India keen to acquire coal, iron ore mines in Canada

India keen to acquire coal, iron ore mines in Canada New Delhi: India has evinced interest in acquisition of coking coal and iron ore assets in Canada for sustained growth of its steel industry.

"Although India has rich reserves of iron ore, it is opportune time for Indian steel industry to acquire more iron ore mines to meet the requirement of next generation, the country being populous," Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma, who is leading a high-level delegation to Canada, said.

"A high level delegation led by Union Minister of Steel Beni Prasad Verma reached Toronto on July 15 with an objective to have cooperation between organisations of both the countries for sourcing/acquisition of minerals, viz. coking coal and iron ore, as a long term perspective for sustained growth of Indian Steel industry," an official statement said.

Acquisition of intellectual property and cooperation in research and development activities are also part of the agenda, it said.

The statement said the delegation concluded an MoU between RINL and McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada, to collaborate and strengthen research cooperation, in the areas of steel making, beneficiation and pellet making from low grade magnetite and also towards training, exchange of research.

The pact was signed by CMD, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam (RINL), A P Choudhary with Dr Peter Mascher, McMaster University.

Verma mentioned that such cooperation with leading University will strengthen R&D activities in steel sector which is a must to achieve Government?s planned level of over 200 million tonnes (MT) of capacity during next few years.

On a query by a Canadian organisation about export of iron ore from India, Verma mentioned that Government has already taken action which has resulted in sharp decline of exports by 75 percent.

Verma will also be visiting mineral rich State of British Columbia and will have discussions with the Premier of British Columbia and other concerned Ministers and organizations on the subject during the visit.

Steel Secretary DRS Chaudhary and Joint Secretary (Steel) Lokesh Chandra are accompanying the Minister as part of the delegation.