7th Extrusion Summit 2011
  Feature
    Perception about Mining Need to Change :......
In-Focus
Falling Ore Grade : A Worry for Global Copper
Cover Story
Application Potential for New Al-based Materials
In-Depth
Powder Metal & Ceramic Parts by Extrusion
 
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NEWS ROUND UP - INDIAN
Hindustan Zinc pays ` 187.19 cr dividend to govt

Hindustan Zinc, a Vedanta Group firm that trades in zinc, lead and silver, has paid Rs 187.19 crore as its highest interim dividend to the government. The dividend by Hindustan Zinc to the government has gone almost four times higher in the last four years, from Rs 49.92 crore in 2008-09 to Rs 187.19 crore in H1 2011-12, the company said in a statement. The cheque was presented to Mines Minister Dinsha Patel by Hindustan Zinc's Chief Operating Officer Akhilesh Joshi. The decision of declaring 75 per cent dividend, that is Rs 1.50 per equity share of Rs 2 each, was taken in a recently concluded Board of Directors meeting of the Vedanta Group company. Since disinvestment in 2002, Hindustan Zinc has invested about Rs 12,000 crore for executing three large expansion projects in Rajasthan to grow capacities 5-fold. The expansion projects included setting up smelting plants at Chanderiya and Dariba; mine expansions at Rampura Agucha and Sindesar Khurd; setting up power plants at Chanderiya, Zawar and Dariba; and wind power generation farms at Rajasthan, Karnataka, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. Billionaire Anil Agarwal-led Sterlite Group owns the major chunk of Hindustan Zinc, after the Government divested its majority stake in the company in April 2002. Sterlite now owns about 65 per cent in Hindustan Zinc, while Indian government owns 29.53 per cent equity stake. The company claims it is the world's largest integrated producer of zinc and its mine at Rampura Agucha is the largest zinc producer. The mine at Sindesar Khurd is silver-rich and Smelting complex at Chanderiya is one of the largest single location zinc smelting complex in the world. Hindustan Zinc's overall ore production capacity stands at 9.75 million tonne per annum (MTPA), zinc production capacity at 879,000 TPA and lead output at 185,000 TPA.

Indian copper rebounds on higher global cues

Buoyed by a firming trend overseas and a pick up in domestic spot demand, copper prices recovered by 0.73% to INR 387.75 per kilogram in futures trade. At the Multi Commodity Exchange, November copper rose by INR 2.80 or 0.73% to INR 387.75 per kilogram with an open interest for 2,836 lots. The February contract was up by INR 2.85 or 0.73% at INR 392.45 per kilogram in 296 lots. Globally, copper for three month delivery jumped by 1.8% to USD 7,865 per tonne on the London Metal Exchange. Market analysts attributed the rebound in copper in futures trade to a firming trend on the LME on speculation that the recent decline was excessive, coupled with a fall in stockpiles monitored by the exchange. Copper inventories monitored by the LME declined for the ninth consecutive session, extending their biggest monthly slide since June 2009. Stockpiles dropped 1.1% to 424,750 tonnes, the lowest level since March 3.

Nalco opens alumina export tender

National Aluminium Co (Nalco) issued a tender to export 9,000 tonnes of aluminium ingots. The metal would be shipped in six batches of 1,500 tonnes each from November to April, Ansuman Das, commercial director at Nalco said. Nalco, whose tenders serve as a global benchmark, last month sold 7,500 tonnes of aluminium ingots at $97 per tonne premium over the average LME cash price on a cost, insurance and freight basis to a Hong Kong-based buyer.

Hinduja Foundries reports Q2 loss

Hinduja Foundries Ltd has announced the financial Results for the period ended September 30th 2011. The company has reported Net Sales / Income from Operations of INR 197.93 crores for the quarter ended September 30th 2011 against INR 131.80 crores for the quarter ended September 30th 2010. The Net Profit / (Loss) were at INR 1.07 crores for the quarter ended September 30th 2011 against INR 0.81 crores for the quarter ended September 30th 2010.

India ends safeguard probe on aluminum imports from China

The Revenue Department has terminated review of safeguard duty on import of certain aluminum products from China, as the domestic industry did not press for continuation of the levy. A Finance Ministry notification said that "The review safeguard investigation concerning imports of aluminum flat rolled products and aluminum foil into India from China is hereby terminated. The review investigation that started in February 2011 was terminated as the applicants, including, the Aluminum Association of India, sought end of the probe. The Directorate General of Safeguard in the Revenue Department said the investigation has become infructuous upon request for withdrawal of the probe application.
The government had imposed safeguard duty of 12% to 14% on aluminum flat rolled products and at 25% to 30% on aluminum foil for 2 years ending March 2011. However in February, the domestic industry moved the Directorate seeking review for continued imposition of the duty for another 2 years saying the imports were causing 'market disruption. In the application, the industry said that the expiry of safeguard duty would cause damage to the domestic industry and also submitted evidences of continued imports and threat to market disruption in support of their claim. The aluminum flat rolled products and aluminum foil import from China increased by 28.87% and 28.36% in 2010 to 2011 against 2009-10 even during the period of imposition of safeguard duty. A country imposes safeguard duty to give temporary relief to domestic producers while they adjust to the pricing tactics of competitive foreign players.

Sterlite Industries clarifies on media report regarding Vedanta

Sterlite Industries India Limited has clarified about the news article in media regarding its increased stake in associate company, Vedanta Aluminum Limited. The company said that the article has misleading statements and it does not expect any change in its shareholding in Vedanta Aluminum Limited which currently stands at 29.5%. The company also clarified it is untrue that the company is planning to convert all its loans to Vedanta Aluminum into equity. The company's investment in Vedanta Aluminum Limited is primarily in the form of debt and quasi equity with a small amount of equity. The company has stated in the past on several occasions that as and when the capital structure of Vedanta Aluminum Limited is finalized, part of the loans quasi equity from Sterlite would get converted to equity of Vedanta Aluminum Limited to achieve the target debt equity ratio.

Indian zinc down on global cues

Indian zinc prices fell by 0.82% to INR 96.90 per kilogram in futures trade amid a weak trend in base metals on the London Metal Exchange. A subdued trend in the spot market due to weak demand also weighed on zinc prices. At the Multi Commodity Exchange, December zinc declined by 80 paise or 0.82%, to INR 96.90 per kilogram with a trading volume of 29 lots. The November contract shed 75 paise or 0.78% to INR 95.95 per kilogram with a business turnover of 720 lots. At the LME, zinc was being quoted 2.4% lower at USD 1,953 per tonne in early trade. Analysts attributed the fall in zinc futures prices to a weakening trend in industrial metals on the LME on renewed euro zone worries and sluggish demand in the domestic spot market.

NALCO pays final dividend of INR 112 crore

National Aluminum Company Limited, the Navratna PSU under the Ministry of Mines, Government of India has paid a total dividend amount of INR 257.72 crore for the financial year 2010 to 2011 which includes the final dividend of INR 128.86 crore at INR 0.50 per equity share on expanded capital i.e. 10% on face value of INR 5 each, in addition to interim dividend of same amount paid at INR 2.00 per equity share on pre revised equity share capital i.e. 20% on face value of INR 10 each. This sum is 60% higher than total sum of INR 161.08 crore paid for the previous fiscal. The cheque for final dividend amounting to INR 112.30 crore on the 87.15% shares held by the government of India was handed over to Mr Dinsha J Patel Union Minister of Mines, by Mr BL Bagra CMD of NALCO in the presence of Mr S Vijay Kumar secretary of Ministry of Mines, Mr SK Srivastava additional secretary of Ministry of Mines and other senior officials of the Ministry and the company. The balance amount of INR 16.56 crore is payable to other shareholders of the company like banks, financial institutions and individual shareholders. Since inception, NALCO has paid INR 3940crore as dividend including INR 3435 crore as share of Government of India. The dividend servicing after recent split and bonus has thus improved due to better business environment and higher payout. During 2010 to 2011, NALCO earned a profit after tax of INR 1069 crore as compares to INR 814 crore in the previous year registering a jump of 31%.

Hindustan Zinc produces more

Refined zinc output was five percent higher at Hindustan Zinc in the September quarter, at 185,000 tonnes (176,000 tonnes), on the back of improved operations at its hydro smelters. Mined metal production was higher by two percent at 210,000 tonnes, as normal. Production commenced at Rampura Agucha in Rajasthan after it was shut down for maintenance in Q1. Refined lead production improved six percent to 17,000 tonnes (16,000 tonnes) after the new 100,000 tonnes per annum Dariba lead smelter went on stream during the quarter. The company's annual lead production capacity stands revised at 185,000 tonnes. Silver production rose 12 percent to 49,000 tonnes (44,000 tonnes) mainly due to improved silver content in the mined ore, said the company. The output is expected to touch 500 tonnes by the end of this year with the commissioning of a silver refinery and production ramp-up to 2 mtpa at its Sindesar Khurd (SK) mine in Rajasthan.

Aluminum engines for Tata cars

Tata Motors is planning to take the aluminum route to woo the price-conscious Indian consumer. At a time when the sales of its products are falling faster than the industry average, the company is working on lightweight all-aluminum engines for its passenger car offerings, which being lighter than the present cast-iron blocks, offer better fuel efficiency.

NEWS ROUND UP - GLOBAL
Freeport Indonesia threatens complete mine shutdown

Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold is considering shutting down its strike hit Grasberg mine as one of several contingency plans if security does not improve, as it struggles with one of the worst labor disruptions in Indonesia's mining industry. This comes as the world's second-largest copper mine resumed producing at a reduced rate after halting output. The owner of the mine which is facing strike action over pay and work conditions, road blockades and possible pipeline sabotage, said in a statement that it will temporarily suspend and/or curtail concentrate production as conditions warrant. It said that preparations for a controlled shutdown that could lead to an eventual mothballing of the mine would begin with the flushing of all remaining materials from its pipelines. A Freeport spokesman said, “we are continuing to assess whether or not the security conditions are conducive for us to continue production. Based on the situation we are preparing for contingencies for a controlled shutdown, This would preserve its USD 2 billion to USD 3 billion assets in Indonesia. Freeport Indonesia halted production of copper, gold and silver at the remote Papuan mountain mine due to security fears worker blockades and after the main pipe transporting concentrate to its port was cut, in the worst supply disruption since 2 month strike began a month ago. The road is still blocked that's true and that's a big problem for us. The stoppage had helped to push copper prices to three-week highs and pounded shares of the Phoenix, Arizona based firm, ahead of its Q3 earnings.
Freeport is also facing problems in Peru, where workers at its copper mine launched a hunger strike this week on hopes of pressuring the government to resolve a labor row 19 days into a walkout. Analysts and traders said that the firm might declare force majeure on its Indonesian shipments soon. Freeport did not say at what stage force majeure which allows it not to meet contractual obligations due to events beyond its control would be decided. It's going to vary depending on what the schedule of our shipment deliveries are in any given moment of time and whether or not we're going to be able to meet that schedule or work with customers to make appropriate arrangements to work through that schedule. Mr David Thurtell analyst of Citigroup said, “If the strike and mine closure is ongoing, this will underpin the price at the USD 7,000 per tonne mark almost irrespective of the euro zone sovereign debt situation. Force majeure can only be hours or days away." The stoppage is a setback for Freeport after it said last week it had cranked up copper concentrate output at Grasberg to average above 4,000 tonnes daily by relying largely on non unionized and contract workers a move criticized by the government.

Antofagasta's copper production up 17%

Chilean miner Antofagasta is on track to hit its 2011 output target after third-quarter copper production climbed more than 17 percent year-on-year, helped by the ramp up of its Esperanza mine and higher grades at its Los Pelambres project. The London-listed miner said copper production in the quarter rose to 165,000 tonnes, taking production over the first nine months of the year to 453,500 and closing in on a full year target - revised in June - of 620,000 to 640,000 tonnes. That compares to copper output of 140,700 tonnes in the same quarter a year ago, and 158,700 tonnes in the second quarter this year. Cash costs in the quarter came in at 100.5 cents per pound, below a year ago and compared to 103.8 cents per pound in the previous quarter, thanks to reduced costs at Esperanza, which was the lowest cost group operation on a net basis in the three month period.
Molybdenum production dipped 7.7 percent on the second quarter to total 2,400 tonnes, hit by lower ore grades. Antofagasta said it had approved the initiation of a feasibility study for the potential expansion of copper production in the Sierra Gorda district through the Telegrafo and Caracoles deposits.

Escondida's metal output rises 23%
     

Output from the world's largest copper mine, Chile's Escondida, fell 25.3 percent in the January-September period, on lower ore grades and a two-week strike in the third quarter, its operator said. Escondida, which is majority owned by global miner BHP Billiton, said in a statement to the local market regulator that it produced 599,522 tonnes of copper in the first nine months of the year compared with 803,319 tonnes during the same period in 2010. Chile, which provides around a third of the world's copper, produced 436,743 tonnes of the metal in September, down 1.9 percent from the same month last year as output of both cathodes and concentrates fell, a government source said. However output was up compared to August, when Chile produced 427,420 tonnes of the metal, down 8.7 percent from the same month last year, the government said last month. Chile provides around a third of the world's copper. For the first nine months of the year, copper output was down 4.5 percent from a year ago at 3,815,535 tonnes, national statistics department INE said. Chile's copper output has dropped because of falling ore grades, and the sector is still recovering after adverse weather and a mining strike in the far north in July that ran into August. Output of molybdenum, a metal used to harden steel, fell 4.9 percent to 3,339 tonnes in September, compared to 3,511 tonnes during the same month last year. For the first nine months of the year, however, Chile's molybdenum output is up 15.8 percent at 31,099 tonnes.

       
    NEVADO hires Mr Michael Dry to lead hydrometallurgical process modeling at La Blache project
     

Nevado Resources Corporation announced the hire of Mr Michael Dry PhD to lead the hydrometallurgical testing and process modeling study at the Company's wholly owned La Blache Iron Titanium Vanadium Project. Mr Dry is a Metallurgical Consultant based in Peterborough an expert in the conventional and innovative metallurgical circuits applied to the recovery of valuable metals from ores and wastes, particularly in the hydrometallurgical processing technology. He has over 30 years experience in hydrometallurgy with 5 years managing the applied research side. He obtained his PhD from the University of the Witwatersrand in Engineering and a BSc from the University of Cape Town in Chemical Engineering. He is a Member of the CIM Metallurgical Society, Hydrometallurgy Section Committee. Mr Michael Curtis president and CEO of NEVADO said, “We are very privileged with Michael Dry joining our team. His expertise in hydrometallurgy, in leading technical teams, modeling unit operations and flow sheets as well as process economics will be instrumental in the coming months to enhance the quality, scope and financial profitability of La Blache Project as the NEOMET Stage 2 hydrometallurgical test work is nearing completion.”

       
Globe Metals & Mining opens second office in Mozambique
     

Globe Metals & Mining is continuing to expand its African operations with the opening of a second office in Mozambique in the capital city of Maputo to help facilitate Government relationships. The new office, opened on 12 October 2011, complements the company's existing regional offices in Tete and Lilongwe and will be headed by Mr Andries Kruger Globe general manager for Africa. Mr Mark Sumich Globe managing director said we have been operating in Muambe a long time and see the region as very prospective the opening of our Maputo office supports Globe's planned growth strategy in Mozambique." Globe currently has the Mount Muambe REE-Fluorite Project in Mozambique and four projects in Malawi the Kanyika Niobium Project, the Machinga REE Project, the Salambidwe REE Project and the Livingstonia Uranium Project. Globe main focus is the multi-commodity Kanyika Niobium Project in Malawi which will commence production of ferroniobium in 2014 a key additive in sophisticated steels. Globe also has a number of other projects at an earlier stage of development in Africa.

       

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