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5 miners killed in a coal mine collapse in PoK

A coal mine in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) has collapsed after an apparent gas explosion, killing five minors including two brothers, an official said on Monday.

Seven miners were digging coal about 800 feet deep in the tunnel at the time of explosion late on Sunday night, Deputy Commissioner of Muzaffarabad Masood ur-Rehman said.

INDIA IMPORTS MORE GOLD IN H1 THAN ALL OF 2016

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India’s June gold imports spike as buyers tried to beat higher sales tax

China shuns Indian iron ore in favor of Australia’s

5 miners killed in a coal mine collapse in PoK

A coal mine in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) has collapsed after an apparent gas explosion, killing five minors including two brothers, an official said on Monday.

Seven miners were digging coal about 800 feet deep in the tunnel at the time of explosion late on Sunday night, Deputy Commissioner of Muzaffarabad Masood ur-Rehman said.

The miners got trapped when the mine collapsed on them due to the gas explosion in Seri Darra village near Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

“Two persons escaped but five were trapped and killed,” Rehman said.

The bodies were recovered today, he said.

The miners had died before the rescuers reached them early in the morning.

A murder case has been registered against the leaseholder and contractor for failing to observe safety standards.

The coal mine has been closed down till further orders.

This is not a new one, till date hundreds of miners have died in coal mine accident in India. Just few months ago in December 2016, around 18 people died when a massive mound of earth came crashing down on excavators at Lalmatia open cast coal mine of Eastern Coalfields Ltd

Although DGMS are there to keep continuous watch on every corner of each and every mines in India, but mine managements don’t want to share there any gaps in their safety policy ad that is the main reason for  large scale incidents and accidents.

India imports more gold in H1 than all of 2016:

Gold is once again pouring into India following the cratering of physical demand for the precious metal last year to a seven-year low.

A collapse in demand from India, the backbone of the global physical trade for decades, was behind the weakness, but Chinese appetite for gold also waned significantly in 2016; strength in the US dollar also crimped demand.

Quoting data from GFMS Thomson Reuters, Business Standard reports that India imported 521 tonnes of gold between January and June, versus 510 tonnes in all of 2016.

However, physical demand for gold has been surging in India since January, following a plan by the Indian government last November to “demonetize” the equivalent of US$220 billion in large Indian bank notes – an astounding 86% of the circulating currency – which had a disastrous effect on the gold trade, and other sectors of the Indian economy that are reliant on cash transactions.

Value-wise, the H1 figure for gold imports was $22.2 billion versus $23 billion for 2016. If those numbers hold up, the annual total could surpass 900 tonnes, or $40 billion, which would be the strongest year since 2012, according to Business Standard. Over the past five years, the average amount of gold imported to India was 709 tonnes.

Business Standard cites lower gold prices and retailers stocking gold in preparation of a new good and services tax (GST), as the main reasons behind the pickup in gold demand. The long-awaited GST is India’s biggest tax overhaul since independence in 1947, and will replace a slew of federal and state levies when it’s rolled out in July. But the tax could be tough for small gold retailers to handle.

Gold imports in April, during the annual Hindu and Jain holy festival of Akshaya Tritiya, more than doubled from a year ago to 75 tonnes during a festival that prompts gold jewellery purchases, Reuters reported in May.

In 2015 Economic Times reported that the Indian public hold 20,000 tonnes of the yellow metal in jewellery, coins and gold bars.

India’s June gold imports spike as buyers tried to beat higher sales tax:

India’s gold imports in June more than tripled from a year ago as retail demand jumped ahead of the start of a new sales tax that prompted jewellers and bullion dealers to replenish stocks, provisional data from consultancy GFMS showed.

June gold imports climbed to an estimated 75 tonnes from 22.7 tonnes a year ago, GFMS said. For the first half of the year, imports rose to 514 tonnes, up 161 percent from a year ago.

The rush of buying by retail consumers in the world’s second-biggest consumer of the precious metal will likely lead to lower July imports, GFMS said. That would put pressure on global gold prices that are already trading near their lowest level since mid-March.

“Demand was higher than normal in June as some consumers advanced buying to avoid paying higher tax,” Sudheesh Nambiath, a senior analyst with GFMS, a division of Thomson Reuters, said on Tuesday.

As part of a new nationwide sales tax regime that kicked in on July 1, the goods and services tax on gold jumped to 3 percent from 1.2 percent previously.

Gold premiums in India jumped to $10 an ounce in the last week of June, the highest level in 7-1/2 months.

“Imports would be significantly less in July compared to June. Right now demand is very weak due to monsoon,” said Shekhar Bhandari, executive vice-president of Kotak Mahindra Bank.

In July, gold demand usually remains weak in India due to fewer weddings and as farmers are busy sowing crops. Two-thirds of India’s gold demand comes from rural areas, where jewellery is a traditional store of wealth.

India’s gold imports in July could be less than 35 tonnes, the lowest level in 11 months, said Nambiath.

 

China shuns Indian iron ore in favor of Australia’s:

Chinese steel mills are turning their backs on India and embracing Australia as a source of higher-grade ore for steelmaking.

According to a report from Macquarie Research, Indian exports of iron ore dropped by 53%, to 23 million tonnes (mt) in May, compared to 49 mt in March. The reason? Lower iron ore prices are making it cheaper for Chinese steel mills to buy higher-grade (more than 57% Fe) iron ore, which makes them more productive.

Iron ore prices have slipped below $60 a tonne on concerns about oversupply and weak demand from steelmakers in China, the world’s top buyer.

The situation in India is reversed from March, when it was reported the amount of iron ore handled by India’s ports more than doubled in the period between April 2016 and January 2017.

The increase in tonnage was partially explained by a resumption in production from India’s top iron exporting state of Goa in the summer of 2015, led by Vedanta Resources (LON:VED), after an almost three-year hiatus. Most of that ore has been of the lower-grade variety, with competition for lower grades heating up, says Macquarie, “as most steel mills are focusing on higher grades to increase productivity. Chinese steel consumption has been higher than expected and prevailing steel prices provide for respectable profit margins to these mills,” Business Standard reported.

The publication notes that shipments from Goa “have become unviable” with volumes from the east coast getting diverted to domestic markets instead. The Macquarie report expects Indian iron production to grow 8%, but with declining exports, it expects a domestic surplus of 18 mt in full-year 2018, 4 mt more than the 2017 surplus.

The beneficiaries are clearly Australian ports. According to statistics from the Pilbara Ports Authority (PPA), which governs the ports of Ashburton, Dampier and Port Hedland – the world’s biggest iron ore port – the PPA had a May throughput of 59.1 million tonnes, 10% more than May 2016. The Port of Port Hedland achieved a record monthly throughput of 44.7 mt, an increase of 12% from the previous year.

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