respond to the power shortages by importing power, announcing new projects and speeding up the development of existing ones. These steps will alleviate the power crunch unless project delays or higher demand growth occurs, in which case both countries will also need additional investments.

Summarising, Mr Tyler says, “Power demand growth will increase substantially in the next decade. This strong growth signals that investments of US$125 bn are required to build power capacity additions, even if we see a repeat of 2009’s economic recession over the next two years. Encouraging timely investments in West Java and South Vietnam will be especially crucial and governments can play a part in prioritising investments by expediting processes where possible.”

About Wood Mackenzie
Wood Mackenzie is the most comprehensive source of knowledge about the world’s energy and metals industries. Wood Mackenzie analyses and advise on every stage along the value chain - from discovery to delivery, and beyond - to provide clients with the commercial insight that makes them stronger. For more information visit:

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(sourced coalspot)

Richards Bay Coal Terminal exports fell by 7pct in Sept

Thursday, 06 Oct 2011

Bloomberg reported that shipments at Richards Bay Coal Terminal, Africa largest export facility for the fuel fell 7.5%last month on weak demand from Europe and Asia.

RBCT said deliveries from the port on South Africa northeast coast dropped to 4.96 million tonnes in September from 5.36 million tons a year earlier.

Mr Bevan Jones at London Commodity Brokers said “It is principally a demand issue. We’re seeing a lot of cargoes available and not many buyers. Producers have to sell at a significant discount and they’re not prepared to do that. European power stations seem to be very well stocked and buyers from India, the main destination for South African thermal coal and China are cautious.”

According to IHS McCloskey data on Bloomberg, prices for coal traded through RBCT declined 1.4% to an average USD 115.77 a ton in September from a month earlier and gained 34.9% from the same period in the previous year.

According to RBCT the port whose owners include BHP Billiton Ltd and Anglo American Plc received 6.25 million tons of coal in the month and had stocks of 5 million tonnes which didn’t give a reason for the drop in September shipments.

It has capacity to export 91 million tons annually.

(Sourced from Bloomberg)

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Chinese demand for coal imports to moderate in 2012 - Barclays' Miswin Mahesh

Thursday, 06 October 11

We expect Chinese demand growth forimported steam coal to moderate over the next year. Steam coal imports into China will moderate not because of a slowdown in actual coal utilization domestically, but because of key developments on the domestic supplies and internal transportation front leading to lesser requirement for imported coal. Domestic production growth is expected to remain robust catching up with demand while sizeable advances on the railing front are likely to alleviate some of the current problems in allocating coal to the South Eastern consuming regions.

In 2012, the Chinese domestic market appears to be well balanced, although and although we are not ruling out a complete alleviation of all the transportation bottlenecks; we do see a situation developing over the next two to three years where the 20 to 30% transportation cost premium attached to the final delivery of domstic coal is likely to fade away. Further on the demand side, structurally as well, the relationship between the coal mining sector and the power utilities in China is set to change as well as improve further with the roll out of the so called ''coal power bases'', 13 of them located in the northern and western region will mean power is generated close to where the mines themeselves are located. And the power will be carried via high voltage transmission lines to the high density consuming regions in the southern and eastern part of the country.

Essentially meaning that power itself will be transported rather than the current flow of coal being transported. Which would further ease pressure on rail capacity along with the new capacity being added. Further the completion of the consolidation of mines would mean that the smaller mines will not be disadvantaged over competition amongst its peers while bidding for using the rail capacity. Which we further think will help reduce the transportation costs associated with the price of domestic coal delivered to the utilities. Overall in number terms, our 2012 projection is for imports to remain relatively flat y/y (up 1%) at 95mt, after falling more than 10% in 2011. Though import forecasts are flate, overall Chinese coal demand is expected to grow strongly in 2012-15, with a draft of the 12th five year plan published in June indicating that about 300GW of new additions of coal-fired plants are planned in the next five years,(which is slightly higher than the 280GW installed from 2005-10). Interestingly more than 60% of the 290GW of coal plants due online will be found in the large coal-producing bases (where the close to 100 mt per coal-power base (13 of them)are scheduled to be formed).

Overall, over the next five years though both demand as well as domestic supply are likely to grow strongly with a sort of self sufficiency being created, the timeline over this period is of great interest.With supply likely to come online in bulk in two to three years while demand will increase over the five year period in a step by step manner, possibly creating a period in the future where supplies would comfortably meet demand, but as demand builds up following the bulk entry of supplies, then we would once again see China's appetite for imported coal building again, but this should likely happen only in the long term.

The Indian market continues to consume on a structural deficit, and we expect Indian imports to rise by 18% to about 108 mt, following the 19% y/y growth seen this year. The Coal Minister has suggested that India could be importing about 250mt of coal per year by 2015, which would be more than double this year’s import level. India’s domestic market production growth has been slowed by uncertainty regarding environmental regulations impacting land acquisition as well as a lack of infrastructure to transport coal out of mines, leading to a build-up of pithead stocks. Further though we see a lot of projects in the pipeline for expanding domestic supplies, their start dates are being pushed forward given the time it takes to get forest clearance as well as environmental clearance (taking years on average). Adding to the woes of the mining industry is the new bill passed which requires coal miners to share 26% of profits with their local communities. We expect Indian demand growth for imported coal to grow healthily over the 2012 period and beyond.

For 2012, the global coal supply chain is looking a lot healthier, barring further weather related supply disruptions we could see benchmark coal prices to ease by 5% on average next year. For 2011, we expect API2 to average $123/t, API4 to average $119/t, Newcastle to average $125/t. For 2012, we expect API to average $115/t, API4 to average $111/t and Newcastle to average $120/t.

About Miswin Mahesh
Miswin Mahesh is a commodities analyst at Barclays Capital in London, specializing in the coal, freight and crude oil markets. Miswin is a graduate of the Duisenberg School of Finance in Amsterdam.

He graduated with a double masters, an MSc in Corporate Finance and Banking and a Masters degree in International Finance from the University of Amsterdam. Miswin builds his insight on international trade flows from his experience in the Middle East, India, Africa and Europe.

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(sourced coalspot)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Zambia suspends metal export permits awaiting guidelines

Wed Oct 5, 2011
* New president has questioned export data
* New guidelines expected by Oct. 16
By Melanie Burton and Chris Mfula

LONDON/LUSAKA, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Zambia's new government has temporarily suspended metal export permits ahead of the release of new guidelines, the mining ministry said in the latest move aimed at increasing transparency in Africa's top copper producer.

Newly elected President Michael Sata has been concerned -- analysts say with good reason -- about copper exporters misreporting the amount of ore leaving the country, and last week said henceforth all export payments would have to be routed via the central bank.

The suspension of permits is another sign of Sata's administration acting quickly on its populist campaign promises.

"All current permits issued by my ministry are immediately suspended pending issuance of new guidelines by the government," Godwin Beene, the permanent secretary at the ministry said in the document, dated Oct. 4 and seen by Reuters.

The new procedures are to be in place by Oct. 16, according to the document addressed to the heads of miners operating in the country, which include Canada's First Quantum Minerals , London-listed Vedanta Resources , Glencore International AG and Metorex of South Africa.

"We are aware of the suspension. For now, I have no comment," the general manager of the chamber of mines of Zambia Frederick Bantubonse told Reuters.

Copper accounts for three-quarters of Zambia's export earnings, but the mining industry contributes only about 10 percent of its tax revenue.

According to Zambian figures, much of the copper exports are destined for Switzerland but little of them show up in Swiss customs data, raising questions about transparency.

Both KCM and Glencore said they would cooperate with the government, but declined to comment further.

Analysts have said a period of uncertainty is likely to follow the announcement of Sata's new government, although they expect him to tread carefully with the vital industry.

Others said the recent changes may hurt Zambia's image.

"Each time another one of these little edicts comes out it chips away at the confidence of the mining companies in the country and (creates) the awareness that it is going to get more expensive, more regulated," Nic Brown, an analyst at Natixis said.

"Mining in Zambia is not going to be nearly as easy as it has been the last few years."


The 74-year-old Sata swept to power last week on the back of voters looking for change in a country that has seen its economy grow but felt the riches from its mines had not reached the people nor created enough jobs.

Zambia's mining industry aims to double annual copper output to 1.5 million tonnes by 2016 and Sata is expected to try to wring more revenue from it. While investors understand the need for change, the pace worries some.

"A government can't just stop exports while it puts a new policy in place. It's ill-informed, counterproductive and discourages investment," a chief executive of an Africa-based miner said, but declined to be named.

Although only in his job for little more than a week, Sata has quickly moved against the policies of the previous Banda administration, whose Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) had ruled the southern African country for 20 years.

Sata has fired one of its deputy central bank governors, a source said on Wednesday.

Last week he removed respected central bank governor Caleb Fundanga, appointed a new head of the country's anti-corruption agency and disbanded the Energy Regulation Board.

He also scrapped the $5.4 million sale of unlisted Finance Bank to South Africa's FirstRand Ltd and launched a probe into last year's sale of telecom operator Zamtel. (sourced Reuters)

Rio Tinto's Rossing mine, union reach reach incentive deal

Wed Oct 5, 2011

WINDHOEK Oct 5 (Reuters) - The management at Rio Tinto's Rossing mine in Namibia said on Wednesday it had reached a deal with the local union over production incentives, ending an ongoing battle that has disrupted output at the uranium producer.

"We have reached an agreement that has been accepted by both parties and provides benefits to employees as well as to the company," the company and the union said in a joint statement.

(sourced Reuters)

Russian steelmaker NLMK to issue 50 bln rbl bonds

Wed Oct5, 2011

MOSCOW(Reuters) - The board of Russian steelmaker NLMK has approved a 50-billion rouble ($1,53 billion) 10-year bond issue, the steelmaker said in a statement on Tuesday.

The lead managers are Gazprombank, ZENIT Bank and Rosbank, it said.

"This new instrument will help NLMK to attract long-term capital if required to finance projects such as its technical upgrade program, as well as for other corporate purposes." ($1 = 32.604 Russian Roubles)

Iron Ore-Forward swaps jump in thin volumes

Wed Oct 5, 2011

* Spot prices steady as China stays shut for holiday
* Singapore SMX futures rise, volume tops 1 mln T in Sept
By Manolo Serapio Jr

SINGAPORE, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Prices of iron ore forward swaps rose in light volumes as the market looked to another listless session on Wednesday with top iron ore importer China still away for a week-long public holiday.

Swaps cleared by the Singapore Exchange <0#SGXIOS:> climbed on Tuesday with the November contract gaining more than $7 to $155 a tonne, although traders said the thin volumes had exaggerated the price rises.

"There are those trying to see how far they can push the market up when they know that 90 percent of the people are off," said a Singapore-based iron ore derivatives trader.

Most iron ore traders are away this week with China on holiday. China is the biggest buyer of iron ore, the key ingredient to make steel, in the spot market, with most other importers securing cargoes via long-term contracts.

"There's quite a bit of short covering because there's slow business in the market. When that kind of thing happens and markets are thin you get accentuated price moves. I wouldn't read too much into it, though," said another trader in Singapore.

China's closure kept spot iron ore prices steady, with Steel Index's 62-percent grade benchmark .IO62-CNI=SI at $171.30 a tonne and Metal Bulletin's similar gauge .IO62-CNO=MB at $169.01.

In the futures market, Singapore Mercantile Exchange's contracts <0#SMIO:> gained sharply. The most active October contract rose 4 percent to $165.90 a tonne by 0601 GMT, and the November contract jumped more than 7 percent to $163.90.

Total volume traded stood at 230 lots or 23,000 tonnes so far.

SMX, owned by India's Financial Technologies , introduced its cash-settled iron ore futures contract on Aug. 12.

SMX said on Tuesday the volume of iron ore futures contracts traded on the exchange reached 1.1 million tonnes in September, citing active interest from players in physical and financial markets, including traders based in China.

But other traders said the liquidity on the contracts remained small.

"We're certainly looking at it, but we look at the open interest on the November contract and there's 25 lots at the moment, which is tiny, and that's one of the reasons we're not getting involved," said the second Singapore-based trader.

"It seems to me like it's a bit of a retail market."

(sourced Reuters)

S.Africa coal exports fall m/m in Sept to 4.96 mln Ton

Wed Oct 5, 2011

JOHANNESBURG Oct 5 (Reuters) - South Africa's Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT) exported 4.96 million tonnes of coal in September compared with 6.987 million tonnes the previous month, RBCT data showed on Wednesday.

South Africa -- a major exporter of coal to power stations in Europe and Asia -- had 4.997 million tonnes of stock at the terminal at the end of September, RBCT said.

Coal producers in South Africa include Anglo American , BHP Billiton , Exxaro , Optimum Coal and Xstrata .

(sourced Reuters)

China threatens trade war with US over yuan

Wednesday, 05 Oct 2011

A war of words has erupted between China and the United States, after a US senate vote to move ahead with a bill that would punish China for keeping the value of its currency low and the spat could trigger wars of another kind which could have a more tangible impact on the fragile global economy.

Mr Ma Zhaoxu spokesman of Chinese Foreign Ministry warned on China's official government website that “The yuan bill passed by the US Senate will not solve its problems, such as insufficient savings, high trade deficit and high unemployment rate, but it may seriously affect the whole progress of China's reform of its yuan exchange rate regime and may also lead to a trade war which we would not like to see.”

Mr Ma added “By using the excuse of a so called currency imbalance, this will escalate the exchange rate issue, adopting a protectionist measure that gravely violates World Trade Organisation rules and seriously upsets Sino US trade and economic relations. China expresses its adamant opposition to this.”

Echoing the Foreign Ministry's trade war warning, the People's Bank of China pointed out that factoring in inflation, the yuan has appreciated greatly and is close to a balanced level in line with China's trade situation and restructuring needs.

The US Senate vote opened a week of debate on the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act of 2011, which would allow the US government to slap countervailing duties on products from countries found to be subsidizing their exports by undervaluing their currencies. US lawmakers, eyeing the 2012 elections, said keeping China's currency undervalued had cost American jobs and that a fairer exchange rate would help cut an annual trade gap Washington puts at more than USD 250 billion.

The latest tensions between China and the US are un welcome at a time when the global economy is in a precarious position. There are also concerns of a currency war should China the largest foreign holder of US government debt retaliate by dumping US Treasuries.

(sourced from Todayonline)

Indian Steel minister calls for immediate hike in export tax

Wednesday, 05 Oct 2011

Press Trust Of India reported that concerned over severe shortage of iron ore after the ban on mining in Karnataka, Indian union steel minister Mr Beni Prasad Verma said that the finance ministry should immediately increase export duty on the raw material to 30%.

He said “If exports of iron ore stop, the problem of iron ore shortage in Karnataka and other states would get solved, by and large.”

He added that “We want to get this implemented immediately. I had written to them just at the beginning of the Karnataka crisis.”

Mr Verma had written a letter to finance minister Mr Pranab Mukherjee two weeks ago to increase the duty by 10% to 30%, to discourage exports.

(Sourced from PTI)

Alderon announces name change to Alderon Iron Ore Corp

Wednesday, 05 Oct 2011

Alderon Resource Corp announce that its name has changed to Alderon Iron Ore Corp. Alderon has renamed itself to properly reflect its focus on the development of Kamistiatusset Iron Ore Project.

Alderon trading symbols ADV on the TSX Venture Exchange and ALDFF on the OTCQX will remain unchanged. It is anticipated that the Company's common shares will commence trading on the TSX Venture Exchange under the new name on or about October 5 2011.

United States leads world in coal reserves

Wednesday, 05 Oct 2011

United States leads the world with over 260 billion short tons of recoverable coal reserve 28% of total global reserves and 50% more than Russia which possesses the world second largest reserves.

As per report, despite significant US coal production since the industrial revolution recoverable domestic coal reserves at current mining levels would last 222 years.

Coal reserves are reported by coal types: bituminous and anthracite (46%), subbituminous (41%), and lignite (12%).

Appalachia is the largest producer of bituminous and anthracite coal while large quantities of subbituminous coal are produced in the Powder River Basin. Texas leads lignite production.

(sourced from todayinenergy)

New coal terminal at Gladstone to start exporting coal by 2014

Wednesday, 05 Oct 2011

It is reported that a consortium planning a new coal terminal in Gladstone says the facility should start exporting coal by 2014.

Eight coal companies are behind a group to develop the Wiggins Island coal terminal.

Mr Mark West Project director said confirmation of finance will allow construction to start almost immediately. He said that "The first stage that has just been committed is for 27 million tonnes of coal and ultimately the terminal could expand to more than 80 million tonnes."

He added that "There's global demand for good quality competitively priced thermal and metallurgical coal through facilities such as Wiggins, it will be providing coal companies with export terminal capacity to meet the demand.”

He also said "There are eight stage one owners here and they all have either brown field or green field developments to support the project and they also invest in upgrade of the rail facilities to bring that volume of coal to Gladstone. There's very large demand. This recognises the global interests for good quality metallurgical coals from Queensland."

(sourced from

Cerro Resources releases initial inferred haematite iron ore resource in Mount Isa

Wednesday, 05 Oct 2011

Cerro Resources has released an initial inferred mineral resource for its Mount Philp Haematite Iron Prospect in the Mount Isa region of Queensland.

Cerro completed a detailed program of geologic mapping, surface rock-chip sampling and partial drill testing of Mount Philp to enable it to develop initial resource estimation.

Based on the program, Cerro has identified a resource of 25 million tonnes grading 36% iron and 45% silica. The deposit occurs as a single north-northeast trending iron-rich stratigraphic unit extending over 4 kilometres.

Drill density was sufficient to define the continuity and shape of the ironstone body, but insufficient to map short scale grade variations within the ironstone, hence the resource is classified as inferred.

Preliminary metallurgical testwork conducted in 2010 on samples from within the inferred resource model indicated the ability to produce a high grade, 68% iron product using the flotation method to remove silica.

This would allow Cerro to process all material within the resource, regardless of silica content and produce an iron ore grade product. In addition to its Mount Isa iron ore activities, Cerro has interests in two projects in Mexico, the Cerro dal Gallo gold-silver project, currently in development and the Namiquipa silver exploration project.

(Sourced from