Green nod crucial to ensure iron ore supply

SAIL may face iron ore shortage, if the country’s largest steel producer cannot resume production by January, at its 2.4 million tonnes a year Durgaiburu mine in Jharkhand. It is the oldest and largest mechanised (1,443 hectare) mine of the Gua complex in West Singhbum district. It was set for four-fold capacity expansion but remains closed for the past 17 months in the absence of environmental clearance.

At Friday's e-auctions, NDMC had fixed a base price of Rs 4,500-5,000 per tonne, depending on the grade of iron ore (a mix of calibrated ore and fines, with 63-64 per cent Fe)

Despite state-owned mining major NMDC announcing a cut in iron ore prices, steel companies haven't shown much interest in buying the company's ore at e-auctions on Friday. Of the 1.02 million tonnes (mt) auctioned by NMDC, steel firms bought only 1,72,000 tonnes.

Hyderabad The government-owned iron ore miner NMDC has reported a 15% drop in its net profit at R1,678.62 crore during the second quarter ended September, due to lower production. The company had a net profit of R1,963.15 crore in the Q2 last year.

The firm’s net sales fell 14.71% to R2,611.84 crore during Q2 this year from R3,062.32 crore in the same period a year ago. Its total expenditure also rose by about 8% to R710.28 crore during the July-September quarter.

Mumbai Govt looks to sell 12.15% through OFS route to raise about R1,400 crore

The government has, on several occasions, indicated that it plans to embark upon its FY13 divestment plan by selling 10-12% stakes in natural resources giants National Aluminium company (Nalco) and National Mineral Development corporation (NMDC). While market observers believe that NMDC is an attractive bet due to the regulatory issues faced by rival Sesa Goa, they think Nalco may not see similar interest from investors given its operational problems.

Iron ore mining operations have been restarted in Karnataka's Bellary and Chitradurga districts, a year after these were suspended, following a Supreme Court directive. After securing all statutory approvals, two Category A mines have resumed mining, offering hope of regular iron ore supply to the ore-starved steel industry.

According to officials from the Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (Fimi), two mining lessees, R Praveen Chandra in Chitradurga and B Kumar Gowda in Bellary, have commenced mining. Nadeem Minerals, which has a mine in Bellary, is likely to restart mining next week. Together, these mines would bring about 1.5 million tonnes (mt) of iron ore to the auction platform in about two weeks.

Kolkata The inter-ministerial group on coal blocks will meet on November 5 and 6 to finalise the norms for allocation of 13 de-allocated coal blocks to private sector undertakings (PSUs), said coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal at the 38th Coal India (CIL) foundation day.

On further deallocation of coal blocks from the private sector, Jaiswal said the IMG has recommended deallocating of 13 more blocks and it has gone for the law ministry’s comments, which could come any time this week.

Mumbai The government intends to start its 2012-13 divestment plan by offloading a further 10% stake in the state-owned iron ore producer, National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC), through the offer for sale (OFS) mechanism for nearly R7,000 crore.

Even though the government had to defer its plans of diluting stake in other public sector entities, such as Steel Authority of India (SAIL) in 2011 and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam (RINL) in the recent past, due to valuation concerns, the NMDC follow-on public offer may not face such hurdles, say market experts.

The state is the highest producer of high-quality sized iron ore and fines, with annual output surpassing 75 mn tonnes

Odisha, the largest producer of iron ore in the country, is mulling canalisation of iron ore trade by appointing a designated agency in order to bring in transparency and generate more revenue. The single-point trading process is likely to push iron ore rates and impact margins of steel makers across the country who depend on the state for the raw material supply, as many other major producers, such as Karnataka and Goa, have restricted output.

The company has got the entire 2,700 acres of land near Bellary, Karnataka

ArcelorMittal has finally crossed the biggest hurdle in setting up any project in India -- land. The company has got the entire 2,700 acres of land near Bellary, Karnataka, required for its steel plant from the state government. Bellary is the the rich iron ore district of Karnataka where most of the steel plants, including 10 million tonne plant of JSW Steel is located. The land has been acquired by the Karnataka government through Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) and the company has deposited Rs 260 crore with the government for the same.

Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Monday said the mines ministry had moved a note for the sale of the government’s residual stake in Hindustan Zinc Ltd (HZL) and Bharat Aluminium (Balco).

The matter would go to the Cabinet and the finance ministry would give its views in due course, he said. And, declined to comment on the pricing, noting he’d earlier recused from this matter.