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India invites Foreign Companies to Invest in Exploration and Mining

New Delhi: “Indian Mining Sector is open for business”, mentioned Shri Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister of Steel & Mines, while addressing the India Day session at the Mining Indaba, South Africa on11.2.15. He highlighted the changes in the new legislation brought in by Indian government, where all mining concessions are now to be granted through the auction route, making it a transparent and fair process eliminating the chances of discretion or bias, while reducing delays. He also invited companies to invest in the mining sector of the country which is on course of taking off on a higher growth path. The session elicited considerable interest amongst participants who enthusiastically participated in the interactive session, which followed a short film and a presentation, outlining the overview of the Indian mining sector. Shri Tomar emphasised in his address that in this age of globalization, mining is being done not only to satisfy the domestic requirements, but also to meet growing international demands. In the coming years, Mining is expected to be a key industry, attracting huge investments (both domestic and foreign) thereby generating additional employment. Today, growth in isolation is not possible. Neither it is desirable. We need to understand one another’s strengths and explore areas for cooperation. We see such a potential for partnership between India and African region. He stated that India is rich in mineral resources, but large part of this remains unexplored. He invited the captains of mining industry to invest in exploration in the country and underlined the commitment of the government to provide all possible support. Shri Tomar mentioned that by enhancing the lease life to 50 years and introduction of transferability of mineral concessions, India has become a very friendly investment destination. Shri Tomar highlighted that the new government, under leadership of Shri Narendra modi, has launched “Make in India” campaign, with focus on manufacturing sector leading to increased demand for different minerals. Indian Corporates and PSUs are on the lookout for good investment opportunities in mining sector abroad for ensuring regular availability of minerals to the domestic industry in which India is deficient. The Union Minister for Steel & Mines Shri Narendra Singh Tomar had a bilateral meeting with Mr. Ramatlhodi, the Minister of Natural Resources of South Africa. The meeting led to fruitful discussions, with each side sharing the changes they have brought in their respective mining regulations in order to make it more equitable and transparent. While welcoming the first mining delegation from India to Indaba to be led by a member of the cabinet, the South African minister emphasized the shared history & common heritage between the countries. Ways of strengthening mutual collaboration was the main focus of the deliberations. The two countries agreed to revive the MoU, signed in 1997, for cooperation in Mining Sector. Mr Ramathlodi assured to provide all possible support to Indian business in South Africa. It may be noted that present bilateral trade between India and South Africa is about 11 billlion US dollar and there are about 150 Indian companies working in SA. India is largest buyer of South African Gold and coal. In the next bilateral meeting with the Minister from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DCR), the discussion revolved around the prospects of collaborative efforts. It was agreed by the two ministers to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to formalise a structured engagement between the nations. Copper and cobalt are to two main areas of mining interests in Congo. It may be noted that DCR is one of the richest in terms of mineral reserves in African continent and holds very high quality of copper and cobalt. Mr. Alan Davies, CEO Rio Tinto Minerals & Diamonds met with the Minister, with his senior team and showcased their operations in the African continent in brief. Ms. Sylvia Lucas, Premier of Northern Cape province of South Africa called on the Minister and complimented him for leading a high profile delegation to the Mining Indaba, which was well represented by the Indian mining companies.

About Sanjay Trivedi

Sanjay Trivedi is honorary editor of Asia Times. He is senior Indian Journalist having vast experience of 25 years. He worked in Janmabhoomi, Vyapar, Divya Bhaskar etc. newspapers and TV9 Channel as well as www.news4education.com. He also served as Media Officer in Gujarat Technological University.

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