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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Lucchini Trieste iron plant may shut from Feb -union

Sat Jan21, 2012

* Workers call strike for next week
* Servola plant halt may put Piombino plant at risk -union
* Meeting of parties involved will take place Jan. 24

LONDON, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Italian steelmaker Lucchini may halt production at its Trieste iron and coke producing plant from Feb. 1 as it is owed an unpaid bill of about 45 million euros ($58 million), a union representative said on Friday.

Workers at the Ferriera Servola plant in Trieste, north-east Italy, have decided to call industrial action for next week against the decision to close the plant but will not put production at risk, Vittorio Bardi, national coordinator for steel at Italian union CGIL-FIOM, told Reuters.

Bardi said Lucchini's managing director, Marcello Calcagni, had told union representatives that a firm owing money had not been paying Lucchini since July.

"He announced that if the problem is not resolved the company will not have the financial means to continue production from Feb. 1."

Lucchini itself could not immediately be reached for comment.

Italian newspapers reported the situation was putting up to 1,000 jobs at risk at the plant, a major European iron producer.

Separately, a source at Lucchini Group, which is an affiliate of Russia's Severstal, said it is producing steel at about 65 percent of its capacity, down from 80 percent a year ago, due to weakening demand.

Italian authorities have planned a meeting between the parties involved in the difficulties at the Trieste plant for Jan. 24 to seek a solution, the union said.

The plant produces pig iron and coke, part of which go to the Piombino plant to be processed into steel, with the remaining volume sold on the international market.

"It is vital to keep the Servola plant working otherwise there will be problems at the Piombino plant too," Bardi said.


Lucchini Group is among a number of European companies that have been forced to cut capacity due to sluggish demand and a deteriorating economic outlook.

"Things are not looking too good in Europe," the source at the group said.

"The outlook is pretty negative: raw materials prices are still too high and clients have no liquidity," the source added.

The Lucchini Group, which included an Italian and a French business unit, produced about 2.4 million tonnes in 2010.

In 2005, Severstal acquired a majority stake in the Italian steel producer, previously owned by the Lucchini family, through recapitalisation.

In 2010 the Russian company sold a majority stake in Lucchini to Severstal's owner, Russia's second-richest man Alexei Mordashov, for 1 euro, to facilitate the sale of the debt-burdened company to a third party.

Last summer Lucchini sold its French business unit, Ascometal, to U.S.-based Apollo Global Management, a move that helped to reduce the debt.

Shareholders and creditor banks of the Italian steel maker reached a final agreement on the restructuring of the group's debt in December last year. Lucchini had been locked for months in debt restructuring talks with Italian banks. ($1 = 0.7740 euros)
(sourced Reuters)

Joda mines office suspends 121 trading licences

Saturday, 21 Jan 2012

BS reported that deputy director of mines for Joda circle has suspended 121 mineral trading licences for not submitting transaction reports.

The local mines director had recently ordered 357 traders in the region to submit details of trading transactions out of which 121 did not respond. The DDM is currently scrutinizing the submitted returns and said strict action will be taken on those who have given false information.

Mr UC Jena DDM of Joda said that “We took action on 121 traders for not complying with the order to submit returns related to transactions. Several other licences might also get suspended very soon.”

Sources said that the strict action from the Joda office is in sync with the state government policy to discourage intermediaries in mineral trade.

The state government, in December, decided not to issue any trading licences for mineral transshipment and also barred trader to trader mineral sale through a notification. It said the stockyards used for transshipment have been main source of illegal mineral trading.

The order issued from state steel and mines department said that “Intermediate stockyards which operate between the source of mineral and the point of end use (ports or steel plants) have the potential to facilitate illegal mining activities on the account of their location in such geographically distributed manner making it difficult to put an effective monitoring mechanism in place.”

(Sourced from BS)

China fails to divert iron ore buys from Australia, Brazil

Sat Jan 21, 2012

BEIJING Jan 21 (Reuters) - China diversified its spot iron ore buying away from India in 2011, largely in favour of South Africa, but failed to reduce its dependence on term purchases from top suppliers Australia and Brazil, customs data showed on Saturday.Chinese planners have said for several years that iron ore supplies from India and elsewhere could help break the dominance of the world's top three iron ore miners, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto of Australia and Brazil's Vale.But in 2011, China imported 64 percent of its iron ore from those two countries, unchanged from the year before. Meanwhile, iron ore purchases from India dropped by 24 percent, amid complaints about declining quality.Purchases from South Africa rose 22 percent, helping to offset some of the missing Indian tonnage. India still remains No. 3, supplying twice what China gets from South Africa.

Overall iron ore purchases rose by 10.94 percent, as the Chinese steel industry continued to expand output in the face of slowing domestic economic growth.China's diversification strategy has led it to seek iron ore from as far afield as Mauritania and Myanmar. That represents a "massive change" in the market, according to remarks on Monday by Wang Xiaoqi, vice-chairman of the China Iron and Steel Association, which represents China's largest mills.

This year, the top suppliers could become even more important to China if softer prices no longer allow marginal producers to cover their higher production costs. "As long as Chinese demand for iron ore is high, we're going to see more countries selling iron ore into China. But 2012 could be very different because we're expecting a slowdown in iron ore consumption growth," said Henry Liu, head of commodity research at Mirae Asset Securities in Hong Kong."In that case, these marginal producers will reduce their exports to China and the dominant players will get more market share."A total of 64 countries supplied iron ore to China in 2011, up from 44 in 2010.

The increase in non-traditional sources reflects tight supplies, strong demand and high prices, rather than an explicit strategy to ease dependence on Australia and Brazil, analysts said.Shipments from many of the debutants -- including Albania, Armenia, the United Kingdom, Cambodia and Denmark -- remained a negligible fraction of China's total import volume over the year.

Imports from the second tier of suppliers -- consisting of South Africa, Russia, Canada, Iran, Ukraine and Indonesia -- reached a total of 104.85 million tonnes, accounting for 15 percent of the total, up from 12 percent in 2010.Iron ore prices are seen averaging $150 per tonne in 2012, a mid-December Reuters poll showed, versus $168 in 2011.

(sourced Reuters)

Vale unique new coal transfer method

Saturday, 21 Jan 2012

It is reported that Brazilian mining giant Vale, through its subsidiary Vale Mozambique has started with the process of transferring coal from small boats to ships out at sea a first for the company and a solution for loading large ships at the port of Beira.

Vale Mozambican subsidiary also said that the Green Phoenix the fifth ship to export the company coal and left the port recently carrying 37,600t of coal headed for the port of New Mangalore in India.

With this shipment, Vale has so far shipped 174,000 tonnes of coal mined at the Moatize mine through the port of Beira since it launched its operations in 2011.

The statement said the transfer operation made it possible not only to completely load some ships that cannot be entirely filled at the dock, but also makes it possible to load bigger Panamax and Capesize ships, which are unable to moor at the port of Beira because the access channel and berths are too shallow .

By the end of December Vale Mozambique had mined 620,000 tonnes of coal and exported 140,000 tonnes which were transported to the port of Beira along the Sena railroad.


African Iron directors accept Exxaro offer

Saturday, 21 Jan 2012

African Iron directors have now formally accepted Exxaro offer for all of the African Iron shares and listed options owned or controlled by them.

Exxaro is offering AUD 0.51 cash for each African Iron share which Exxaro will increase to AUD 0.57 cash per share if it acquires a relevant interest in 75% or more of all the African Iron shares. Exxaro is also offering AUD 0.31 cash for each listed option which Exxaro will increase to AUD 0.37 cash per listed option if it acquires a relevant interest in 75% or more of all the African Iron shares.

The acceptance of Exxaro offer by the African Iron directors in respect of a total of 1,300,000 shares and 100,000 listed options held by them follows the announcement earlier this week that African Iron largest shareholder, Cape Lambert had formally accepted Exxaro offer for shares equivalent to 19.99% of African Iron.

The acceptance accords with the statements included in African Iron Target Statement regarding the directors’ intentions to accept the offers and increases Exxaro interest in African Iron shares above 20%.

In African Iron Target Statement, the African Iron directors also declared their intention to accept Exxaro private offers for all of the African Iron unlisted options owned or controlled by them.

Dr Ian Burston African Iron, Independent Non-Executive Chairman said “the Board had carefully considered Exxaro takeover offer and recommended that shareholders and listed option holders accept it, in the absence of a superior proposal. All shareholders and option holders should this week receive African Iron’s Target’s Statement which details the offers and we encourage them to read this document carefully before they make any decision.”

As detailed in the Target Statement, African Iron shareholders and option holders have a number of alternatives available to them:

I. Accept Exxaro offer for their African Iron shares and/or listed options
II. Sell their African Iron shares and/or listed options on market

III. Listed option holders can exercise their options and sell the shares on market; or Do nothing.

Dr Burston said that “Shareholders and option holders should be aware that if they do nothing, the price of African Iron shares and options is likely to fall if the offer closes and Exxaro has acquired a relevant interest in less than 90% of the African Iron shares on issue.”

The African Iron board unanimously recommends that shareholders and option holders accept the Exxaro takeover offers in the absence of a superior proposal.

Exxaro takeover offer will remain open until 5.00pm Perth time on 14 February 2012 unless extended.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Waste ore in Goa down in the dumps, again

Friday, Jan 20, 2012

Talk about an opportunity wasted, literally.

Not long back, heaps of low-grade iron ore refuse lying unused in vast mining tracts of Goa had found a throbbing market in China. But thanks to the government’s recent hike in export duty, the ore material has once again lost its utility value, whatever little there was. The finance ministry on January 2 raised the export duty on iron ore to a flat 30% from the 20% earlier.

The result? The iron ore waste export market, which was turning into a steady cash flow for the state, the Centre and owners of the ore, died even before it was born. Out of an accumulated waste of 800 million tonne (mt), close to 80 mt was commercially saleable and had become a big source of revenues in the form of royalty and other duties.

This has come to a grinding halt, said Ambar Timblo, managing director, Fomento Resources, one of the biggest privately held mining companies in Goa. “The hike in export duty has rendered these low-quality ores commercially unviable due to the low price they fetch.” “Even if we consider an annual sale of 10 mt of this ore at an export duty of 10%, this would mean a royalty of `220 crore and an export duty value of `300 crore,” Timblo said.

To be sure, whenever a new mine goes on stream, several thousand tonnes of earth get dug up to reach to the premium ore content. This dug-out matter lies near mine pit heads as heaps of dumps.The low content of ferrous — between 45% and 52% — makes the ore highly unsuitable for use in India. In fact, none of the iron ore mined in Goa ever manages to make its way to any Indian plant. That explains why a huge chunk —as high as 99%— of the mineral is exported from Goa.

To its credit, the state government had some business sense and a few months ago, allowed export of very low-quality ore that had no takers. It’s back to square one.

(sourced DNA)

Beneficiation of Low grade iron ore fines

Since a decade the Institute of Minerals and Materials Technology has been engaged in Iron ore research to enhance raw material quality for Iron and Steel industry. Consequently, from our experience we discuss the characterization and beneficiation aspects of five different types of Iron ore samples—Barbil, Bailladilla, Goa, Barajamda and Hospet (Banded Hematite Quartzite, BHQ). The characterization studies in general indicate that hematite and goethite are the major Iron bearing minerals, where as kaolinite, gibbsite and quartz are present as the gangue minerals. Particle counts of the close sized fractions indicate that the degree of liberation of hematite is about 87% at 53 micron size.

The chemical analysis of the hematite ores on an average conform to 57.8 to 64.5% Fe, 1.56 to 6.5% SiO and 1.3 to 6% Al3O2. These ores subject to beneficiation yield a concentrate containing 61.5 to 66% Fe at 62 to 86% yield. In case of BHQ ore, column flotation technique has been adopted to obtain a concentrate of 66% Fe at 44.7% yield. It has been observed that beneficiation of low grade ores invariably pose specific challenge due to the presence of clayey/earthy materials rich in aluminum. For both hematite as well as BHQ ores proven flow-sheet with material balance has been developed and satisfactorily implemented through our clients. The processes that have been developed are ideal for pellet making where the future of Steel industry rests.

1. Introduction

India occupies sixth position in the world's Iron-ore reserves and is one of the major Iron-ore producer and exporter due to availability of quality ore and skilled mining personnel. India's Iron ore reserve is around 25,249 million tonnes (MT) apart from Banded Hematite-Quartzite (BHQ) and Banded Hematite Jasper (BHJ). Although India is blessed with large reserves of Iron ore containing average grade around 58% Fe, the performance of blast furnaces has been at lower levels in comparison with the developing countries.

This has been mainly due to the presence of high levels of impurities such as silica and Alumina in the raw material contradicting to the blast furnace chemistry. In order to increase the efficiency of blast furnace, some of the issues relating to Iron ores include chemical composition of Iron ore with low Fe content and high Al:Si ratio, low strength, high temperature break down, lower reducibility, low temperature softening and melting behavior of the Iron ores, etc. Normally Iron ores with Fe content above 65% are desirable to achieve better productivity either in blast furnace or direct reduction.

The other impurities level such as Na, K, S and P should be as low as possible. Alumina and Silica content should be within permissible limit for better fluidity of slag. Due to non availability of quality Iron ore, the run-off-mne (rom) needed to be beneficiated to lower the impurities to improve the strength of sinter and pellet quality. The physical, chemical and metallurgical properties of lumps, sinters and pellets are important as they have a significant impact on furnace performance.

For economics reasons, quality raw material is not only required for blast furnace operation but also for the emerging technologies such as smelting reduction and direct reduction route. Beside that, India has set itself a target of achieving production capacity of 110 MT of Steel by 2020 and the required quantity of Iron ore is projected at 190 MT. Over the next few years, demand for Indian Iron ore is expected to rise by more than 200 million tonnes per year to meet the internal demand and export. Two major shifts in Iron ore supply for the Indian Iron and Steel industry have occurred. First the export to foreign market owing to liberalization in the economy and second the adaptation of beneficiation and pelletization practices to utilize low-grade ores and fines.

In India for economic and industrial growth, a number of Steel plants have been planed in the states of Orissa, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and Maharastra. As the quality of raw materials declines, the impact of Iron making processes on pollution control and energy required will worsen in days to come. Most of the rom Iron ore contains lot of impurities that needs beneficiation prior to use. Therefore research on utilization of low grade Iron ore to produce quality raw material would play a key role in future which is a fact acknowledged by the Iron and Steel industry. Iron ore is being beneficiated all round the world to meet the quality requirement of Iron and Steel industries. However, each source of Iron ore has its own peculiar mineralogical characteristics and requires the specific beneficiation and metallurgical treatment to get the best product out of it.

The choice of the beneficiation treatment depends on the nature of the gangue present and its association with the ore structure. Several techniques such as washing, jigging, magnetic separation, advanced gravity separation and flotation are being employed to enhance the quality of the Iron ore. Washing, jigging and classification are being carried out for the beneficiation of Iron ores in India. During washing and sizing of the ore, slimes with less than 0.21 mm size are generated and discarded into the tailing pond. It is estimated that around 10 million tonnes of slimes are being generated in every year during the processing of hematite ore and lost as tailings containing around 48-62% of Fe. However beneficiation and utilization of these slimes still remains as a challenging task.

The ever increasing need to utilize the slimes is being reflected in the shift in Steel production from basic blast furnaces to electric arc furnace technology. In the USA, around 40% of Steel is produced in electric arc furnaces by using Iron ore pellets. Pellets are also used in traditional blast furnaces in some parts of the world. Pellets are ideal material as a feed to direct-reduction Iron plants. However the use of pellet in our Steel plant is very limited. Lot of low grade Iron ore fines are generated during preparation of lumps, calibrated ores and sinter-fines. In addition to these fines, 10-15% of ore mined is generated as slimes and are discarded as tailings.

These fines and tailings are potential sources to produce pellet grade concentrate after suitable beneficiation. Another source of pellet feed concentrate is from low and off grade ores such BHQ & BHJ. All these materials can be beneficiated to yield quality pellet feed. Keeping this in observation, detailed studies have been carried out on different source of materials to produce quality concentrates for pellet feed. The results of four different types of hematite ore fines covering from Barbil , Balladilla, Goa, Barjamada have been discussed in this paper. Increasing worldwide demand for Iron ore triggering the development of India's magnetite and BHQ ores of Karnataka for effective utilization is also highlighted.

2.1 Ore samples

Five different types of representative Iron ore samples from Iron ore mines of India through Barbil, Balladilla, Goa, Barjamada and Hospet area were collected and brought to the laboratory for the detail investigation studies. The as received hematite samples which are either fines or slimes were thoroughly mixed and representative sample of each was drawn by conning and quartering method for different characterization, mineralogical and beneficiation studies. The BHQ sample was lumpy variety with little amount of fines. The sample is very hard in nature and compact. The sample colour is grayish black. Similar coning and quartering method was applied to draw a representative sample from the bulk sample for different investigations.

2.2 Experimental
2.2.1 Physical and Chemical Characterization Studies:

The size analysis of the received Iron ore sample, were carried out by wet sieving techniques to know the average particle size of the sample. The different size fractions thus obtained were subjected to chemical analysis to ascertain the different quantitative elemental composition of the sample. The complete chemical analysis of the rom ore and different size fractions were carried out by X-ray florescence technique and wet chemical analysis. The XRF analyses were carried out against the standard calibrated samples of similar values. The loss on ignition (LOI) of Iron ore samples was determined by igniting around 2.0 gm of sample at about 1000 C for four hours in a muffle furnace in silica crucible.

Closed sized classified samples were examined under stereomicroscope by preparing the corresponding grain slides for identification of different minerals. The X-ray diffraction studies of selected samples were also carried out using a Philips model diffractmeter with CuK radiation. The bulk sample was crushed to below 1 mm size and wet sieved into different size fractions. The size fractions were mounted in resin with hardner and polished following standard procedures. The polished sections were studied under reflected light microscope and the particles of different typologies were counted.

2.2.3 Grinding Studies

In order to increase the grade of Iron ore and for the subsequent liberation of Iron values from the locked particles, the samples were subjected to wet grinding to generate different size particles. A standard ball mill of 12”x12” with required weight of balls as per Bonds formula at 45% filling was used. The grinding was carried out in batch prior to different beneficiation studies. The objective is to achieve the maximum liberation of the Iron particles from the associated gangues due to reduction in size. The large-scale continuous grinding studies were also carried out using 24?x 24? ball mill to produce samples for further investigations and to establish grinding parameters. All the grinding studies were carried out at 40% solids consistency in the ball mill.

2.2.4 Beneficiation Studies

Beneficiation studies using various techniques such as hydrocyclone, spiral, magnetic separation, flotation etc. were carried out to develop a suitable process flowsheet as a step towards the up-gradation of Iron values and to reduce the gangue content. The required separation technique was selected based on particle size and the properties for effective separation. Initially, the hematite ore fines were ground to required size and then subjected to separation. The sample was ground to below 1.0 mm size for hematite ore fines and less than 100 microns for BHQ ore. However, the tailing samples from Goa ore have been treated without further grinding. Hydrocyclone

Hydrocyclone was used as a step towards the up-gradation of Iron values as well as for de-sliming of slime parti­cles present in the sample. Since the ground samples contained large amount of slime materials comprising of particles down to sub micron size, de-sliming was also thought of prior to flotation. The effect of some of the variables namely apex diameter, vortex finder diameter, operating pressure, solids concentration etc. were optimized. The throughput of hydro-cyclone during the experiments was 240 to 780 kg/hr solids and the solid concentrations of ~10-20 % by weight were main­tained during the course of the experiments. The underflow and overflow materials were collected at a steady state for a fixed time, dried, weighed and analyzed for the desired Iron and other constituents. The overflow & underflow samples collected at optimum operating conditions were used for further studies Spiral

The spiral concentrator of 100 mm dia. was used to enrich the Iron content of the classified sample (hydrocyclone underflow). The spiral is an energy saving gravity equipment where large quantities of sample can be fed for pre-concentrations. In the spiral study, the Iron ore sample was fed to the centrifugal pump at the required solids consistency and the slurry was kept re-circulating for a predetermined time. The entire concentrate and tailings were collected after attaining the steady state. The concentrates in some cases were cleaned to improve the grade of products. All the products thus obtained were dried, weighed, and analyzed. Wet High Intensity Magnetic Separation

The wet high intensity magnetic separator (WHIMS) and high gradient magnetic separator (HGMS) were used at different magnetic field intensities to recover the fine Iron values from the hydrocyclone over flow or spiral tailings. Both the separators have provision for different magnetic groves of width and matrix with variable currents to provide different magnetic intensities. A desired concentration of solids was passed through the magnetic separator. In some cases the magnetic products were cleaned in second stage to enhance the quality of the product from first stage separation. Flotation

Batch flotation studies were carried out to select either direct or reverse flotation technique to optimize reagent combination and to establish the number of stages of operations. Denver D-12 sub-aeration flotation machine was used for the batch flotation studies. Both cationic (dodecylamine) and anionic (oleic acid) reagents were used as collectors while MIBC was used as the frother. The flotation conditions were optimized to get good grade concentrate with high recoveries. The column flotation studies were carried out by using 100 mm diameter glass column designed and fabricated at our laboratory. The column was operated at nominal capacity of 20 kg of Iron ore fines per hour with the help of a peristaltic pump. Both the concentrate and tailings were collected separately after attaining the steady state and analyzed for Iron content.

(From steel world)

Investment in low grade iron ore ore mines i.e laterite mines in India. Contact us

Tag: low grade iron ore, mines for sale, investment in iron ore mines

Beneficiation of Low grade iron ores

Process Beneficiation of Low grade iron ores
Area Mineral Processing
Uses The technology developed is for beneficiating low grade iron ores. The calibrated lumps, fines & concentrate so produced are used for iron & steel making.
Salient Features The process so developed basically involves crushing, classification, processing of lumps, fines and slimes separately to produce concentrate suitable as lump and sinter fines and for pellet making. The quality is essentially defined as Fe contents, Level of SiO2 and Al2O3 contamination. The process aims at maximizing Fe recovery by subjecting the rejects/tailings generated from coarser size processing to fine size reduction and subsequent processing to recover iron values.
Scale of Development Pilot Scale
Major Raw Materials Low grade iron ores, Flotation reagents
Major Plant Equipment/Machinery Crushing, screening, scrubbing, classification, gravity separation, magnetic separation, froth flotation, Dewatering, Conveying Systems.
Details of specific application The process is applicable to low grade iron ore, however, the process is to be tailored to suit specific ore application
Status of Development Pilot scale
Ecological/Environmental Impact (if any, specify briefly) The process is environment friendly. No toxic/hazardous waste is discharged. Arrangement for tailings disposal is needed.
Patenting details Nil
Commercialisation Status The technology is sample specific being commercialized for ore from Bolani and Gua Mines of SAIL.
Techno-Economics Available on demand
Key words Low grade Iron ore, Gravity and Magnetic Separation, Iron ore beneficiation.

BHP starts building infrastructure at Indonesia coal venture

Friday, 20 Jan 2012

Bloomberg reported that BHP Billiton Ltd the world largest mining company started developing infrastructure at its 75% owned coal project in Borneo after receiving regulatory approvals.

Ms Kelly Quirke a spokeswoman for the Melbourne-based company said the work at the IndoMet Coal project includes road construction and associated infrastructure for future mine development.

She said “Regulatory permits and approvals that we need for the initial road works are now in place. Those early works have now begun.”

According to a BHP presentation in September the project in Kalimantan on Indonesia part of Borneo island could start production in the year ending June 2016.

The basin has the potential to support large-scale metallurgical and thermal-coal output and the first development at Lahai will provide the initial operating platform and development of transport infrastructure.

(Sourced from Bloomberg)

Two coal companies want to export coal through the Port of St Helens

Friday, 20 Jan 2012

It is reported that two shipping companies are proposing to export coal through the Port of St. Helens, putting Oregon in the mix as a shipping point to meet growing Asian demand.

On January 25, the port commission will consider separate proposals from Kinder Morgan Terminals and Pacific Transloading. A new terminal would bring badly needed jobs and development. It raises concerns with community and environmental activists who worry about exporting dirty fuel and about coal dust escaping from trains running through the Columbia River Gorge and Portland.

Mr Brett VandenHeuvel executive director of Columbia Riverkeeper said "This is going to be extremely unpopular in Oregon. I'm positive the coal companies are going to have a big fight on their hands."

Mr Patrick Trapp the port's executive director said Kinder Morgan would develop a traditional bulk export terminal at the port's Port Westward property using rail lines and building facilities to store and load coal,. The development would provide a minimum of 80 full-time jobs in addition to construction work.

He said that Pacific Transloading would receive coal by barge and directly load it onto ocean going ships. He added that "We've got two viable business operations and they both want an equal opportunity to be considered."

Mr Trapp said it's not clear yet how much coal the companies want to export. The commission could choose to pursue both proposals and one or neither.

He said that the port has been clear with both companies that it expects a clean, environmentally sound operation. The permitting and construction process which would likely take years would also include many chances for public comment.

The West Coast is a minor player in coal export now. But with Asian demand growing, there are active proposals for terminals in Longview, Wash and Bellingham, Wash. Those proposals involve coal companies with mines in the Powder River Basin a swath of productive coal lands in Montana and Wyoming.

(Sourced from

BHP Billiton signs up with Boom Logistics

Friday, 20 Jan 2012

It is reported that Boom Logistics has secured a three year contract to supply cranes and associated services to BHP Billiton Iron Ore Operations in northwest Australia.

The contract with a two year extension option will include services for all shutdown and maintenance works at BHP Billiton Nelson Point and Finucane Island operations in Port Hedland, Western Australia.

Mr Brenden Mitchell Boom Logistics Ltd CEO said "This consolidates our position in the northwest of WA and reinforces Boom as a major provider to industry leaders in the region. Revenue from this contract is expected to be around AUD 35 million over the next three years."

Boom has signed two further three year contracts an AUD 6 million contract to supply cranes and associated services to Anglo American Metallurgical Coal Operations in central Queensland and a re-signed AUD 9 million contract with BP Refinery in Western Australia.

(Sourced from

S Korea KOSEP buys 390,000 tonnes coal for Jan to April

Friday, 20 Jan 2012

Reuters reported that Korea South East Power Co Ltd bought a total of 390,000 tonnes of sub-bituminous or bituminous coal for delivery between January and April via tenders closed last Wednesday.

The source said the utility purchased 260,000 tonnes of coal of Australian and Russian origins from SUEK OAO and 130,000 tonnes of Indonesian from Berau Coal Energy Tbk PT on a free-on-board (FOB) basis.

The source declined to disclose the deal prices, and shipment details are as follows:

Tonne Specification(NAR) Shipment
260,000 min 4,600 kcal/kg Jan 25, 2012-Apr 30, 2012
130,000 min 5,500 kcal/kg Jan 25, 2012-Apr 30, 2012

(Sourced from Reuters)

Iron Ore-China rebar eyeing best week since early Dec

Fri Jan 20, 2012

* Shanghai rebar gains for 6th straight day
* Iron ore at two-week lows ahead of China holiday
* China manufacturing see sluggish start in 2012

SINGAPORE, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Shanghai steel futures edged up to three-month highs on Friday and are eyeing their biggest weekly gain since early December, supported by firmer equities, and these gains may revive buying interest in iron ore.The most-traded May rebar contract on the Shanghai Futures
Exchange was up 0.3 percent at 4,322 yuan a tonne by the midday break, after rising as high as 4,334 yuan earlier, its loftiest since Oct. 14.
The contract has gained 2.2 percent so far this week and Friday's gains were its sixth consecutive daily rise.Rebar's gains followed Asian equities, which touched two-month highs as easing concerns over Europe's refinancing capability boosted appetite for riskier assets. But sluggish data showing China's manufacturing sector was off to a shaky start in 2012 kept price gains in check.
The HSBC flash manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI), the earliest indicator of China's industrial activity, stood at 48.8 in January, a three-month high and a slight improvement on the 48.7 final reading of the December index.

Spot iron ore prices slipped to two-week lows as trading in top market China ground to a halt ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, but some traders are hopeful of a rebound when the Chinese buyers return after the week-long break. Any bounce may be limited though with market participants unsure whether China's steel demand will pick up strongly.
"People are counting on a possible rebound after Chinese New Year, but only because that's what's happened in the past years, not because they have any hard evidence," said Henry Liu, head of commodity research at Mirae Asset Securities in Hong Kong. "The best case scenario would be a small rebound."
Iron ore with 62 percent iron content .IO62-CNI=SI eased 0.1 percent to $139.70 a tonne on Thursday, the weakest since Jan. 4, according to Steel Index.
"Few traders are looking to make new purchases, and those with cargo in hand prefer to wait until after the holiday to make sales," Steel Index said.

Shanghai rebar futures and iron ore indexes at 0411 GMT

Contract Last Change Pct Change
SHANGHAI REBAR* 4322 12.00 0.28
PLATTS 62 PCT INDEX 140.75 -0.25 -0.18
THE STEEL INDEX 62 PCT INDEX 139.7 -0.20 -0.14
METAL BULLETIN INDEX 139.71 -0.25 -0.18

*In yuan/tonne
#Index in dollars/tonne, show close for the previous trading day
(sourced Reuters)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Coal India says GCV prices at a discount, not premium

Thursday, Jan 19, 2012

Want to know how Coal India’s new pricing methodology — based on the gross calorific value (GCV) of coal as against the useful heat value taken into account earlier — has impacted India Inc? Here’s a definitive response from Coal India.

The state-owned company has told Kolkata High Court that following the implementation of the new pricing norm, its coal is selling at a discount ranging from 25% for higher grades to 63% for lower grades compared with the international prices.

“An additional discount in the range of 14-38% in coal of less than 5800 Kcal/kg GCV has also been offered for power and other regulated sectors,” Snehatosh Majumder, general manager (legal) and constituted attorney of Coal India has said in an affidavit recently filed in the court, a copy of which is available with DNA.

The submission has been made to oppose an affidavit filed by Subhas Datta, a green crusader, who has filed a public interest litigation against the coal major’s recent price increases and shift to a new pricing norm.

Coal India says GCV prices are at a discount, not premium
Coal India has also told the court that it is difficult to find out the exact impact of the new pricing norm on its revenues, which can be reasonably ascertained only in the next 2-3 months. Also, Coal India’s board would be reviewing the whole system after that. “The prices of coal as per earlier pricing mechanism cannot be directly compared to the price as per the new GCV regime. It will take some time to ascertain the actual impact on revenue of such switching over.

Keeping this in mind, the CIL Board while according approval to this new pricing regime has kept a provision to review the same after three months... the correct picture for the change in price would emerge in coming two to three months, only after the new GCV based grading system is stabilised across the coal companies,” Coal India has told the court. Arguing against the petitioner’s contention that the introduction of the GCV-based pricing would lead to an increase in prices, Coal India has argued that the claim hasn’t been substantiated.

“With reference to the allegations contained in para 3, I state that petitioners themselves have admitted that they could not compare between the erstwhile and the revised price under GCV system. Therefore, comments made hereunder to the effect that the price increase may be more than 100% through recent notification is unsubstantiated,” Majumder has said in the affidavit.
Coal India’s woes multiplied on Wednesday with the court fixing the next hearing on February 15 maintaining that its January 6 order will continue. The high court had on January 6 requested Coal India not to give effect to its December 30 notification for shifting to the GCV system.

“The good news is we are now at a liberty to raise bills against our supplies to the power companies. The bad news is we can only bill under the system prevailing before the introduction of the GCV pricing. Things are in a complete mess and we urgently need to resolve this,” a Coal India official said after conclusion of Wednesday’s hearing.
sourced: DNA

Rethink on GCV-based coal price

Thursday, Jan 19, 2012

The Ministry of Coal has decided to review the controversial gross calorific value (GCV) mechanism for pricing coal in the country, raising hopes of power companies.

Coal India implemented the GCV mechanism from January 1, which calculates the price of coal on the basis of heat produced by burning it. Earlier, prices were fixed on the basis of moisture and ash content present in coal.

Prices of coal have risen due to this yardstick, and industry is finding it difficult to pass on the cost of the expensive fuel to end-consumers. Indeed, power companies say they have seen their fuel costs go up 40% under the new pricing mechanism.

“We were told by power and other companies about the increase in fuel cost due to this new pricing mechanism. There is some issue with the prices of coal under different categories. We will look into the issue on January 28 with an experts’ group,” said Sri Prakash Jaiswal, Union minister for Coal, said on Wednesday.

Earlier, industry representatives from Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Orissa and West Bengal met coal secretary Alok Perti last week to take up the issue.

While most of the country uses the GCV mechanism to price the black fuel across the industry, Coal India did so only after recommendations by the T L Shankar Committee and also the Integrated Energy Policy document of the Planning Commission.

A non-profit organisation, Howrah Ganatantrik Nagarik Samity, had also filed a PIL in the Calcutta High Court accusing the company of making abnormal profits by repeatedly raising prices.

(sourced: DNA)

Export curbs hit ports income

Thursday, 19 Jan 2012

Curb in iron ore exports and hike in duty on outbound shipment have resulted in a number of Centre owned major ports incurring heavy losses of business.

Shipping secretary Mr K Mohandas on the sidelines of a conference told reporters that “All ports have suffered huge losses of business, including New Mangalore, Ennore, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Mormugao.”

Mr Mohandas said ports are dependent on cargo and iron ore used to contribute significantly in ports’ business.

He also added that mining and exports policies did not come under Shipping Ministry’s purview when asked whether the ministry is taking any step in this regard.

The iron ore exports from the country last fiscal came down to 97.64 million tonne while in the first eight months of the current fiscal, exports dipped by a little over 28% to 40 million tonne vis a vis the corresponding period last fiscal.

Apart from this, upward revision in export duty to 30%, the miners said that will result in total shipments unlikely to exceed 50 million tonne in the current fiscal, which is further bound to impact the ports.

(Sourced from PTI)

Coal minister assure more coal for power sector

Thursday, 19 Jan 2012

The Indian government is making all efforts to increase coal production. Target of Coal India Limited of 440 million tones for current financial year will be achieved.

Production from other coal blocks is also being monitored and measures will be taken to achieve increases production from these blocks also. This was stated by coal minister, Mr Sripraksh Jaisawal during a meeting with a group of industrial representing Association of Power Producers.

The minister said the coal linkages are being rationalized, bidding of coal blocks will start soon. He said efforts are also being taken to modernize CIL so that production can be increased significantly.

Mr Jaiswal added that the government is aware of requirements of power sector and is trying its best to sort out issues.

Bangladesh to tender for 4 more coal fired power plants soon

Thursday, 19 Jan 2012

Bangladesh Power Development Board will invite international tender soon to set up four more coal fired power plants to generate around 2,000 megawatts of electricity to ensure future power supply at affordable cost.

A top government official said that the power plants will be run by imported coal.

Mr ASM Alamgir Kabir chairman of BPDB told the FE that "We will invite bids from sponsors within the next couple of weeks to build four coal fired power plants.”

He said the new coal based power plants will be built near seashore and river coasts in Chittagong, Khulna and Munshiganj to facilitate carrying of the imported coal.

Mr Kabir said that these coal fired power plants will be implemented as part of the government's move to augment electricity generation and diversify the country's energy sources under its mid term planning against the backdrop of dwindling natural gas reserves.

Mr Kabir added that "Under short term measure we built diesel and furnace oil fired power plants to ease the country's electricity crisis on urgent basis.”

He said that electricity tariff for the coal fired power plants would be lower than those of oil based power plants.”

Mr Kabir said that "Initially the coal fired power plants would run with imported coal. Local coal will be utilised once the country starts extracting local coal significantly.” He added that capacity of these coal fired power plants would be 300 mw to 600 mw each.

(Sourced from

CIL not likely to hike prices after wage increase

Thursday, 19 Jan 2012

Reuters cited Mr Sriprakash Jaiswal coal minister as saying that State-run Coal India Limited is not expected to raise prices after it finalises a wage increase agreement with its workers later this month.

Coal India last week said it will sign a five-year agreement with workers unions to increase wages by 25%, adding about INR 40 billion to its annual wage bill.

(Sourced from Reuters)

FMG considers magnetite joint venture

Thu, 19 Jan 2012

It is reported that Fortescue Metals Group is considering developing its North Star magnetite iron ore project in Western Australia as a joint venture.

Fortescue last year indicated that it may spin off its magnetite iron ore assets because it was focused on easier-to-produce hematite iron ore.

However, on Monday the company said it saw potential value in developing its magnetite interests as joint ventures.

The miner said it was evaluating options to partner with third parties at its North Star magnetite project, which was adjacent to the company's Glacier Valley magnetite iron ore joint venture with Chinese steel maker Baosteel.

Fortescue said in a statement that any development of North Star would be on a non-recourse basis to Fortescue balance sheet

The company also announced a 72% increase in the resource estimate for its North Star magnetite project, 100 kilometres south of its Port Hedland operation to 2.12 billion tonnes.

Of that total, 1.3 billion tonnes is in the inferred category of Australia mineral reporting code which is the least proved up category.

Just over 100 million tonnes is in the top category and measured.

(Sourced from

Vale makes first Mozambique coal transhipment to India

Thursday, 19 Jan 2012

Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique reported citing a statement from the company that Vale SA made its first transhipment of 37,600 tonnes of coal off the coast of central Mozambique.

The Maputo based agency said the exports were destined for India. Since September, Vale has exported 174,000 tonnes of coal from Mozambique.

(Sourced from Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Russia Severstal's Nord Gold Q4 output up 14 pct q/q

Wed Jan 18, 2012

MOSCOW Jan 18 (Reuters) - Russian steelmaker Severstal's Nord Gold mining unit said it produced 204,000 gold equivalent ounces in the fourth quarter, up 14 percent on Q3.

The gold unit, which plans to list its shares in London on Thursday following a share swap with parent-company Severstal, in December lowered its 2011 production forecast to 745,000-755,000 gold equivalent ounces.

Nord Gold's final total for the year was 754,000 ounces, up 28 percent from 2010.

Russia's second-largest steelmaker in November announced that it would list Nord Gold global depository receipts (GDRs) in London if Severstal shareholders representing at least 5 percent of Nord Gold share capital agreed to exchange their Severstal shares.

Severstal, controlled by billionaire Alexei Mordashov, said investors exchanged a total of 20,374,385 securities, equal to 10.6 percent of Nord Gold's share capital, and that it expects to list the GDRs on Jan. 19.

Indian tycoons see higher coal output easing power crisis

Wed Jan 18, 2012

* Tata, Ambani, other top power company execs to meet PM
* Companies seeking better access to fuel, swifter clearances

NEW DELHI, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Some of India's biggest tycoons pushed the government to resolve the country's worsening electricity crunch by freeing access to fuel for power plants, adding pressure on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, blamed for failing to push bold reforms.

Tata group Chairman Ratan Tata, Reliance Power Chairman Anil Ambani, and Adani Power Chairman Gautam Adani met with Singh on a long day of meetings in the capital between top power industry executives and senior government officials.

"We pushed for all issues, mainly augmenting domestic coal production," Ashok Khurana, director general of the Association of Power Producers said after the group met B.K. Chaturvedi, the member of India's Planning Commission responsible for energy.

India does not produce enough power to meet the demands of a fast-growing economy and increasingly affluent population of 1.2 billion people. Outages in big cities, including the capital, are commonplace, and industrial users and office buildings must frequently rely on self-generated power.

Coal and natural gas shortages and delays in acquiring land, have crimped the rollout of new plants by big producers such as Adani and left many existing units running below capacity.

"The government needs to coordinate all its arms if it aims to improve the situation in the power sector," said V. Srinivasan, an analyst with Angel Broking.

India has installed capacity of 187,000 megawatts (MW), about a fifth of what China has, and has a peak-hour deficit of about 12 percent. India's power output rose 8 percent to 72.7 billion kilowatt-hours in December from a year earlier.

But halfway through a second five-year term, Singh's government has made little headway in pushing reforms in power and other areas, crimping investment and contributing to slowing growth.


Stagnant domestic output by state-run Coal India, the world's largest coal miner, and lower-than-expected gas production coupled with the high cost of imports has thrown the business plans of generators into disarray.

In addition, the inability to pass along the full cost of fuel price increases makes many units unprofitable.

But as pressure builds on the government, India has raised its coal import target by over a third to about 114 million tonnes in the fiscal year ending in March, though further increases are unlikely because of a lack of rail capacity from key ports to end-users.

Coal accounts for more than half of India's power generation and will be required for about 85 percent of the target of adding 75,000 MW of capacity by 2017, a government draft report said in late 2011.

India has about 10 percent of the world's coal reserves but struggles to provide private players more access to coal blocks and swifter environmental clearances and land acquisition.

Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal said on Wednesday that private sector power companies should do their part to address the shortage by lifting production at their own mines.

"We can't increase coal production quickly," he said after meeting the delegation, which was ferried between meetings in luxury cars and trailed by a about two-dozen journalists.

"We have asked them to resolve issues and increase output at captive mines."


Gas does not provide an easy answer. India is the world's eighth-largest importer of LNG and the gap between demand and supply is growing as domestic output slows, though India has allowed active drilling in coal-methane blocks and is building more capacity to receive imports.

Gas demand is likely to rise to around 410 million standard cubic metres per day (MMSCMD) by 2019-20 from consumption of around 177 MMSCMD in 2010-11, according to ratings agency ICRA.

Much of the new gas demand is expected to be met by imports that are more expensive than domestic supplies.

Power companies have been lobbying the federal government in vain to free them from power sales contracts to pass on rising fuel costs to consumers. But power tariff agreements are set by state governments reluctant to raise prices.

Losses for distribution firms were estimated at 400 billion rupees ($8 billion) in the year that ended in March 2011.

Lower than expected gas output from Reliance Industries-operated D6 block in the Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin, off India's east coast, has also dashed hopes for a quick spike in domestic supplies.

Banks, already burdened with loans to loss-making state-run electricity distribution firms, are reluctant to lend to proposed power projects that do not have assured fuel supplies, especially gas eyed for new combined-cycle units.
(US$1=50.38 rupees)
(sourced Reuters)

Iron Ore-Shanghai rebar hits 3-mth top on China data

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

China steel futures rose more than 1 percent to their highest in three months on Tuesday after data showed the world's second-largest economy grew at a faster pace than expected in the fourth quarter.
China's gross domestic product expanded an annual 8.9 percent in October-December, beating economists' forecasts for growth of 8.7 percent. But the pace was the weakest in 2-1/2 years and the economy looked headed for a sharper slowdown with export demand waning. The most-traded May rebar contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange hit a high of 4,315 yuan a tonne, its loftiest since Oct. 17, tracking gains in other Shanghai-traded commodities. It closed 1.3 percent higher at 4,295 yuan.
With fourth-quarter GDP growth ahead of market expectations, it may be unlikely for China to aggressively ease monetary policy with its economy clearly staying brisk.

"Overall growth momentum continues to be strong. The slowdown is not scary, so we are not going to get massive policy easing," said Kevin Lai, economist at Daiwa in Hong Kong.Lai does not expect China to cut interest rates, but sees four more reductions in banks' reserve requirement ratio of 50 basis points each.Gains in steel prices should spur demand for iron ore although buying interest in the raw material may remain limited with trades winding down ahead of next week's Lunar New Year holiday, putting downward pressure on spot prices.

Iron ore with 62 percent iron content .IO62-CNI=SI fell 1.2 percent to $140.50 a tonne, cost and freight delivered to China, on Monday, according to the Steel Index.

"There's very little trading going on. A lot of our Chinese clients are already in holiday mode," said an iron ore trader in Singapore. But if Chinese steel prices extend gains after the week-long holiday, appetite for iron ore should pick up.

"Without any improvement in steel prices it'll be hard to see Chinese mills paying any more for iron ore, so it depends on the extent of the seasonal rebound in the steel market and Chinese macro policy," said a Shanghai-based trader. Iron ore prices usually move higher after the Chinese New Year break, and traders expect this year's bounce to be supported by expectations of further monetary policy relaxation in China where easing inflation puts authorities' focus back on boosting economic growth.

Australian miner Fortescue Metals said on Tuesday demand for its iron ore in China remained strong, encouraging it to expand output. Fortescue said its October-December iron ore shipments rose 19 percent from the previous quarter to 14.8 million tonnes.But bigger rival Rio Tinto reported a near-flat production growth of iron ore for the fourth quarter, weaker than some market expectations amid concerns that Chinese demand is softening.

Rio Tinto, the world's second biggest iron ore producer after Brazil's Vale, posted a 3 percent rise in output between the third and fourth quarters of 2011, down from growth of nearly double that at the end of 2010.China's crude steel output rose at a slower pace in 2011 as tighter credit dented consumption in the world's top steel market and growth is likely to even weaken this year with no clear outlook on demand.
The country's crude steel production rose 8.9 percent to 683.27 million tonnes last year, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday. While output was an all-time high, the increase was slower than the 9.3 percent rise in 2010.

sourced Reuters

Orissa blocks its ore export from two Andhra ports

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Orissa has continued to stop its iron ore exports from two ports in Andhra Pradesh on concerns over their mechanism to check illegal shipments, an official said yesterday. The state stopped issuing permits for ore exports through the Gangavaram and Kakinada ports early last month after they failed to provide their operational details.

"Gangavaram has in the meanwhile given us the required information and we are examining that. But Kakinada has not responded," state Steel and Mines Secretary Manoj Ahuja said.
Iron ore mined in the state is exported from ports in many states, including Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal. Orissa has initiated several steps to check illegal mining and export of iron ore from the state after some politicians alleged in July 2009 that some mines were operating without licences.
Source: IANS

China Qinhuangdao Port's weekly inbound coal railings down 0.4% on week

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Qinhuangdao Port in northern China received 4.975 million mt of coal by rail in the week to January 15, down 19,000 mt or 0.4% from the previous week, the port said in a statement Monday. Meanwhile, the port shipped out 4.902 million mt of coal in the week to January 15, up 467,000 mt or 10.4% week on week.

Qinhuangdao Port held 6.995 million mt of coal as of January 15, up 73,000 mt or 1.1% from a week ago, Platts reported previously. The number of vessels queuing at the port fell 11% week on week to 89 on January 15.

Source: Platts

S.Korea's KEPCO signs $582 mln Senegal power deal

Wed Jan 18, 2012

DAKAR Jan 18 (Reuters) - Korea Electric Power Corp announced on Wednesday an accord with the West African state of Senegal to supply it with a 250 MW coal-fired power station at a cost of 300 billion CFA francs ($582.52 million) to be operational from 2015.

Under the agreement, KEPCO and the Korean Development Bank will entirely finance the building of the plant but in return will have the right to sell its energy output back to Senegal, which is fighting to overcome shortages in its power sector.

The agreement was unveiled at a joint news conference with KEPCO CEO Seung Kyoo An and Energy Minister Karim Wade.

(sourced Reuters)

Warm winter across Europe has impacted negatively Coal demand - BRS

Wednesday, 18 January 12

With the Chinese New Year just a week away, all markets are slowing down. The drop in freight rates for all sizes has been significant over the past week with the BDI ending at 1053 points (-21.8%),the BCI at 1723 points (-26.2%) and the BPI at 1264 (-17.8%). The smaller sizes were also down, with the BSI at 971 (-12.7%) and the BHI 533 points (-4.6%), as stated by BRS in its weekly report.

Capesize rates saw heavy losses for the second week, with weather-related disruption in Brazil and Australia adding to the market’s problems. The Capesize 4TC finished the week at $9,116, which takes it back beneath the Panamax 4TC and the Supramax 6TC. Australia’s ports have slowly reopened, while Vale has downplayed the impact of its declaring force majeure on the grounds that it represents just 1% of its output. However the combination of these issues, and the forthcoming Chinese New Year, suggests there is little to prompt an upward correction in rates. Monday saw another slide, with the 4TC losing $618 to $8,498. In the paper market, February and March were trading at $9,433 and $10,267 by Friday afternoon.

Last week marked the beginning of a strong drop in Panamax rates. What everyone expected finally happened and we saw the indices freefall every single day with no positive sign for owners. The 4TC lost $2,000, going from $12,020 per day to $10,075/day. In 1Q 2012 the same number of Panamaxes delivered in 2Q+3Q+4Q 2011 will in theory be delivered according to our last updates. On top of that, a relatively warm winter across Europe has impacted negatively coal demand and stocks in China are still at a high level as we head into Chinese New Year.

In the Atlantic, the TA index dropped to $10,731 from $13,341 the previous week, while the market was already below$9,000/daily. The outlook is still bearishas ballasters from the east keephammering the Atlantic market. Thetransatlantic rate is now equal to the 4TC,instead of being at a 10%-15% premiumas in normal market conditions.In the Pacific, it was the same story.Rates dived from $8,895/daily to $7,398/daily with the 1year TC rate basis delivery North China at around $11,000/daily. Themarket was very calm there before theChinese New Year.

On a positive note,coal prices are losing some ground and might push China to move to imported coal. However looking at stockpiles, the discount should be significant

All countries were back to work for this second week of the year and the market continued its way down. The BSI los 12.6% to close the week with an average of the TC routes at $10,154. Prompt positions were available in all areas. The strongest drop was noticed out of the US Gulf where the route USG/Skaw-Passero lost 21.6%; a 57,000 dwt vessel was fixed at $18,000 aps USG redelivery Italy, whereas redelivery Far East was done in the mid $20,000s. It was the same situation on the Continent where a Supra was fixed at about $13,000 for scrap from ARAG to the East Med, while same was done at $16,000 the previous week.

In the Pacific, the volume of orders is reducing with the approach of the Chinese New Year. The market has become sluggish with stems of iron ore from India becoming increasingly rare. The dollar appreciation against the rupee has also led to fewer Indian coal Imports. Supras from Indonesia to India have now dropped $1,000 in the last week, to reach the low $6,000s, while Supras from India to China are now getting about $8,000.
Source: BRS via

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India's Jindal Steel sees $1.2 bln capex for FY13

Wed Jan 18, 2012

MUMBAI Jan 18 (Reuters) - India's Jindal Steel & Power Ltd expects to spend 60 billion rupees ($1.2 billion) on capital expenditure in the fiscal year starting April 2012, a senior official said.

"We have tied up all the debt. But our internal accruals are very good, so we will not use all the debt," Sushil Maroo, chief financial officer, told reporters on a conference call. ($1= 50.4 rupees)

Brazilian iron ore ship heads for Philippines

Wednesday, 18 Jan 2012

It is reported that a giant iron ore vessel owned by Brazil Vale, a multinational mining company, is on its maiden voyage to the Philippines and is expected to dock at Subic Bay in early February.

The 400,000-deadweight-ton Vale Brasil would be the second of the company so-called Valemaxes which are very large ore carriers to sail to Asia. The first vessel, the 388,000 DWT Berge Everest unloaded at Dalian Port on December 28 2011 ending months of delays in getting the world biggest dry bulk ships into China, Vale top market.

Traders said the cargo estimated at 350,000 tons has yet to be sold, however and is sitting in storage.

Reuters Freightviews and independent shipping data showed Vale Brasil is scheduled to arrive in Subic Bay on February 11. Draught measurements indicated the vessel was fully loaded with cargo.

Vale Brasil was supposed to be the first of Vale huge ships to arrive in Asia, but was diverted last June to Italy after the Chinese government failed to provide permission for the ship to dock at Dalian Port.

A source at Subic Bay Freeport said they had not yet been advised of the Vale Brasil arrival.

The source told Reuters that “But we are ready anytime to accept the ships, adding the port is deep enough to accommodate Valemaxes.”

Vale aims to turn Subic into an iron ore transhipment center, where it can dock its Valemaxes, transfer cargo to smaller vessels and then use these to supply its clients in other parts of Asia.


Vietnamese government bans iron ore exports

Wednesday, 18 Jan 2012

Vietnam Economic Times reported that the Vietnamese government has released notice No 02/CT-TTg on exploration, mining and export of domestic minerals.

According to the notice, all iron ore exports by domestic miners or traders has been banned. In addition, the government will temporarily suspend all coal mining activity except that allowed by permits for coal exploration and mining. As for the bauxite sector all exploration programs have been banned in all Northern provinces except for Nhan Co and Tan Rai.

(Sourced from Vietnam Economic Times)

RINL moving fast to secure iron ore mines in Rajasthan and AP

Wednesday, 18 Jan 2012

BL reported that Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd is poised to obtain its first iron ore mining lease in Rajasthan for relatively low grade magnetite.

It is also expected form an equity linked joint venture with Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation in February for a high grade haematite reserve in Andhra Pradesh.

The CMD of RINL, Mr AP Choudhary, confirmed the developments to BL and said both were likely to take place next month.

RINL's applications for mining leases in Rajasthan's Bhilwara district are at an advanced stage of clearance. According sources, the Rajasthan Government has consolidated RINL's two area specific applications and has decided to allow mining lease rights for 1,043 hectares, out of 5,252.3 hectares applied for. Initial estimates suggest that the total magnetite deposit in the proposed Rajasthan project area, now under consideration, is around 400 million tonnes with an average Fe content of about 41%

In Andhra Pradesh, home state of RINL's steel plant, the company is in the process of getting into a joint venture agreement for exploration and mining of iron ore over an area of 3,400 hectares of land in Anantapur district of the state. The area, spread across Obulapuram and Kalyandurg range, is known to have two haematite deposit bands - one with 60 per cent plus Fe content and the other with 57 per cent plus. RINL had filed application for prospecting licence for the area in October 2011. As APMDC already possesses the right to prospect and explore in the area, it is now decided that a joint venture of the two will carry out the exercise.

(Sourced from BL)

NMDC may reduce iron ore prices - Report

Wednesday, 18 Jan 2012

BS reported that iron ore producer National Mineral Development Corporation Limited is likely to reduce the prices of ore during this week.

A decision to this effect is expected to be taken by the board of the state owned minor which is scheduled to meet in Chennai on Thursday.

NMDC sources, however, told Business Standard that the drop in prices would not be much.

According to them, there could be some reduction in the price of fines but very marginal drop in the price of iron ore lumps which have a good demand in the domestic market.

They said that even though there is no case for a drop in the price of lumps, the public sector undertaking might consider a slight reduction in price in the light of a significant drop in international prices of ore.

Ten days ago, NMDC's in charge chairman and managing director, Mr NK Nanda, had said that the price drop was still being examined by the company.

Currently, NMDC is selling lumps at around INR 5,000 and Fe grade ore at INR 3,300 a tonne. On the other hand, the price of lumps in the international market is hovering around INR 7,000 a tonne, about INR 1,500 less than the price prevailed during the second quarter of this financial year.

(Sourced from BS)

CIL to invite fresh bids for Mozambique blocks

Wednesday, 18 Jan 2012
ET reported that state run CIL will call for fresh bids for exploration of its two blocks in Mozambique that houses about one billion tonnes of reserves of coal.

A top company official told PTI that “Coal India will float fresh tenders for exploration of Mozambique blocks as the firm shortlisted during the second tender in June had put some additional conditions. As a result the tender became invalid.”

The production from the twin mines is scheduled from 2015 but analysts said it may get delayed as Coal India is yet to to zero in on a company for exploration.

CIL had invited tenders twice first in 2010, which was cancelled due to shortcomings and the second in June, 2011 for exploratory drillings of its blocks.

The two coal blocks A1 and A2 are spread over an area of 200 sq km and their exploration may take over two years, as per CIL. The company had planned production from blocks from 2015.

Coal India Africana Limitada a wholly owned subsidiary of CIL, had won a five year licence for exploration and development of the blocks in Mozambique in August, 2009.

CIL, which accounts for over 80% of the domestic production, is scouting for coal properties abroad to bridge the widening demand supply gap estimated at 142 million tonnes in the current fiscal.

(Sourced from ET)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

ArcelorMittal to expand Brazil ore output by 65pct

Tuesday, 17 Jan 2012

Valor Economico citing Mr Sebastiao Costa Filho Chief Executive Officer as saying that ArcelorMittal Brazilian unit plans to increase iron-ore output by 65% in its two mines in the state of Minas Gerais to 7.1 million tons in 2013 from 4.3 million tons this year.

(Sourced from Valor Economico)

ECT ink MoU with K Coal of Korea

Tuesday, 17 Jan 2012

Environmental Clean Technologies Limited advises that following meetings in South Korea it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Korean based energy company K-Coal Co Ltd. The MoU provides K-Coal with exclusive sales and marketing rights into Korea for ECT's Coldry technology.

Mr Michael Davies ECT Chairman and Managing Director stated that "K-Coal is well positioned to participate in supplying Coldry coal into the very large and growing thermal coal consumer industry in Korea. K-Coal will build on the very strong relationships its parent company S&J Group has with the major energy companies in the region."

S&J Chairman Dr Kim Sung-Ryeal commented that "S&J Group evaluated numerous coal drying technologies before we decided on Coldry. We like the fact that Coldry utilises a low temperature and low-pressure process, which means that the water released, is clean. S&J Group is a clean energy company and this is important to us. Also we are confident that ECT's Coldry process is cost effective when compared to other technologies."

S&J Group is a diverse, Busan Korea based group of companies. S&J have interests in Energy Distribution, Food Production, Leisure, Clean Technologies and Information Technology.

Mr Davies commented "I was very impressed with the support to Busan area companies that the city government provides. S&J Group and K-Coal are well known to the city government and it was evident from our meetings in Busan that there exists a very strong and supportive relationship between the companies and the city government".

He said that "In addition, S&J has commissioned a number of major projects in the energy sector and has relevant experience in the delivery of major infrastructure projects"

WICET awards coal export terminal contract to Monadelphous JV

Tuesday, 17 Jan 2012

It is reported that the Monadelphous Muhibbah Marine JV has secured the contract for the construction of the approach jetty and ship berth associated with Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal project at Gladstone in Queensland. The contract is valued at approximately USD 335 million.

Monadelphous Muhibbah Marine is a 50:50 joint venture between Monadelphous wholly owned subsidiary Monadelphous Engineering and Muhibbah Construction a wholly owned subsidiary of Malaysianbased marine contractor Muhibbah Engineering.

The contract covers the construction of offshore plant and infrastructure with a 1.8 kilometre approach jetty and transfer tower platform, wharf, wharf conveyor including the drive and take up tower, berthing and mooring dolphins, ship access platforms, jetty conveyor and transfer tower. The work which is part of stage one of the WICET project is scheduled to start immediately and be completed by the first quarter of the 2014 calendar year.

Muhibbah Engineering is an international marine and port construction company listed on the main board of the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange.

WICET is privately owned and funded by a group of Queensland coal exporters to build an export facility to assist in satisfying global demand for thermal and metallurgical coal. The new terminal will be at Golding Point to the west of the existing RG Tanna terminal in Gladstone. The terminal, operated by Gladstone Ports Corporation, will be built in stages to match forecast coal export demand.

Stage one has a contracted annual coal export capacity of 27 million tonnes. Once fully developed the terminal will have an annual capacity of more than 80 million tonnes.

(sourced from

FMG ships record amount of iron ore in Oct Dec quarter

Tuesday, 17 Jan 2012

AAP reported that Miner Fortescue Metals shipped a record 14.77 million tonnes of iron ore in the December quarter.

Australia's third largest iron ore producer increased the amount of total shipped tonnes by 19 per cent from 12.2 million tonnes in the September quarter.

The amount of ore mined in the three months to the end of December was 16.01 million tonnes, up one per cent from the September quarter.

Fortescue planned to sustain a 55 million tonne a year run rate during the March quarter, the company said in a statement.

(Sourced from AAP)

South African coal export prices decline most in four Weeks

Tuesday, 17 Jan 2012

Bloomberg reported that coal export prices at South Africa Richards Bay the continent biggest terminal for shipping the fuel declined the most in four weeks.

According to data on Bloomberg from IHS McCloskey prices fell 76 cents or 0.7% to an average USD 105.89 per tonne in the week ended January 13. That’s the steepest decrease since December 16. The price is quoted on a free-on-board basis, which excludes delivery costs.

(Sourced from Bloomberg)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Chhattisgarh sponge iron units facing closure on iron ore shortage

Monday, 16 Jan 2012

ET reported that as many as 105 sponge iron units face a serious threat of being shut down amid deepening raw material crisis in Chhattisgarh.

Mr Anil Nachrani president of Chhattisgarh Sponge Iron Manufactures' Association said “Some 20 sponge iron units have been shut down since October 2011 and others have cut short production up to 60% as sponge units are just getting 4 million tonne iron ore as against the requirement of 12 million tonne per annum.”

He said “The future of sponge iron units in the state looks very bleak all of a sudden. The production has come down to a meager 2.5 million tonne per annum from the earlier figure of around 8 million tonne per annum.”

He said “I don't see any improvement in the sponge iron industry in the near future. If things do not improve fast, then all units will have to be shut down. After all, how long will industrialists run loss-making units?”

According to Mr Nachrani, Chhattisgarh accounts for nearly 30% of India's total sponge iron output.

He said the massive decline in sponge iron production was mainly due to the Odisha government's decision to close down dozens of iron ore mines since July 2009 in a bid to cleanse the state of tax evaders and those mining without licenses.

"Some two years back, the iron ore availability was satisfactory as we were getting 9 MT per annum from Odisha and 3 MT per annum from NMDC (National Mineral Development Corporation) from its mines in Dantewada district.

(Sourced from ET)

Indian coking coal imports in October grew by 80pct YoY

Monday, 16 Jan 2012

Motilal Oswal has given its views on December 2011 cargo traffic. The same is as follows

In October 2011, coking coal imports grew 80% YoY to 2.6 million tonnes (v/s 1.3 million tonnes YoY), primarily due to the increase in steel production. Non coking coal imports grew 100% YoY to 3.5 million tons (v/s 1.7 million tonnes YoY).

The overall domestic non coking coal production declined during the month, given (1) 15 day delay in production at Coal India due to the lag effect of the monsoons, and 1 day strike, (ii) strike in the Andhra region, due to prevailing Telangana issue. Overall availability of non coking coal dropped in the domestic market, leading to greater use of imported coal.

(Sourced from IRIS)

Ms Zohra Chatterji may be named CIL acting chairman - Report

Monday, 16 Jan 2012

ToI reported that Ms Zohra Chatterji, additional secretary in the coal ministry, is likely to become the next chief of Coal India, the country's biggest miner.

Ms Chatterji's name has been recommended to the Cabinet for the post of acting chairman of CIL, coal minister Mr Sriprakash Jaiswal said. He said “She is likely to be appointed as the Coal India chief after the Cabinet approval.”

A coal ministry official said “Once the proposal is cleared, Chatterji will assume the charge from February 1.”

Ms Chatterji, a 1979 batch IAS officer of the Uttar Pradesh cadre, is also the government nominee director on board of Coal India.


JSW seeks WB CM help to secure iron ore supply

Monday, 16 Jan 2012

ET reported that curbs on mining iron ore in Orissa and its movement between states have stymied JSW Steel's proposed INR 35,000 crore steel project in West Bengal, forcing its chairman to seek the intervention of chief minister Ms Mamata Banerjee.

Mr Sajjan Jindal told ET recently that "I have requested Ms Banerjee to look into the issue of inter state transfer of ore. We want market linked access and the CM has promised to take it up with the Centre.”

JSW’s steel cum power project at Salboni has been granted land and coal linkage. It was to source iron ore from private miners in Odisha, but plans went awry when the Mr Naveen Patnaik government clamped down on mining after irregularities came to the fore.

(Sourced from ET)

Shanghai rebar futures attract more Western trade

Mon Jan 16, 2012

* Citi, Noble, looking to trade Shanghai rebar
* Regulation, currency conversion limits cap growth
* Western investors hope China will loosen restrictions soon

LONDON, Jan 16 (Reuters) - A growing number of western market players are looking to trade steel rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, attracted by high liquidity and exposure to the world's top steel market, although strict regulation is still tempering growth.

Banks such as Citi and steel and commodity traders such as Noble are among the financial and physical players now looking to trade rebar on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE).

French brokerage Newedge has set up a joint venture with Chinese financial conglomerate Citic Financial, which gained access this year for its customers to the steel rebar and other metals contracts traded on the Shanghai exchange.

"There is an ever increasing number of Western companies seeking access to trade Shanghai rebar and other Chinese exchange markets, which is often tempered due to the regulatory restrictions on non-Chinese companies," said Mike Frawley, global head of metals at the Newedge Group.

More than 1.6 billion tonnes of rebar traded on the Shanghai Futures Exchange in 2011, according to data from the exchange that include both sides of trades.

This dwarfs any steel derivative traded in the West, with the runner-up LME steel billet contract at less than 15 million tonnes traded last year and seeing declining interest.

Liquidity is an obvious advantage of the Asian steel contract over western steel derivatives, but there are also other factors that make this contract particularly alluring.

"It's a very good proxy to trade against iron ore, and it is also a great way to play the Chinese construction sector if you have a view on that," said Macquarie analyst Colin Hamilton.

Steel rebar is a finished long steel product used mainly in construction.

Increasing exposure of Western manufacturing companies to Chinese steel prices also provides an incentive.

"There are many European and U.S. companies, which are quite familiar with hedging, that are moving their operations to China, and they are sourcing metals there, benchmarked against the SHFE prices," said Standard Chartered global head of metals Jeremy East.

"So they need to hedge against this exchange and they look to their relationship banks such as Standard Chartered Bank for solutions. That is a common theme in Europe that we are seeing at the moment."


Western participants' growth in this market, however, is being capped by China's strict regulation and limits on currency exchange.

The Chinese regulator does not make it easy for non-Chinese companies, financial players in particular, to trade on its commodity exchanges due to worries that high speculation levels could inflate prices.

To have access to a Chinese exchange, a non-Chinese company must set up a local non-financial entity, also known as a wholly owned foreign entity (WOFE).

Western companies that do not already have operations in China are not often willing to go through this process only to gain access to an exchange.

"Legal and regulatory hurdles are often more complex than many companies and investment funds are prepared to undertake," Frawley said.

Financing a new WOFE can also be challenging because currency conversion is restricted.

The yuan is not a freely tradable currency. There are limits on conversion that make it difficult for foreign companies to move money in and out of China.

Trading houses with operations in the country can get around this restriction by converting foreign currency into yuan and vice versa through import/export transactions, but for financial participants it is not as easy, traders and bankers said.

This is pushing some of those financial players that have access to the Chinese rebar contract to limit trading to their own book rather than to open it to clients, preferring to make a different use of the yuan they own.

"Customers can't margin because they can't get hold of yuan remimbi ... We have got a lot demand for remimbi, so we use it for (our own) proprietary trading or we lend it," said a banker at a major European bank.

Many say, however, that relatively soon the Chinese government will start to loosen regulations, opening up the doors to non-Chinese financial players and making yuan convertibility gradually easier.

"I think it is a market that will develop overtime, and it could be that the Chinese regulator will open the door to foreign financial institutions, although it is difficult to say when," East said.

News that Britain is teaming up with Hong Kong to secure London a top spot as an offshore trading centre for the Chinese currency certainly has propped up these hopes.

(sourced Reuters)

Mongolia will export 30 million tonnes of coal this year

Monday, 16 Jan 2012

Mongolian specialists have predicted coal exports will be 24 million tonnes.

According to the National Statistics Office, coal accounts for 45% of all exports and earns about USD 2 billion annually.

Frontier Securities also estimated Mongolia copper export revenue at USD 1 billion and iron ore at 8 million tonnes and USD 500 million. In those numbers hold up, copper exports will be the same as in 2011 while iron ore will increase by 10%.

According to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, economic growth in Mongolia will be 15.1% and inflation will reach 17%.


Patriot Coal to reduce coking coal output on weak demand

Monday, 16 Jan 2012

Patriot Coal Corporation announced the implementation of proactive measures at its Southern WV operations to curtail higher cost production in response to weaker market demand for metallurgical coal.

The company will idle one contractor operated mine and two subsidiary operated production units in the Rocklick complex. Two contractor operated mines in the Wells complex will also be idled.

Mr Richard M Whiting president & CEO of Patriot Coal said “Metallurgical coal demand has trended steadily downward in recent weeks, most notably in the export market. These production cuts, in conjunction with other cost-reduction measures being implemented concurrently, are aimed at lowering our mining costs, aligning production with identified sales, and preserving high-quality reserves for a stronger market.”

He said “During 2011 we increased metallurgical coal production to match the needs of the market. The modular nature of our Met Build-Out program allows flexibility to dial production up or down in line with market circumstances.”

He added “These changes will trim output from our highest cost sources while the met market finds its balance. As world economies return to normal growth rates, we expect a resumption of the longer-term growth trend for metallurgical coal demand that should allow us to bring much of this production back on line.”

The company plans to provide guidance for 2012, including anticipated metallurgical coal volume, in conjunction with its fourth quarter earnings announcement.

Patriot Coal Corporation is a leading producer and marketer of coal in the eastern United States, with 14 active mining complexes in Appalachia and the Illinois Basin. The Company ships to domestic and international electricity generators, industrial users and metallurgical coal customers, and controls approximately 1.9 billion tonnes of proven and probable coal reserves.

Rio Tinto launches driverless trucks in the Pilbara

Monday, 16 Jan 2012

It is reported that RIO Tinto is set to bring 150 driverless trucks to its Yandicoogina mine in WA.

The decision comes after three years of testing the autonomous Komatsu 930E-AT vehicles and their technology at the West Angelas iron ore mine. The fleet is to be fully delivered by the end of 2015.

The autonomous trucks have a payload of 290 tonnes and are equipped with vehicle controllers a high precision global positioning system an obstacle detection system and a wireless network. The system learns’ the layout of the mine and determines the most efficient route from loading face to dump site taking into account wear and tear potential delays and fuel consumption.

When loading, a GPS-fitted hydraulic excavator or wheel loader providing exact positioning of the bucket and guides the trucks into position. The trucks are linked to a supervisory computer at an operations centre with real-time monitoring of speed and course. While this operations centre will initially be located on-site, plans are in the works to eventually move it to Perth as part of an over-arching Operations Centre where the system will be controlled 24 hours per day.

The OC will manage control for mining, rail transport, ship loading and critical infrastructure for all of Rio Tinto’s iron ore projects in the Pilbara.

Mr Tom Albanese Rio Tinto Chief Executive said “Autonomous haulage is an important component in our Mine of the Future program.”

Safety wise, the obstacle detection system prevents collisions with other dump trucks, service vehicles and equipment. If another vehicle or person is detected, the automated truck is programmed to reduce speed or stop immediately. The technology can be used in harsh environments, including high altitudes and extreme desert conditions. They can also be deployed to highly remote regions.

From an environmental point of view, Rio expects the system to optimise operations and reduce maintenance, thus conserving energy and reducing emissions.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Indian mines ministry against iron ore export duty hike

Sunday, 15 Jan 2012

PTI reported that mines ministry has expressed reservation over Finance Ministry's decision to increase export duty on the low grade iron ore in the country.

Mr AK Srivastava additional secretary ministry of mines on the sidelines a conference told reporters that "The Mines Ministry is not favourably inclined towards increase in the export duty.” He said the ministry has already written to the government about their views, which might be considered during Budget.

Mr Srivastava said that "There is always a budget. The final call on the hike would be taken during budget adding that there is always a possibility that central government might revisit it during the presentation of Budget.”

Mr Srivastava said at least low grade ores, which are not consumed by the steel industry, should be spared from the hike. He added that "If export duty is increased on high grade, the low grade ore should be allowed to continue with the earlier duty.”

The mines industry in Goa had expressed their concern over increased hike, which according to them, would spell doom on their already troubled trade.

The export duty was hiked from 20% to 30% from December 30, 2010 onwards by the Finance Ministry in order to channelise the Iron ore to Indian steel industries.

(Sourced from PTI)

Ukraine to increase coal output to 84 million tons in 2012 - Mr Boiko

Sunday, 15 Jan 2012

Interfax-Ukraine cited Mr Yuriy Boiko Ukrainian Energy and Coal Minister as saying that Ukraine plans to increase coal output in 2012 to 84 million tonnes from 82 million tonnes in 2011.

Therefore, production this year will increase by 2.4%.

Mr Boiko said "The switching of our heat power plants to coal will allow us to save up to six billion cubic meters of gas a year."

Earlier, the Ukrainian government included the state-run Eskhar heat power plant two on the list of state property that can undergo concession. The government said that the transfer of enterprises for concession could attract investments into projects for modernization of heat power plants for their further switch to modern technologies of coal burning including the coal-water mixture technology.

Ukrainian coal-sector companies increased production by 8.9%YoY in 2011 to 81.859 million tonnes. Coking coal output in 2011 was up by 3.7%, to 24.858 million tonnes and the production of power-generating coal increased by 11.4%, to 57 million tonnes.

In 2011 Donetsk region increased coal output by 13.1% to 36.266 million tonnes, Luhansk region by 9.7% to 27.269 million tonnes, Dnipropetrovsk region by 2.5% to 15.414 million tonnes while coal production in Lviv region dropped by 10.2% to 2.359 million tonnes, and in Volyn region by 4.8% to 550,200 tonnes.


China's Baosteel FY11 net profit slumps 43.4 pct

Sat Jan 14, 2012

SHANGHAI Jan 14 (Reuters) - Baoshan Iron & Steel Co Ltd, China's biggest listed steelmaker, said on Saturday its 2011 net profit fell 43.4 percent to 7.3 billion yuan ($1.2 billion).

The firm said in a filing to the Shanghai stock exchange it achieved total revenue of 223.1 billion yuan, up 10.2 percent from the previous year. Its basic earnings per share for the year was 0.42 yuan.

Baoshan Iron & Steel said earlier in the month it will keep its main steel product prices steady in February from January but was guarded about the market's outlook.

With no signs that steel demand in the world's top steel producer will improve in the near term, the Shanghai-based steel company remained cautious over the market's prospects in early 2012 after raising prices slightly for January. ($1 = 6.3066 Chinese yuan)
(sourced Reuters)

Russia Raspadskaya 2011 coking coal sales 3 million tonnes

Sunday, 15 Jan 2012

Reuters reported that Russian coking coal miner Raspadskaya sold 3.74 million tonnes of coking coal concentrate in 2011, 30% less than the previous year 5.35 million tonnes.

Sales recovered in the fourth quarter of the year, when it sold 969,000 tonnes of coking coal concentrate, up from 926,000 tonnes in the third quarter.

Total raw coal production was 6.25 million tonnes for the year down by 13%. For the final quarter, production stood at 1.58 million tonnes compared to 1.21 million tonnes in the July to September period.

The company which was Russia largest coking coal miner until a deadly 2010 mine accident said last month it plans to produce 8.5 million tonnes of coal in 2012.

(Sourced from Reuters)