Friday, October 31, 2008

Greenpeace showcases the solution to Indonesia’s rapid forest destruction and rising carbon emissions

Jakarta, Indonesia, 31 October 2008 – Greenpeace this morning launched its Forests for Climate initiative, the pioneering solution to reduce deforestation, tackle climate change, preserve global biodiversity and protect the livelihoods of millions of forest people. Forests for Climate (FFC) is Greenpeace’s landmark proposal for an international mechanism to fund sustainable and lasting reductions of emissions from tropical deforestation in participating countries in order to meet commitments for the second phase of the Kyoto Protocol (post 2012).
Taking the first step to match donor countries to real projects in developing forested countries, Greenpeace invited embassies of key donor countries, donor agencies, government officials and governors of several Indonesian provinces, to talk about the FFC initiative and to support a moratorium on any new forest conversion in Indonesia prior to any carbon money flowing. The well-attended launch took place at Tanjung Priok, Jakarta’s port area, at an event jointly hosted by Rachmat Witoelar, State Minister of Environment of the Republic of Indonesia.
“Indonesia’s rampant deforestation and fast rising greenhouse gas emissions have been driven by the lure of short term profit. Greenpeace’s Forests for Climate mechanism is the solution as it places a value on keeping the forests alive”, said Arief Wicaksono, Political Advisor, Greenpeace Southeast Asia.
“Indonesia’s Government and society have a responsibility to protect its tropical forests, for the sake of the environment, the country’s development and to prevent the worsening impacts of climate change. It is time for Indonesia to gain the right to funding from industrialised countries to protect one of the world’s lungs," said Rachmat Witoelar.
Under the FFC mechanism, industrialised countries that committed to reduce their emissions would fund protection of the world’s last remaining tropical forests. Developing countries with tropical forests, like Indonesia, which chose to participate and who committed to protect their forests, would have the opportunity to receive funding for capacity-building efforts and for national level reductions in deforestation emissions. FFC prevents deforestation from shifting from one country to the next and is the only mechanism that involves local and indigenous forest peoples’ representatives to ensure their rights and livelihoods are respected.
Greenpeace is pushing for the FFC mechanism to become part of the second phase of the Kyoto (post-2012) agreement on climate change. If countries commit to FFC, funding from industrialised countries for the protection of tropical forests could become available as soon as 2009.
“Indonesia’s remaining forests must be protected to combat climate change, stop biodiversity loss and protect the livelihoods of forest-dependent peoples. First, we need an immediate moratorium on deforestation, followed by international funding through the United Nations to protect forests for their carbon value”, concluded Wicaksono.
Greenpeace embarked on the Indonesian leg of its "Forests for Climate" ship tour in Jayapura on 6 October, to shine the spotlight on the rampant destruction of the Paradise Forests - the last remaining ancient forests of Southeast Asia. The Esperanza will leave Jakarta on Saturday, 1 November, en-route to Riau.
Greenpeace is calling on the Indonesian government to implement an immediate moratorium on all forest conversion, including expansion of oil palm plantations, industrial logging, and other drivers of deforestation
Greenpeace is an independent, global campaigning organisation that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment, and to promote peace.

Balmer Lawrie & Co. Ltd., a Mini Ratna Category – I PSE, has announced its results for the second quarter of the current fiscal year. The unaudited financial results for the three months period ended 30th September 2008 which was approved today, shows a 29% increase in total income to Rs. 462.70 cr. as compared to Rs. 363.48 cr. for the same period last year. The total income for the half-year ended 30th. September 2008 grew by 23% to Rs. 895.66 cr., as compared to Rs. 726.15 cr. last year. The profit before tax and net profit during the same period were higher at around 8% and stood at Rs. 74.40 cr. [Rs. 68.79 cr.] and Rs. 49.89 cr. [Rs. 46.19 cr.] respectively.

Aquila Resources


Isaac Plains Coal Mine

· Sales for Quarter 463kt, best Quarter to date.

· CHPP performance continues to improve.

· Commissioning of on-site coal quality laboratory.


Eagle Downs Coal Project

· Pre-Feasibility Study results demonstrates technical and financial viability.

· Preferred development to include two longwalls producing up to 7Mtpa of hard coking coal.

· Stage 4 coal quality and resource definition drilling programme in progress.

· Budget of A$28.6 million proposed for the 2008-2009 financial year to complete the Definitive Feasibility Study and exploration.


Belvedere Coal Project

· Pre-Feasibility Study in progress.

· Four drilling rigs operating.

· Completion of 3-D seismic programme.

· Three Mining Lease Applications lodged.

· Contractual arrangements concluded for potential port capacity at Wiggins Island, Gladstone.


Washpool Coal Project

· Initial Resource Statement for 138Mt insitu coal.

· Concept Study on mining and processing options well advanced.

· Contractual arrangements concluded for potential port capacity at Wiggins Island, Gladstone.


Red Hill Coal Project

· Initial Resource Statement 75Mt insitu coal.

· Concept Study on mining and processing options well advanced.

· Metallurgical coal potential similar to that being mined at Isaac Plains Coal Mine.

· 2Mtpa port capacity secured at Abbot Point.


Asenjo Energy Coal Project

· Substantial drilling programme continues on the key project areas.

· Significant open cut potential being evaluated at East Mmamabula project which could facilitate early development.

· Tender notice for baseline environmental studies issued.


Waterberg Coal Project

· Prospecting rights offered for grant in the Waterberg Coalfield, targeting open pit extractable coal tonnages.



West Pilbara Iron Ore Project – Development

· A Budget of A$84.4M has been approved for the 2008-2009 financial year to fund the Definitive Feasibility Study and exploration.

· Bulk sampling has commenced on the Upper Cane deposit using a continuous miner.

· Favourable sinter test results were received from the laboratory at CISRI in China.

· Referral documents describing the West Pilbara Iron Ore Project were submitted to the EPA during the Quarter.

· Geotechnical testing was conducted on the locations of marine structures for each of the port sites under consideration.

· A review of port options, with the intent of settling on a preferred site, is due for completion early in the next Quarter.

· Marketing visits to Chinese steel mills this Quarter have delivered encouraging responses.

· An MoU has been signed with a Chinese steel mill to test API ore in their laboratory.


West Pilbara Iron Ore Project – Exploration

· Mapping has outlined newly identified Channel Iron Deposit (CID) mineralisation extending over 6km within the Mt Elvire Project.

· RC and diamond drilling of CIDs within the Red Hill and Yalleen Joint Venture tenements have continued. A total of 9,905m of RC drilling and 826m of diamond drilling were completed in the Quarter.

· Infill drilling at Trinity Bore South continues to identify extensive 5m – 10m intercepts of shallow pisolitic CID. Better results returned from the infill programme include;

§ 10m at 54.10% Fe, 3.46% Al2O3, 8.36% SiO2, 0.030% P, 0.030% S and 10.14% LOI from surface in TBRC223;

§ 12m at 55.08% Fe, 4.08% Al2O3, 6.18% SiO2, 0.040% P, 0.020% S

§ 10.39% LOI from surface TBRC234, and

§ 10m at 54.54% Fe, 3.28% Al2O3, 7.51% SiO2, 0.030% P, 0.020% S and 10.28% LOI from surface in TBRC232.

· Diamond drilling continues to return significant intercepts of CID mineralisation at Kumina Creek. Better results returned include;

§ 14m at 58.40% Fe, 4.21% Al2O3, 4.45% SiO2, 0.049% P, 0.016% S and 7.14% LOI from 25.4m,

§ 21.10m at 60.88% Fe, 3.06% Al2O3, 3.19% SiO2, 0.048% P, 0.015% S and 6.13% LOI from 42.15m in YA223, and

§ 13.10m at 56.74% Fe, 3.88% Al2O3, 4.54% SiO2, 0.046% P, 0.019% S and 9.94% LOI from 13.3m in YA260.


Thabazimbi Iron Ore Project

· Drilling to evaluate iron ore occurrences continued at Thabazimbi.

· Best drill result was at Cornwall with 16.8m at 59.2% Fe, 0.32% Al2O3, 13.35% SiO2, 0.03% P, 0.04% S and 0.82% LOI from 19.5m in CL20D.

· Field assessment of iron ore targets underway at Orange River in the Northern Cape Province.



Avontuur Manganese Project

· Drilling at Avontuur intensified to accelerate the delineation of manganese mineralisation in the Northern Cape Province.

· 5,611m of drilling were undertaken during the Quarter, with assays still outstanding.



· Cash and liquid investments total A$196.6 million at the end of the Quarter.

· The Company decided not to proceed with demerger of the early stage exploration assets because of the global financial turmoil.



1. Cash receipts from revenue increased by 206% on the previous quarter to $3.1
2. The Company achieved a positive net operating cash flow of $1.2 million through
increased receipts from revenue and cost reductions.
3. Net oil production up 74% and net gas production up 18% for the quarter.
4. Harrison-2 production averaged 253 Bbls/d and 818 Mcf/d for the quarter.
5. Outlar-1 production averaged 145 Bbls/d and 2,277 Mcf/d for the quarter.
6. Oil and gas prices short term peak – Antares received up to $133.96/Bbl for oil
and $13.54/Mcf for gas during the quarter.
7. Significant increases in proven oil and gas reserves
- Proven Oil Reserves have increased by over 85%
- Proven Gas Reserves have increased by over 225%
8. Placement to a Strategic US Oil and Gas Investor raising $2.4 million at a 43%
9. Cost reductions take effect with administration costs falling by 52% from $620,000
in the previous quarter to $297,000 for the current quarter.
10. Debt reduction of $409,608 achieved through the buy back and cancellation of
204,804 $2.00 convertible notes at an average price of $0.715.






During the September quarter, Aviva Corporation Ltd (ASX: AVA; BSE: AVIVA) achieved a number of significant milestones in the development of its integrated energy projects in Australia and Botswana.  


Key achievements include:

· Coolimba Power Project

o Executed a Joint Development Agreement with global power company The AES Corporation (NYSE: AES).

o Completed mine dewatering studies, which identified sufficient water to shift from air-cooled to water-cooled power generation. This will increase energy efficiency and decrease carbon output by around 10%. Capital and operating costs will also reduce by around 10%.

· Mmamantswe Integrated Coal and Power Project

o Completed 13,000m of the 16,000m reserve drilling program. 

o Extremely positive results from the first stage of water exploration. 

o Aviva-GDF Suez consortium was unconditionally qualified to submit a 1,000MW proposal into Eskom’s 4,500MW IPP procurement program. 

· In October, Aviva announced it had agreed to merge with Canadian-listed coking coal producer NEMI Northern Energy and Mining. 



· Commence discussions with GDF-Suez on terms of engagement for Mmamantswe.

· Submit PER for Coolimba.

· Despatch scheme booklet to shareholders detailing the terms of the NEMI Merger.




The Coolimba Power project comprises a 400MW power development based on the Central West Coal deposit located 20km south of Eneabba in the Mid West region of Western Australia. 



During the quarter, Aviva entered into a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with global power company The AES Corporation Limited, for the development of the Coolimba Power project. Essential terms of the JDA applicable to Aviva include:


· a 50% share of the developer’s fee payable by the project to Aviva and AES;

· reimbursement of past expenses by AES to Aviva capped at $7m; and 

· staged payments for the initial assets totalling $26m.


Under the JDA, Aviva and AES will work together to develop the Coolimba Power project and coal mine. The first phase of the JDA will focus on the finalisation of the:


· environmental approvals; 

· mining tenure; 

· network connection; 

· mining services agreement; and 

· off take agreements with potential customers.  


Upon successful completion of this phase, Aviva and AES will enter into a Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) covering the coal mine and power station. Under the JDA AES will be assuming responsibility for finance and EPC contracting, while Aviva will continue to progress approvals, coal mining and infrastructure development. Up to and including the completion of financing, control of the project will be shared equally.  


A Joint Development Committee comprising two members from each of AES and Aviva has been established and Mr Richard Harris of Aviva has been appointed project manager during the first phase. 


Environmental Approval

The Scoping Document for the project has been lodged with the EPA and comments have been returned. Aviva’s environmental consultants URS are preparing the PER document, aiming to provide EPA with a draft by the end of November 2008. Baseline studies for inclusion in the PER are expected to be finalised in the next two weeks.  


Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) 

Coolimba will be built as a CCS-ready plant. Aviva and ARC Energy have entered a partnership to engage the national collaborative research organisation CO2CRC to investigate sequestration locations in the North Perth Basin. Worley Parsons / Schlumberger have been engaged to prepare a scoping study on the capture and sequestration of carbon in the North Perth Basin. 


The WA Government has now included the Coolimba Project in its scope of projects referred to the Federal Government’s “Low Emissions Council” – which has been set up to oversee funding of up to $500M for low emission coal projects.



Coolimba has registered as a market generator with the Independent Market Operator (IMO). The next step in the IMO process is to apply for conditional certification which will put the generation capacity in a timeline for the market. 



Owners’ engineer PB Power has lodged two applications with Western Power to access the planned 330kv transmission line between Perth and Geraldton. The first application is for a 2x200MW coal fired generator and the second application is for a 2x165MW gas-fired plant. 



Aviva is advancing off-take discussions with several parties including state and private retailers and resource projects in the Midwest. The total potential off-take from these parties is approximately 600MW which is in line with the statement of opportunities released by the IMO in July. The company is working towards finalising MOU’s on power off-take in the first quarter of next year. 


Mining Studies

Minserve in conjunction with a large mining contractor is working on a mining DFS looking at base case truck and shovel operations for the establishment of the mine, and conveyor concepts for waste mining once the mine has been established. 


A separate web site for Coolimba Power which hosts important background information for the project can be accessed at





Aviva is earning a 90% interest in the Mmamantswe Project in Botswana where it has outlined a 1.3 billion tonne indicated resource. Development plans for the project are based on, firstly, a 1,000MW power station using four million tonnes per annum of coal and, secondly, the potential export of 6-12Mtpa of coal to South Africa to fuel new power developments. A detailed project update was released on 16 October 2008.


Reserve Drilling

The reserve drilling program commenced in April this year. The 16,600 metre program was designed to upgrade half of the 1.3 billion tonne resource to the measured category. To the middle of October 90 holes of a likely 130 hole program had been completed. The program will comprise 95 RC holes, 26 slim core holes and four large diameter core holes. The majority of the holes outstanding are the RC drilling.


The cored holes are located on a 700m grid which is in-filled to 350m spacing by the RC drilling. All of the holes are geophysically and geologically logged, sampled and logged for water strike.

The large diameter core holes will be used for drop shatter, wet tumble test results. Drilling has commenced on the first hole, and it has been decided to twin these holes with slim core holes for the best correlation of results.  


Drilling to date has affirmed the geological model constructed from the initial resource drilling, with carbonaceous intercepts of around 50-60m thick in the centre of the basin with some intercepts up to 80m thick.  


Coal Quality and Preparation 

AB Mylec from Queensland has been retained to design and supervise the coal quality and coal preparation test work for the current drill program. All of the slim cores will be analysed at Witlab in South Africa and the large diameter cores will be shipped to the ACIRL laboratories in Ipswich Australia for coal quality and subsequent coal combustion test work.  


Coal Combustion Test work

A test work slot has been booked with ACIRL laboratories in Ipswich in the first quarter of 2009 for a full suite of combustion tests on a washed coal sample from Mmamantswe. The sample will comprise approximately 2,000kg of washed coal derived from the four large diameter core samples. The test work will be designed to inform engineering design parameters for 500MW supercritical, air cooled, pulverised fuel boilers.


Mine Pre-Feasibility Study

SRK Consulting in South Africa has been engaged to undertake a Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) for the Mmamantswe Mine. Principal Mining Engineer, Mr Andy Birtles, will assume responsibility for the PFS. He has significant experience in open cut coal mining and recent specific experience on coal mining studies in Botswana.  


Water Exploration

Aviva has engaged PB Power in Johannesburg to conduct various engineering investigations for the project. Sub consultants Gibb Botswana (Pty) Ltd and KLM Consulting Services Botswana have been engaged to conduct a ground water exploration programme targeting six gigalitres per annum (Glpa) which would be sufficient for a coal mine and 2,000MW of power generation. Following extensive initial investigation, Pula Groundwater Developers Proprietary Limited has been engaged to drill 25 exploration holes at two locations. 


Initially, five wells have been drilled in the vicinity of the coal deposit targeting production water supplies from fracture aquifers. These wells are currently being tested by Motswedi Wells Test Pumping Contractors (Pty) Ltd and four of the wells are expected to become production holes yielding a combined 1.5 Glpa. 


A further 20 wells are currently being drilled at Artesia, a known water producing area about 70km from the coal deposit. These cased holes are being drilled to a maximum depth of 300m. This activity has commenced, and initial exploration results from the first six holes are very satisfactory with water being intercepted at shallower depths than budgeted. Aviva expects the water exploration phase to be completed in November 2008 and to comfortably achieve the targeted water resource. 


Coal Transport Study

In early 2008, PB Power and Arcus Gibb conducted an initial screening study into coal transport from Botswana to South Africa. This study considered road, conveyor and rail transport options. Initial results showed that rail transport was the least cost option at the proposed coal sales rates. Subsequently, Arcus Gibb has provided a proposal to investigate in detail two rail options for the transport of coal from Mmamantswe to the existing railway system in South Africa, for subsequent delivery to various generating stations. Aviva has finalised the scope of the detailed study, but is awaiting commissioning of the study pending a positive indication from Eskom on the prospect of supplying it with coal under a long term sales agreement.  


Transmission Study 

Botswana currently imports the majority of its electricity requirement from South Africa. A 1,000MW generating station at Mmamantswe will require integration into the regional transmission system in order to reliably export electricity to South Africa. Aviva has engaged PB Power to coordinate or conduct the various studies necessary to develop an acceptable connection arrangement for the power station. Studies have commenced with Eskom and Botswana Power Corporation to design and cost the necessary transmission infrastructure. These studies are scheduled to be completed in December 2008.


Environmental Approval 

The development of a power station and coal mine in Botswana is subject to a three stage environmental approval process. The first phase was completed with the submission of an Environmental Impact Assessment Report in February 2008. Subsequently, an Environmental Scoping Report and draft Terms of Reference were submitted to the Department of Environmental Affairs in Botswana in August 2008. Aviva and its consultants attended a Terms of Reference meeting coordinated by the Department of Environmental Affairs in the first week of October and will be submitting the final Terms of Reference in November which will define the scope of work for the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). Aviva is targeting completion of the EIA process by mid 2009.



During the quarter, Aviva in conjunction with GDF-Suez, made a pre-qualification submission into Eksom’s power procurement program. The submission was for a 1,000MW power station utilising Mmamantswe coal based in either South Africa or Botswana. 


Subsequent to quarter end, Eskom has advised that a South African location has been unconditionally qualified to submit a proposal. Aviva considers that a Botswana location for the power project has many advantages and will continue to evaluate both options.


In the March quarter, Aviva responded to an initial request for information from Eskom for potential coal supply of 390-780 million tonnes over 40 years. Aviva submitted a proposal for the supply of 6-12Mtpa of coal from Mmamantswe to new Eskom power developments in the Waterberg region of South Africa. Notification of short listed parties was expected in the September quarter.  



In October, Aviva and NEMI Northern Energy & Mining Inc. (“NEMI”) (TSX: NNE.a) announced that they have entered into a merger agreement (“Agreement”) to create a new growth-oriented international coal and energy group (the “Merger”).  


The combined entity will provide investors with exposure to operating and development stage assets across attractive metallurgical and thermal coal projects in North America, Australia and Africa.  


The Merger will create a diversified coal and energy producer and developer, with significant growth potential, that will benefit from:


· A complementary development pipeline providing for superior growth potential with significant coal projects including: 

o Peace River Coal (in which NEMI has an interest) having recently entered commercial production and its inherent expansion opportunities; 


o Coolimba Power (which is being developed by Aviva ) moving through engineering and regulatory approvals; and 


o Mmamantswe (in which Aviva is earning a 90% interest) providing for longer term power and coal production potential;


· Cash flow potential and a strong balance sheet with the ongoing ramp-up of the Peace River Coal operations and a current combined cash balance of approximately C$25 million; 


· Enhanced market positions with a diversity across geographies (Canada, Australia and Botswana), coal products (metallurgical and thermal) and capital markets (TSX and ASX listings); 


· An expanded and experienced board and management team with a mix of operational, technical, corporate and financial skill sets from both the resource and power sectors; and


· A continued strategic focus on organic growth, pursuit of attractive opportunities, and beneficial partnering strategies, all as part of an over-riding drive to create shareholder value.


The Merger is expected to be completed by way of an Aviva scheme of arrangement in Australia, with Aviva shareholders to receive 0.59 NEMI shares (in the form of “CHESS Depository Interests” or “CDIs”) for each Aviva share they hold at completion. It is intended that upon the completion of the Merger, NEMI will change its name to reflect the expanded scope of its business. The merged group will maintain its primary listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange and will apply for a listing on the Australian Securities Exchange and the Botswana Stock Exchange.  

Existing shareholders of NEMI and the former shareholders of Aviva will each hold approximately 50% of the expanded share capital of the merged group at closing on a diluted basis taking into account NEMI’s outstanding convertible debentures. The key terms of the Agreement (including conditions to completion) are summarised in the Annexure to this announcement.


For further details please refer to the ASX ; BSE announcement on 22 October 2008, or visit the “Merger Information” page on Aviva’s website at



Cash reserves at the end of the quarter stood at approximately $16.1 million. Most of the substantive work programs required to take both Coolimba and Mmmantswe to the Financial Investment Decision stage are complete or nearing completion. By the end of November it is expected that cash outflow will be restricted to environmental approval activities and the desktop studies required to advance the projects. 

magnetic resources

• Wheatbelt iron ore search expanded, with tenure over
target areas increased to 1,565sq km.
• A new tenement applied for over an 11km zone of gold
anomalism southeast of Lake Grace.
• Preliminary geochemical sampling of aeromagnetic targets
prospective for gold and/or nickel carried out at Twenty Six
Mile Rock, Rock Dam Hill, Joe’s Joint, Lake Gulson, Holt
Rock, Dumbleyung, Ned’s Corner and No.7 Tank.
• Anomalous uranium at Lake Seabrook and Lake Eva being
assessed for roll front style mineralisation

quarterly Results


• The scoping study on Image’s initial 6.4Mt North Perth
Basin resources due for completion during the December
• 45km of new HM targets at Gingin, increasing the total
cumulative North Perth Basin target length to 292km,
with more than 60% of Image’s 2,230 sq km holding yet to
be surveyed.
• A new joint venture at Cooljarloo covering potential
extensions to the Calypso inferred resource.
• Eucla Basin drilling confirms Cyclone strike extension
and discovers new heavy mineral concentrations.
• Drilling of gold anomalies in progress at the Woodline
joint venture.
• A new joint venture at Bronco Plains (AngloGold and
Independence earning 72%) covering gold anomalies on
the Tropicana-Beachcomber gold trend.
• Cash reserves of $5.8 million.

Emu nickel

• Three new nickel anomalies outlined by
geochemical surveys at Emu Lake.
• Drilling of VTEM and aeromagnetic targets in
progress at Kambalda West.
• Extensive flora surveys completed at Kambalda
West paving the way for drilling of additional
VTEM anomalies.
• Drilling of nickel, gold and iron targets carried out
at Koolyanobbing.
• An airborne EM survey scheduled for
Koolyanobbing in the December quarter.
• First-pass geochemical sampling of VTEM and
aeromagnetic targets identify anomalies for
follow up at Dingo Dam, Beetle Lake and
• A strong cash position of $8.2 million, with a
market capitalisation now significantly less than
the cash-backed value.

quarterly results out

Kasbah Resources Limited issued its Quarterly Activity Report to September 30, 2008. 


 “Achmmach Phase 3 Drilling Discovers New Mineralised Zone”


Significant results include: AD025: 25m @ 1.29% Tin from 502m

quarterly report

For the three months ended 30 September 2008




Broken Hill

· A successful transition to the resized operation has been achieved with a focus on a lower tonnage and cost profile. 

· Productivity improvements of over 80% in development rates and over 50% in tonnes of ore mined per man, have been achieved since the commencement of this calendar year. This has been reinforced with exceeding planned rates under the resized operation which bodes well for achievement of the new operating plan.

· The Resource and Reserves statement update is in progress and is expected to show a significant increase in the life of mine from the previously advised two to three years, at conservative metal price assumptions. 

· New operating plan retains flexibility to rapidly increase production and extend the life of mine, should metal prices and margins improve in the future. 

· Future cash operating costs will reduce significantly under the new operating plan. Net cash costs are expected to move towards US$0.60 to US$0.65 per pound of payable zinc from January 2009. 

· The operational and productivity improvements together with lower cost parameters will ultimately reposition the Broken Hill Operation well down the industry total cost curve.

· Quarterly metal production of 34,700 tonnes of contained zinc and lead in line with plan. 


· Positive cash flow contribution from sales of 25,863 tonnes of ore during the quarter. 

Mount Oxide Copper Project

· Significant high grade intercepts reported, which are outside of the current resource.

· A resource update is in progress and expected to show an increase as a result of the drill program completed this year.

· Chalice Gold Mines Limited (“Chalice”) terminated the proposed sale of the Mount Oxide Copper Project on 24 October 2008, citing the severe downturn in capital markets.

· Mount Oxide Copper Project has the potential to be a robust and stand-alone operation. 

· A number of expressions of interest have been received from interested parties in participating in the further development of Mount Oxide since Chalice requested termination.


· Cash and investments at 30 September 2008 of $73.6 million ($0.37 cents per Perilya share). No corporate debt. The bulk of one-off costs associated with the resizing were completed and paid in the September quarter. 

· On 2 October 2008, CBH Resources Limited (“CBH”) announced its intention to make a takeover offer to acquire all of the shares in Perilya. Perilya Shareholders are advised to take no action until the Board has had an opportunity to consider the Bidder’s Statement and make a recommendation. 

· CBH’s interest in Perilya is a reflection of the inherent strength and value of Perilya’s Broken Hill Operation, including a 2.8mtpa concentrator plant.

· Hedge book closed during the quarter realising $60.3 million in cash. Proceeds used to fund the resizing of the Broken Hill Operation, reduction in working capital and pay down of all corporate debt.

· Paul Arndt to be appointed to the role of Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, subject to shareholder approvals at the Annual General Meeting.


Chairman’s Overview


We are pleased with the progress made by Perilya’s Broken Hill Operation in respect of its resizing objectives during the September quarter.


Under the leadership of Paul Arndt, your Board’s Managing Director designate, Perilya has not only remained operational while a number of Australian and global producers have been forced to close their doors, but has also realised significant production and cost efficiency improvements that will reposition Perilya on the industry cost curve in months to come as the resizing program is fully implemented.


Importantly, the new operating plan at the Broken Hill Operation, which is based on annual production of 55,000 tonnes of zinc in concentrate and 50,000 tonnes of lead in concentrate, is based on the re-sequencing of mining areas and not a short-term high-grade approach, which would undermine the long-term value of the resources at the Broken Hill Operation. 


As a result of the ongoing improvements at Broken Hill, Perilya is moving steadily towards zinc production cash costs in the US$0.60 – US$0.65 range. We are not there yet however. Resizing costs were incurred during the September quarter, and therefore do impact on the Company’s financial performance for the period under review.  


This said, the resizing process was largely paid for in the September quarter, and, having taken the difficult decisions in terms of appropriate write downs in the past financial year to accurately and honestly reflect the current market, Perilya has a strong balance sheet, no corporate debt, and cash in hand; and is in a safe position to weather the transition to a more profitable price environment in coming months.  


During the quarter we received notice from CBH of their intention to make an all-scrip offer for Perilya shares. Perilya has advised shareholders to take no action, until such as time as the Board receives, and has opportunity to assess CBH’s Bidders Statement, which we expect to receive by mid November.  

Due to the downturn in capital markets and the recent fall in the copper price, the Directors of Chalice Gold Mines Limited (“Chalice”) requested that Perilya and Chalice terminate the companies’ sale agreement for Perilya’s Mount Oxide Copper Project, by mutual consent. Under the circumstances Perilya consented to the request and a Deed of Termination and Release has been executed. 


Subsequent to the close of the quarter, more encouraging assay results have been received from the current drill program at the Mount Oxide Copper Project further enhancing what your Board continues to consider a significantly valuable asset located in the world class Mount Isa mineral province.


Perilya has also since received expressions of interest from other parties for the development of the Mount Oxide Copper Project, which expressions are at an early stage and will be communicated as and when they are progressed.


Perilya’s share price is currently substantially lower than its underlying asset value as a result of recent market turmoil. Perilya has cash and investments at 30 September 2008 of $73.6 million, or $0.37 cents per Perilya share.


Perilya has responded transparently and appropriately in the context of the current metal prices and global financial markets, and as a result is well-positioned to both weather a prolonged period of low metal prices, and equally important, to respond rapidly to opportunities to increase production when market economics improve.

Apache Reports Third-Quarter Net Income of $1.2 Billion or $3.52 Per Share

HOUSTON, Oct 30, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- Apache Corporation (NYSE, Nasdaq: APA) today reported that strong crude oil and natural gas prices fueled third-quarter net income of $1.2 billion or $3.52 per diluted common share, up 94 percent from $612 million or $1.83 per share in the prior-year period. 

Third-quarter cash from operations -- prior to changes in operating assets and liabilities* -- totaled $2.1 billion, compared with $1.6 billion in the prior-year period. 

Third-quarter production declined 9 percent from the prior-year period and 7 percent from the second quarter to 510,672 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day. The decline was the result of two hurricanes that curtailed production in the Gulf of Mexico and onshore Louisiana and continued shut-ins following the June 3 explosion at the gas processing and transportation hub at Varanus Island in Australia. Most of the curtailed production in the Gulf and Australia is expected to be restored by year end, setting the stage for renewed growth in 2009. 

"We faced several challenges on the production side during the third quarter; we also had strong earnings, continued progress on our pipeline of development projects, and drilling success in several areas," said G. Steven Farris, Apache's president and chief executive officer. 

Three developments are expected to impact Apache's 2009 production: Two new gas processing trains are expected to commence operations in Egypt by year end, boosting net production by approximately 100 million cubic feet (MMcf) of gas and 5,000 barrels of condensate per day; the Van Gogh field in Australia is expected to contribute a net 20,000 barrels of oil per day beginning in mid-2009; and the Geauxpher field in the Gulf of Mexico is expected to commence production during the first quarter at a net rate of approximately 50 MMcf of gas per day. 

Apache had notable drilling results in Egypt, where the company drilled four discoveries; at its emerging Ootla shale play in Canada; and in the North Sea, where nine new wells fueled a 25-percent increase in third-quarter production compared with the prior-year period. 

"Apache continues to show operational progress, in spite of the recent turmoil in the commodity and equity markets and the global economic slowdown," Farris said. "Although we have an abundant inventory of drillable prospects across 36 million acres, Apache intends to continue to live within our means. Our major development projects are critical to Apache's future growth - and we intend to fund them -- but we will adjust other capital spending to a level that does not exceed operating cash flow." 

During the third quarter, Apache received an average of $101.04 per barrel of oil and $7.43 per thousand cubic feet of gas. Oil and gas prices were up 43 percent and 49 percent, respectively, above year-earlier levels, but both were 8 percent below second-quarter prices. 

Apache Corporation is an oil and gas exploration and production company with operations in the United States, Canada, Egypt, the United Kingdom North Sea, Australia and Argentina. 

EO SAYS: "Look beyond the short term for underlying drivers of steel growth."

BlueScope Steel today advised that its unaudited first quarter results show a very strong performance with underlying Net Profit After Tax of approximately A$430 million.

Managing Director and CEO, Mr Paul O'Malley, said, "BlueScope Steel has had a very good start to FY09 due to strong global steel demand and prices. In this opening quarter, the business outperformed the first half result of last year, despite increases in iron ore, coal and scrap prices. However, current economic conditions suggest a challenging second half."

"Our focus at BlueScope is to maximise value and preserve financial flexibility. Our priorities are a continuing strong balance sheet, preserving gearing in our target range and improving our strong cash position. We are also taking further action to cut costs, tightly manage working capital, optimise our manufacturing assets and work closely with our customers.

"BlueScope is also driving synergies from its recent US and Australian acquisitions. Our confidence in our business means that in the second half of FY09, we will embark on the Blast Furnace No 5 reline and sinter plant upgrade projects at Port Kembla Steelworks. These investments will position our company to take best advantage of the eventual improvement in economic conditions. While these two major engineering projects will see a planned reduction in production in the second half, they will deliver cost and volume benefits upon completion."

Commenting on the current economic climate and the second half FY09 outlook, Mr O'Malley said that while BlueScope expects the significant pressures in the world economy to impact second half results investors should look beyond the short term for underlying drivers of steel growth.

"A range of independent data points to the ongoing urbanisation and industrialisation in China. These will be the principal drivers of growth and they still have a long way to run. In addition, the global steel industry is responding to the current environment with production cuts. Combined, these factors are likely to produce beneficial knock-on effects for the global steel sector and Australia," Mr O'Malley said.

Mechel Consolidates Its Ferroalloy Assets

Moscow, Russia – October 30, 2008 – Mechel OAO (NYSE: MTL), one of the leading Russian mining and metals companies, announces the consolidation of its ferroalloy assets on the bases of its Oriel Resources subsidiary.

In the spring of 2008, Mechel OAO purchased Oriel Resources Company, which comprised of Tikhvin Smelting Plant ZAO (St. Petersburg region), Voskhod Chrome Deposit and Shevchenko Nickel Deposit (Kazakhstan). Among the enterprises representing the ferroalloy business at Mechel are Southern Urals Nickel Plant OAO (Orenburg region) and Bratsk Ferroalloy Plant OOO (Irkutsk region).

Currently, Mechel OAO, together with its affiliates, owns 100% of the Oriel Resources’ charter capital. In October 2008, while Oriel's additional shares were being issued, 100% of Bratsk ferroalloys plant shares and 84.06% of Southern Urals Nickel Plant shares were combined into the Oriel Resources charter capital. Thus currently all the ferroalloy assets of the company are included into the structure of Oriel Resources Company.

“The consolidation of all ferroalloy assets currently owned by Mechel is in line with the development strategy of our ferroalloy division. The activities at our new division will increase the efficiency within our metallurgical segment, driven by the use of its own raw materials (ferroalloys) for specialty and stainless steel production. The consolidation will also help improve Mechel’s competitive position given the expansion of its existing business to new markets while enhancing the integration of its businesses,” Mechel OAO Chief Operating Officer and Mechel Ferroalloys Management Company OOO Chief Executive Officer Alexey Ivanushkin noted.

Premier Jürgen Rüttgers visits new steel mill being built by ThyssenKrupp Steel in Brazil:

"Important investment will also strengthen North Rhine-Westphalia as an industrial center" 

The Premier of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Jürgen Rüttgers, today visited the site of the new steel mill being built by ThyssenKrupp Steel in Santa Cruz , Brazil (near Rio de Janeiro). Rüttgers described ThyssenKrupp's project as an "important investment that will also secure jobs in North Rhine-Westphalia and strengthen our state as an industrial center." In Santa Cruz ThyssenKrupp Steel is building an integrated steel mill with an annual capacity of 5 million metric tons of slabs. During his visit, the Premier was also updated on the company's strategy. With its business model focused on premium flat-rolled carbon steel ThyssenKrupp Steel is well positioned in its core European market. In recent years the portfolio has been systematically concentrated on high value-added products. 

Dr. Karl-Ulrich Köhler, member of the Executive Board of ThyssenKrupp AG and CEO of ThyssenKrupp Steel AG, explained that in the medium term ThyssenKrupp Steel aims to increase its deliveries from currently 14 million tons to 20 million tons with a global growth strategy. This strategy is based on long-term forecasts for the premium flat-rolled carbon steel market, which is growing at an above-average rate of 6% per year. Almost half of consumption is focused in the volume markets of Europe and North America. "To strengthen our market position in these regions, we will be investing over €7 billion in the coming years," said Dr. Köhler. 

Of central importance to the implementation of the growth plans is the steel mill now being built in Brazil at a capital cost of around €4.5 billion. Following the ramp-up of the facilities from the end of 2009 the new mill will produce around 5 million tons of slabs to high quality standards and with an optimal cost position. 3 million tons of the slabs will be supplied to the new processing plant near Mobile in Alabama, which is likewise under construction and is due to start operation in 2010. It is being built in conjunction with sister segment Stainless. The total investment is €3.1 billion, of which ThyssenKrupp Steel's share is €2.3 billion.

The additional crude steel capacity in Brazil will also benefit the company's highly efficient plants in Germany – mainly in North Rhine-Westphalia. To allow processing of 2 million tons of slabs from Brazil we are investing €400 million in the expansion of our processing and coating capacities. A large part of the investment is focused on our hot strip mills in Duisburg and Bochum. Individual sub-projects to increase the capacity of existing hot-dip coating lines have already been completed. At the same time we are expanding our infrastructure and slab logistics facilities at the Duisburg-Walsum terminal. The ramp-up of the facilities will remove bottlenecks and allow us to serve key customers in Europe better than before. The extra volumes are covered in full by notified demand from regular customers. 

Another milestone in our plans for the future is the start-up of the new blast furnace 8 in Duisburg, which was blown-in on December 8, 2007. The new furnace is part of a larger modernization program which also includes the relining of neighboring blast furnace 9. In total, €340 million is being invested in the blast furnace program, which will ensure that Duisburg remains one of the most efficient steelmaking locations in the world. It will also secure 1,200 jobs directly and another 3,600 indirectly.

Index numbers of wholesale prices in India (base: 1993-94=100) review for the week ended 18th October 2008

The official Wholesale Price Index for 'All Commodities' (Base: 1993-94 = 100) for the week ended 18th October 2008 declined by 0.2 percent to 238.3 (Provisional) from 238.8 (Provisional) for the previous week.

The annual rate of inflation, calculated on point to point basis, stood at 10.68 percent (Provisional) for the week ended 18/10/2008 (over 20/10/2007) as compared to 11.07 percent (Provisional) for the previous week. The annual rate of inflation stood at 3.11 percent as on 20/10/2007 i.e. a year ago.

The movement of the index for the various commodity groups is summarized below:-

1. PRIMARY ARTICLES (Weight 22.02%)

The index for this major group declined by 0.3 percent to 248.8 (Provisional) from 249.5 (Provisional) for the previous week. The groups and items for which the index showed variations during the week are as follows:-


The index for 'Food Articles' group rose by 0.2 percent to 243.0 (Provisional) from 242.6 (Provisional) for the previous week due to higher prices of bajra and maize (5% each), jowar (2%) and fruits & vegetables (1%). However, the prices of wheat and arhar (2% each) and urad (1%) declined.


The index for 'Non-Food Articles' group declined by 1.5 percent to 231.7 (Provisional) from 235.3 (Provisional) for the previous week due to lower prices of raw rubber (8%), raw cotton (6%) and groundnut seed (1%). However, the prices of rape & mustard seed (1%) moved up.


The annual rate of inflation, calculated on point to point basis, for ‘Primary Articles’ stood at 10.92 percent (Provisional) for the week ended 18/10/2008 as compared to 11.53 percent (Provisional) in the previous week. It was 5.11 percent as on 20/10/2007 i.e. a year ago.

The annual rate of inflation for ‘Food Articles’ stood at 8.43 percent (Provisional) for the week ended 18/10/2008 as compared to 8.74 percent (Provisional) in the previous week. It was 3.27 percent as on 20/10/2007 i.e. a year ago.

2. FUEL, POWER, LIGHT & LUBRICANTS (Weight 14.23%)


The index for this major group declined by 0.4 percent to 369.3 (Provisional) from 370.6 (Provisional) for the previous week due to lower prices of furnace oil (6%) and light diesel oil (3%). However, the prices of bitumen (4%) moved up.


The index for this major group declined by 0.1 percent to 205.4 (Provisional) from 205.7 (Provisional) for the previous week. The groups and items for which the index showed variations during the week are as follows:-

The index for 'Food Products' group declined by 0.5 percent to 204.4 (Provisional) from 205.4 (Provisional) for the previous week due to lower prices of imported edible oil (4%), oilcakes (3%), rice bran oil and gingelly oil (2% each) and groundnut oil (1%). However, the prices of khandsari (4%) and gur (1%) moved up.

The index for 'Beverages, Tobacco & Tobacco Products' group rose by 1.0 percent to 296.6 (Provisional) from 293.7 (Provisional) for the previous week due to higher prices of bidi (5%).

The index for 'Textiles' group declined by 0.1 percent to 139.9 (Provisional) from 140.0 (Provisional) for the previous week due to lower prices of texturised yarn (4%). However, the prices of hessian cloth and hessian & sacking bags (1% each) moved up.

The index for 'Chemicals & Chemical Products' group declined by 0.1 percent to 224.5 (Provisional) from 224.8 (Provisional) for the previous week due to lower prices of p.v.c. resins (14%), purified terephthalic acid (pta) (12%) and benzene (2%).

The index for 'Non-Metallic Mineral Products' group rose by 0.1 percent to 218.2 (Provisional) from 217.9 (Provisional) for the previous week due to higher prices of building bricks (3%).

The index for 'Basic Metals, Alloys & Metal Products' group declined by 0.3 percent to 296.7 (Provisional) from 297.7 (Provisional) for the previous week due to lower prices of zinc (11%), lead ingots, basic pig iron and foundary pig iron (3% each), zinc ingots and ms bars & rounds (2% each) and steel sheets, plates & strips (1%).


For the week ended 23/08/2008, the final wholesale price index for 'All Commodities’ (Base: 1993-94=100) stood at 241.2 as compared to 240.3 (Provisional) and annual rate of inflation based on final index, calculated on point to point basis, stood at 12.76 percent as compared to 12.34 percent (Provisional) reported earlier vide press note dated 05/09/2008.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Jargon Busters

Alloy steel An iron based mixture is considered to be an alloy steel when it contains more than 1.65 wt% of Manganese (Mn), 0.5 wt% of Silicon (Is), 0.6 wt% of Copper (Cu) and/or other minimum quantities of alloying elements such as Chromium (Cr), Nickel (In), Molybdenum (Mo), or Tungsten (W). Through combining different quantities and types of alloying elements, a wide variety of distinct properties can be produced in steel.

Arcing Arcing is the formation of an electric arc between the graphite electrode(s) of the furnace and the conductive content of the furnace such as steel scrap or molten steel. The arcing process that takes place in an electric arc furnace (EAF) is similar in principle to that of electric arc welding, except that the current is much higher in the EAF. 

Bars Long products that are rolled from billets. The two common categories are merchant bar and reinforcement bar (rebar). Merchant bars include rounds, flats, angles, squares and channels. These products are often further processed to produce a wide variety of products such as furniture, stair railing, farm equipment, etc. Reinforcement bars are used predominantly for reinforcing concrete structure such as highways, bridges and buildings.

Billets Semi-finished steel forms that are used for the production of long products. Billets generally have square cross-sectional areas compared to blooms and slabs, which generally have larger aspect ratios. Billets can be produced from a caster or rolled from a bloom. 

Blast furnace A towering cylinder lined with heat resistant (refractory) bricks, used by integrated steel works to smelt iron from iron ore. Its name is derived from the blast of hot air and gases forced up through the iron ore, coke and lime stone loaded in the furnace. Inside the blast furnace, the iron ore is chemically reduced to iron and physically converted (melted) to liquid iron. This is the iron-making process. 

Carbon steel A type of steel whose properties are determined primarily by the percentage of carbon present. Minor elements are present in minute quantities below the amounts found in alloy steels.

Casting The process of pouring molten metal into a mould such that upon cooling, the solidified metal retains the shape of the mould.

Continuous casting Continuous forming of semi-finished steel products such as billets, blooms and slabs. Molten metal is poured continuously from a buffer refractory container known as a tundish into a water-cooled copper mould of the caster. 
Molten steel solidifies when it contacts the water-cooled mould to form an external shell of sufficient strength that will hold the remaining molten steel in its core. A spray of water assists the extraction of heat from this partially solidified steel strand. 
At the bottom of the steel caster, the steel strand is torch-cut into required lengths. Continuous casters can be used for producing slabs, blooms and billets, and are usually able to cast a few strands of steel simultaneously. 
Charging The feeding of a single load of raw materials into the furnace.

Cut-and-bend It is one of the most important operations in the construction of a reinforced concrete product. It involves cutting and bending the reinforcement bar into the correct size and shape as specified in structural drawings so as to allow trouble-free placement of the steel in the structural member at the construction site. 
Cutting and bending can be done on the construction site itself or at a cut-and-bend shop. The former often results in inappropriate dimensioning and inaccurate bending. The latter provides a controlled and organised environment where skilled operators produce consistently good quality products. 
With prefabricated cut-and-bend rebars, construction sites reduce material wastage and fixing time significantly.

Electric arc furnace A steelmaking furnace which predominantly uses scrap as an iron source. The furnace houses either one or three graphite electrodes from which an electric arc can be generated to provide heat to melt the steel scrap. 
Electricity can be applied either as direct current (DC), where only one electrode is required, or alternate current (AC), where three electrodes are required. These two types of furnaces are respectively known as DC furnace and AC furnace.
Flat products Steel products with typical aspect ratios of greater than 100. Examples are sheets, strips and plates used in automotives, shipbuilding and electronic white goods.

Ladle A refractory brick-lined steel vessel that is usually shaped like a bucket. It is used for transferring molten steel between processes in a steel plant. For instance, a ladle can be used to transfer molten steel from the electric arc furnace to the ladle furnace for secondary refinement and then to transfer the refined molten steel to the continuous caster.

Long products Refers to steel products such as bars, rods and structural constructions that are "long" rather than "flat". These are used for building projects. 

Mesh Another name for Welded Wire Mesh

MT Metric tonne — 1 tonne is equivalent to 1,000 kg

Precast concrete (PC) A technology which involves casting building units (e.g. toilets, rooms, balconies, etc) away from the installation site, so that casting and on-site work can take place simultaneously and reduce project time

PC wires Wires (mild or high tensile steel round bars with diameters ranging from 5mm to 40mm) that are used in precast concrete

Pig iron Refers to melted iron (containing carbon above 1.5%) produced in a blast furnace. Molten iron is poured through a trench before flowing into shallow earthen moulds arranged along the side of the trench. As this resembles newborn pigs suckling at their mother’s side, the trench became known as the “sow” and the moulds as “pigs”. 

Radiation Spontaneous disintegration of radioactive elements (e.g. Co-60, Ra-226, Cs-137) into other elements, accompanied by the radiation of high energy and harmful y-rays. 
If a radioactive material is melted in the electric arc furnance, Co-60 is the most likely radioactive element to be alloyed with the steel due to its close melting point, while Cs-137 ends up in the dust and Ra-226 in the slag.

Rebars Another name for reinforcement bars

Reinforcement bars Steel rods used to reinforce or strengthen thick concrete structures.

Rods Another name for wire rods

Refractories Heat resistant material used for lining the furnace and ladle to provide heat insulation and protect the equipment that is usually made of steel. Refractory material is available in either brick form or paste form.

Rolling The reduction in diameter of semi-finished steel products such as billets, blooms and slabs by squeezing the products between horizontal or vertical pairs of rollers. 
The distinction between cold- and hot-rolling is the temperature at which rolling is carried out. Cold-rolling often takes place at room temperature while the hot rolling temperature range varies from metal to metal. The two processes impart different properties to the products. 

Slag A by-product of the iron and steelmaking process comprising largely of limestone. During steelmaking, slag, which has a lower density than molten steel, floats above the molten steel and acts as a scavenger for undesirable elements in the steel. 
Once cooled and solidified, slag can be used in soil mixtures, road stones and cement.

Steel scrap Scrap is the collective name for ferrous components that have reached the end of their useful life cycle, for instance, unserviceable machine parts, steel parts of ships, bridge structures, old car parts as well as reverted ferrous materials from steelmaking.

Strands Cables produced by taking relevant diameters of wires braided together in a bundle, and can be used in precast concrete or wall anchors, lifting strands, etc.

Tensile strength The greatest longitudinal stress a material can bear without tearing apart

Tapping The running off of molten steel from the tap hole in a furnace or vessel

Tundish A shallow, refractory-lined basin that is placed under a ladle and above a continuous caster. A tundish acts as a buffer by receiving the liquid steel from the ladle prior to entering the cast, allowing the operator to regulate the flow of metal into the mould. 

Welded wire mesh Fabric reinforcement that is made up mainly of high-strength wires that are welded at intersections. The use of mesh as reinforcement significantly reduces cutting and fixing time at construction sites. It also enables the simplification of the engineering design and drawing. 

Friday, October 24, 2008

Solar energy incident in the country around 5 trillion kwh

The amount of solar energy incident over the land area of the country is around five trillion kilowatt hour. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is implementing schemes on promotion of solar energy in the country. A total of 4.02 lakh solar home lights, 6.7 lakh solar lanterns, 70,500 solar street lights, 7148 solar pumps, 5 MWp off-grid and grid connected PV power plants, 2.45 million sq. mtr solar thermal collector area and 6.2 lakh solar cookers have been installed in the country. In addition, around 8,000 remote villages and hamlets have been supported for electrification illumination with solar energy systems. However, the high initial cost of solar energy systems is currently a barrier in large scale utilization. 

The National Action Plan on Climate Change has proposed to develop solar energy in the country by setting up a Solar Mission. The details of the solar mission have not been finalized as yet. 

No firm proposal has been received by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy for setting up of solar power generation plants from any foreign country as yet. 

This was stated by the Minister of State for New and Renewable Energy, Shri Vilas Muttemwar in a reply to a question by S/Shri K.J.S.P. Reddy, S. Ajaya Kumar, Adhalrao Patil Shivajirao, Anandrao V. Adsul, Basudeb Acharia, Ravi Prakash Verma and Harikewal Prasad in Lok Sabha.

Complaints against insurance companies

One of the objectives of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) inter alia, is to protect the interests of the policyholders. Accordingly, IRDA has notified the Insurance and Development Authority (Protection of Policyholders Interest) Regulations, 2002. These Regulations stipulate the duties and obligations of the insurers and policyholders in respect of an insurance contract, both at the point of sale and in the event of a claim, and setting up of in-house grievance redressal mechanism in the insurance companies. In pursuance of these regulations, the companies have set up in-house grievance redressal mechanisms. In addition to this, for grievances relating to settlement of claims, policyholders may also approach the Insurance Ombudsmen, IRDA Grievance Cell, Consumer Fora or the Courts.

With a view to ensure expeditious redressal of public grievances relating to the settlement of the claims, the Government has introduced a system of Ombudsman in the Insurance Sector with effect from 11th November, 1998. Insurance Ombdusmen are currently located in 12 cities. Each Ombudsman is empowered to redress customer grievances in respect of insurance contract on personal lines where the insured amount is less than Rs.20 lakhs. The insurer shall comply with the award given by the Ombudsman within 15 days of the receipt of the acceptance letter from the complainant and it shall intimate; the compliance to the Ombudsman. 

This information was given by Shri Pawan Kumar Bansal, Minister of State for Finance in reply to a question raised by Shri Raghuveer Singh Koshal in Lok Sabha today.

Usha Martin’s H-1 consolidated net profit at Rs.117.44 Crores up by 40 %

Kolkata, October 24, 2008: Usha Martin Limited, leading producer of speciality steel and one of the largest wire rope manufacturers globally, has posted improved performance. The key highlights of consolidated financials for the quarter II ended 30th September, 2008, were:

a) Gross sales grew by 50.8% to Rs.1261.27 crores
b) Net Sales grew by 39.7% to Rs.806.36 crores
c) PBT grew by 26.5% to Rs.78.79 crores
d) PAT grew by 13.9% to Rs.52.36 crores

During the first half of the financial year 2008-09, the consolidated Profit before tax rose to Rs.179.62 crores from Rs.117.56 crores (an increase of 53%)and Profit after tax to Rs. 117.44 crores from Rs.83.63 crores (an increase of 40%). The net sales [net of inter segment adjustment] rose to Rs.1505.05 crores from Rs.1081.06 crores, registering a growth of 39%.

During the quarter II of the financial year 2008-09, the standalone profit before tax rose to Rs.59.02 crores from Rs.48.23 crores (an increase of 22%) and profit after tax rose to Rs.41.85 crores from Rs.35.86 crores (an increase of 17%). The net sales (net of inter segment adjustment) rose to Rs.593.85 crores from Rs.389.20 crores, registering a growth of 53%.

During the first half of the financial year 2008-09, the standalone Profit before tax rose to Rs.144.25 crores from Rs.95.75 crores (an increase of 51%)and Profit after tax to Rs.98.55 crores from Rs.68.08 crores (an increase of 45%). The net sales [net of inter segment adjustment] rose to Rs.1084.25 crores from Rs.760.18 crores, registering a growth of 43%. 

The results were adversely impacted by Rs.31.46 crores for the quarter and Rs.55.85 crores for the half year ended 30th September, 2008 due to revaluation of long term foreign currency loans on account of rapid depreciation of Rupee against US Dollar as per Accounting Standard 11 of the Companies Act, 1956.

Key Highlights of the quarter under review:

a) All the subsidiaries including UM Cables performed exceedingly well.

b) Global Wire Ropes production grew by 6.6% compared to corresponding period of previous year.

c) Operational PBDIT margin (Excl Forex) at 22.1% (Consolidated)

d) Value added product share at 55 % of steel produced.

Company has since started the coal mine operations.

Usha Martin has manufacturing facilities at Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Hoshiarpur, UK, Thailand, UAE and USA. It has created a worldwide distribution, service and marketing network spread across the US, UK, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South East Asia and Australia. 

Queensland Gas Company is a rapidly-evolving integrated energy business strategically positioned to meet rising demand for its abundant coal seam gas, cleaner power and ample water.

Since listing on the Australian Securities Exchange in 2000 QGC has become Australia’s leading coal seam gas producer, one of Queensland’s largest companies, and an award-winning business noted for nimble and innovative action. 

QGC has been confirmed by LINK Market Services as standout leader in the S&P/ASX 100 in terms of Total Shareholder Return (TSR) over both one and two years.

QGC’s world-class reserves in the Surat Basin are projected to supply around 20 per cent of the Queensland domestic gas market in 2009. QGC has dedicated a significant proportion of the fast-growing reserves to meet Australia’s energy needs.

QGC’s strengths are underpinned by Queensland Government policy, firm long-term contracts, Australia’s move to cleaner, more efficient fuel sources, and the advent of a national carbon trading scheme.

The qualities and depth of QGC’s assets and management have been recognised by Britain’s BG Group (formerly British Gas), a global energy company seeking to partner with QGC to export gas to higher value overseas markets. 

QGC’s Queensland Curtis LNG Project with BG Group will be built to a potential capacity of up to 12 million tonnes a year of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Curtis Island, near the city of Gladstone. The first production train will export 3 to 4 million tonnes a year. As part of the transaction QGC has received $664 million from BG Group.

The LNG alliance involves targeting more than 7,000 PJ of 2P reserves, construction of a 380 kilometre pipeline to Gladstone, development of an LNG terminal and about 4,400 new jobs. The project contractor, Bechtel, is developing the Front-End Engineering and Design (FEED) process for a two-train project.

In May 2008 QGC announced a feasibility study for a proposed new gas-fired power station with a capacity of up to 600 megawatts in New South Wales. It would be supplied by QGC’s coal seam gas, which would be transported by a proposed new pipeline stretching from the heart of QGC’s acreage to the city of Newcastle.

In June 2008 QGC was admitted to the S&P/ASX 100 index. At close of trade on 30 June 2008 QGC had a market capitalisation of A$4.4 billion.

Next year QGC will join the National Electricity Market. In February 2009 QGC will start supplying gas to QGC’s new Condamine Power Station, which will produce 140 megawatts of electricity with minimal greenhouse emissions.

QGC invests in applications for large volumes of water yielded during the release of coal seam gas. The water has the potential to help drought-affected communities, towns and farms in the Surat Basin.

Rex Minerals Sells Victorian Gold Projects.

Rex Minerals (“Rex”) has sold one of its wholly owned subsidiaries Rex Minerals (Victoria) Pty Ltd (“RexVic”) for a total of $1,480,000 to a privately held company. The sale of RexVic includes exploration licences and associated assets that form the St Arnaud and Nth Creswick Projects.
Since its inception in April 2007, Rex has pursued a strategy to acquire highly prospective projects with the potential to host large resources in commodities that are in high demand. Over that time, Rex has obtained ownership of six major projects across three states within Australia. Rex has been actively exploring all of these project areas to test various exploration theories and advance each project towards the discovery of new mineral resources. Strategically, Rex has decided to focus its exploration effort on two high priority areas. Our initial focus is to follow up the successful discovery of high grade copper mineralisation at Hillside and to take advantage of our new understanding of the structures that host the copper mineralisation on the Yorke Peninsula. This has opened up exciting opportunities for growth through the discovery and development of copper-gold resources in South Australia.
Secondly, the Company considers that the option to acquire the Mt Carrington gold-silver project in New South Wales provides Rex with near term development opportunities with existing shallow gold and silver resources and the potential for additional high grade gold and silver discoveries. The sale of RexVic will also provide additional funding towards the exploration of these key projects.


EAGAN, MN. - (October 23, 2008) – Effective October 31, 2008, NWA Cargo will reduce its fuel surcharges in certain markets in response to recent declines in the price of jet fuel. Changes in fuel surcharges are subject to government approvals where required.

Surcharges for all Domestic shipments will be reduced from $0.42 to $0.40 per pound. 
Trans-Atlantic fuel surcharges for shipments from the U.S. to Europe, Africa and the Middle East will be reduced from $1.05 to $1.00 per kilogram.  
Surcharges for shipments from the U.S. to Korea and Japan, as well as from Korea and Japan to the U.S., will also decrease to $1.00 per kilogram.
Westbound trans-Pacific surcharges from the U.S. to Shanghai (PVG), Guangzhou (CAN), and points beyond, will decrease from $0.35 to $0.30 per kilogram. 
Surcharges on the longest routes in the NWA cargo network, including all other shipments between the U.S. and Asia, will decrease from $1.15 to $1.10 per kilogram.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

First Annual General Meeting of LIC Pension Fund

LIC Pension Fund Ltd , was the first Pension Fund Management company under NPS to be incorporated on 21st November 2007. The Company has closed its books of Accounts for the Financial Year 2007-08, and the First ever Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the company was held at its Corporate Office in Mumbai on 15th October2008. 
Before the AGM, the company held its 4th Board Meeting , which was attended by all the Board Members , namely Mr T S Vijayan, Mr Jagdish Capoor, Mr A K Dasgupta, Mr Shailesh Haribhakti, Mr M N Singh and Dr H Sadhak.

The Board reviewed with satisfaction the progress of the company including regulatory Compliance, Risk Management , Corporate Governance, progress in business development, Internal Audit and the Annual accounts 2007-08.

The First Annual General Meeting of the Company was attended by all the shareholders including Mr D.K Mehrotra, MD, LIC, Mr N Mohanraj, ED (Inv), LIC and all the Directors of the Company.

Shri T S Vijayan, Chairman of the company, in his address to the Shareholders briefed the several achievements and satisfactory progress in terms of setting up a well designed internal management system, business development initiatives etc. He expressed confidence in the strength of LIC Pension Fund and visualized a bigger role in the Pension market. He also thanked all the stakeholders including the regulator PFRDA for all the support 

While welcoming the Shareholders the CEO of the Company Dr H Sadhak informed that LIC Pension Fund has been managing its entire operation fully independently from its own corporate office and complied with all regulatory requirements. He informed that the company has performed excellently, particularly in terms investment management. He further informed that the several State Governments are in the process of Selecting LIC Pension Fund as the Fund Manager. Expressing his optimism, he said that the New Pension System is going to bring a significant change in the Indian Financial Markets, and LIC Pension Fund is well prepared to capitalize the emerging opportunities in the Pension market. 

Hazardous Waste Management Rules

The Ministry had notified the Hazardous Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules,1989 as amended in 2000 and 2003 for regulating management and handling of hazardous waste. Based on the experience gained in the implementation of these Rules, the Hazardous Waste (Management, Handling and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2008 have been notified repealing the earlier Rules with a view to ensuring effective implementation. The Ministry has also provided financial assistance for strengthening the State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) for facilitating implementation of the Rules. Financial assistance has also been provided for setting up Common Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facilities for hazardous waste management. In addition, the Ministry and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) from time to time sponsor training pogrammes for creation of awareness about the provisions laid down in the Rules. The CPCB has also published guidelines on various aspects of the hazardous waste management for ensuring compliance of the Rules. 

As per the Municipal Solid Waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 2000, the Secretary-in-Charge of the Department of Urban Development of the concerned State or the Union Territory has the overall responsibility for the enforcement of the provision of these Rules in the metropolitan Cities. The District Magistrate or the Deputy Commissioner of the concerned District has the responsibility for enforcement of these Rules with the territorial limits of their Jurisdiction. The CPCB has also issued directions, from time to time, to State Urban Departments for implementation of the Rules in their States. The Ministry and the CPCB has in addition provided financial and technical assistance to set up model landfill sites in a number of cities and for conducting training programmes on the subject.

Parliamentary Consultative Committee of Steel Ministry wants Chiria Mines to be handed over to SAIL

The Parliamentary Consultative Committee attached to the Ministry of Steel, Chemicals and Fertlisers has voiced its concern in the delay in handing over of the Chiria mines by the Jharkhand government to the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL). The Committee also urged the Minister to convene a meeting of the Members of Parliament from Jharkhand and the State government to discuss the issue. They said in the absence of the mining lease, the expansion programme of SAIL has been struck up and in view of rise in steel demand, building up from capacity in steel sector is highly essential. The Steel Authority wants to add 19 million tonne capacity in the state through brownfield and Greenfield expansion route. 

Members also reiterated their demand for banning of iron ore export. The Committee which met here today under the chairmanship of the Minister for Steel, Chemicals and Fertilisers Shri Ram Vilas Paswan to discuss the expansion programme of National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) expressed satisfaction that only 11 per cent of NMDC’s output of iron ore is exported. The Minister pointed out that NMDC’s export is due to the long term contracts which will also expire in near future. Members emphasized the need to have raw material security. They said the country should not export high-grade iron ore without making provision for atleast 50 years requirement including the requirement of the Greenfield projects that might come up in coming years. 

Members also urged the Ministry to take step for the merger of the Bird Group of companies with other project making PSUs under the Steel Ministry. Secretary, Steel, Shri P.K. Rastogi explained that the government has initiated steps to restructure the equity of some of the Bird Group of companies and the merger issue will be taken up after the restructuring is over. 

Members complimented the government for timely steps to contain steel prices. They also advised NMDC to expedite its Rs. 21,000 crore expansion programme. 

Making a presentation, the Chairman of NMDC Shri Rana Som gave out details of the expansion programme. He said the company, whose core strength is mining is now entering steel making and other value added activities. He said the 3 million tonne capacity plant to come up in Chhatisgarh will provide direct and indirect employment to about 20,000 persons. NMDC will also set up pellet plants in Bailadila and Donimalai and expand the capacity of sponge iron making after Sponge Iron India Limited is merged with it. He said NMDC is also entering coal mining with 2 projects in Madhya Pradesh and west Bengal and is tying up with NALCO for Nickel extraction. 

Minister of State for Steel Shri Jitin Prasada was welcomed by the Members. Chairman, Steel Authority of India, Shri S.K. Roongta; Additional Secretary, Shri B.S. Meena and other senior officials were present. 

Members of Parliament who attended meeting included Smt. Jhansi Lakshmi Botcha, Shri Ganesh Prasad Singh, Shri Chandrakant Bhaurao Khaire, Shri Virjibhai Thummar and Shri Bagun Sumbrui from the Lok Sabha and Shri K. Chandran Pillai, Shri Tapan Kumar Sen, Shri Mahendra Sahani and Shri Kumar Deepak Das from the Rajya Sabha.

Share of Atomic Power Generation

The total electricity generation in the country in the year 2007-08 was 7,04,469 Million Units with a nuclear share of about 2.4%. 

The present nuclear power capacity of 4120 MWe will reach 7280 MWe by the year 2011 on progressive completion of projects under construction. XI plan proposals envisage start of work on eight indigenous pressurized Heavy Water Reactors of 700 MWe each and ten imported Light Water Reactors, each of about 1000 MWe and above. 

Of the 4120 MWe capacity in operation, 320 MWe (Tarapur Atomic Power Station-Units 1&2) is fuelled by imported low enriched uranium (LEU), while the remaining 3800 MWe capacity comprising of Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) uses indigenous natural uranium, supplied by the Uranium Corporation of India Limited from its mines in Jharkhand. LEU for TAPS 1&2 is imported from different countries. The average tariff, including cost of generation, return on equity etc. of nuclear power in 2007-08 was Rs.2.28/kWh. 

Currently, there is a demand-supply mismatch in respect of indigenous natural uranium. However, this is temporary and the situation is expected to improve with the opening of new mines. 

This information was given by the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office and Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Shri Prithviraj Chavan in a written reply to a question by Dr. Satyanarayan Jatiya in the Lok Sabha today.

Chinese Coke Prices

Chinese Coke (12.5% ash) Prices (FOB China, in US$) are showing a downward trend. Here are the figures:

Date                         High Price         Low Price 
2008.10.21                        580              530
2008.10.14                        600              550
2008.10.07                        630              580
2008.09.23                        710              650
2008.09.16                        730              660
2008.09.09                        730             660
2008.09.02                        720             680
2008.08.26                        720             670
2008.08.19                        710              660
2008.08.12                        700             660
2008.08.05                        700             660
2008.07.29                         699             662
2008.07.22                         695             653
2008.07.16                         683             655
2008.07.08                         697             657
2008.07.01                         677              638
2008.06.24                         670             640
2008.06.17                         620             610
2008.06.10                         604             601
2008.06.03                        598              592

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

September 2008 crude steel production for the 66 countries reporting to worldsteel

Brussels, 22 October 2008 – World crude steel production for the 66 countries reporting to the World Steel Association (worldsteel) was 108.4 million metric tons (mmt) in September. This is 3.2% lower than the same month last year.
Total world crude steel production was 1,035.8 mmt in the first nine months of 2008, a 4.6% increase over the same period in 2007. In September 2008, the world crude steel production moving annual total (MAT) growth rate further slowed to 4.7% from 5.6% last month.
China’s crude steel production for September 2008 was 39.6 mmt, a decrease of -9.1% on September 2007. In the first nine months of 2008, China produced 391.0 mmt of crude steel, an increase of 6.2% compared to the same period in 2007. 
Overall, Asia produced 60.4 mmt of crude steel in September 2008 compared to 63.7 mmt in September 2007, a -5.1% decrease in crude steel production. South Korea showed a 12.7% increase in September producing 4.6 mmt of crude steel.
In September 2008, the EU produced 17.4 mmt of crude steel, an increase of 0.9% and in the first nine months the EU produced 160.1 mmt, a 1.2% increase over the same period in 2007. Germany produced 4.0 mmt of crude steel in September, a decrease of -0.6 compared to the same month last year. Italy showed an increase of 2.4% producing 2.7 mmt in September. 
Russia produced 6.1 mmt, 7% higher than September 2007 and in South America, Brazil produced 3.0 mmt in September, an increase of 5% compared to the same month in 2007. 
Total crude steel production in North America was 10.9 mmt in September 2008, the same amount as September 2007. The North America MAT growth rate again rose, to 6.4% from 6.1% last month. This is its tenth consecutive monthly increase. 


• Completion of acquisition of three new tenements in the Newman area of the Pilbara iron
ore province, Western Australia.
• Adjoins and compliments Giralia’s existing 100% owned Western Creek project, where
initial 29.4 million tonne iron ore resource recently announced.
• Recent drilling intersections reported by vendor including 34 metres @ 58.31% Fe, and 20
metres @ 59.41% Fe confirm extensions of Giralia’s deposit into newly acquired tenement.
The Directors of Giralia Resources NL ("Giralia") are very pleased to report that the Company hassignificantly expanded its Pilbara region iron ore holdings with the settlement today of the acquisition from Royal Resources Limited (“Royal”, ASX: ROY) of three iron ore prospective tenements adjoining the Company's 100% owned Western Creek iron ore project, on the outskirts of the town of Newman in the Pilbara Region of Western Australia.
Giralia recently announced an initial inferred iron ore resource estimate of 29.4 million tonnes @
57.6% Fe for Marra Mamba iron ore mineralisation at its wholly owned Western Creek tenement,
which directly adjoins the BHP Billiton iron-ore mining leases at Newman.
On 9 October 2008 Royal announced the sale to Giralia of tenements E52/1604, E52/1911 and
E52/1912, which adjoin Giralia’s Western Creek project. The consideration for the sale, which was settled today is:
a) an upfront cash payment of $2.0 million,
b) an assignment of 1 million fully paid Giralia shares, escrowed for six months, and
c) an assignment of 1 million fully paid Giralia shares, escrowed for 12 months.
Drilling results reported by Royal on 30 July 2008 confirm direct extensions to Giralia’s Western Creek resource on the newly acquired tenements, with better intersections of 34 metres @ 58.31% Fe from 10 metres depth, and 20 metres @ 59.41% Fe from 22 metres depth. The Company considers that data from the drilling traverse completed by Royal can be simply incorporated into the current resource model, resulting in an expansion of the existing resource at Western Creek without further drilling.
Other than the extensions to Giralia’s existing resource, the newly acquired area is also considered prospective for further iron ore mineralization hosted by:-
• the Marra Mamba Iron Formation
• pisolitic iron ore in Tertiary Channel Iron Deposits (“CIDs”).
At the “Homestead” prospect in the north of the newly acquired area, limited previous drilling by
Pacminex in 1975 intersected up to 16 metres @ 56.2% Fe in the Marra Mamba Formation. Recent surface sampling by Royal along strike from this drilling returned assays in excess of 62% Fe. Subject to permitting, Giralia plans to further drill test the Homestead prospect in November 2008, as part of the next major drill phase at Western Creek.
In addition an approximately 3 kilometre long channel iron deposit (CID) mesa has been mapped on the newly acquired tenements, with rock chip assays returning direct shipping iron grades.

Option to Purchase - Potash Project

ActivEX Limited (ASX: AIV) is pleased to announce that the Company has signed a 6 month Option to Purchase the Lake Chandler Potash Project near Merredin in Western Australia. The option, which carries a $60,000 fee to be satisfied by the issue of 1 million fully paid AIV ordinary shares to the vendors, can be extended for a further six months for a $30,000 fee to be satisfied by the issue of a further 500,000 fully paid AIV ordinary shares.
The Company can exercise the option at any time in the 12 months by the payment of $600,000 to be satisfied by the issue of 10 million fully paid AIV ordinary shares to the vendors, less any shares already issued to the vendors by way of the option fee. Each issue of shares is subject to prior shareholder approval.
Lake Chandler Potash Project
The project consists of a granted Mining Lease 50km north of the Western Australian wheat-belt town of Merredin, 300km east of Perth, owned by Michael Ruane and R C Sadleir Pty Ltd.
Potash was produced from the deposit in the period 1943 to 1950 but the operations have been idle since. During the last 15 years considerable test work has been carried out on extraction methods for potash and high quality alumina from the deposit and it is considered by the Company that advances in technology may allow for a simpler and more effective utilisation of the resource. The Company will carry out further test work and market research to confirm the viability of the process.
Potash in Demand
ActivEX Managing Director Mr Doug Young said today “The worldwide demand for fertilisers has escalated dramatically in the past 18 months as a result of several factors, principally the increased demand for foodstuffs and the competing demands on agricultural products for fuel stocks. Australia is a major importer of fertiliser, in particular potash products and new developments in this field should find a ready-made market. Expectations for the worldwide fertiliser markets are for steady increases with sustained high prices over the 2009-2020 period, making it particularly attractive in light of the recent downward re-valuation of the Australian dollar”.
“Having reviewed numerous project acquisitions, this project is seen as a significant opportunity for the Company. It has the potential to turn the Company into a producer with the delivery of high-quality products into the WA markets”.
Shareholder approval to issue the first tranche of shares will be sought at the Company’s November 2008 Annual General Meeting.


BHP Billiton delivered a solid performance in the first quarter of the 2009 financial year. This was achieved within a challenging supply environment characterised by unexpected disruptions,including the hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico.
Consistent with the outlook statement given at our interim and preliminary results, China has not been immune to the global slowdown. Macroeconomic indicators show that Chinese growth has softened during the quarter, albeit from very high levels. We expect volatility and uncertainty to continue in the short term. Notwithstanding this short term uncertainty, we remain confident that the ongoing industrialisation and urbanisation of China and other developing economies will continue to drive strong longer term demand for our products.
Our uniquely diversified portfolio of low cost and high quality assets places us at a competitive advantage in the current uncertain environment and we are well positioned to capitalise as markets recover. Our strong cash flow and balance sheet allows us to re-invest throughout the cycle, in our growth projects that are focused on lower risk brownfield expansions in high margin commodities.
􀂾 Quarterly production records delivered at Hunter Valley Coal, Mining Area C, Saraji (all Australia), Samarco (Brazil), Samancor Manganese (South Africa), Cerrejon Coal
(Colombia) and Zamzama (Pakistan) operations.
􀂾 Record quarterly shipments for iron ore to meet customer demand.
􀂾 Samarco Third Pellet Plant (Brazil) successfully ramped up to full design capacity.
􀂾 Olympic Dam (Australia) achieved a quarterly record for ore hoisted and material mined.
􀂾 Petroleum production was 15 per cent higher than the September 2007 quarter due to newly commissioned projects and strong operational performance. This was achieved despite the impact of two hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico (USA).
􀂾 Kalgoorlie Nickel Smelter (Australia) rebuild was successfully completed ahead of
Total Petroleum Products – Production was 15 per cent higher than the September 2007 quarter driven by the ramp up of new projects delivered in the 2008 financial year. In addition two new projects commenced during the quarter, Neptune (USA) and North West Shelf Train 5 (Australia), contributing additional volumes. Two million barrels of oil equivalent was delayed due to the impact of two hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico.
As announced by the operator, the Mad Dog (USA) drilling rig was lost as a result of Hurricane Ike. The facility was shut down for part of the September 2008 quarter. It is currently anticipated that production will resume in the next quarter. The operator and other owners are currently examining options to permanently address the rig loss at Mad Dog. 
Crude Oil, Condensate, and Natural Gas Liquids – Production was 31 per cent higher than the September 2007 quarter due to significant growth in high margin crude production from new projects. This was achieved despite the impact of two hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico.Production was slightly lower than the previous quarter, mainly due to the impact of hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and unplanned interruptions at Bruce (UK).
Natural Gas – Production was in line with the September 2007 quarterly production record and the prior quarter.
Alumina – Production decreased for the quarter mainly due to scheduled maintenance at Alumar (Brazil) and Worsley (Australia). Stockpiled hydrate from the calciner outages at Alumar and Worsley is expected to be processed next quarter.
Aluminium – The Southern African smelters continued to operate at reduced levels to comply with the mandatory reduction in power consumption. The September 2008 quarter included the complete shutdown of the B and C potlines at Bayside (South Africa).
Copper – Production was in line with the September 2007 quarter driven by the continued ramp up of Spence and Escondida Sulphide Leach (both Chile) and improved reliability, head grade and recovery at Olympic Dam; this was offset by lower production at Escondida. In line with expectations, production was lower than the June 2008 quarter. Escondida’s production was impacted by declining ore grade and poor reliability in the electrical motor of the Laguna Seca SAG mill. Escondida has reduced throughput to minimise potential of further stoppages. However, this will result in reduced copper concentrate production until a permanent solution is implemented within an estimated nine month period.
The impact to total copper production at Escondida is estimated to be around 10 per cent in the 2009 financial year. This is in addition to the impact of grade decline announced in the June 2008 quarter.
Lead – Production was lower than the September 2007 quarter due to lower head grades at Cannington (Australia) and Antamina (Peru). Production was higher than the June 2008 quarter due to increased mill throughput.
Zinc – Production was higher than the September 2007 quarter mainly due to improved grade at Antamina.
Silver – Production decreased versus the September 2007 quarter due to lower grades at Cannington and Antamina. Lower production at Escondida was in line with lower concentrate production. This was partially offset by improved mining performance at Olympic Dam.
Production increased versus the June 2008 quarter primarily due to increased mill throughput at Cannington and improved mining performance at Olympic Dam.
Uranium – Production increased versus all comparative quarters due to an improvement in uranium recovery at Olympic Dam. Olympic Dam also achieved a record for ore hoisted and material mined.
Diamonds – Production decreased compared to the June 2008 and September 2007 quarters mainly due to lower grades and a change in ore source. As Ekati (Canada) transitions from open pit mining to underground mining the mix of ore processed will change from time to time. During the quarter Ekati processed a higher proportion of higher value carats from Koala underground as production continues to ramp up.
Nickel – In line with expectations, production for the quarter was affected by a major furnace rebuild at the Kalgoorlie Nickel Smelter. The Kwinana Nickel Refinery (Australia) was shut down for the same duration for maintenance activities. The furnace rebuild was successfully completed ahead of schedule. Production at the smelter is now back at full capacity and the refinery is expected to be at full capacity by the end of October 2008. In addition, Yabulu (Australia) was impacted by planned maintenance. This was partially offset by the continued ramp up of Ravensthorpe and the Yabulu Extension Project (both Australia).
Iron Ore – Record shipments were achieved for the quarter ended September 2008. Production was 15 per cent higher than the September 2007 quarter due to the successful execution of a series of growth projects in Western Australia.
In addition, Samarco (Brazil) set a quarterly production record as the operations benefited from the successful ramp up of the third pellet plant. Production at Western Australian Iron Ore for the September 2008 quarter was impacted by the temporary suspension of operations following safety incidents.
Manganese Ore – Production was higher than the September 2007 quarter due to improved mine performance at GEMCO (Australia) and Hotazel (South Africa) and increased availability of rail and port capacity in South Africa.
Production for the quarter was in line with the June 2008 quarter. The South African operations achieved a fourth consecutive quarterly record. GEMCO production was impacted by maintenance and tie-in activities for its expansion project.
Manganese Alloy – Production for the quarter was higher than both comparative quarters despite the impact of the mandatory 10 per cent reduction in power consumption and load shedding in South Africa.
Metallurgical Coal – Production continued to recover strongly from the wet weather events earlier in the year with record production for the quarter achieved at Saraji. Mines are now operating at full capacity whilst continuing to manage water and mud removal. Queensland Coal (Australia) had record shipments for the quarter.
Illawarra Coal’s (Australia) production decreased for the quarter mainly due to extended longwall change outs.
Energy Coal – Quarterly production records were achieved at Cerrejon Coal and Hunter Valley Coal. Production at New Mexico Coal (USA) was higher than the September 2007 quarter due to increased operational efficiencies at Navajo (USA). Moreover, the comparative quarter was impacted by poor geological conditions at San Juan (USA). Production was in line with the quarter ended June 2008.
Throughout this report, unless otherwise stated, production volumes refer to BHP Billiton share and exclude suspended and sold operations. This report together with the Exploration and Development Report represent the Interim Management Statement for the purposes of the UK Listing Authority’s Disclosure and Transparency Rules. There have been no significant changes in the financial position of the Group in the quarter ended 30 September 2008.