One month ahead of Indian Prime Minister’s scheduled visit to the Republic of Kazakhastan, Union Minister of Steel and Mines Narendra Singh Tomar met a delegation from Kazakhstan, led by Minister of Investment and Development of Kazakhastan, Asset Issekeshev, at Udyog Bhawan here today. The meeting witnessed high level deliberation regarding areas of mutual collaboration between the two countries, particularly in the mining sector. Welcoming prospective partnership with Kazakhastan, Tomar said, “This government is proactive to collaborate with governments and industries abroad to foster mutual growth and industrial development, and we look forward to further economic partnership with Kazakhastan.” Secretary (Mines) Anup K Pujari, Additional Secretary (Mines) AS Sridharan, CMD, NMDC N Kothari, senior officers from the Ministry of Steel and representatives from steel and mines PSUs also attended this meeting. Ambassador of Republic of Kazakhstan in India, Sarsenbaev Bolat, senior government officials of Kazakhastan and heads of industry attended the meet on behalf of Kazakhastan.
Tomar informed the delegation about the interest elicited by Indian state-owned companies in aiding exploration and mining in the mineral rich country of Kazakhastan. He urged the delegation to take a re-look at the proposal made by NMDC to undertake exploration in Greenfield projects, especially in iron ore, coal and potash. The Minister also informed members that Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) and Geological Survey of India (GSI) were ready to offer necessary training and mentoring support to the respective industry in related areas of regulation, monitoring, policy formulation, policy implementation and capacity development. Tomar welcomed the idea of forming a Working Group that would study avenues for alliance in detail, and pave way for forging an MoU between the two countries.
Asset Issekeshev informed the meeting that Kazakhastan had developed rail connectivity, via Iran, to the port of Bandar Abbas, which would solve all issues pertaining to transportation of minerals, hitherto caused by poor connectivity. He expressed keenness of Kazakh public and private companies to join hands with their Indian counterparts, which was welcomed by Tomar and PSUs present during the meet. Issekeshev apprised officials that besides being richly endowed in Copper, Zinc, Gold, Iron ore, Tungsten and other such minerals, industry in Kazakhastan was also making foray in the area of steel production. He sought Indian alliance in both exploration, a priority which was reinforced by Tomar, and also in the area of mining. Tomar sought a list of such proposed partnerships from the Kazakh delegation for taking it ahead with companies concerned.