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Indian politician denounces illegal sand mining

Sushil Kumar Modi declared that the illegal activities were happening…

INFOGRAPHIC: The facts and figures that make space mining real

While many still see space mining as science fiction, global…

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Indians switch to bars and coins as festival jewellery sales plummet 25 – 30%

The Economic Times reports gold and diamond jewellery sales across India fell by 25-30% in grammage terms during Diwali due to rising gold prices and a noticeable shift to coins and bars, said a leading industry body which represents 300 000 jewellers. India is world's number one gold jewellery market and the sales figures can be seen as a setback for the industry. In August the World Gold Council said despite a higher gold price, Indian demand grew 38% during Q2 2011 compared to the same period of 2010 and will continue to expand for the rest of the year.

Australia mines minister: Carbon, mineral ‘super’ tax won’t deter investors. India begs to differ

Australia's Minister for Resources, Martin Ferguson, has rejected reports in the Indian press that the carbon tax and mineral resources rent tax will deter foreign investment as it pushes up the price coal imported from Australia. Australia's controversial carbon pricing scheme passed parliament last week. The laws – fiercely opposed by the country's mining sector which says it will lead to more than 20 mine closures and cost thousands of jobs – will force Australia's top 500 polluting companies to pay a tax of $24.50/tonne on carbon emissions from July 2012.

Nautilus now has $155 million kitty and all its green permits for undersea mine

Nautilus, the first company to explore the ocean floor for polymetallic seafloor massive sulphide deposits, announced on Friday it has completed the quarter with a cash balance of $155.1 million, after successfully raising $70.5 million in the first tranche of a $98.1 million capital raising. The final tranche of C$27.6 million was received in October. The capital raising involved the issue of approximately 39 million shares at C$2.52 per share. Nautilus is developing its first project at Solwara 1, in the territorial waters of Papua New Guinea, where it is aiming to produce gold, copper and silver. The company has been granted all necessary environmental and mining permits. Nautilus also holds approximately 600,000 square kilometers of highly prospective exploration acreage in the western Pacific, in PNG, the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Vanuatu and Tonga, as well as in international waters in the eastern Pacific.

Foreign powers eyeing $3 trillion Afghan resource spoils

While peace in Afghanistan still looks to be a utopian dream, AFP reports that developing nations like China and India are eager to make resource deals in the troubled country even before the guns fall silent: While an end to the fighting seems remote for now, mining lots are being quickly parcelled out among Afghanistan's resource-hungry neighbours, potentially sparking a new "Great Game" for control of its battle-worn ground. According to mining ministry documents seen by AFP, Afghanistan is planning to sell extraction rights for up to five mines every year until the departure of the last foreign combat troops in 2014 -- a rattling pace, say experts.

Western Potash rally runs out of steam despite takeover talk and Milestone milestone

Despite a pre-feasibility study packed with good news and an ever-louder drumbeat suggesting an imminent takeout, Western Potash sank 6.67% on Wednesday, a day the broader market managed to keep losses to less than 3%. Western Potash said on Monday it is upping the projected capacity of the Milestone project by 12% to 2.8 million tonnes per year and surprised by lowering its capex and opex cost projections. Scotia Capital commented that state-owned entities from Brazil, India and China could be interested in Western Potash to secure supply outside of Canpotex and Russian producers which together control around 57% of global supply.

Vale on iron ore price: after hitting 2-year low, the only way is up

Bloomberg reports Rio de Janeiro-based Vale SA, the world’s largest iron-ore producer, said prices for the raw material have stabilized and are recovering from “rock bottom” levels as a result of lower-than-expected production and strong demand from China, India and South America. Iron ore for immediate delivery has gained 8% to $126.30 a tonne since reaching its lowest level in almost two years at the end of October. During the month iron ore prices crashed almost 30% forcing the big three – BHP, Vale and Rio Tinto control nearly 70% of the 1 billion tonne annual iron ore seaborne trade – to renegotiate quarterly contracts with Chinese buyers to bring values more in line with the spot price.

Tata Steel said to be bidding for Australian coal miner New Hope

India's largest business group is considering making a bid for New Hope Corp. (ASX:NHC) in what could be the largest coal deal since Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE:ANR) bought Massey Energy in January for around $7 billion. According to Bloomberg, citing sources familiar with the plan, the acquisition would involve a joint bid between Tata Steel and Tata Power for Queensland-based New Hope which is valued at $A4.9 billion. Indian steelmakers and power plants are struggling to secure coal to run their plants in the face of supply shortages.

More bad news for iron ore, coking coal prices: world’s largest steelmaker profits halve, sees worse ahead

ZeeNews report the world's largest steel-maker ArcelorMittal on Thursday reported a dip of over 51% in net income to $659 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2011, due to rising raw material costs and a fall in demand. The Indian giant also said it will face increasing pricing and volume pressures in the final quarter and is idling production as a result – it has mothballed eight furnaces in Europe and permanently retired another just over the last two months. Arcelor's gloomy outlook prompted one analyst to observe: "We're in a very dark market environment right now."