Says mineral reserves would exhaust within 25 years if exports continue

The parliamentary standing committee on coal and steel has recommended a ban on iron ore exports, arguing mineral reserves would be exhausted within 25 years exports continued.

If the M B Shah Commission's proposal for a complete ban on iron ore mining in Odisha is implemented, it may result in a fall of 11 million tonnes (mt) in the combined captive iron ore output of Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) and Tata Steel.

Earlier, iron ore mining was banned in Goa, after it was found norms related to the environment had been violated. The commission is finalising its recommendations on irregularities in iron ore mining in Odisha. If the commission suggests a blanket ban on mining, SAIL would lose four mt of captive iron ore output, while Tata Steel would lose seven mt of iron ore a year.

Steel producer Southern Ispat & Energy Ltd (SIEL) is planning to enter into backward integration by setting up a 1.2 -million tonne pelletisation plant in Chattarpur, Madhya Pradesh. With an estimated investment of Rs 300 crore, the plant is set to start operations by April 2014.

SIEL will invest Rs 150 crore in the first phase. The remaining investment would be done in the second phase. The company has already acquired 100 acres in Chattarpur and is expected to start its beneficiation and pelletisation process by April 2014, said a senior company official.

Wheat an exception but observers say 5-10 per cent damage possible clear trend likely next month

The optimism of policy makers that an increase in the rabi crop output in 2012-13 would compensate the loss of kharif production due to monsoon delay might be dashed, as a cold wave is taking a toll. Sowing has risen 2.6 per cent but even so, overall agricultural output this year might be lower than last year due tothe impact of the cold on pulses, vegetables and oilseeds. However, wheat output might get a boost due to the presence of moisture in the weather.

The use of technologically advanced seeds is currently much lower in the production of rice than in other crops

Rice output in India can be raised at least 15-20 per cent through increased use of hybrid seeds, a Rabobank study said. The use of technologically advanced seeds is currently much lower in the production of rice than in other crops. Of the total annual rice output in India — around 99 million tonnes, according to US Department of Agriculture estimates for the 2012-13 season — only three per cent is produced through hybrid seeds. The remaining quantity comes through breeding of conventional seeds.

The company’s recently acquired plant in Ratnagiri is set to attract investments of Rs 80 crore

Omkar Speciality Chemicals Ltd, a leading specialty chemical manufacturer with about 80 diversified products in its portfolio, has chalked out Rs 150 crore capital expenditure for the next 18 months, to increase its production capacity to 3,650 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) from 950 mtpa now. According to Pravin S Herlekar, chairman and managing director, increased commercial production in all its plants is set to commence within 18 months.

Veer Energy & Infrastructure Ltd, a Mumbai-based wind power developer, plans to invest Rs 500 crore to augment capacity on its existing projects and also to diversify into solar energy.

The company has successfully completed a 200-Mw wind farm project and another 115-Mw project is currently in pipeline. The firm also plans to launch a 200-Mw of project in Gujarat.

Over a third of operating mines in Goa are set to be closed due to a recent decision by the state government to levy a 15 per cent upfront stamp duty on the royalty paid by them.

There are only 97 mines currently in operation out of 337 registered with the state government. Hence, around 70 per cent of registered mines are closed due to restrictions imposed by the state government following investigations by the M B Shah Commission inquiring into the legality of mines with required necessary permissions.

The price of carbon credits is likely to double this year, due to a recovery in demand from the European Union.

A recent report by Barclays Capital, the global consultancy firm, forecast the Certified Emission Reduction (CER) price to surge 92 per cent in the first half of this year. Indian analysts estimate it would almost double before the end of 2012. Currently, a CER unit for near-month delivery on the European Energy Exchange is quoted at 3.55 euros.

Imports of extra-long and short varieties to rise, as farmers prefer to sow the genetically modified seeds.