The Union Minister of Steel, Shri Beni Prasad Verma, leading a delegation to Australia for strengthening ties between the two countries in areas of mining and coal supply, met with the Australian Minister of Industry and Resources, Mr. Ian Macfarlane, in Brisbane today. He also met with the Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Julie Bishop during a meeting of Australia-India Business Council. Discussions were held on forging collaborative partnerships between the two countries in the areas of mining and coal trade.
Interacting with Mr. Macfarlane, Shri Verma spoke about the potential for supply of coal to India. He said, “There is a huge potential for consumption of coking coal in India. Our country is looking for reliable raw material suppliers. I think Australia can consider supply of coking coal to Indian steel Industry on priority basis.”
Describing the quantum of this demand he said, “We plan to increase our steel production to 300 million tonnes from the present level of about 80 million tonnes. Our coal requirement is also set to rise in a decade’s time”. Shri Verma also talked about exploring the possibility of a long term agreement between Australian miners and Indian steel producers for export of coking coal.
Talking about cooperation between India and Australia in the field of mineral exploration and its trade, Mr. Macfarlane said that Australia has been supplying coking coal to India and understands the potential of Indian steel industry. He was of the view that the relationship between the two countries should be taken forward.
During the Australia – India Business council meeting, Shri Verma shared his views about the steel industry and on issues of the economic cooperation. Assuring support to Australian miners, Shri Verma invited Australian businessmen to jointly collaborate with Indian companies in areas of mining and coal trade. He also spoke about the huge potential for increasing import of coking coal from Australia.
The Indian delegation comprises Chairman, SAIL, NMDC and ICVL, Shri C.S. Verma, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Steel, Shri S. Abbasi, CMD, MOIL Ltd., Shri G.P. Kundergi and CEO, ICVL, Shri Ajay Mathur.