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INDIAN NEWS ROUNDUP
Vedanta gives Gujarat aluminium plant offer a miss

Vedanta Resources does not seem interested in setting up an alumina refinery and an aluminium smelter in Gujarat. It has decided against an expression of interest as invited by the state-owned Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation.
GMDC had invited EoIs for a 1 million tonne per year alumina refinery and a half a million tonne aluminium smelter project in the Kutch region. The bauxite requirement of the project is supposed to be fulfilled by GMDC through its own mines. The last day for an EoI was November 11.
Mukesh Kumar COO of Vedanta Aluminium said “We want to concentrate our energies in Orissa and, therefore, have decided not to go to Gujarat for setting up of the plant. He said bauxite deposits in Kutch were 'very limited' and would not be able to support a plant larger than one million tonne of alumina refinery capacity. This limits the scope for further expansions.”
Kumar said the same project was offered to Ashapura Minechem a few years ago. An official in the know said “Ashapura Minechem and GMDC had signed an agreement a few years back for this plant, but it failed to take off. GMDC then offered the project to the Adani group, but no headway was achieved.”
In October, the state government persuaded Vedanta to set up the alumina project and offered Cpartnership with GMDC. The state also asked GMDC to scrap its project with Ashapura Minechem in favor of Vedanta. Kumar said Vedanta, however, sees no possibility of a plant in Gujarat. He said that “We have tied up with GMDC for bauxite supply of 500,000 tonnes and that is about it.”

Ess Dee Aluminium expects to buy more metal on India domestic demand

Ess Dee Aluminium Ltd an Indian maker of packaging used by pharmaceutical companies expects to buy more of the metal this financial year and next driven by increased demand for medicines. Debdeep Bhattacharya Director of Ess Dee said the country bought about 20,000 tonnes in the year ended March 31. Sales may grow at least 30 percent this fiscal year and next. He said that “Nothing that pharmaceuticals produce can be sold without packaging. As my demand goes up, I'll buy more aluminum.” Bhattacharya said Ess Dee gets 85 percent of its business from drug makers and the rest from packaging used by producers of frozen desserts, chocolate and gum. Aluminum accounts for about 45 percent of the packaging used for medicines.

Advance SCT restarts Malaysian aluminium smelting plant

Advance SCT Ltd, one of Singapore largest traders of aluminium, copper and stainless steel scraps, has restarted its aluminium smelting plant in Malaysia last month through wholly owned subsidiary Advance SCT Sdn Bhd. The company said the smelter would produce 200 tonnes to 400 tonnes of aluminium ingots a month in 2011. It announced in May last year the incorporation of Advance SCT Sdn Bhd in Johor Baru to start smelting activities in Malaysia to produce aluminum ingot. According to its website, Advance SCT Ltd, through unit TTM Industries Sdn Bhd currently operates two furnaces in Port Klang, with a 60,000 tonne annual capacity for converting second grade copper scraps to copper coils.
The company also announced that it had secured an exclusive contract to supply at least 1,000 tonnes a month of first grade copper scraps to China-based Qingyuan Shengli Copper Material Co Ltd. It said “At today's price of copper, the contract could potentially add more than SGD 150mil to the company's revenue in 2011.”

Topsun Technology terminates asset acquisitions

Topsun Science and Technology has terminated its planned acquisition of Qinghai Tongren Aluminum Industrial's aluminum smelting and processing assets. As per report Topsun Technology will pay CNY 4.6 million in compensation to Tongren Aluminum, which will refund CNY 52.4 million in acquisition fees. Tongren Aluminum is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Shaanxi Topsun Pharmaceutical, a shareholder of Topsun Technology. Topsun Technology intends to mainly focus on the pharmaceutical sector in the future.

Japanese aluminum shipments increase on rising exports

Japan Aluminium Association said Japanese shipments of rolled-aluminum products increased at the fastest pace in three months in November, led by demand from China and other Asian countries. According to the group supplies to domestic and export markets climbed 11 percent to 183,613 tonnes in November from 164,859 tonnes a year earlier. The pace of growth accelerated from October 5.8 percent to the highest level since August. The association said the expansion was led by a 33 percent increase in exports as sales to China and Southeast Asian countries improved. Overseas shipments also expanded 24 percent from October to 23,504 tons in November. Members of the association include Furukawa-Sky Aluminum Corp, Kobe Steel Ltd and Nippon Light Metal Co.

RUSAL and ministry of energy agree on wholesale electricity market

UC RUSAL the world's largest aluminium producer and the ministry of energy of the Russian Federation announced that the terms and conditions governing the purchase by the company's smelters of energy on the wholesale market due to energy providing agreements entering into effect in Russia have been agreed.
RUSAL, through its Bratsk, Krasnoyarsk, Novokuznetsk and Sayanogorsk aluminium smelters, as well as through Siberian Urals Aluminium Company, has signed power contracts that are necessary for the company's participation in the purchase of electricity on the domestic wholesale market until 2027. These contracts will ensure RUSAL will be able to benefit from stable long-term electricity rates for the company though access to the wholesale market, and the continuation of the long-term energy supply contracts with major suppliers of electricity.
The Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation, in turn, undertakes to submit to the Government of the Russian Federation and to take all possible measures for the approval before 31 March 2011 by the Government of draft amendments to the list of objects that are included in contracts for the power supply. The new list is expected to include objects under construction that will be built by RUSAL in line with its strategy and/or by a third party appointed by RUSAL, with a total capacity up to 2.3 GW. Also objects with a similar total power capacity subject to the construction by other investors should be excluded from the list.
In addition, the Ministry of Energy is committed to ensure changes to the Rules of the wholesale market of electric energy that are to assure the demand for generating capacity, introduced in the framework of energy providing agreements, by entering into direct long-term sales contracts of electricity and capacity with qualified consumers, as well as providing major energy-intensive consumers with the opportunity to participate in the energy providing agreements as a supplier of power and enabling the binding of these consumers to their own generation facilities.
Harmonization of these terms and conditions fully corresponds to the development strategy of RUSAL as an energy and metals and mining corporation which aims to create its own energy generating facilities that provides for at least 60% of the company's aluminium production, and also creates a solid foundation for strengthening the competitiveness of the company due to the commissioning of effective and environmentally friendly sources of power generation and the ability to participate in the wholesale electricity market as a seller of excess capacity.

Ancash is Peru biggest copper and zinc producer

According to Mining Promotion Department of Peru's Mines and Energy Ministry, the Andean department of Ancash is Peru largest producer of copper and zinc with 348,303 tonnes and 553,211 tonnes of mineral reserves respectively. Henry Luna head of DPM said Ancash is also the second largest producer of silver in the country with 20'174,000 fine ounces. He also noted that Ancash' total territory is constituted by 8 percent of agricultural land and 32 percent of rural areas. Luna explained that the 31 mining units being exploited cover 0.86 percent of Ancash total territory. The exploration activities conducted by 55 mining units to find new deposits cover 0.82 percent of the region's total land area.

Gujarat suggests integration of mining cities in India
     

To harness the untapped mineral resource effectively in the country government of Gujarat has suggested a comprehensive policy to integrate the mining cities in India in a scientific manner. The concept emerged during a seminar organized by Government of Gujarat and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) with the support of the Industrial Extension Bureau (iNDEXTb) as part of Vibrant Gujarat 2011 Summit. The seminar ,viz, “Integrated mining cities" focused on the concept of introducing integrated mining cities in India as well as discussing the vast investment opportunities and the growth of the mining sector in Gujarat. The seminar bought together relevant government agencies, private sector players, external consultants, academicians and advisors from various parts of the country. “Gujarat is a treasure trove of minerals, having 18 different deposits of significance, including Lignite, Bauxite, Limestone, Manganese, Fluorspar, Bentonite, Clay, Silica Sand, and Dolomite. To understand and implement comprehensive and scientific mining in the State, “Integrated mining Cities” need to be set up. “said Saurabhbhai Patel, Gujarat`s Industries Minister.
“It is the development of certain sectors like mining and minerals that contribute to inclusive growth of the state. Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation Ltd is playing an important role in the process. For the first time the state has successfully mined lignite in the rainy season. Our focus will be to create more mineral reserves and create business-friendly policies which will serve customers on a long term basis. The department and the state government will work together to address the environmental issues and adapt to e-governance for transparency in this sector.” He adds.
The State Government has taken various initiatives like announcing Revised Gujarat Mineral Rules, 2010, various guidelines for different minerals and scientific norms for cement block allocations.

       
    Rio Tinto to expand its Canada plants
     

RIO Tinto has kept its faith in the ability of aluminium to shake off its price doldrums by committing an initial US $1.05 billion ($A1.052 billion) to modernising and expanding its aluminium smelters in Canada.
Unlike most other base metals, aluminium has failed to stage much of a recovery since the global financial crisis passed. In the year to date, aluminium prices have risen a meagre 2.6 per cent compared with the 26 per cent gain for copper, both in US dollar terms.
Rio needs a combination of improved aluminium metal prices and its modernisation/expansion program to help justify the ill-timed acquisition of Canada's Alcan for US $38 billion in 2007.
Rio said that US $758 million would be spent on completing the first-phase introduction of its new AP60 smelting technology at the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean plant in Quebec. The AP60 tecnology is expected to lift metal output from each processing ''pot'' by 40 per cent.
An additional US $300 million will be spent on preparing for the eventual $US2.5 billion modernisation of the Kitimat smelter in British Columbia, which will increase its production capacity by 48 per cent to 420,000 tonnes a year. Chief executive of Rio's aluminium unit Jacynthe Côˆté´ said that the Kitimat modernisation was ''truly a transformational project''.

       
Zambia Consolidated Copper scouts for partnership with mining companies
     

Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investment Holdings wants partnership with reputable local and international mining companies for financial and technical collaboration in the exploration of copper, manganese and other base metals and contribute to the country's mineral wealth.
ZCCM IH, the investments holding company said it seeks to collaborate with financial and technical partners to conduct mineral exploration in central, eastern and northern provinces of the country, using six prospecting licenses with an initial prospecting period of two years, renewable for a further five years, according to the provisions of the Mines and Minerals Act of 2008 of the country.
The six mineral prospecting licenses, in total covers an area of three thousand and nine hundred square kilometer and an initial assessments indicate mineralization of two or more of the diamond, gold, silver, copper, manganese, rare earth metals and coal.
ZCCM IH Investments Holdings Plc is an investments holding company listed on the Lusaka Stock Exchanges. The shareholders of the company are the government of Zambia and the private equity holders who hold 87.6 percent and 12.4 percent, respectively.
The private equity holders are domiciled throughout the world the world. Presently, the company portfolio is largely in the copper mining sector where most shareholdings range between 10 percent to 20 percent held in various established and significant copper mining operations.
ZCCM IH has shares in all the mines owned by the foreign companies operating in Zambia ranging between 10 to 20 percent. Foreign companies operating in Zambia include Vedanta Resources Plc, owners of Konkola Copper Mine, Meterox, owners of Chibuluma mine, First Quantum Minerals, owners of Kansanshi and Bwana Mkubwa, China Non Ferrous Africa Corporation, and First Quantum Minerals/Glencore AG International own Mopani Copper Mine.

       
    Chinalco to enter deal with Qingyuan next month
     

Aluminum Corp. of China (Chinalco), the state-owned parent of Chalco, is likely to unveil its plan in short time for development of rare earth resource in south China's Guangdong province, reported China Economic Times. According to the report, Chinalco, the country's largest aluminum producer, will ink a strategic framework agreement in January of 2011 with the city government of Qingyuan city of Guangdong, home to the country's largest rare earth deposit, on developing rare earth resource, said the report citing some official source.
Chinalco's rare earth project in Qingyuan is expected to turn out more than 100 billion yuan of output value, said He Binghua, a senior official of Qingyuan city. It was Yunnan Copper that initiated the rare-earth talks with the local authorities in 2006, but Chinalco became new party in the negotiation after it acquired the Yunnan Copper in 2007, revealed He.
He also added that the local government further proposed to Chinalco to build the company's 500,000-tonne copper production base for its Toromocho copper project in Peru. So far, a 200,000-tonne copper project under Chinalco is almost completed in Qingyuan, and will enter into operation soon. The aforesaid move is expected to diversify Chinalco's business into mining of other nonferrous and precious metals resources.

       
    Japan budgets US $650 million for rare earths and resources

MJapan government has set aside JPY 53.3 billion in its budget for the financial year starting in April to secure supplies of rare earth minerals and other promising but rare natural resources. Resource-poor Japan is stepping up its efforts to secure such resources from abroad and at home in particular after China de facto ban on exports of rare earths last year highlighted their importance to Japan.
Akihiro Ohata Trade Minister said he wants to visit China as early as this month to talk to officials there to secure enough rare earths which are vital for making a range of high-tech goods.
Below is a list of spending by the Japanese government to secure rare earths and other rare natural resources in the year starting on April 1.
Development of rare earth minerals abroad
Recycling and developing alternative technology
Developing offshore oil and gas in Japan

                 
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