Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Special Conference of Zonal Railways’ General Managers Convened on Safety
No let up in Implementing Safety Norms: Dinesh Trivedi

A special conference of General Mangers of all the Zonal Railways focusing on ‘safety’ was convened her today. The Minister of Railways Shri Dinesh Trivedi, the Minister of State for Railways Shri Bharatsinh Solanki along with the entire Railway Board members addressed the conference and reviewed the entire gamut of safety matters zone wise.

Underscoring the significance of safety in Railway operations, Shri Dinesh Trivedi called upon the General Managers to continue to accord top priority to measures for strengthening safety in all respects. Referring to the marked improvement in number of accidents per million train kilometers, Shri Trivedi said that Railways have to look ahead and strive for zero tolerance on the safety front. The Railway Minister emphasized that the necessary safety protocols should be adhered to by all the concerned, according highest safety consciousness right down to the last man/mile.

The Minister also made it clear that no leniency should be shown to those erring in implementing the safety norms set by the Railway Board. Shri Trivedi emphasized that it is also important that the process of accidents-inquiries is completed in time and all necessary follow-up actions like fresh safety instructions, remedial measures and punishment to erring railway staff should also be completed expeditiously in a fixed time frame in order to send a strong signal to all railwaymen that zero tolerance will be shown for such incidents.

The Railway Minister further said that recommendations of accidents-inquiries should be regularly reviewed by GMs along with safety audits conducted by other zonal railway officials. The Minister pointed out that the measures adopted should be more technology driven and less dependent on human intervention.

The Railway Minister Shri Dinesh Trivedi urged the Railway Board and General Managers to look into the human aspects in case of all ranks and files so that the railwaymen feel well looked after and work hard to maintain the vey character of the Indian Railways.
Draft Public Procurement Bill, 2011 Prepared to Ensure Tranparency, Fair and Equitable Treatment of Bidders, Promote Competition and Enhance Efficiency and Economy in the Procurement Process; Comments and Suggestions Sought by 24th December, 2011

Currently there is no overarching legislation governing public procurement by the Central Government and Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs). The General Financial Rules, 2005 govern procurements made by the Central Government. Some Ministries/ Departments have specific Procedures/ Manuals to supplement these Rules. Procurements by CPSEs are governed by their own Manuals/ Procedures.

In pursuance of the recommendations of the Committee on Public Procurement headed by Shri Vinod Dhall and the decisions thereon of the Group of Ministers constituted to consider measures to tackle corruption and ensure transparency, as well as the announcement in the Prime Minister’s Independence Day address regarding the introduction of a Public Procurement Bill, the Department of Expenditure has prepared a draft Bill called ‘The Public Procurement Bill, 2011’. A Drafting Committee has also been constituted to carry out wide consultation with stakeholders on the draft Bill and to revise it on the basis of suggestions received.

The Bill is intended to regulate public procurement by all Ministries and Departments of the Central Government, Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs), autonomous and statutory bodies controlled by the Central Government and other procuring entities. The objectives of the Bill are to ensure transparency, fair and equitable treatment of bidders, promote competition and enhance efficiency and economy in the procurement process. The Bill contains broad principles and will be supplemented by rules. The Bill also provides for a grievance redressal mechanism and for penalties for offences under the Bill.

The Draft Public Procurement Bill has been placed on the website of the Finance Ministry ( for inviting comments and suggestions. Comments have been sought by 24th December 2011.
Considering the Current Global Context and the Slowdown in the Domestic Industrial Sector, the Growth Performance in Second Quarter of Current Fiscal Is not all that Disappointing; Confident of Recovering some of the Loss in Growth Momentum: FM

The Union Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee said though second quarter (Q2) estimates of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) are low by our recent growth experience yet considering the current global context and the slowdown in the domestic industrial sector, the growth performance is not all that disappointing. Earlier the Central Statistical Organisation(CSO) has released the second quarter (Q2) estimates of the Gross Domestic Product. The GDP growth in Q2 2011-12 at factor cost and at 2004-05 prices is estimated at 6.9 per cent. With that the first half (H1) growth for 2011-12 amounts to 7.3 per cent in real terms.

In terms of sectoral break-up,the GDP growth in Q2 is 3.2 per cent in agriculture, forestry and fishing sector, 3.2 percent in industry and 9.3 per cent in services sector. The Finance Minister Shri Mukherjee said that the main reason for decline in the GDP growth is slowdown in industrial growth, in particular in investment growth. The negative growth in mining sector along with slowdown in construction sector has also contributed to the decline in the Q2 GDP growth, the Minister added.

The Union Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee said that going forward, he is confident that we will be recovering some of the loss in our growth momentum. The Finance Minister Shri Mukherjee said that there are some encouraging signs. He said that exports have increased by a robust 52 per cent in dollar terms during April-September 2011, though there has been a slowdown in October. The Finance Minister Shri Mukherjee said that some key sectors such as power and steel have also shown stronger growth despite odds. Shri Mukherjee said that the Government has now put in place the New Manufacturing Policy to give a big push to the manufacturing sector. He said that agriculture is expected to provide a buffer with indication of good Kharif crop and improved sowing, as of date, for Rabi crops. The service sector has retained its growth momentum at near double digits, the Minister added.

The Union Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee said that the Government is committed to its indicated fiscal balance for the year 2011-12. The Finance Minister Shri Mukherjee said that we are monitoring our resource mobilization efforts as well as our expenditure. He said that we would not hesitate to take the required correctives to remain on the path of fiscal prudence so that the short to medium-term growth prospects are not undermined.
Incidents on China Border and LAC

Our nomads grazing in Kakjung Area near Nyoma Sector of Ladakh had been disturbed by Chinese patrols in December, 2008. A strong protest regarding the same was lodged with the Chinese Garrison Commander and since then Chinese patrols have not visited the area again. Our nomads are grazing in the area currently without any problem.

The areas along the LAC are being kept under surveillance by regular patrolling by troops and other means. There are no confirmed reports of an intrusion into Indian air space from the Chinese side on 25th August, 2011.

Further, there are no confirmed reports of aerial intrusion from the Chinese side into Indian airspace during the last month.

There is no commonly delineated Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China. There are a few areas along the border where India and China have different perceptions of the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Both sides patrol upto their own perception of the LAC.

Specific incidents of transgressions due to differences in the perception of LAC are taken up with the Chinese side through established mechanisms such as Hot Lines, Flag Meetings, Border Personnel Meetings and normal diplomatic channels. Effective border management is carried out through surveillance and regular patrolling.

This information was given by Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in separate written replies to Shri Sanjay Raut, Shri Vijay Jawahar Lal Darda and Shri Ramdas Agarwal in Rajya Sabha today.
India and China Defence Dialogue to Work Out Exchanges for 2012

The 4th Annual Defence Dialogue (ADD) with China will be held in New Delhi on 09th December, 2011. The dialogue will be chaired by Defence Secretary Shri Shashikant Sharma on the Indian side and the Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Chinese PLA, Gen Ma Xiaotian from the Chinese side.

The conduct of the 4th ADD will take place in the backdrop of exchanges of military delegations on both sides in recent months. From the Indian side, a multi-command delegation visited China during 19-23 June, 2011. Similarly, a delegation from the Chinese PLA visited India for interactions with their Indian Army counterparts from 4-9 November, 2011. Both sides will undertake a further round of delegation exchanges before end December, 2011.

During the Annual Defence Dialogue, both sides will exchange perspectives on regional and global security issues. Both sides will also review the ongoing Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) on the borders and are expected to finalize plans for further defence exchanges during 2012.
Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing offers the advantage of optional utilization of infrastructure by utilizing technologies like virtualization, etc. and it also paves a new way of delivering services- Software as a service, Platform as a service and infrastructure as a service.

The salient features that can be leveraged under Cloud Computing are:

Optimum utilization of Infrastructure

Elasticity and Scalability

Online Provisioning of Services to various Users through Self Provisioning Portal

Tracking the usage of the resources and services for different users.

The technology is of immense use

Where the infrastructure has to be optimally utilized

Significantly speed up design and roll out service

On demand provisioning of Compute, Storage, Platform and Applications

The proposed draft IT policy under preparation also mentions that the emerging technology like Cloud Computing, will help in value creation and drive transformation domestically.

This reply was given by Shri Sachin Pilot, the minister of State in the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology in response to a question in Lok Sabha.
Index of Eight Core Industries (Base: 2004-05=100) October 2011

The summarized Index of Eight Core Industries with 2004-05 base is given at the Annexure.

2. The Index of Eight core industries having a combined weight of 37.90 per cent in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) stood at 140.54 in October 2011 with a growth rate of 0.1% compared to its growth at 7.2% in October 2010. During April-October 2011-12, the cumulative growth rate of the Core industries was 4.3% as against their growth at 5.9% during the corresponding period in 2010-11.


3. Coal production (weight: 4.38%) registered a growth of (-) 9.0% in October 2011 compared to its growth at 0.7% in October 2010. Coal production grew by (-) 5.5% during April-October 2011-12 compared to its growth at 0.3% during the same period of 2010-11.

Crude Oil

4. Crude Oil production (weight: 5.22%) registered a growth of (-) 0.9 % in October 2011 compared to its growth at 13.7% in October 2010. Crude Oil production registered a growth of 4.4% during April-October 2011-12 compared to its growth at 10.7% during the same period of 2010-11.

Natural Gas

5. Natural Gas production (weight: 1.71%) registered a growth of (-) 7.4% in October 2011 compared to its growth at 6.5% in October 2010. Natural Gas production registered a growth of (-) 8.3% during April-October 2011-12 compared to its growth at 22.2% during the same period of 2010-11.

Petroleum Refinery Products (0.93% of Crude Throughput)*

6. Petroleum refinery production (weight: 5.94%) had a growth of (-) 2.8% in October 2011 compared to its growth at (-) 4.8% in October 2010. Petroleum refinery production registered a growth of 3.6% during April-October 2011-12 compared to its 1.4% growth during the same period of 2010-11.


7. Fertilizer production (weight: 1.25%) registered a growth of (-) 2.1% in October 2011 against its growth at (-) 0.2% in October 2010.Fertilizer production grew by 0.2% during April-October 2011-12 compared to its growth at (-) 2.0% during the same period of 2010-11.

Steel (Alloy + Non-Alloy)

8. Steel production (weight: 6.68%) had a growth rate of 3.8% in October 2011 against its 13.4% growth in October 2010. Steel production grew by 8.7% during April-October 2011-12 compared to its growth at 8.3% during the same period of 2010-11.


9. Cement production (weight: 2.41%) registered a growth of 0.0% in October 2011 against its 18.5% growth in October 2010. Cement Production grew by 2.8% during April-October 2011-12 compared to its growth at 6.6% during the same period of 2010-11.


10. Electricity generation (weight: 10.32%) had a 4.9% growth in October 2011 compared to its 8.5% growth in October 2010. Electricity generation grew by 8.6% during April-October 2011-12 as against its 4.8% growth during the same period of 2010-11.

* RPL (SEZ) with refining capacity 29MMT was commissioned on 25.12.2008 but crude throughput not reported by the refinery and not included in production for entire period.

Kalki Koechlin & Anurag Kashyap unveil ORRA Platinum Collection ‘Duets’ in Delhi
Celebration of true love with Platinum Love Bands

Delhi: Actress Kalki Koechlin and director husband Anurag Kashyap today unveiled an exquisite collection of Platinum Love Bands at the ORRA Store in the capital city. The platinum collection ‘DUETS” are a testament of true love and rightly symbolizes a memorable occasion for the celebrity couple as they celebrate their very special Platinum Day of Love.

Platinum Day of Love is an extremely personal and momentous date in a couple’s journey of love. And it needn’t be the wedding day or the engagement. It’s never planned. It is when you realize that you are truly in love and meant for each other. Needless to say this moment is accompanied by a feeling that cannot be described in words. True love is special and hence such a significant milestone deserves to be celebrated with the rarest of precious metals, platinum.

Speaking on the occasion, Kalki Koechlin & Anurag Kashyap said, “It was the most special day of our life when we realized true love for each other and decided to tie the knot. Platinum is one such metal which just brightens the celebration of true love. We instantly thought of Platinum Love Bands to mark this special day in our lives. The sheer magnificence and remarkable qualities of the metal is beyond any expression and is a perfect fit when your love also crosses the boundary of verbal explanation.”

The ORRA boutique has a very international look and feel, the interior layout and lighting of the store highlights the jewellery on display. With the onset of the wedding season, India’s leading jewellery retail chain chose to introduce its ‘DUETS’ collection of platinum couple rings. The collection includes a set of HIS and HER rings crafted from the finest platinum and diamonds. These beautifully crafted wedding bands in pure platinum are elaborately designed and set with the finest Belgian diamonds. Each of these complementary rings bears half an engraving, which reveals completely once they are held together.

Mr. Vijay Jain, CEO, ORRA says “Orra Platinum Collection is a set of His and Her which are specially crafted keeping in mind the sophistication that the buyers are looking for these days. The rare and eternal platinum set with precious Belgian diamonds is perfect for the occasion to celebrate true love. The collection signifies an unending love which is rare, true and lasts a lifetime just like the timeless metal platinum.”

Found in very few places around the world, platinum is 30 times rarer than gold and a treasure from the heavens. The first meteorite that showered on earth two billion years ago is the way platinum entered our world. Since time immemorial, this naturally white metal with its moonlike luminescence has symbolized love. It touches its wearer – and not only her skin, evoking emotions of feeling special and in love. That’s what makes this metal just so perfect to celebrate your Platinum Day of Love.

Platinum has been known to be favoured by royalty and celebrities the world over. Amongst the international celebrity couples, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Beyonce and Jay-Z, Heidi Klum and Seal even Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise are a few who have expressed their love through platinum rings.
ORRA’s Duet collection of platinum couple bands are priced from Rs. 68000 onwards and are available at all 33 ORRA boutiques across the country.

Platinum Guild India Quality Assurance Programme

In order to assure consumers of the purity of platinum jewellery, Platinum Guild India Pvt. Ltd. has appointed Underwriters Laboratories (UL Inc, USA) to audit and monitor its Quality Assurance Scheme. Under this scheme, all authentic platinum jewellery in India comes with a Quality Assurance Card and bears the purity hallmark of “Pt 950” stamped inside the piece. This also serves as an assurance of a ‘buy back’ programme.

About Orra
ORRA is India's finest jewellery retail chain, having spread its glow with 33 stores across 26 cities. ORRA has been at the forefront of design leadership and product innovation with 5 global design centres.

Along with its classic brilliantly cut diamonds which Orra is well known for, it has a host of designs in 22kt BIS Hallmarked gold jewellery and the rare and eternal Platinum. While Belgian diamonds have been Orra’s forte, the addition of 22kt gold jewellery, makes Orra a full service jeweller offering its customers a feel of the best designs and a total shopping experience. Solitaires are available in varied cuts and sizes. Innovation is the key to success is proven right with the introduction of the ORRA Crown Star, a 100 facet solitaire v/s the regular 57 facets. The precision with which the diamond is cut gives it a fiery unmatched brilliance.

About Platinum Guild India:

Founded in the year 1975, Platinum Guild International (PGI) is dedicated to promoting platinum jewellery to the consumers and the jewellery trade worldwide. Headquartered in London, PGI has offices in each of the world's major jewellery markets - China, Japan, Germany, India, Italy, UK and the USA. Mr. James Courage is the worldwide CEO for Platinum Guild International.

Platinum Guild International set up their Indian Office in September 2000. Over the years Platinum Guild India has increased the number of authorized outlets retailing platinum jewellery to over 300+ from a mere 12 outlets in 2000.

Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam to Deliver UPSC Foundation Day Lecture on ‘Governance
and Public Service’ Tomorrow

The UPSC 3rd lecture on Governance and Public Service is to be delivered by Former President of India Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi tomorrow.

It is in furthering the central role of UPSC in recruiting the finest talent for manning the civil services and protecting their just interests and in advising the Government on service related matters that actually cover personnel policy and human resource management that Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has initiated an annual lecture series focusing on the inter linkage of governance and public services.

This lecture series also aims at providing a forum for raising issues of contemporary relevance to governance and public administration and to generate ideas and fresh thinking that will help not only the UPSC, but concomitantly all other units of governance as well.

The inaugural lecture on ‘Governance and Public Service’ was delivered by President of India, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil on 12th November, 2009. The Second Lecture was delivered by Vice-President of India Shri Hamid M Ansari on 3rd May, 2011.

(“Gem Diamonds” or the “Company”)
Approval of Letšeng expansion project

Gem Diamonds Limited (LSE: GEMD) (“the Company”) is pleased to announce that the expansion project (known as Project Kholo) at the Company’s Letšeng mine in Lesotho has been approved by the Company’s Board and by the Board of Letšeng Diamonds Pty Limited (“Letšeng”).

Project Kholo will commence in January 2012, and will ramp up to full production by July 2014. The project will increase the annual treatment capacity of the Letšeng mine to 10 million tonnes per annum (currently 5.6 million tonnes per annum) with carat output increasing to circa 200,000 carats per annum (currently 100,000 carats per annum). The total project capital expenditure for Project Kholo is estimated at US$ 280 million. The project IRR is expected to be 40% and payback is expected in 2016. Project Kholo will be funded out of existing and future cash flows (based on current diamond prices and exchange rate assumptions). The NPV of the Letšeng mine (100%), including Project Kholo, is US$ 2.5 billion.

Gem Diamonds currently has US$ 151 million cash on its balance sheet and Letšeng has recently secured a revolving credit facility of Maloti 250 million (US$ 31 million) for general corporate purposes.

The Company is currently considering all of its options regarding its Ellendale mine asset in Australia and has appointed advisors to assist in this regard.

Gem Diamonds CEO, Clifford Elphick commented:

“ Gem Diamonds is very pleased to announce that as a result of the approval given by the Company’s Board to the expansion project at the Letseng mine, the number of carats of the remarkable diamonds which it produces will effectively be doubled. Given the industry consensus around the extremely positive supply/demand dynamics for high end diamonds, it is an investment which signals Gem Diamonds’ confidence in its future growth. “

Surprise role of nuclear structure protein in development

Baltimore, MD — Scientists have long held theories about the importance of proteins called B-type lamins in the process of embryonic stem cells replicating and differentiating into different varieties of cells. New research from a team led by Carnegie’s Yixian Zheng indicates that, counter to expectations, these B-type lamins are not necessary for stem cells to renew and develop, but are necessary for proper organ development. Their work is published November 24 by Science Express.

Nuclear lamina is the material that lines the inside of a cell’s nucleus. Its major structural component is a family of proteins called lamins, of which B-type lamins are prominent members and thought to be absolutely essential for a cell’s survival. Mutations in lamins have been linked to a number of human diseases. Lamins are thought to suppress the expression of certain genes by binding directly to the DNA within the cell’s nucleus.

The role of B-type lamins in the differentiation of embryonic stem cells into various types of cells, depending on where in a body they are located, was thought to be crucial. The lamins were thought to use their DNA-binding suppression abilities to tell a cell which type of development pathway to follow.

But the team--including Carnegie’s Youngjo Kim, Katie McDole, and Chen-Ming Fan--took a hard look at the functions of B-type lamins in embryonic stem cells and in live mice.

They found that, counter to expectations, lamin-Bs were not essential for embryonic stem cells to survive, nor did their DNA binding directly regulate the genes to which they were attached. However, mice deficient in B-type lamins were born with improperly developed organs—including defects in the lungs, diaphragms and brains—and were unable to breathe.

“Our works seems to indicate that while B-type lamins are not part of the early developmental tissue-building process, while they are important in facilitating the integration of different cell types into the complex architectures of various developing organs,” Kim, the lead author, said. “We have set the stage to dissect the ways that a cell’s nuclear lamina promote tissue organization process during development.”

Other members of the team were Alexei Sharov and Minoru Ko of the National Institutes of Health, and Melody Cheng, Haiping Hao, and Nicholas Gaiano the of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

This research was supported in part by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute on Aging (AAS, MSHK) and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

The Carnegie Institution for Science is a private, nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., with six research departments throughout the U.S. Since its founding in 1902, the Carnegie Institution has been a pioneering force in basic scientific research. Carnegie scientists are leaders in plant biology, developmental biology, astronomy, materials science, global ecology, and Earth and planetary science.

Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor
The present status of the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor is as follows:

(i) Master Plans of New Industrial Cities have been approved except the one for Uttar Pradesh.

(ii) The Cabinet in its meeting held on 15th September, 2011 has, inter alia, approved financial assistance of Rs. 17,500 crore over the next five years for the development of industrial cities in the Delhi- Mumbai Industrial Corridor. In addition Rs. 1000/- crore has been approved for undertaking project development activities by the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation.

(iii) State Governments have initiated the process of land acquisition except Uttar Pradesh.

This information was given by Shri Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry in written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today

Slow-Down in Industrial Output

There has been a moderation in the growth of industrial production since June, 2011 as may be seen from the table given below:-

                                                                                                                                (in percent)
Sectors                 Weights             June                    July                      Aug                      Sep

Mining                  14.157                -1.4                    1.5                     -4.1                      -5.6

Manufacturing       75.527                11.2                   3.2                      4.0                        2.1

Electricity             10.316                 7.9                   13.1                      9.5                       9.0

Overall IIP           100                      9.5                     3.8                     3.6                        1.9

The reasons for moderation in industrial growth, among others include moderation in the rate of growth of consumption expenditure, under performance of the construction sector, hardening of interest rates resulting in increase in the cost of capital and global economic uncertainty.  However, it is not possible to assess as to what extent each of these factors have individually contributed to a moderation in industrial growth.

            Government has taken a number of initiatives to revive the industrial climate and growth which includes promotion and facilitation industrial investment including foreign direct investment, improvement in business environment, development of industrial and other infrastructure through public-private initiatives, development of industry relevant  skills etc.  Government in November, 2011 also announced a National Manufacturing Policy, which aims at bringing down compliance burden of industry through self regulation and help industry to become globally competitive.    The ultimate objective of the policy is for enhancing the share of manufacturing in GDP to 25% within a decade and creating 100 million jobs.

This information was given by Shri Jyotiraditya M. Scindia,  Minister of State for Commerce and Industry in written reply to a question in the Rajya  Sabha today.

Dropping lock-in period for FDI in Cosntruction

As per extant Direct Investment (FDI) policy, as contained in ‘Circular 2 of 2011-Consolidated FDI Policy’, FDI, upto 100% is allowed under the automatic route, in ‘Construction development: Township, Housing Built-up infrastructure’, subject to compliance with the conditions of minimum area, minimum capitalization, lock-in period etc. These conditionalties are not applicable to FDI in Hotels & Tourism, Hospitals, Special Economic Zones (SEZs), Education Sector, Old age Homes and investment by NRIs. This dispensation has been extended to the ‘Education Sector’ and ‘Old age Homes’ effective from 01.01.2011.

These steps have been taken to augment the educational infrastructure in the country and bring it up to global standards. Similarly, with growing urbanisation, there is an increasing demand for old-age homes to cater to the needs of senior citizens. The physical infrastructure in this area also is short of the requirements. Hence, it has also been decided to exempt old-age homes also from the general conditionalities applicable to the construction development sector.

This information was given by Shri Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry in written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today.

Slow-Down in Industrial Production Growth

            Measured in terms of Index of Industrial Production (IIP), there has been a moderation in the growth of industrial production in August, 2011 as compared to the corresponding month of the previous year, as given in the table below:-
August-2010                                       August-2011

Basic Goods                       3.8                                                          5.2

Capital Goods                    4.7                                                          4.0

Intermediate Goods            5.8                                                          1.9

Consumer Goods               4.6                                                          2.2

Overall Index                     4.5                                                          3.6

            Various steps have been taken by the government to boost industrial production which, inter-alia include promotion and facilitation of industrial investment including foreign direct investment, improvement in business environment, development of industrial and other infrastructure through public-private initiatives, development of industry relevant skills etc.  Government in November, 2011 also announced a National Manufacturing Policy, which aims at bringing down compliance burden of industry through self-regulation and help industry to become globally competitive.

This information was given by Shri Jyotiraditya M. Scindia,  Minister of State for Commerce and Industry in written reply to a question in the Rajya  Sabha today.


Altona Mining Limited (Altona) recently announced that the Kylylahti mine at its Outokumpu  Project in Finland had exposed first ore in the mine decline. It is planned that the ore will be transported 41km to the Luikonlahti mill.

Excellent progress has been made in refurbishing the Luikonlahti mill and we have now achieved the milestone of commencement of equipment commissioning.

The refurbishment programme is 95% complete, wet testing of flotation equipment has  commenced and first low grade ore to be used to commission the crushing circuit has been delivered to the mill. Crushing circuit commissioning will take place next week.

All earthworks at the tailings dam and concentrate dam were completed prior to winter and these  facilities have been certified by the authorities. The plant has had all electrical reticulation replaced and a new process automation system installed.

All refurbishment activity is scheduled for completion in late December – early January with  production commissioning on ore scheduled for late January in line with the timing previously advised.

Plant capacity is currently designed to be 550,000tpa and initial engineering studies indicate this  capacity can be increased by 45% to 800,000tpa for expenditure of approximately A$7M. Local authorities have also completed a €2M upgrade of the road between the mine and the mill. The forecast capital cost for the refurbishment of the mill, before receipt of government grants was €13.8M. Approximately €9.5M has been expended to date and forecast total expenditure to the end of December is approximately €13M with a further €1.9M of capital to expand the concentrate dam deferred until mid 2012.

The mine continues to produce development ore with low grade material to be used for initial  commissioning. It is expected that some 15,000 tonnes of ore will be available on the ROM pad at the mill by the end of January. The Company is developing a detailed commissioning and ramp up schedule and will release its
forecasts for production in 2012.

U.S. Hopes for Progress at Climate Change Talks

By Charlene Porter
Staff Writer

Washington - U.S. negotiators in Durban, South Africa, are hoping that "a substantial step forward in the global effort to address climate change" can be made at the 17th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), according to the deputy special envoy leading the U.S. delegation this week.

In a November 28 briefing in Durban , Jonathan Pershing told reporters that the U.S. priority is to convince the 16,000 government representatives attending the session to focus on the 2010 commitments made at the UNFCCC meeting in Cancún, Mexico. Implementing the commitments for climate change action made in Cancún - making them "fully operational" - will result in significant progress to curb climate change, Pershing said.

"These commitments and actions cover countries representing more than 80 percent of global greenhouse gases," Pershing said, "with significant reductions that are beginning to slow the trend of global climate change."

Pershing noted the Cancún commitments for "creation of a transparency regime" that would track reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. He suggested a set of guidelines to create transparency in actions nations take to reduce emissions. The guidelines might call for national data reports, consultations among nations, analysis of their actions, and a means to allow international discussions to continue.

The Cancún agreement also sketched out the establishment of other institutions to increase support for national actions to cope with the problem. They include a Green Climate Fund, a Technology Executive Committee and a Technology Center and Network to assist in the transition to cleaner energy systems.

The United States has contributed $5.1 billion to "Fast Start" funds that the developed world has agreed to raise as assistance to developing nations that need help in reducing reliance on carbon-based fuels and converting to clean-energy technologies. Pershing said the U.S. delegation will release details later this week on what the United States is doing in 126 nations to help in climate change adaptation and mitigation.

The Cancún agreements envisioned a Green Climate Fund as an administrative body to manage aid, targeted to countries in need of assistance. That aid is expected to flow from a variety of sources including governments and the private sector. Though Pershing said the United States does have some "substantive concerns" about the establishment of the fund as currently proposed, he expressed hope that these could be resolved to allow the Green Climate Fund to move forward.

Discussions in Durban will focus on both immediate and long-range strategies and goals for reducing emissions and adapting to climate change. Pershing suggested the Cancún agreement could serve as a good template for long-range international strategies.

"It does include the major emitters," he said. "It takes a series of steps that are built on what they were able to deliver, and we now see ... actions in all the countries that made commitments to deliver on those commitments. That is a tremendous first start."

While some critics have derided the UNFCCC as ineffective and the process as too slow, Pershing disagrees. "The world is acting," he said. Again, he pointed to the Cancún agreement. "We now have an agreement that covers 80 percent, or more, of global emissions," in contrast to the 15 percent of emissions that were subject to reduction commitments under the Kyoto Protocol, which entered into force in 2005.

"To my way of thinking, that's an enormous step forward in solving the problem - 15 percent to 80 percent," Pershing said.

(This is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State.)


Hillgrove Resources Limited (ASX: HGO) is pleased to advise that first copper concentrate has been produced through the filters at the Company’s Kanmantoo Copper Mine Project, south-east of Adelaide in South Australia.

Initial concentrate grades are in the range of 24-27%, which is considered excellent given the low grade feed used for commissioning activity. Ore feed has now moved to higher grade material (0.7- 0.9% Cu), of which more than 300,000 tonnes is now stock-piled on the Run-of-Mine (ROM) pad. The Company expects first revenue in December 2011, following delivery of a minimum of 2,500 tonnes of copper concentrate to its storage facilities at Port Adelaide.


November 29, 2011 - Vancouver, BC - Amarc Resources Ltd. (“Amarc” or the “Company”) (TSX Venture: AHR; OTCBB: AXREF) notes news disseminated today by its joint venture partner Newton Gold Corp. (NGC) pertaining to assay data from the first four drill holes completed as part of the on-going drill campaign at the Newton property. Amarc will provide a full update on assay results received from the drill holes quoted in the NGC news release once the Company has received all assay data from these initial holes and completed its Quality Control/Quality Assurance review in order to ensure the accuracy of the results.

Amarc has acquired an 80% interest in the Newton property and is the operator of the Newton Joint Venture, with Newton Gold Corp. contributing 20% of operating capital.


November 29, 2011, Vancouver, BC -- Heatherdale Resources Ltd. ("Heatherdale" or the "the Company") (TSXV: HTR) announces a new mineral resource estimate for the Lookout and adjacent Trio deposits at the Niblack copper-gold-zinc-silver project in southeast Alaska, increasing total resource tonnes estimated at previous February 2011 metal prices in all categories by 31%.
Estimates of Gross Domestic Productfor the Second Quarter (July-September) of 2011-12

The Central Statistics Office (CSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has released the estimates of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the second quarter (July-September) Q2 of 2011-12, both at constant (2004-05) and current prices, alongwith the corresponding quarterly estimates of expenditure components of the GDP.

2. The estimates of Quarterly GDP for the years 2009-10 and 2010-11 have been revised on account of using the new series of Index of Industrial Production (IIP) with base 2004-05 released by CSO on 10th June 2011. The revisions are mainly in mining, manufacturing, electricity and trade, hotels and restaurant sectors in GDP. Estimates of components of expenditure side of GDP have also been revised, accordingly.

3. The details of the estimates are presented below.


(a) At constant (2004-05) prices

4. Quarterly GDP at factor cost at constant (2004-05) prices for Q2 of 2011-12 is estimated at Rs. 12,27,254 crore as against Rs. 11,48,472 crore in Q2 of 2010-11, showing a growth rate of 6.9 per cent over the corresponding quarter of previous year.

5. The economic activities which registered significant growth in Q2 of 2011-12 over Q2 of 2010-11 are, ‘electricity, gas and water supply’ at 9.8 per cent, ‘trade, hotels, transport and communication’ at 9.9 per cent and ‘financing, insurance, real estate and business services’ at 10.5 per cent. The estimated growth rates in other economic activities in this quarter are 3.2 per cent in ‘agriculture, forestry & fishing’, 2.7 per cent in ‘manufacturing’ and 4.3 per cent in ‘construction’ and 6.6 per cent in ‘community, social and personal services’. The growth of ‘mining and quarrying’ sector declined to (- )2.9 per cent during this period. The decrease in the growth of GDP in second quarter of 2011-12 is largely due to the negative growth in ‘mining and quarrying’ and steep fall in the growth of manufacturing sector, as compared to their levels of growth in Q2 of 2010-11.

6. According to the First Advance Estimates of Production of
Foodgrains, Oilseeds and other Commercial Crops for 2011-12 released by the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation on 16.9.2011, the production of rice and oilseeds is expected to grow by 8.0% and 0.2% respectively whereas the production of coarse cereals and pulses is expected to decline by (-) 6.2% and (-) 9.7% respectively, during the Kharif season of 2011-12 as compared to the production of these crops in the Kharif season of 2010-11. Apart from production of kharif crops, the growth in ‘agriculture, forestry & fishing’ estimates of GDP in Q2 are based on the anticipated production of fruits and vegetables, other crops, livestock products, forestry and fisheries, which show growth in the range of 3-4%.

7. According to the latest estimates available on the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), the index of mining, manufacturing and electricity, registered growth rates of (-) 2.7 per cent, 3.1 per cent and 10.5 per cent, respectively in Q2 of 2011-12, as compared to the growth rates of 6.3 per cent, 7.4 per cent and 2.1 per cent in these industries in Q2 of 2010-11.

8. The key indicators of construction sector, namely, production of cement and consumption of finished steel registered growth rates of 6.4 per cent and 2.1 per cent, respectively in Q2 of 2011-12.

9. Among the services sectors, the key indicators of railways, namely, the net tonne kilometres and passenger kilometres have shown growth rates of 3.5 per cent and 7.1 per cent, respectively in Q2 of 2011-12. In the transport and communication sectors, the sales of commercial vehicles, cargo handled at major ports, passenger handled by the civil aviation and the total stock of telephone connections (including WLL and cellular) registered growth rates of 21.3 per cent, 0.9 per cent, 17.2 per cent and 36.4 percent, respectively in Q2 of 2011-12 over Q2 of 2010-11. The other key indicators, namely, aggregate bank deposits and bank credits have shown growth rates of 21.1 per cent and 23.1 per cent, respectively in Q2 of 2011-12 over Q2 of 2010-11.

(b) At current prices

10. GDP at factor cost at current prices in Q2 of 2011-12, is estimated at Rs. 19,55,880 crore, as against Rs. 16,85,793 crore in Q2, 2010-11, showing an increase of 16.0 per cent.

11. The wholesale price index (WPI), in respect of the groups - food articles, manufactured products, electricity and all commodities, has risen by 9.0 per cent, 7.7 per cent, (-)0.2 per cent and 9.6 per cent, respectively during Q2 of 2011-12, over Q2 of 2010-11. The consumer price index for industrial workers (CPI-IW) has shown a rise of 9.2 per cent during Q2 of 2011-12 over Q2 of 2010-11.


12. The components of expenditure on gross domestic product, namely, consumption expenditure and capital formation, are normally measured at market prices. The aggregates presented in the following paragraphs, therefore, are in terms of market prices.

Private Final Consumption Expenditure

13. Private Final Consumption Expenditure (PFCE) at current prices is estimated at Rs. 12,43,681 crore in Q2 of 2011-12 as against Rs. 10,71,221 crore in Q2 of 2010-11. At constant (2004-2005) prices, the PFCE is estimated at Rs. 7,85,463 crore in Q2 of 2011-12 as against Rs. 7,41,624 crore in Q2 of 2010-11. In terms of GDP at market prices, the rates of PFCE at current and constant (2004-05) prices during Q2 of 2011-12 are estimated at 59.6 per cent and 59.5 per cent, respectively, as against the corresponding rates of 59.4 per cent and 59.9 per cent, respectively in Q2 of 2010-11.

Government Final Consumption Expenditure

14. Government Final Consumption Expenditure (GFCE) at current prices is estimated at Rs. 2,22,356 crore in Q2 of 2011-12 as against Rs. 1,96,498 crore in Q2 of 2010-11. At constant (2004-05) prices, the GFCE is estimated at Rs. 1,40,883 crore in Q2 of 2011-12 as against Rs. 1,35,400 crore in Q2 of 2010-11. In terms of GDP at market prices, the rates of GFCE at current and constant (2004-05) prices during Q2 of 2011-12 are estimated at 10.7 per cent each as against the corresponding rates of 10.9 per cent each in Q2 of 2010-11.

Gross Fixed Capital Formation

15. Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) at current prices is estimated at Rs. 5,84,236 crore in Q2 of 2011-12 as against Rs. 5,45,660 crore in Q2 of 2010-11. At constant (2004-05) prices, the GFCF is estimated at Rs. 4,02,994 crore in Q2 of 2011-12 as against Rs. 4,05,567 crore in Q2 of 2010-11. In terms of GDP at market prices, the rates of GFCF at current and constant (2004-05) prices during Q2 of 2011-12 are estimated at 28.0 per cent and 30.5 per cent, respectively, as against the corresponding rates of 30.3 per cent and 32.8 per cent, respectively in Q2 of 2010-11.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


 Linc  Energy  obtains  1.2 billion tonne  coal exploration lease in Poland Linc Energy Ltd (ASX:LNC) (OTCQX:LNCGY) is pleased to announce it has secured  a significant coal exploration concession “Polanka-Wielkie Drogi” (PWD) in Poland in the south eastern part of the Upper Silesia  Coal Basin (see attached map). The coal is  of a  subbituminous quality, covering an acreage of 216 square kilometres. The Company expects to commence exploration activities in early 2012.

Chief Executive Officer, Peter Bond, said, “This Polish coal lease is a key asset to providing Linc Energy’s platform into mainland Europe and we will be looking to  drill and complete a pre-feasibility on Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) over the coming months.”

“Based on data published by  Polish Mining and Geological Authorities, the  coal  deposit is estimated to be in the order of 1.2 billion tonnes,” Mr Bond said. Linc Energy is in the process  of setting up a project office in Krakow to support the exploration Programme in Poland.


November 29, 2011 - Vancouver, BC - Amarc Resources Ltd. (“Amarc” or the “Company”) (TSX Venture: AHR; OTCBB: AXREF) is pleased to announce that Induced Polarization (IP) field geophysical surveys indicate potential for five major sulphide mineralized systems at its 100% owned Galileo Project, located in south-central British Columbia (BC). The 800 square kilometre Galileo claims package lies within the emergent Blackwater gold district.

The Linde Group: "Hammerfest - Performance test exceeds expectations"

Pullach, 29th November 2011 – The world's northernmost natural gas liquefaction plant Hammerfest LNG on the island Melkøya, 800 km north of the Arctic Circle near Hammerfest in Norway, passed the performance test in August, exceeding the expectations. The highly efficient plant produces now with a capacity of up to 109 per cent of the design capacity. Overall Statoil ASA and Linde AG make a positive assessment of the project.

After the revision shutdown 2011 the performance test has now been completed. The results show that all performance guarantees for example related to product quality, capacity, and energy consumption are clearly met. In particular energy consumption for the liquefaction service was reduced significantly below the guarantee values. Hence, the Hammerfest LNG base load plant now is also officially the worldwide most energy efficient LNG base load plant.

The plant is a unique technology project of the European natural gas and EPC industry. The LNG base load plant with a capacity of 4.3 million tons LNG per year is based on a liquefaction process, jointly developed by Statoil and Linde, that is optimised for the arctic conditions, the so called Mixed Fluid Cascade (MFC®). With the successful commercialisation of this novel process and Linde's complementary process solutions for warm climate zones, for the first time a proven European LNG technology is available for the growing LNG market. With its established solutions for small and mid-scale LNG plants and its future-oriented developments of floating LNG plants, Linde has access to a comprehensive portfolio of LNG technologies.

Hammerfest LNG combines multiple innovative, environment-friendly and pioneering elements. Due to limited plot space available and difficult construction conditions the plant was designed very compact and modular. The heart of the plant is the central process module with a weight of 35,000 tons. This largest ever built LNG plant module was pre-fabricated in a Spanish yard as a floating module and has been transported 2.700 nautical miles to the island Melkøya. Moreover, Hammerfest LNG uses for the first time an efficient, environment-friendly direct sea water cooling system which is suitable for arctic whether conditions. Trend-setting features also include the complete separation of CO2 from the process gas and its reinjection into a reservoir under the seabed as well as the realisation of a flareless plant operation. With the objective to enhance plant availability for the first time in a world scale LNG plant all main compressors are electrically driven.
Therefore Statoil and Linde make a positive assessment of the for both companies strategically important pioneer project.

Dr Aldo Belloni, board member of the Linde AG, draws his attention to the future of the LNG business: "With the successful development and realisation of this LNG technology in a world-scale plant Linde has established its universally applicable, European technology alternative in the LNG market. Melkøya is for us from both a technical and a strategic view a valuable reference project."

The Linde Group is a world-leading gases and engineering company with around 50,000 employees working in more than 100 countries worldwide. In the 2010 financial year, it achieved sales of EUR 12.868 bn. The strategy of The Linde Group is geared towards sustainable earnings-based growth and focuses on the expansion of its international business with forward-looking products and services. Linde acts responsibly towards its shareholders, business partners, employees, society and the environment – in every one of its business areas, regions and locations across the globe. Linde is committed to technologies and products that unite the goals of customer value and sustainable development.

In Greater China, Linde has close to 4,000 employees working in around 50 subsidiaries and joint ventures, and 150 operational plants in major industrial hubs across the region. Linde Greater China is headquartered in Shanghai.

Review of Diamonds Business

November 30, 2011
BHP Billiton announced today that it is reviewing its diamonds business, comprising the Group’s interests in the EKATI Diamond Mine and the Chidliak exploration project in Canada.

BHP Billiton’s strategy is to invest in large, long life, upstream and expandable assets while remaining a simple and scalable organisation. EKATI is a world class operation and Chidliak is a promising exploration opportunity, but many years of extensive exploration suggest there are few options to develop new diamond mines that are consistent with this approach.

This review will, therefore, examine whether a continued presence in the diamonds industry is consistent with BHP Billiton’s strategy and evaluate the potential sale of all or part of the diamonds business.

As it reviews its diamonds business, BHP Billiton will only pursue those options that will preserve EKATI’s outstanding safety and environmental standards and protect the benefits that the mine has created for local communities. Potential transactions arising from the review will be subject to detailed analysis before a final decision is made. In the event that these criteria are not met, BHP Billiton will continue to operate its world class diamonds business in a sustainable manner.

BHP Billiton Diamonds & Specialty Products President Tim Cutt said: “EKATI has made a substantial contribution to economic growth and development in the North ever since diamonds were first discovered there in 1991. Its success is a credit to the great team working at the mine and the strong partnerships they have built with Aboriginal communities and local businesses.

“The review we’ve announced today will seek to maintain this legacy so that EKATI continues to bring social and economic benefits to the North while remaining a great place to work.”

BHP Billiton’s review of its diamonds portfolio is expected to be completed by the end of January 2012.

About EKATI:

EKATI is located 310 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife and 200 kilometres south of the Arctic Circle. It is Canada’s first diamond mine and owned by BHP Billiton (80%), Dr Stewart Blusson (10%) and Charles Fipke (10%).

EKATI has produced an average of over three million carats of rough diamonds per year over the last three years with annual sales representing approximately 10% per cent of global diamond supply by value.

EKATI has an outstanding safety and environmental record and a strong history of working with communities in the North. Since operations began in 1998, its total expenditure on goods and services has exceeded $4.2 billion, of which almost 80% has been spent in the North with Aboriginal and Northern businesses.

About Chidliak:

Chidliak is a diamonds exploration project located on South East Baffin Island in Nunavut, Canada. The property consists of 860,000 hectares about 140km from Iqaluit. Chidliak is a joint venture partnership between BHP Billiton (51%) and Peregrine Diamonds Ltd (49%) and has been operated by Peregrine since 2006.

Exploration is ongoing and 7 of 59 known kimberlites have shown economic potential, with others continuing to be explored and assessed. In addition to its diamond potential, the Chidliak property hosts mineral anomalies indicative of platinum / palladium, lead-zinc and copper deposits.