Asia Top Stories

Gold spending in India is set to get a boost from a strong monsoon season

Since before recorded human history, the people of India have…

Rio Tinto walks away from India Bunder diamond project

The project, discovered in 2004, was expected to generate about…

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Rio Tinto raises stake in Ivanhoe Mines to 48.5 pct

Mining company Rio Tinto PLC (RIO) Wednesday raised its ownership stake in Canada-based Ivanhoe Mines Ltd (IVN.T) by 2% to 48.5% as it sought to cement its commitment to the massive Mongolian Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold project. Rio Tinto paid C$18.98 a share and exercised its subscription right to the tune of C$529.5 million in order to increase its take in Ivanhoe Mines, the majority owner of the Oyu Tolgoi project.

Gold rebounds on Japan downgrade

As gold prices near $2,000 an ounce, some bulls say it's time to take money off the table after the safe-haven rally extended too far too fast in recent weeks. Gold investors at several firms said gold prices could correct sharply, citing overvaluation. While that does not mean prominent bulls are now bears, they recommended investors take profit on gold holdings, after the precious metal traded briefly above $1,900 on Tuesday for the first time.

Steel companies in Bellary, India begin layoffs; over 30,000 jobless

The economic consequences of the Supreme Court ban on mining in Bellary are beginning to be felt in thousands of homes in Karnataka as their primary bread winner is facing an axe or has already been pink-slipped. More than 30,000 people working for mining and steel companies are jobless. Another 15,000 workers employed in over half-a-dozen steel companies and 77 other related-industrial units face layoff threat as their companies face an acute shortage of raw materials (iron ore).

In northeast India, children are lured into coal mining

The young miners descend on rickety ladders made of branches into the makeshift coal mines dotting Jaintia Hills in northeast India, scrambling sideways into “rat hole” shafts so small that even kneeling becomes impossible. Lying horizontally, they hack away with picks and their bare hands: Human labor here is far cheaper than machines. Many wear flip-flops and shorts, their faces and lungs blackened by coal. None has a helmet. Two hours of grinding work fills a cart half the size of a coffin that they drag back, crouching, to the mine mouth, where a clerk credits their work. Most earn a dollar or two an hour.

As gold reaches another record high in India doubts begin to creep in

Gold reached another peak in Saturday trading in India, the world's largest consumer of the precious metal, and is now within reach of the psychologically important level of 30,000 rupees. Bullion hit an all time record on Friday in New York and is already up more than 30% in 2011, after a decade of annual gains. India's imports could hit a record high of 1,000 tons this year the president of the Bombay Bullion Association told reporters at a major gold conference in Kovalam in south India, but others struck a more cautious note with Scotia Mocatta, a leading Asian precious metal trader, saying imports could fall 20% as higher prices scare of retail buyers. Consumption in India last year drove Indian bullion imports to the highest ever at 958 tons, according to the World Gold Council.

Miners reel after Papua New Guinea ownership bombshell

In a surprise announcement Papua New Guinea on Friday introduced a plan to hand state ownership of mineral and energy resources to landowners, a move that may prove disastrous to foreign miners developing massive projects and pushing into new regions of the resource-rich country. The announcement by PNG's new leader comes ahead of elections in 2012 that many observers have warned is bound to lead to civil unrest. The move may also derail PNG's economy which is booming with growth this year expected to reach 11%. The mining industry employs roughly 30,000 people and supplies 80% of export earnings.