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Acquisition to feed steel plants, power projects in India

Monnet Ispat and Energy Ltd (MIEL), India's second-largest coal-based sponge iron producer, is set to soon acquire majority stake in a 25-million tonne (mt) coal mine in Colombia. The Rs 1,960-crore MIEL wishes to feed its steel and captive power plants in India using the coal made available through the acquisition. “Talks are on for the acquisition; annual production capacity of the mine is 50,000 tonnes per annum,” said N C Jha, chief executive officer of Monnet’s mining business, without divulging financial details. The former Coal India chairman said the working mine had reserves of both coking and non-coking coal and the deal was likely to be clinched in a month or two.

New Delhi The Supreme Court has stayed the proceedings before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on the issue related to the grant of environmental clearance to Monnet Ispat and Energy’s integrated steel and power plant in Chhattisgarh.

A bench headed by Justice GS Singhvi also issued notice to Jan Chetna, an NGO on whose plea the Delhi high court transferred the case to the green tribunal. The NGO had sought quashing of the environmental clearance given by the ministry to Monnet Ispat in December 2007 on the grounds that the government had ignored the objections raised by the people living in the area.

Two sides also discuss possibility of technological cooperation in gas hydrates that are tough to extract

In the second interaction of its kind this year, India has agreed to test-run Japanese projects intended to improve or utilise the country’s basic energy resources such as coal and water. During the India-Japan Energy Dialogue, which took place in Japan on Wednesday, the two sides also discussed the possibility of technological cooperation in the difficult-to-extract gas hydrates, touched on the possibility of developing an almost carbon-free integrated gasification combined cycle project in India and reviewed ongoing renewable energy projects, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia told The Hindu from Tokyo.

Forced to cut prices by 2-3% due to cheaper imports from Japan, Korea and China

At a time when the mining sector in Karnataka seems to be getting back on track, the steel sector faces another hurdle—pricing.
With global steel prices on a downswing, owing to low raw material rates, Indian companies are taking a hit on margins because of rising local iron ore rates. Domestic companies have also been forced to cut prices. In August, steel makers reduced prices by two to three per cent, not because of a slowdown in demand, but because of cheaper steel brought from Japan, Korea and China.

New Delhi The CBI probe into the coal block scam is set to widen as the agency has now registered a preliminary inquiry into the allocation of captive coal blocks to state-owned mineral corporation

New Delhi The inter-ministerial group (IMG) on Tuesday recommended the cancellation of one more coal block, Macherkunda, and deduction of bank guarantees in case of another two — Jitpur and Chitarpur — for delay in development work. The Macherkunda block belongs to Bihar Sponge Iron while Jitpur and Chitarpur are allocated to Jindal Steel and Power and Corporate Ispat.

The Centre has revoked allocation of three more coal blocks – New Patrapara coal block of Bhushan Steel, Rawanwara North of SKS Ispat and Power and Gourangdih ABC, which is jointly allocated to Himachal EMTA Power and JSW Steel – taking the total number of cancelled blocks to seven.

New Delhi The government on Monday cancelled the allocation of another coal block over allegations of irregularities and deducted bank guarantees of two allottees for failing to develop the mines in time. The cancelled allocation was that of Gourangdih ABC block given to JSW Steel and Himachal EMTA.

The move follows the recommendation of the inter-ministerial group (IMG), which is scrutinising 29 blocks awarded to the private parties out of the total 58 that were issued showcause notices for delays in development. Some of these find mention in the Comptroller and Auditor General's recent performance audit report on captive coal blocks.

Deallocates Gourangdih ABC, jointly given to JSW Steel & Himachal EMTA, with this, govt has approved cancellation of licenses of 5 coal blocks

The Government today decided to deallocate one more mine - Gourangdih ABC, jointly given to JSW Steel and Himachal EMTA besides deduction of bank guarantees of two allottees for failing to develop mines within time. This follows the recommendation made by Inter-Ministerial group (IMG) which is scrutinising 29 blocks awarded to the private parties out of the total 58 which were given show cause notices for delays in development and some of these find mention in CAG report.

Monnet Ispat may be asked to submit bank guarantee amounting to three years’ royalty

Cracking the whip on private companies for failing to develop coal blocks allocated to them within a time frame, the Coal Ministry on Thursday said it accepted the recommendations of the Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) and notified de-allocation of four blocks and deduction of bank guarantee in the case of three companies.

Private companies such as Monnet Ispat and Energy Ltd, Usha Martin, Castron Mining Ltd and Jayaswal Neco Industries Ltd told the inter-ministerial group (IMG) that they were not able to mine coal f