Monday, November 30, 2009

Greater precision and flexibility in BF charging: Start up at Tata Steel of the Simetal GimbalTop charging system as part of the re-built ‘C’ blast furnace

Since end of September 2009, the re-built blast furnace ‘C’ at Tata Steel Ltd´s Jamshedpur
works India has been operating with Siemens new Simetal Gimbal Top charging systems.
Tata Steel became the world´s first steelmaker to utilize this new charging system on a blast
furnace. From furnace fill, through blow-in to its current operating level of 2,000 tonnes of
hot metal per day, the top charging system has already completed in excess of 28,000 skip
charges without major interruption. The Gimbal Top provides Tata Steel with precise
material distribution and the potential of infinite flexibility in the choice of charging patterns.

With an annual production of 24.4 million tonnes in 2008, Tata Steel Ltd is India’s leading
steelmaker and among the world’s top ten and one of the least cost global steel producers. They
chose Gimbal charging technology as part of their drive to seek new innovative technologies inBlast Furnace operation. Hemant M. Nerurkar, Managing Director of Tata Steel Ltd., said, "We are convinced that operations at C blast furnace and production as a whole will greatly be enhanced by the implementation of the Gimbal technology. The technical know-how and dedication of Siemens and Tata Steel have complemented each other ideally in the modernization of the blast furnace."

Geoff Wingrove, Director Siemens VAI Metals Technologies UK, added further, "We are delighted that, with our support, Tata Steel have successfully achieved start up of ‘C’ blast furnace incorporating the very latest in charging technology. Blow-in of the upgraded furnace provides the opportunity to demonstrate to our customers the significant cost savings and benefits that can be achieved with the system by improvements in blast furnace operation and maintenance when compared to current market alternatives.”

Siemens received the order to supply a new top charging system in 2007 as part of a scheduled
re-build of Tata Steel’s blast furnace ‘C’ at their Jamshedpur Steel Works, located in the State ofJharkand. The capacity of this blast furnace which is one of eight in Jamshedpur has been raised from 400,000 to 700,000 tonnes per annum as part of the modernization. The scope of the project for a new furnace top charging system included the new distributor, material hopper, valves and associated Level 1 automation. This new charging system already proven in high temperature and pressure operations is ideally suited for the blast furnace operation.

The new Gimbal Top charging system utilizes a conical distribution chute supported by rings in a gimbal arrangement. This tilting chute is hydraulically driven through the operating shafts, connecting rods and universal joints in order to drive the gimbal rings. This integrated charging solution provides blast furnace operators with precise material distribution and the potential for an infinite number of charging patterns.

Anand Sharma meets coalition partners G-20 and G-33 in Geneva – discusses state of play of WTO Doha Round Negotiations
Shri Anand Sharma, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, addressed Ministerial meetings of the two major coalitions of developing countries in the WTO agriculture negotiations, namely, the G-20 and G-33, in Geneva yesterday. These meetings were convened by Brazil and Indonesia, the coordinators of the G-20 and G-33 respectively, to discuss the state of play of the WTO Doha Round negotiations. Coordinators of other developing country groups, including Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small and Vulnerable Economies (SVEs) also participated in the meeting convened by the G-20. In his remarks, Shri Sharma highlighted the centrality of development in the Doha Round, and stressed that while striving for a balanced and ambitious outcome, the aspirations of the people of the developing world must be met.

Shri Sharma observed that in order to take the Round to a successful conclusion in 2010, it was important to achieve convergence through text-based negotiations, with a view to narrowing differences on major outstanding issues. He expressed concern about the limited progress on substantive issues since the resumption of talks in September 2009. He said that it was imperative to first lay the foundation for a meaningful stocktaking exercise by Ministers early next year. Shri Sharma emphasized the need for continued solidarity of developing country groups at this defining moment of the Doha Round. He appreciated the pivotal role of the G-20, in driving the agenda of the agriculture negotiations at the WTO and called for maintaining the Group’s unity. He also appreciated the concerted efforts of the G-33 which had paid rich dividends in the negotiations on the critical Special and Differential treatment provisions of Special Products and the Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM).

G-20 Ministers noted that international trade had been seriously impacted by the world economic crisis. The crisis had highlighted the risks associated with protectionism, including the substantial trade-distorting subsidies provided by developed countries. They noted that developing countries had borne the brunt of the crisis as they lacked the resources to fund stimulus packages or bail-out programmes.

G-33 Ministers collectively reiterated that the international trade regime must complement the realization of their development requirements by guaranteeing their food security, livelihood security and rural development. They sought a multilateral trading system which was supportive of the needs of all people, especially those who tended to be marginalized by globalization. They expressed concern at recent trends to retract commitments made in a long, hard-fought, negotiated package which was now on the table and called upon all Members for demonstrating strong political will for concluding the Round.

Shri Sharma is scheduled to address the plenary session of the WTO Ministerial Conference and a SAARC Ministerial meeting convened by Sri Lanka and a meeting of the Informal Group of 110 Developing Countries.
National Fund for Development of Mining Sector

The Minister of Mines and Minister of Development of North Eastern Region Shri B.K. Handique has said that the Central Government has initiated a process to introduce legislative changes in terms of the National Mineral Policy, 2008, which enunciates setting up of fund for mineral development through levy of separate cess. In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today, he said, the amount of revenue likely to be generated cannot be estimated at present since it is dependent on the finalization of rate of cess by Government.

Sundance to appoint Reg Nelson as a Director


US-focused oil and gas developer, Sundance Energy Australia Limited (ASX: SEA) is very pleased to announce that Australian oil and gas industry leader Reg Nelson has agreed to join the Board as a non-executive director. The effective date will be announced separately.


Mr. Nelson is Managing Director of Beach Petroleum (ASX: BPT), with which Sundance recently signed an MOU to jointly identify, evaluate and potentially acquire new unconventional oil and gas assets in Australasia and, possibly, in other parts of the world.


He has a career spanning nearly four decades as an exploration geophysicist in the minerals and petroleum industries. He is a member and previous Chairman of the peak industry organisation, the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA).


Speaking at the Company’s AGM in Adelaide today, Sundance Chairman Mike Hannell said Mr. Nelson’s technical and corporate experience will add value to the Board and shareholders.


“Reg’s knowledge of oil and gas plays in Australia will allow us to further leverage our expanding US asset base, as well as identifying and exploring local opportunities here through the recent agreement with Beach,” Mr. Hannell said.


“This appointment adds significant depth to the Sundance Board and leadership team, and, following the signing of the MOU, further strengthens our relationship with Beach in a manner that will benefit shareholders of both companies,” he said.


Mr. Nelson said he was pleased to join the Sundance Board.


“Sundance has a proven track record of identifying shale opportunities in the US market at an early stage, developing them and then bringing in larger partners to achieve positive economies of scale. Beach is excited to be in business with Sundance,” Mr. Nelson said.

30 NOVEMBER 2009


IMX Resources and OZ Minerals Heads Of Agreement and Share Placement


OZ Minerals Limited (ASX:OZL) and IMX Resources Limited (ASX:IXR) have signed a binding Heads of Agreement with the intention of forming a Joint Venture Agreement to explore for and develop copper-gold projects on IMX’s Mt Woods tenements in South Australia. These tenements are largely contiguous with OZ Minerals tenements, which include its Prominent Hill mine (Figure 2). IMX will retain the rights to any predominantly iron ore discoveries.


OZ Minerals considers the area surrounding the Prominent Hill copper-gold mine to be prospective for the discovery of similar types of deposits and as such, the tenements surrounding Prominent Hill are a high exploration priority.


Commenting on the deal, IMX Managing Director, Duncan McBain said “IMX sees the proposed copper-gold Joint Venture as a win-win situation that will result in a greatly increased level of exploration expenditure for copper-gold targets during the next five years. IMX intends to be a very active joint venture partner. With IMX retaining the rights where iron ore is the dominant economic mineral, it means we are able to continue to expand our iron ore strategy in the Cairn Hill / Mt Woods area”, he said


On announcing the proposed Joint Venture Agreement, OZ Minerals Managing Director and CEO Terry Burgess said, “The Joint Venture will allow exploration on the IMX tenements to be expedited, for the benefit of both OZ Minerals and IMX shareholders. The proximity of the tenements to the existing Prominent Hill mine infrastructure greatly enhances the chance of an economic discovery.”


In addition to the exploration agreement, IMX has agreed to place 26,150,000 fully paid ordinary shares (representing 15% of its issued capital) to OZ Minerals at 38.5 cents per share, which is a 25% premium to the 30-day VWAP prior to this announcement.  IMX will receive $10.068m from the placement.  Following the placement OZ Minerals will hold 13.0% of IMX.



The two parties have entered a binding Heads of Agreement with the intention of rapidly progressing this to a formal Joint Venture Agreement.


On signing the Joint Venture Agreement, OZ Minerals will immediately earn a 51% interest in the proposed copper-gold Joint Venture and will retain this provided it spends a minimum of $4 million a year over the next five years for a total of $20m. If OZ Minerals fails to spend this amount it forfeits the entire 51%.


After this expenditure, both parties have the option to contribute pro rata to any further expenditure on exploration. Should IMX not contribute, OZ Minerals can earn up to a maximum of 75% at this phase by sole funding a further $20m, with IMX progressively diluting. IMX cannot be diluted below 25% and would at this point be free carried through the conclusion of a bankable feasibility study (BFS) on any discovery.


Upon successful completion of a BFS and subsequent decision to proceed with a development, IMX has the option of either funding its 25% share of development to retain its interest or converting to a royalty of between 2.5-3.0%.


Depending on the magnitude and nature of any discovery, ore from a development could be processed through OZ Minerals Prominent Hill operations.


The Joint Venture excludes any discoveries made by either IMX or the Joint Venture in which the iron ore/magnetite value exceeds the combined value of the other minerals which will then revert to IMX.  The Joint Venture excludes iron ore/magnetite on the Cairn Hill mineral lease currently owned by Termite Resources NL (100% IMX) but does include any new discoveries that are not predominately iron on this lease.


Commenting on the transaction, OZ Minerals Head of Business Development Richard Hedstrom said “This agreement is a tremendous opportunity for both parties to extract maximum value from their respective assets and is very much in line with the OZ Minerals strategy of investing in prospective early stage exploration projects.”


The IMX shares to be placed to OZ Minerals will be subject to a 24 month escrow with a 12 month non dilution clause.


Reflecting the significance of the investment in the exploration program and the equity, IMX has invited John Nitschke, Executive General Manger – Projects & Technical Services, OZ Minerals, to joint the Board of IMX.


Johann Jacobs, Chairman of IMX, said “The IMX board welcomes John Nitschke and looks forward to building a beneficial relationship with OZ Minerals.”


27 November 2009

Wholly Unconditional Recommended Increased Final Cash Offer for Novera
The Boards of Infinis Energy and Novera are today pleased to announce the terms of a revised
recommended cash offer for Novera of 77 pence per Novera Share, which is final and will not
be increased (the “Recommended Increased Final Offer”).
Earlier today, Infinis Energy acquired 5,071,434 Novera Shares, representing approximately
3.50 per cent. of the existing issued share capital of Novera, from a single shareholder, at a
price of 77 pence per Novera Share. Pursuant to Rule 6.2 of the City Code, the Revised Offer
made by Infinis Energy on 25 November 2007 (the “Previous Offer”) is being increased
Following this purchase, Infinis Energy now owns 72,634,035 Novera Shares, representing
approximately 50.15 per cent, of the existing issued share capital of Novera. On 17 November
2009, Infinis Energy announced that it had received valid acceptances for its Offer in respect
of 226,261 Novera Shares representing approximately 0.16 per cent. of the existing issued
share capital of Novera. Infinis Energy therefore has now received valid acceptances in
respect of Novera Shares and acquired or agreed to acquire Novera Shares which it may count
towards the satisfaction of the Condition of the Recommended Increased Final Offer in
respect of a total of 72,860,296 Novera Shares representing, in aggregate, approximately
50.31 per cent. of the existing issued share capital of Novera.
The only Condition to the Previous Offer was that valid acceptances were received which,
together with Novera Shares acquired or agreed to be acquired before such time, would result
in Infinis Energy holding Novera Shares representing, in aggregate, more than 50 per cent. of
the voting rights exercisable at a general meeting of Novera. Accordingly, Infinis Energy’s
Recommended Increased Final Offer is now wholly unconditional.
The Recommended Increased Final Offer represents a premium of approximately:
• 59.6 per cent. to the closing middle market price of 48.3 pence per Novera Share on 6
October 2009; and
• 76.0 per cent. to the average closing middle market price of 43.8 pence per Novera Share
for the six months up to and including 6 October 2009.
Infinis Energy believes that its Recommended Increased Final Offer is in the best interests of
Novera Shareholders providing an attractive exit, in cash, at a compelling premium.
The Novera Board, which has been so advised by Hawkpoint and Oriel Securities, considers
the terms of the Recommended Increased Final Offer to be fair and reasonable and
recommends that Novera Shareholders accept the Recommended Increased Final Offer, as
each Novera Director who holds Novera Shares intends to do in respect to his own beneficial
holdings. In providing their advice, Hawkpoint and Oriel Securities have taken into account
the commercial assessments of the Novera Board.
Irrevocable undertakings
Infinis Energy has received irrevocable undertakings from each Novera Director who holds
Novera Shares to accept the Recommended Increased Final Offer in respect of their own
beneficial holdings, representing approximately 0.24 per cent. of the existing issued share
capital of Novera.
Infinis Energy has also received irrevocable undertakings from certain institutional
shareholders to accept the Recommended Increased Final Offer in respect of their entire
holdings, representing approximately 17.76 per cent. of the existing issued share capital of
Novera. Infinis Energy has therefore received, in total, irrevocable undertakings to accept or
procure the acceptance of the Offer in respect of Novera Shares representing approximately
18.0 per cent. of the existing issued share capital of Novera.
Further details of these irrevocable undertakings, including the circumstances in which they
will cease to be binding, are set out at the Appendix to this announcement.
Extension of Recommended Increased Final Offer
Infinis Energy announces that the Recommended Increased Final Offer will remain open for
acceptance until further notice and for a period of not less than 14 days from the date that the
revised offer document is posted.
As a result of this extension, 1.00 p.m. on 30 November 2009 is no longer a closing date for
the Offer and, therefore, no announcement of the level of acceptances as of that date will be
Revised offer document
A revised offer document containing further terms of the Recommended Increased Final Offer
will be sent to Novera Shareholders shortly.
Settlement of the consideration to which Novera Shareholders are entitled under the
Recommended Increased Final Offer will be despatched to validly accepting Novera
Shareholders: (i) in the case of acceptances received, valid and complete in all respects, as at
1.00 p.m. today, within 14 days of today's date; or (ii) in the case of acceptances received,
valid and complete in all respects, after 1.00 p.m. today but while the Recommended
Increased Final Offer remains open for acceptance, within 14 days of such receipt, and in
either case in the manner otherwise described in the Offer Document.
Acceptance of the Recommended Increased Final Offer
Novera Shareholders who wish to accept the Recommended Increased Final Offer and have
not yet done so through acceptance of the Offer are urged to do so in the manner set out in the
Offer Document and, if they hold Novera Shares in certificated form, deliver a Form of
Acceptance in accordance with the instructions set out thereon and in the Offer Document and
Revised Offer Document (when published) as soon as practicable and in any event by no later
than the final closing date to be announced in due course.
Previous acceptors of the Offer
Novera Shareholders who have already accepted the Offer will obtain the benefit of, and be
deemed to have accepted, the Recommended Increased Final Offer. Such Novera
Shareholders need take no further action (assuming its Form(s) of Acceptance have been
delivered valid and complete in all respects).
Reservation of rights
Infinis Energy reserves the right, pursuant to Rule 32.2 of the City Code, not to be bound by
its no increase statement above and to increase the Recommended Increased Final Offer in the
event of either a competitive situation arising or otherwise with the consent of the Panel.
Further information
Copies of the Offer Document and the Form of Acceptance are available (during normal
business hours) from Capita Registrars at Corporate Actions, The Registry, 34 Beckenham
Road, Beckenham, Kent BR3 4TU. In addition, any Novera Shareholder can obtain an
electronic copy via email from Capita Registrars. Details for telephoning Capita Registrars
from outside the United Kingdom are set out below.
If you have any questions as to how to complete the Form of Acceptance (or wish to request
additional Forms of Acceptance) or as to how to make an Electronic Acceptance, please
contact Capita Registrars on 0871 664 0321 or +44 20 8639 3399 (if telephoning from outside
the United Kingdom) between 9.00 a.m. and 5.00 p.m. (London time) Monday to Friday
(excluding United Kingdom public holidays) or at the address set out above.

IGNITE-30th Nov-2009

Date: 29th November 2009


National Innovation Foundation (NIF), setup in 2000, is an autonomous organisation supported by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India. The NIF provides institutional support in scouting and scaling up useful innovations and outstanding traditional knowledge practices originating from the unorganized sectors of the society.

The NIF is organising the Award Function for the IGNITE 09- the National Competition for students’ technological ideas and innovation, on 30th November 2009 at RJMCEI, IIM Ahmedabad between 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm. The awards to the children would be given by Hon’ble Dr Abdul Kalam. There will also be an exhibition of the award winning ideas/innovation at the venue. Some of the exhibits would include an automatic food making machine, a breathing sensor apparatus to assist the physically challenged, flameless seal maker, traveling stroller with folding seat, rain water harvesting umbrella, stroller with triangular wheels amongst others.

IGNITE is organised in partnership with Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Navodaya Vidyala Samiti, Nagaland Board of School Education, Maharashtra State Board of Secondary & Higher Secondary Education, Society for Research and Initiatives in Sustainable Technologies and Institutions (SRISTI), Everonn Education Limited and others .

The IGNITE 09 contest, which ran from April 15, 2009 to September 15, 2009, saw participation of students from 82 districts of 21 states of the country. Over all 1344 entries were received, which ranged from sectors like energy, environment, transport, general household utility items and many even discussed societal problems.  The award winners were announced on October 15th, the birth day of children’s favorite Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, former President of India, celebrated as the Children’s Innovation Day by NIF. A total of 19 students won awards in different categories. Two schools were selected for recognition for their efforts to promote originality in the children and to motivate children learn and preserve traditional knowledge .

All practical and useful ideas/innovations may be given financial and mentoring support by NIF.  In the deserving cases, patents will be filed in their name too at no cost to them.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Get Involved! Spread the message with the latest “Champions Drink Responsibly” video viral
Hamilton, Bermuda, November , 2009 – Bacardi Limited, the largest privately held spirits company in the world, and seven-time Formula OneTM world champion Michael Schumacher, today announced the renewal of their very successful partnership to promote the “Champions Drink Responsibly” campaign internationally. Michael also will continue as the Bacardi Limited Global Social Responsibility Ambassador through to 2011, helping to spread the message ‘Drinking and Driving Don’t Mix.’ Bacardi Limited and Schumacher first teamed up in the area of social responsibility in 2008 and this award-winning campaign has grown and reached more than 80 million people around the world. 

“I’m delighted to be continuing my work with Bacardi Limited to help spread the message to the public that ‘Drinking and Driving Don’t Mix’ and letting them know about the responsible options of using public transportation, taking a taxi, designating a driver, or drinking non-alcoholic cocktails if they must drive. This is a cause I really believe in and I look forward to building on the success of the award-winning “Champions Drink Responsibly” campaign. Promoting the message here in China at the Race of Champions is just one example of the campaign’s commitment to spreading these messages worldwide,” said Michael Schumacher.

The continuation of the partnership was announced today in Beijing, where Michael was attending the Race of Champions. Bacardi Limited is an Official Partner of the Race of Champions.

As part of the announcement, Bacardi Limited launched a new viral video starring Schumacher. The video was premiered during the Race of Champions and watched by more than 70,000 spectators in the Beijing Bird’s Nest Stadium. In the video, to illustrate the campaign message of ‘Drinking and Driving Don’t Mix,’ Schumacher drives world famous mixologist Salvatore Calabrese at full throttle around a racetrack while Salvatore is trying to mix a Duo Maestro cocktail with a very messy and unsuccessful result. Visit or log on to the “Champions Drink Responsibly” channel on YouTube to see more.

“This is the latest in a series of entertaining campaign-related viral videos -- it was great fun to make and I hope it will further communicate the importance of not drinking and driving and the alternative choices available in an engaging, memorable and impactful way. I hope viewers will send this video to their family and friends and help us spread the message.” added Schumacher.

“It is fantastic that we will be continuing our partnership with Michael – he has been a truly committed Ambassador to our “Champions Drink Responsibly” campaign. We have reached millions of people with our responsible drinking message and I hope people will continue to engage with the campaign and help spread the message with our new video viral,” said Séamus E. McBride, President and CEO of Bacardi Limited. “We rewarded 30 consumers from around the world in May with an amazing driving experience with Michael as their designated driver. It was a fantastic success in raising international awareness of the campaign and I look forward to rewarding more consumers in new ways next year.”

The “Champions Drink Responsibly” campaign will be supported in many local markets globally where Bacardi is able to run relevant local initiatives targeted at consumers in impactful ways. Since the launch in April 2008 to worldwide attention, “Champions Drinks Responsibly” has been activated in more than 40 countries around the world and has engaged people in many different ways. In Latin America, the campaign spread the message through giveaways to consumers while they were enjoying a night out, as well as advertising at travels hubs. In Europe, the campaign promoted the message through consumer competitions, social media and giving away special campaign non-alcoholic cocktails at public events. In Asia, Champions Drink Responsibly worked with local sports stars to promote the message as well as offering a free taxi ordering service.

In his role as Bacardi Limited Social Responsibility Ambassador, Schumacher also appeared on hit BBC TV program “Top Gear” where he spoke about the campaign’s important message—touching more consumers, as the program is aired in more than 100 countries.

The success of “Champions Drinks Responsibly” was acknowledged with the campaign being awarded the best International Communication at the 2008 European Excellence Awards and recently the campaign was awarded the 2009 PRCA In-House CSR Award. The campaign is nominated for two further awards in 2009.

Details of next phase of the program will be announced in the coming months. 

Bacardi Limited has a pioneering heritage in promoting social responsibility messages with its first campaign taking place in Mexico in 1931. Since then, the Company has created some widely respected social responsibility initiatives in the 1970s with its two decade running, award-winning U.S. campaign "Bacardi mixes with everything, except driving" program and its successful "Driver's Corner" in Germany and Austria, as well as its "Whatever Your Reason" television campaign in the United States personalizing the responsibility message to touch adult consumers about the different reasons they have for drinking responsibly.

About Bacardi Limited

Bacardi Limited, the largest privately held spirits company in the world, produces and markets a variety of internationally recognized spirits. The Bacardi Limited brand portfolio consists of more than 200 brands and labels including: BACARDI® rum, the world's number-one selling rum and the world’s most awarded premium rum; GREY GOOSE® vodka, the world-leader in super premium vodka; DEWAR'S® Scotch whisky, the number-one selling blended Scotch whisky in the United States; BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® gin, the top valued premium gin; CAZADORES® blue agave tequila, the top-selling premium tequila worldwide; MARTINI® vermouth, the world-leader in vermouth; and other leading brands. 

About Michael Schumacher

Michael Schumacher is the seven-time FIA Formula 1TM World Champion and considered according to the official Formula 1TM website, "statistically the greatest driver the sport has ever seen". Schumacher decided to continue his association with Ferrari by becoming a consultant. Schumacher holds many records in Formula 1TM, including most drivers' championships, 91 race victories, fastest laps, pole positions, points scored and most races won in a single season. Schumacher is the first and only Formula 1TM driver to have an entire season of podium finishes (2002). In September 2007, Schumacher announced he would be the Bacardi Limited Social Responsibility Ambassador to communicate an international “drinking and driving don’t mix” social responsibility message.

About Bacardi Limited

Bacardi Limited is the largest privately held spirits company in the world and produces and markets a variety of internationally recognized spirits. The Bacardi Limited brand portfolio consists of more than 200 brands and labels, including: BACARDI® rum, the world’s number-one selling premium rum; GREY GOOSE® vodka, the world-leader in super-premium vodka; DEWAR’S® Scotch whisky, the number-one selling blended Scotch whisky in the United States; BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® gin, the top-valued premium gin in the world; CAZADORES® blue agave tequila, the top-selling premium tequila worldwide; MARTINI & ROSSI® vermouth, the world-leader in vermouth; and other leading brands. 

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Developing Indian economy, vast and beautiful coastline, virgin forests, undisturbed idyllic islands and rich historical and cultural heritage make India a fabulous destination for cruise tourists: Kumari Selja
The Union Tourism Minister Kumari Selja has said that with the Indian Economy developing at a steady pace, middle class growing in number and increasingly possessing disposable incomes which could be spent on leisure activities, India could also take on cruise shipping in a big way. She was speaking here today on the occasion of announcement of arrival of International Cruising ship Aquamarine in India. The Minister said that India with its vast and beautiful coastline, virgin forests and undisturbed idyllic islands, rich historical and cultural heritage, can be a fabulous tourist destination for cruise tourists

The Minister said, while Cruise Shipping is one of the most dynamic and fastest growing components of the leisure industry worldwide and emerging as a new marketable commodity/product with growing rate of 12% per annum globally, it is still in its infancy in India and only recently has witnessed some activity in the country.

Kumari Selja said, Cruise Shipping world over is seen as employment generating leisure activities. On an average, about 1000 passengers travel on a cruise vessel (medium size). When such vessels arrive at a Port, automatically there is demand for a whole lot of services. Thus a cruise call results in gainful employment to a lot of people. Cruise ships also require bunkers, provisions, bonds stores in large quantities, agency service and crew etc. All these demands can be met locally. To that extent, the Minister said, there will be contribution to the Indian economy from this sector.

She said, Cruising is a ‘supply driven’ market because cruise liners are ever in search of new markets, new itineraries and new destinations. If adequate facilities, services and infrastructure are provided, they will in turn attract more and more cruise operators. The Minister said, India’s 7,517 Kms long coastline and strong port positioning imparts a natural advantage to the country to attract international cruise lines. India’s positioning in South East Asia and its proximity to already popular cruise destinations would enable strong cruise circuits to be created over a period of time. India’s strong domestic tourism sector would enable the country to achieve a strong domestic cruise sector that could complement the growth and support viability.

Referring to the Government’s efforts to promote the sector, Kumari Selja said, the Cruise Shipping Policy was approved on June 26, 2008 with the aim to develop India both as Source and Destination Market, to increase the number of cruise ship calls and passenger arrivals in a sustainable manner. She said, her Ministry extends financial assistance to the State Governments/UT Administrations for development of tourism infrastructure including cruise tourism under Product/Infrastructure Development for Destinations & Circuits scheme and to Port Trust Authorities under the scheme of Assistance to Central Agencies for Infrastructure Development. The Centre has already sanctioned Rs.1450.00 lakh to Cochin Port Trust, Kochi in the year 2008-09 and Rs.52.70 lakh to Poompuhar Shipping Corporation Ltd. Chennai for purchase of ferries in Tamil Nadu in the year 2008-09.

She said, the Ministry of Tourism has been promoting Cruise Tourism at various international platforms as such World Travel Mart, London, ITB-Berlin, and Arabian Travel Marts etc.

Kumari Selja said, the Commonwealth Games 2010 in New Delhi will provide us an opportunity to receive a large number of visitors from the Commonwealth Nations. And new facilities such as Cruise Tourism will no doubt help us in sustainable development of the Tourism sector.

In the function ,Kerala government was represented by Shri Anand Kumar , Resident Commissioner in DELHI.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Export registers 6.6% decline in October 2009


Addressing a press conference here today, Shri Anand Sharma, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, has stated that quick estimates of exports during October, 2009 indicates significant signs of stabilization and improvement in the Indian exports compared to decline of close to 39% in May 200. “The decline in exports in October 2009 was only 6.6% in Dollar terms ($13.19 Billion in October 2009 vis-à-vis $ 14.13 Billion in October, 2008). The stablisation in the exports needs to be viewed in the context of projections of IMF of 11.9% decline in world trade volume during the year 2009 coupled with 36.6% decline in commodity prices of oil, and 20.3% decline in non-fuel commodity prices during 2009”, the Minister added.

An analysis of the sectoral performance indicates that the following sectors have continued to do well with no effect of global slowdown (with increase in exports of US$ terms during April-October, 2009 as compared to corresponding period of previous year): Man-made yarn / fabric / made ups (+1.2%).; Tobacco(+20.5%); Fruits and Vegetables (+5.7%)

Further analysis shows that some export commodities which were significantly impacted by global slowdown, have now shown a turnaround in exports during October, 2009 (with positive export in October, 2009 as compared to October 2008): Plastic and Linoleum [+13.2% in Oct 09; (-) 18.6% in Apr-Oct 09]; Drugs and Pharmaceuticals [+9.3% in Oct 09; (-) 9% in Apr-Oct 09]; Marine Products[+3.7% in Oct 09; (-) 1.1% in Apr-Oct 09]; Iron ore [+250% in Oct 09; (-) 19.9% in Apr-Oct 09]; Spices [+18.2% in Oct 09; (-) 22.1% in Apr-Oct 09]; Oil meal [+19.8% in Oct 09; (-) 37.1% in Apr-Oct 09]; Cashew [+20.6% in Oct 09; (-) 21.9% in Apr-Oct 09]; Petroleum products [+7.8% in Oct 09; (-) 37.9% in Apr-Oct 09]

Some export commodities which were significantly impacted by global slowdown have shown lower rate of decline in October, 2009 as compared to earlier months: Cotton yarn / fabrics / made ups [(-)9.7% in Oct 09; (-) 28.7% in Apr-Oct 09]; Handicrafts [(-) 8.5% in Oct, 09; (-) 26.6% in Apr-Oct 09]; Basic chemicals (other than pharmaceuticals) [(-) 13% in Apr, 09; (-) 25% in Apr-Oct 09]; Gems and Jewellery [(-) 16.8% in Oct, 09; (-) 26.7% in Apr-Oct 09]; Leather and Leather manufactures [(-) 13.8% in Oct, 09; (-) 25.1% in Apr-Oct 09]; Engineering goods [(-) 14.7% in Oct, 09; (-) 30.1% in Apr-Oct 09]; Electronic goods [(-) 9.9% in Oct, 09; (-) 28.9% in Apr-Oct 09]; Tea [(-) 7% in Oct, 09; (-) 33.9% in Apr-Oct 09]

There are, however, some sectors which still continue to show significant decline in exports: Jute manufacturing including floor covering [(-)38.9% in Apr-Oct 09]; Carpets [(-)28.6% in Apr-Oct 09]; Coal and other ores including processed minerals [(-)25.3% in Apr-Oct 09]

Software exports have not shown any decline during April – October, 2009.

Overall reduction in the rate of decline of export growth in the 7 months of the current financial year, tend to indicate that the different support measures of Government, announced during the Budget and the Foreign Trade Policy, do appear to have contributed significantly in arresting the rate of decline, particularly, for labour intensive sectors.

Shri Sharma said that despite the current economic downturn, FDI inflows during April-September, 2009 were US $ 15.3 billion, which is comparable to US $ 17.2 billion received during the corresponding period of the financial year. Total FDI into India since the onset of the liberalisation process (August, 1991-September, 2009) is nearly US $ 121.85 billion.

The Minister underlined that various reports continue to place India as a highly attractive destination for investments and added that the UNCTAD World Investment Report (WIR) 2009, in its analysis of the global trends and sustained growth of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows, has reported India as the third most attractive location for FDI for 2009-2011. According to the WIR 2009 report, the top five most attractive locations for FDI for 2009-11 are China, United States, India, Brazil and the Russian Federation. India continues to attract investors in the high value-added services industries like financial services and information technology. The top position is occupied by China, while the US is the fourth in the list. The report predicts India to be on the cusp of FDI take off, in view of the Government maintaining focus on reforms, overcoming narrow business interests, de-bottlenecking infrastructure, logistics and regulatory barriers.

As regards industrial growth, the Minister informed that the impact of the stimulus packages announced by the Government can be seen in the revival of growth of the industry, particularly, the manufacturing sector and added that the industrial growth measured by Index of Industrial Production (IIP) recorded a robust growth of 9.1 percent in September 2009. Industrial recovery is generally widespread encompassing most of the sectors. He further highlighted: “The consumer durables (Passenger cars, Televisions, Refrigerators, Air conditioners), registered a double digit growth for the sixth consecutive month at 22.2 per cent in September, 2009 compared to 14.7 per cent in September, 2009. Industry groups such as basic chemicals & chemical products (20.1 percent), machinery & equipment (16.5 per cent ) and rubber, plastic, petroleum and coal products (10.1 percent) recorded a double digit growth in September, 2009.”
Handique reviews situation on action taken by State Governments to prevent illegal mining
The Minister of Mines & DoNER Shri B.K.Handique today reviewed the situation on action taken by State Governments to prevent illegal mining and the punitive action taken. He expressed serious concerns on the increasing incidents of illegal mining to the State Secretaries and stated that the action taken by the State Government was not effective. The Minister made it clear to the State Government representatives that if it is necessary the mining law can be made stringent. The Minister outlined the need to increase co-operation between the State Governments and Central Government, and if necessary the Central Government is willing to offer assistance in investigation.

The State Governments have been asked to submit specific action plan against illegal mining within a week based on a completely different approach, including use of satellite imagery for detecting illegal mining, identifying trigger points like sudden price rise in minerals, focused inspections using multi-disciplinary agencies in areas of endemic illegal mining, and monitoring of minerals exported or used by end-use industries.

The Minster also held a meeting with the officials of Indian Bureau of Mines and he emphasized the need for convergence of action with State Governments.

US and China reduction targets:  smokescreen of numbers


US target allows absolute emissions to grow even after 2020.

Is a violation of the agreement under Kyoto Protocol.


  • New Chinese target is business as usual
  • Chinese target is voluntary and part of its domestic plan
  • India and other developing countries must continue to insist on drastic action by industrialised countries
  • No reason to show ‘flexibility’ to kill the Kyoto Protocol


New Delhi, November 27, 2009: The hype surrounding the just announced emissions reduction targets of the United States and China is just that: hype and hyperbole, says Centre for Science and Environment (CSE). “The spin-masters are at work to show that US and China have taken on strong action to break the unity of the developing countries. The developing countries are asking for tough and drastic action by industrialized counties at the upcoming Copenhagen conference of parties, which is just not acceptable to the rich countries” says Kushal Yadav, coordinator of the climate change programme at the Centre. 


US proposal is meaningless

The US has announced an absolute reduction target of 17 per cent below 2005 levels by 2020. This translates into a mere 3% reduction below the 1990 levels. Science demands that the developed countries cut their emission by 40% below 1990 levels. In fact, the US proposal if accepted is a death-knell for the Kyoto Protocol, which in its first commitment period (ending 2012) had asked for more – 5.2 per cent reduction over 1990 levels by all industrialized countries. US is offering to do less than this in the next commitment, and this proposal, if accepted will mean that the world cannot avoid catastrophic changes and climate change disasters.


US will not cut domestically: substantial offsets allowed

The proposal allows for huge amounts of international offsets to be used to meet the target. In other words, under the new proposal, which its Nobel Prize winning president has just announced, his country will actually increase emissions, not reduce these as required by international agreement. The original Waxman-Markey bill allows up to 1 billion tonnes of offset credits every year. This means that the country as a whole, using this huge amount of international offset, does not have to reduce emissions till 2026


US targets are domestic and will kill the multilateral agreement

Worse, the US targets remain domestic targets and they are not under a multi-lateral legally binding agreement. This is also part of the US strategy on climate change – to kill the Kyoto Protocol and to work towards a single agreement, post Copenhagen, based on a pledge and review system.


China targets are business as usual in terms of total emissions

Yesterday China announced its energy intensity target for 2020. Under this, China plans to reduce its energy intensity per unit of gross domestic product by 40-45% by 2020. What this means is that China’s emissions will continue to grow but at a slower rate but how much is actually achieved will depend on the rate at which the Chinese economy grows. In other words, if the economy grows at 7 per cent per annum, then the emissions of China, after accounting for the 40-45 per cent energy intensity reduction target will grow by 50 per cent over 2005 levels. If the economy grows at 10 per cent per annum, then the emissions will increase by 150 per cent over 2005 levels.


The International Energy Agency’s 2009 World Energy Outlook predicted that under a business-as-usual scenario, Chinese emissions would grow by about 88 per cent between 2005 to 2020. Therefore, this energy intensity by GDP target of 40-45 per cent reduction by 2020 means emission reduction is not much more significant than business-as-usual.


But still China will do more than the US

China had already announced that it would cut energy intensity per unit of GDP by 20 per cent by 2020. Now it has doubled its target. Analysts studying China explain that this will require the country to take hard steps to restructure its industrial growth to reduce and cut emissions. If this is the case than China would have done much more to reduce the energy intensity of its economy and reduced emissions, than the US, which is proposing to do little domestically and make up most of its meagre target by buying cheap offsets from the developing world.


India needs to do more domestically but should not be ‘flexible’ about killing Kyoto Protocol

In no way do these ‘new’ targets put pressure on India to commit to any reduction target as many observers have suggested. The current Indian per capita emission is 1.1 per tonne. For US this figure is more than 20 tonnes. India’s energy intensity by unit of GDP has reduced from 0.3 kgoe per US$ GDP in PPP terms in 1980 to 0.16 kgoe currently. This is already lower than US and China and is comparable to Germany.


Both the US emission reduction target and the Chinese energy intensity targets are therefore, not a significant departure from business as usual. Worse, in the case of the US, as this country has legally binding obligations under the multilateral agreement, this weak and meaningless proposal shows that it has reneged on its commitment. This cannot be accepted.


India must definitely be a deal-maker. But the deal must be to demand substantial reductions from the industrial countries so that the world stays below the 2° target for temperature increase. India must make it clear that it is already doing its best through the National Action Plan on Climate Change and is prepared to do much more provided the world creates the framework, which will pay for the costly transition to a low carbon economy.

Ness Technologies Celebrates ‘Children’s Month’


Ness India continues Children’s Day celebration throughout the month



Bangalore, 27th November, 2009: Ness Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: NSTC), a global provider of IT solutions and services has taken the initiative to extend their ‘Children’s Day’ celebration spirit over the entire month of November. Ness Technologies is celebrating November as the CHILDREN’S MONTH by organizing activities that would make a difference in the life of a child.


According to Satyajit Bandyopadhyay, President & Managing Director - Ness India said, “Children are the future of our country and we can ensure a bright future by providing richer learning opportunities for them. With our Children’s Month activities we hope to make a difference in the life of a child by providing various learning, enhancing and constructive opportunities both for a child as well as a parent.”

In keeping the core values of Ness Technologies India, the employees of Ness joined hands together to celebrate and promote the spirit of children, their talent and their welfare. Ness Technologies kick-started their Children’s Month by supporting CRY in launching a nation-wide signature campaign encouraging people to sign a Charter to the Government, demanding amendments that will close the loopholes in the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.



Ness organized a workshop on ‘Effective Child Management and Parenting’ conducted by Dr. Ali Khwaja, Chairman of Banjara Academy for their employees, to help them understand the significance of childhood and their role as a parent.

Ness is eagerly looking forward to spending an exciting day with the children of Ashraya Foundation, a children’s home dedicated to finding solutions for children within the frame work of their own biological families, or in adoptive homes. Ness has organised a painting and clay making contest, for the Ashraya children on that day. The paintings and clay models created by these children would be exhibited at the Art & Craft Park at Ness campus along with the paintings created by Nessian children.

The Children’s Month celebration will conclude with the ‘Nature Walk and Picnic’ at Lal Bagh which is also part of NessBring Back the Birds initiative. Renowned ornithologist Dr. M.B. Krishna will guide Nessians through this bird watching session that would help Nessians and their children understand and learn to appreciate the environment better.

 About Ness Technologies Inc.

Ness Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: NSTC; TASE: NSTC) is a global provider of IT and business services and solutions with specialized expertise in software product engineering; system integration, application development and consulting; and software distribution. Ness delivers its portfolio of solutions and services using a global delivery model combining offshore, near-shore and local teams.

With about 7,800 employees, Ness maintains operations in 18 countries, and partners with numerous software and hardware vendors worldwide. For more information about Ness Technologies, visit


About Ness India

Ness Technologies India Pvt Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ness Technologies Inc since 2003. Ness Technologies India was founded in the year of 1997 and was acquired by Ness in 2003. With about 2,800 employees, Ness Technologies India centers are spread across Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune.


It caters to the delivery needs of major clients in Europe, India, Israel and the US, who value the specialized Software Product Development and R&D Services, topped with a true partnership approach and deep vertical skills in industries like Financial Services, Healthcare, Life Sciences and many more. Ness Technologies India runs software product labs for 50 world-class clients, who are market leaders.

Zoozoos make a comeback on Television!

 New series with fresh set of commercials every week

 New Delhi, November 27, 2009 – Vodafone Essar, one of India’s leading cellular services providers, announced the second innings of Zoozoo TVC starting 27th November. Back with a renewed focus on a fresh set of services on offer by Vodafone, the Zoozoo Ad campaign will feature three new Zoozoo ads every week on television.

 Vodafone has kept the Zoozoo experience ongoing with campaigns running successfully through diverse mediums catering to a wide audience. Social networking sites witnessed the success and popularity of the Zoozoos with Facebook garnering more than 3 lakh Zoozoo fans which makes it one of the largest online fan clubs. Post the initial campaign this summer, there were two Viral Zoozoo campaigns around Independence Day and Diwali which received outstanding customer response. Vodafone also recently launched Zoozoo merchandise with Shoppers Stop.  

 Kumar Ramanathan, Chief Marketing Officer, Vodafone Essar said “The Zoozoos campaign resonated strongly with viewers in creating an emotional connect and communicating our various offerings. The Zoozoos are back again to tell viewers about our various innovative and customer-centric offerings in a simple and endearing manner.”

About Vodafone Essar 

Vodafone Essar is the Indian subsidiary of Vodafone Group and commenced operations in 1994 when its predecessor Hutchison Telecom acquired the cellular license for Mumbai. The company now has operations across the country with over 85.82 million customers**. 

 Over the years, Vodafone Essar, under the Hutch brand, has been named the ‘Most Respected Telecom Company’, the ‘Best Mobile Service in the country’ and the ‘Most Creative and Most Effective Advertiser of the Year’.  

 Vodafone is the world's leading international mobile communications group with approximately 315 million proportionate customers as on 30 June 2009. Vodafone currently has equity interests in 31 countries across five continents and around 40 partner networks worldwide.   

 The Essar Group is a diversified business corporation with a balanced portfolio of assets in the manufacturing and services sectors of Steel, Energy, Power, Communications, Shipping Ports & Logistics, and Projects. Essar employs more than 50,000 people across offices in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas.

**Figures from Cellular Operators Association of India, October 31, 2009

The 'all-you-can-eat' music powerhouse, Nokia X6, now shipping

Helsinki, Finland - The Nokia Comes With Music Flagship phone, the Nokia X6, is now available in selected markets. Through the 'all-you-can-eat' music offering the Nokia X6 pioneers new ways for the world to experience music. The Nokia X6 is expected to retail for approximately EUR 450, before taxes and subsidies.
"The Nokia X6 Comes With Music edition is a stellar offering, that gives music fans the power to download all the music they could ever want - quickly, easily and for free," said Ole Feddersen, vice president, smartphones, Nokia. "We are giving people a handy access to and ownership of a vast music library and a great new touchscreen device to play their music on."
In addition to the unlimited access to millions of tracks available in Nokia Music Store, Comes With Music subscribers will be able to download exclusive content directly to their device or PC from both, international superstars and favorite local artists. Fans will have access to bonus tracks, remixes and other additional content, free of charge as part of the Comes With Music subscription.
The Nokia X6 is a powerful entertainment device capable of playing up to 35 hours of music, offering 32GB of on-board memory and supporting all main digital music formats, with a slick 3.2" finger touch interface and a  5 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss lens.
The ultimate device for social butterflies, the Nokia X6 has a 16:9 widescreen optimized for photos, videos and browsing. The Nokia X6 is a hive of activity that brings friends and virtual communities, like Facebook, to the homescreen, making it easy to socialize with friends and follow all the favorite blogs and celeb gossips.
The entertainment experience is completed by three embedded games, Spore by EA, Asphalt4 and DJ Mix Tour by Gameloft, and direct access from the homescreen to download more games and applications through the Ovi Store.





ASX 200 mid-tier gold producer, Avoca Resources Ltd (ASX:AVO), is pleased to announce a 56% increase in the high grade underground gold resource at Chalice to:

1.32 million tonnes at 4.5 g/t gold for a total of 192,000 ounces.

The Chalice gold mine is located 30km to the south-west of Trident and Avoca’s Higginsville treatment plant in the southern Kalgoorlie goldfields of Western Australia.    


The upgraded resource is shown below in Table 1 and includes, for the first time, an Indicated Resources classification for the previously described Olympus and Atlas Zones which total 799,000 tonnes @ 5.5 g/t gold for 140,000 ounces.  Avoca is currently preparing an underground feasibility / mining reserve study of the Chalice Indicated Resources due for completion in the current quarter.  Inferred Resources at Chalice total 52,000 ounces and include the newly defined footwall and hangingwall lodes to the main Olympus and Atlas Lodes. 


Global CO2 emissions from steelmaking will rise without Chinese commitment

 European steel industry asks policy makers at Copenhagen to secure equal treatment with its competitors in developed and emerging economies

“For the European steel industry and other industrial sectors which are recognized as being at risk of carbon leakage, equal treatment with their competitors worldwide must be secured. Otherwise, this will not only lead to carbon leakage, but also to leakage of jobs, knowledge, intellectual property, R&D, investment and capital from Europe to other regions in the world”, EUROFER director general Gordon Moffat said in view to the Copenhagen climate change negotiations starting on 7th of December.

EUROFER fears that any kind of agreement at Copenhagen may be taken as excuse by the European Commission to eliminate free allowances or reduce the list of sectors eligible for free allowances under the EU emissions trading scheme (EU ETS). “If equal burdens within sectors producing globally traded goods are not part of the International Agreement, allowances free of charge and additional measures to prevent carbon leakage must be continued in their entirety under the EU ETS”, explains Moffat.

China alone is responsible for over 50 % of CO2 emissions from global steel production, the 27 EU member states for only about 8 %. The climate change objectives will not be achieved if large industrial emitters such as the Chinese steel industry are not subject to equal CO2 emission reductions. Emerging economies such as China, India and Brazil have by far the highest growth forecasts for steel production in the coming decades. Without full participation of their steel industries, global CO2 emissions from steel production will increase and not decrease.

Please find attached and below EUROFER’s Expectations of the European Steel Industry on the results of the Copenhagen Climate Change Negotiations.

Represented by EUROFER, the European steel industry is the world leader in its sector with a turnover of EUR 190 billion and direct employment of 420 thousand people, producing 200 million tonnes of steel per year.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Redbank Copper limited





·         New breccia pipe with surface grades to 29.7% copper

·         XRF results include highly anomalous tellurium values

·         Geology suggests a possible larger mineralised system, and high likelihood of further discoveries


High grade copper developer, Redbank Copper Limited (ASX: RCP) has made a new copper discovery at its Copperado prospect in the Northern Territory, which it is exploring as part of a 50/50 Joint Venture with global commodity supplier Glencore International.


The new breccia structure was discovered during field reconnaisance of the south-west corner of EL24654, with early sampling returning results up to 29.7% copper in rockchips.


The Copperado prospect forms part of Redbank’s 3,700km2 landholding in the NT’s McArthur Basin region. It is located approximately 16km northeast of the Redbank mine site and infrastructure (see tenement map below).


Redbank Managing Director Bruce Morrin said the discovery was an exciting development, and reaffirms the Company’s view that the region holds strong exploration upside.


“This is significant in terms of the area’s prospectivity, and we believe there is a high likelihood of discovering further breccia pipes through ongoing field reconnaissance,” Mr Morrin said.


“The metallogeny of the prospect could be indicative of a larger system, and we will be undertaking follow-up exploration as part of our 2010 drilling program.


“Our focus remains on ongoing exploration to boost the Redbank resource base, while also progressing the planning and development activities for a copper producing operation in line with our mine plan,” Mr Morrin said.


The new outcrop was identified during a soil sampling program supported by portable Niton XRF, when rockchip samples returned intial values to 8.6% Cu.  Further sampling returned samples to a maximum of 29.7% Cu and 7.5% Cobalt, along with highly anomalous levels of Tellurium.