ET Ferro Alloy: Destination India

Source: The Economic Times, Dec 23, 2010

According to World Steel Association , world steel demand is growing fast and earlier than expected, driven primarily by Chinese runaway growth and is now expected to hit pre-crisis level this year. World Steel Industry now seems fairly set on the path to recovery.

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Fortescue in talks to supply iron ore to India firms

Source: The Economic Times, Nov. 24, 2010

MUMBAI: Fortescue Metals Group , Australia’s third-largest iron ore miner , is in “preliminary talks” with Indian steelmakers for supplying iron ore, a senior official said on Wednesday.

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Jindal Steel to re-bid for 70% in Zimbabwe’s Zisco

Source: The Economic Times, Aug 31, 2010

NEW DELHI: Jindal Steel and Power plans to re-bid for a controlling stake in Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company, or Zisco, more than two months after the African company rejected the Delhi-based firm’s earlier bid.

Jindal Steel renewed its offer after the Zimbabwe government recently invited fresh bids for selling 70% equity stake in the state-run Zisco which also owns iron ore reserves of 100 million tonnes. Worries over Zisco’s high debt of $300 million may be behind the second offer for a controlling stake sale, said people connected with the development.

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SAIL heading towards becoming global company

Source: The Economic Times, Aug 23, 2010

ROURKELA: Navaratna Public Sector company Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) is heading towards becoming a “global company” for its quality control, pricing, cost efficiency and cost effectiveness, SAIL chairman C S Verma said on Monday.

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Tata’s Rs 15K-cr Jamshedpur expansion plan gets MoEF nod

NEW DELHI: Tata Steel on Monday said its Rs 15,000-crore expansion plan of the Jamshedpur facility has received clearance from the Environment Ministry.

“The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) hereby accords environmental clearance to the project,” the Ministry said in a communication to the steel major that has been made public today.

Tata Steel has an annual capacity to produce 6.8 million tonne at its Jamshedpur plant in the mineral-rich Jharkhand. It had earlier said it has planned to rise capacity to about 10 million tonne by March 2011 at an investment of Rs 15,000 crore. As part of the expansion programme, the company will ramp up its production capacity of flat steel items–mainly consumed by automobile and consumer durables industries–to 5.83 million tonne from the current 3.04 million tonne.

The expansion is part of the steel major’s plans to take its annual capacity to 16 million tonne by 2014 at an investment of around Rs 40,000 crore. The projects will be funded by a mix of debt and internal accruals.

Besides Jamshedpur, the company is also working on the Orissa project where it plans to set up a 3mtpa unit.

In Chhattisgarh, the firm is looking to install a 3 million tonne production line of long products, used mainly by construction firms, in the first phase as it is bullish on the country’s growing infrastructure sector.

Source : PTI. 22/06/10


Hindalco eyes double-digit growth in domestic demand

The growth story for Aditya Birla Group’s flagship company, Hindalco, will remain inherently Indian.

After posting impressive numbers, that saw its consolidated net profit soaring eight-fold to Rs 3,926 crore for the year ended March 31, Hindalco’s management said they expect domestic demand to post a double-digit growth in the current financial year. However, the rise in North America and Europe will be modest Global aluminium demands fell about 8 per cent in 2009, after the global slowdown hit demand — especially for raw materials — in the automotive and construction sectors. But, there is a clear pickup, with demand likely to rise close to 14 per cent in 2010, as China and India see rapid expansion in their economies.

“Aluminium demand in India is very positive because of auto, construction and power sectors. Even globally, I would be very surprised if aluminium prices come down from the current levels,” managing director Debu Bhattacharya told reporters. “Copper demand, too, is rising on the back of power projects.”

Hindalco gets about 40 per cent of its India revenue from aluminium, and is trebling capacity in India to 1.9 million tonnes by 2013 at a cost of about $5 billion. “Financial closures of all the three greenfield projects are on track. In fact, we have invested Rs 5,000 crore already on the projects, as we are strongly committed to them. We raised Rs 2,700 crore from our QIP to meet any shortfall in equity funding. As of now, I see no requirement for any more equity funding,” said Sunirmal Talukdar, group executive president & chief financial officer, Hindalco.

Aluminium rolled product maker Novelis, which Hindalco acquired in 2007, will primarily see growth in the South American and Asian markets. Novelis will be investing $150 million in 2010-11 on capital expenditure. A significant chunk of that will be going into expanding rolling operations in Brazil, which is likely to get completed by late 2012.

Novelis, has seen a remarkable turnaround with its adjusted Ebitda (earnings before interest, depreciation, tax and amortisation) up 55 per cent in FY10 compared to the previous year. The improved numbers and profitability have been a result of right sizing operations and higher efficiency management and exploring new applications for aluminium in sectors like auto.

Cost-saving exercises also helped. Novelis for example recycled 40 billion tonnes of used beverage cans (UBCs) in 2009, saving significant energy costs.

Source : Business Standard. 09/06/10


Ministry suggests minimum lease size for minor minerals

New Delhi: In a move that could help the State Governments evolve a uniform regulatory framework for the mining of minor minerals, the Environment Ministry has suggested that the minimum size of the mining lease should be five hectares and that the lease period be fixed at five years.

Currently, the area for grant of mine leases and the period of lease for minor minerals vary from State to State depending on the type of concessions, minerals and its end use.

Mining is a State subject and there is no uniformity in regulatory framework for minor minerals.

This is mainly because the State Governments are empowered to make rules for minor minerals under Section 15 of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act 1957.

The Environment Ministry had set up a group under the Environment Secretary to evolve guidelines for sustainable mining of minor minerals.

The group in its report has also suggested a cluster approach for the smaller mine leases operating currently. These clusters could be provided with processing or crusher zones for forward integration, it said.


The group was in favour of making mine plans mandatory for the minor minerals as well and recommended that a separate corpus should be created for reclamation and rehabilitation of mined out areas.

As mining of minor minerals is by and large unorganised and practised in an unscientific manner, the separate corpus could be utilised for reclamation of mined out areas. The State Governments could work out a suitable mechanism for creation of such corpus on the polluter pays principle, it said.

Minerals have been classified into major and minor categories based on their end use rather than level of production, level of mechanisation, export and import among other factors.

Minerals such as ordinary sand, marble, boulders, lime shell, brick earth, quartzite and sandstone among others are declared as minor minerals by the Central Government. The minor minerals account for about a tenth of the total value of minerals produced in the country.

Further, the present classification of minerals into major and minor minerals should be re-examined by the Ministry of Mines in consultation with the States, it said.

Source : The Hindu Business Line. 09/06/10 


Chinese ban to hit Indian iron ore exports

BEIJING: Nearly half of India’s iron ore exports to China are in serious danger of being wiped out. The local government has imposed a ban on import of low grade iron ore while major Chinese companies are buying up ore mines with two billion worth of reserves in Africa.

“The ban will surely have an effect because about 50% of our exports are low grade iron ore,” Royston Machado, an industry consultant working jointly with China Inspection and Quarantine, said. India sold 107 million tonnes accounting for 18% of Chinese imports in 2009.

The ban came into effect after the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) advised ore buyers at a conference to stop buying low grade ores. “CISA has not yet issued a formal notification but the ban is already having an effect,” Machado said.

The ban has not caused uproar because businesses in India are still not feeling the pinch. China has more than two months of stocks and the offtake from steel mills is low. Another reason is that the Goa port, which ships nearly half of Indian ores to China, is closed for monsoon.

“A clear picture would emerge after the Goa port reopens in October and there is a strong demand. Indian exports would be seriously reduced unless the government reconsiders the ban,” sources said. The move was followed by a decision by the National Development and Reform Commission giving a green signal for the purchase of two African mines with reserves totaling 2 billion tonnes.

Three Chinese companies including the Wuhan Iron & Steel, are jointly buying a mine with reserves worth 800 million tonnes at Soalala in Madagascar. Wuhan has also purchased controlling stakes in the Bong Iron Ore company based in Liberia. Bong has proven reserves of over 1.3 billion tonnes.

Source : TNN. 27/05/10

Jindal Steel acquires Oman’s Shaheed Iron for $464 m

New Delhi: Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) on Thursday announced that it has completed the acquisition of Oman-based Shadeed Iron and Steel Co LLC (Shadeed).

The acquisition was completed for $464 million, which includes the assumption of liabilities and was carried through by JSPL’s 100 per cent subsidiary, Jindal Steel and Power (Mauritius) Ltd (JSPLM).

Funding The Buy

For the acquisition, JSPL has tied up $400 million in debt financing from international banks while the rest of the amount would be from internal accruals.

The Shadeed facility is engineered by Kobe Steel (Japan) and Midrex (US), which are among the global leaders in the field of direct iron technology. This is also the same technology JSPL will be using in its Orissa facility.

Shadeed is also installing 1.5 million tonnes a year gasbased hot briquetted iron plant at Sohar Industrial Port area of Sohar, Oman.

Source : The Hindu Business Line.  24/05/10

Now, Tata Steel keen on joining hands with SAIL

KOLKATA: After Posco and ArcelorMittal, it’s now Tata Steel that is keen on forming a JV with Steel Authority of India (SAIL) to set up a steel



“We are in initial talks with Tata Steel and Arcelor Mittal. Both companies have evinced an interest in joint ventures with us. It’s early days and it will hinge on the progress of the talks,” SAIL chairman SK Roongta said. This is in addition to SAIL’s plans to set up a JV with Korean steel major Posco.

Mr Roongta said the two companies have had a few rounds of talks and are looking at a 2 million tonne (MT) steel making venture using Finex technology developed by Posco.

“We will hopefully be able to firm up plans soon,” Mr Roongta, who is retiring on May 31, 2010, said, when asked about the timeframe for the JV to be firmed up.

However, SAIL ruled out any talks of joining hands with Posco for the Korean company’s mega 12 MT project in Orissa.

Source: ET Bureau, 18 May 2010