New Delhi The Steel Ministry today said Posco and Severstal cannot have majority stakes in their proposed joint ventures with state-run SAIL and NMDC respectively, envisaging a total investment of Rs 36,000 crore.

"Talks are going on. There are problems in regards to the shareholding. But, we can't give them land, we can't give them all facilities, and still have the minority shareholdings in the ventures," Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma said.

Iron ore miners are contesting the levy of a forest development tax by the forest department in Karnataka, but the levy has been incredibly beneficial for the exchequer’s coffers.

Selling Karnataka’s forest produce like grass, amla, bark, lac, honey, silk cocoons and bamboo to industries attracts a 12 per cent forest development tax or FDT. Forest officials also levy the tax on the mining of iron ore from reserve forest areas, which happens in Bellary, Chitradurga and Tumkur districts of Karnataka.

NMDC has also decided to rope in an international consultant for devising a proper and professional pricing policy in place of the pricing formula currently followed

Public sector mining company NMDC Ltd will take a call on iron ore pricing for the December quarter at its board meeting on October 1, amid concerns that prices are already high compared to international benchmarks. “There are pricing pressures internationally and India cannot be insulated from the effects of those pressures though the domestic demand is good,” said SAIL Chairman and Managing Director C S Verma, who also holds the additional charge as chairman-cum-managing director of NMDC.

NMDC has raised iron ore prices by 8-13 per cent for domestic sales

Fearing a further squeeze on profit margins, steel manufacturers have sought intervention of the ministry of steel in the issue of the recent “arbitrary” price increase in iron ore price by state-owned NMDC. In a letter dated August 30, signed by Alok Chandra, chairman of the Sponge Iron Manufacturers Association (Sima), steel and sponge iron producers argued that NMDC’s price rise came even as the the price of iron ore had declined substantially in global markets. NMDC has raised iron ore prices by 8-13 per cent for domestic sales.

The steel mills might have to wait for six months at least as 12 of the 18 mining leases still need to secure statutory nods

The removal of ban on iron ore mining in Karnataka as directed by the Supreme Court on Monday is unlikely to bring immediate relief to the ore-starved steel industry. The steel mills might have to wait for up to six months at least to normalise their operations as 12 of the 18 mining leases in Category A still need to secure several statutory approvals before starting their productions.

In April, the court ordered 45 mines to seek government nod to resume operations

The Supreme Court has allowed 18 mines to resume iron ore mining in Karnataka, the country's second-largest supplier, after a suspension of over a year on environment concerns, Justice Aftab Alam and Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai said on Monday. The output from the re-started mines will be in addition to state-run NMDC's 1 million tonnes per month, which was cleared by the Supreme Court for production from August 6, 2011.

Expert panel says effective checks and balances in place to ensure work in scientific manner

Iron ore mining in Karnataka is set to restart with the Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) on Thursday giving the green signal to ‘A category’ of mines in the State to resume operations, provided they have all approvals in place. In the report submitted to the apex court, the panel said a system of effective checks and balances has been put in place to ensure that mining takes place in a scientific manner. A total 18 mines come under category A, which recorded least irregularities or no irregularities, and of which one mine has all the approvals required.

Central Empowered Committee (CEC) allowed ‘A category’ of mines in Karnataka to resume operations, provided all statutory approvals are in place. Read full text of this report dated 29 August 2012.

New Delhi This is for the second consecutive quarter NMDC has raised prices

Iron ore miner NMDC has increased the contract price of the key steel-making raw material by 8-13% for the July-September period to cash in on the current demand-supply mismatch scenario in the market. “The NMDC Board, which met on Tuesday, has decided to increase the contract price for the July-September by 8% for fines and 13% for lumps,” a source, who was present at the meeting, told PTI.

Initiates steps to resolve teething problems and procedural delays

The Karnataka government has initiated steps to resolve some of the teething problems and procedural delays coming in the way of smooth transportation of iron ore sold through e-auction by the monitoring committee. It has decided to issue round-the-clock transit permits to NMDC’s mines in Bellary district’s Donimalai. Besides, the government will continue to issue transit permits between 6 am and 10 pm for NMDC’s Kumaraswami mining lease in Bellary district.