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Mechanisation, critical minerals and sustainability vital for growth – Indian mining industry at GMS & IMME 2022 Inauguration
Nov 16, 2022

Mechanisation, critical minerals and sustainability vital for growth – Indian mining industry at GMS & IMME 2022 Inauguration


16 November, 2022, Kolkata: Mining industry’s role in boosting India’s growth cannot be undermined. While it serves various critical sectors of the country, including energy security, defence, mobility, electronics, among others, it will be difficult for the country to meet its aspiration of becoming a $5 trillion economy by 2030 if the sector’s contribution to GDP is not pushed beyond 2.5%, said Mr Pramod Agrawal, Chairman - Coal India Ltd, while addressing the Inaugural Session of 16th CII Global Mining Summit, held today in Kolkata, West Bengal. Mr Agrawal also said that given the country’s vast mineral resources, the current high incidence of imports in the sector needs to be reduced effectively. He suggested that the industry must work upon enhancing productivity and imbibing sustainability both underpinned by increasing mechanisation and digitalisation in order to become Atmanirbhar but must be conscious about its impact on environment, with a thrust on sustainability.

Echoing his thoughts, Mr Sumit Deb, Chairman – NMDC Ltd, said that the mining industry is an integral part of our economic and industrial development, employing more than 1.1 crore people. However, in order to reduce import dependence and address India’s economic security concerns, the country must focus on forging strategic partnerships with other countries; enhancing exploration; promoting R&D in primary and secondary extraction of minerals, including from metal scraps; and have a continuous thrust on sustainability. He further added that venturing into critical minerals holds significance given the advent of electric mobility and green technologies. Mr Deb added that although the ease of doing business in the country is on the rise, however, faster mine allotments, enhancing competitive bidding and mitigating regulatory delays needs to be addressed at the earliest.

While addressing the gathering, Mr Amit Banerjee, Chairman & Managing Director - BEML Limited, said that detailed exploration along with climate neutrality are crucial for ensuring India’s ambitions of future growth. He added that the national strategy should focus on securing overseas mines, promoting R&D, endorsing recycling of minerals, leveraging technology and digital infrastructure, decarbonisation and encouraging domestic production. Mr Banerjee suggested a multi-pronged workplan to enhance mining industry’s growth aspects including enhancing resource base, reducing permit and regulatory delays, ensuring sustainable mining, encouraging industry-wide awareness about the latest developments and ensuring effective implementation of policies.

Highlighting that the world today is being shaped by 3Cs, i.e., Covid, Conflict and Climate change, Mr Sunil Duggal, Chairman, CII National Committee on Mining and Group CEO, Vedanta Ltd, said that India has the unique opportunity to emerge as the future engine of global growth by leveraging the ‘China+1’ narrative and the forthcoming G-20 Presidency. He added that India’s new economy will need critical minerals like lithium, nickel & Rare Earth Elements. He further said that India’s import of minerals is likely to go up to $280 billion by 2030 from $86 billion today and the country should firmly reduce import dependence and not let minerals become the new oil. In order to stimulate expeditious growth, Mr Duggal said challenges like low level of exploration, lengthy approval processes, high export duties on iron and steel despite having enough capacities, need to be addressed which should be balanced with mitigation of risk to environment. He further highlighted that India must also venture into critical minerals in order to ensure it has steady supply chains, especially in emerging areas.

Stressing the importance of further strengthening the complementing relationship that India enjoys with Australia, Ms Catherine Gallagher, Minister Commercial – South Asia and Head Austrade – South Asia, said that owing to its vast resources, Australia stands as the natural partner for fuelling India’s growth ambitions and meeting the joint prosperity goal with a sustainable future. She further said that the recently signed Australia-India Economic Cooperation Agreement (ECTA) ushered in significant enablers in pushing the bilateral mineral trade by reducing several tariffs and addressing chief concerns raised by both the sides, thereby, underpinning the importance of this strategic partnership.

The Summit witnessed wide participation and rich deliberations by senior Government officials and senior industry representatives/ CXOs from diverse verticals within mining and mineral sectors and focussed on essential themes to revitalise the industry including enhancing ease of doing business, securing critical minerals, responsible mining with an eye on India’s net-zero targets, technology and automation, and digital and urban mining.

The Global Mining Summit coincided with the inauguration of International Mining Machinery Exhibition (IMME), India’s largest and focused trade fair for the mining sector, showcasing the latest and diverse range of mining machinery, equipments, advanced technology solutions, services and supplies from India and abroad. The exhibition was inaugurated by Mr Pramod Agrawal, Chairman, Coal India Ltd; Mr Sumit Deb, Chairman, NMDC Ltd; Mr Amit Banerjee, Chairman & Managing Director, BEML Limited; Mr Sunil Duggal, Chairman, CII National Committee on Mining and Group CEO, Vedanta Ltd; Ms Catherine Gallagher, Minister Commercial - South Asia and Head Austrade – South Asia; in the presence of other dignitaries and industry stalwarts.

IMME is being supported by the Ministry of Coal and the Ministry of Mines and the State Government of West Bengal is the Host State. The event is also being supported by Coal India Limited and Australia as the Partner Country.

IMME 2022 features 245 Exhibitors with 5 Country Pavilions and 65 Exhibitors from Australia, Canada, Germany, Iran, Northern Ireland, Poland, Sri Lanka, Turkey and UK are participating. More than 10,000 Business visitors from India and Overseas are expected to visit the fair. An Important feature at this edition is the B2B Matchmaking Service which will facilitate business meetings among delegates, visitors and exhibitors to maximize the networking opportunity at the event.

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