Orissa in possession of large bauxite reserve

Bhubaneswar: Rejection of an environment clearance to Vedanta's mining project has brought in to focus the high quality bauxite deposits in Orissa, considered to have the fourth largest bauxite reserve in the world, reports PTI.

The total reserves of bauxite in the mineral-rich state are estimated at 1,530 million tonnes, spread over different sectors, industry sources said.

According to conservative estimates, about 20 million tonnes of bauxites are distributed in Keonjhar, Sundergarh and Phulbani districts, they said.

The remaining reserves are under the thick blanket below the thin capping of soil and laterite in Bolangir, Bargarh, Kalahandi, Rayagada and Koraput districts.

There are altogether six leases, four in Keonjhar and Sundergarh producing annually 17,000 tonnes and used in iron and steel making, official sources said.

The other two leases owned by public sector Aluminium behemoth National Aluminium Company (NALCO) in the Panchpatmali deposit of Koraput district produce 2.4 million tonnes.

The state has decided in principle to lease out the bauxite mines to the prospective entrepreneurs through Orissa Mining Corporation (OMC) with the condition that they will set up alumina and aluminium industries in the state.
 
OMC also entered into an agreement with Utkal Aluminium Ltd for setting up an alumina plant in Rayagada district, official sources said.

However, most of the bauxite deposits are located in tribal-dominated areas, which makes it tough to obtain forest and environment clearance for carrying out mining operations, they said.

The Centre yesterday announced the decision to reject environment clearance to Vedanta's bauxite mining project in Niyamgiri area of Kalahandi district on the ground that there has been serious violation of Environment Protection Act and Forest Conservation and Rights Act.

The Orissa government had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Vedanta for setting up an integrated Alumina and Aluminium complex along with the associated captive power plant in the state.

A company official said the MoU also included supplying 150 million tonnes of bauxite for Vedanta's alumina refinery at Lanjigarh.

Vedanta is currently operating its alumina refinery with outsourced bauxite.

In view of the hurdles before proposed mining in Niyamgiri, the official said, the state government is actively considering allocation of alternate source of bauxite to its alumina refinery.

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Personal finance Wednesday

Deutsche MF launches DWS Fixed Term Fund-Series 74; HDFC Mutual Fund launches new fixed term fund; Benchmark MF to transact Liquid BeES through online mutual fund facility; Principal MF discontinues online subscription plan under Principal Cash Management Fund-Liquid Option; Pramerica MF files offer document SEBI to launch Pramerica Dynamic Monthly Income Fund

Deutsche MF launches DWS Fixed Term Fund-Series 74

Deutsche Mutual Fund has launched a new fund called DWS Fixed Term Fund-Series 74. The fund is a close ended debt scheme and has tenure of 370 days. The new fund offer (NFO) price for the scheme is Rs10 per unit. The new issue will open for subscription from 27 August 2010 and close on 2 September 2010. The investment objective of the fund is to generate regular income by investing in debt and money market instruments maturing on or before the date of the maturity of the scheme.

The fund has two options—growth and dividend (payout) option. The minimum subscription amount is Rs5,000 and in multiples of Re1 thereafter. The fund seeks to collect a minimum subscription amount of Rs1 crore under the scheme during the NFO period. The entry and exit load charge for the scheme will be nil.

HDFC Mutual Fund launches new fixed term fund

HDFC Mutual Fund has launched a new fixed term fund called HDFC FMP 35D August 2010 (2), under HDFC Fixed Maturity Plans-Series XIV. The fund is a close ended income scheme. The face value of the new issue will be Rs10 per unit. The new issue will open and close for subscription on 26 August 2010. The investment objective of the plan is to generate regular income through investments in debt/money market instruments and government securities maturing on or before the maturity date of the plan. The scheme shall offer two options—growth and dividend option. Dividend option offers only payout facility. The duration of the scheme will be 35 days. The minimum subscription amount is Rs5,000 and in multiples of Rs10 thereafter. The fund seeks to collect a minimum target amount of Rs1 crore under the scheme during the NFO period. Entry and exit load charge will be nil for the scheme.

Benchmark MF to transact Liquid BeES through online mutual fund facility

Benchmark Mutual Fund has announced that units of Liquid Benchmark Exchange Traded Scheme (Liquid BeES) will be offered for subscription or redemption on the facility provided by National Stock Exchange (NSE) and Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) from 1 September 2010. This facility will be available for both existing unit holders and new investors. Through this facility, investors can subscribe Liquid BeES units with a minimum amount of Re1 and in multiples thereof. They can also redeem Liquid BeES units with a minimum of 0.001 units and in multiples thereof. Liquid BeES invest in short-term government securities and money market instruments of short and medium maturities.

Principal MF discontinues online subscription plan under Principal Cash Management Fund-Liquid Option

Principal Mutual Fund has discontinued its online subscription plan under Principal Cash Management Fund-Liquid Option from 24 August 2010.

Pramerica MF files offer document SEBI to launch Pramerica Dynamic Monthly Income Fund

Pramerica Mutual Fund has filed an offer document with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to launch Pramerica Dynamic Monthly Income Fund. The scheme is an open ended income scheme. The new fund offer (NFO) price for the scheme will be Rs10 per unit. The objective of scheme is to generate regular returns by making investment in debt and money market instruments and to generate capital appreciation by investing in equity and equity related instruments. The scheme shall offer two options—growth and dividend option. The scheme would allocate 70% to 95% of assets in fixed income securities. It would further allocate 5% to 30% of assets in equity and equity related instruments. The scheme will charge an exit load of 1% if the units are redeemed within 365 days of allotment. The minimum subscription amount will be Rs5,000 and in multiples of Re1 thereafter. The minimum target amount of Rs1 crore is expected to be raised during the NFO period.

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'Drafters of N-Bill ignored ILO recommendations'

New Delhi: An environmental health researcher has sought intervention of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), alleging that drafters of the Nuclear Liability Bill have ignored recommendations of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on radiation protection, reports PTI.

"India has ratified Radiation Protection Convention, 1960 of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) but its provisions have not been complied with. It is yet to ratify ILO's Occupational Cancer Convention, 1974 which is concerning Prevention and Control of Occupational Hazards caused by Carcinogenic Substances.

"Drafters of the Nuclear Liability Bill appear to have ignored their recommendations," convenor and founder of Toxics Watch Alliance Gopal Krishna charged in his petition submitted to the commission yesterday.

ILO's Radiation Protection Convention with regard to maximum permissible doses of ionising radiations which may be received from external or internal sources and the maximum permissible amounts of radioactive substances has been ignored, he claimed.

In his petition to NHRC, Mr Krishna also submitted that the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science & Technology, Environment & Forests in its 25-page report on the Bill, which was tabled in Parliament on 18th August, was of the opinion that Government must have sought the opinion of ministries which are even "distantly" related to any provision of the legislation.

"When the committee inquired from the secretaries of ministries/departments of government of India who appeared before the committee as to whether the draft nuclear liability Bill was referred to them for their views/comments, some of them viz the ministries of health & family welfare, agriculture, labour & employment, food & public distribution, etc, replied in the negative," he quoted the committee as saying in the report.

He pleaded the commission to take cognisance of the submissions of "these secretaries" and direct the concerned authorities to internalise their suggestions in the text of the Bill to protect the human rights of Indian citizens and safeguard intergenerational equity.

Mr Krishna requested the Commission to start proceedings to ascertain from the authorities concerned both at Centre and the state as to how would they respond in the event of a nuclear disaster, number of existing factories and industries in the country where radioactive material is used and whether they maintain an inventory of such products.

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