The Union Minister of Steel and Mines Narendra Singh Tomar today chaired a meeting of senior Polish delegates with Indian state representatives and heads of state-owned companies in the area of steel and mines. The deliberation discussed potential areas of collaboration between the two countries. Leading the Indian delegation, Narendra Singh Tomar said, “Poland is our largest trading partner in Central Europe, offering enormous economic potential for both countries. Given its expertise in mining, I am confident that Poland will make use of the provision for 100% FDI in Indian mining industry, and our PSUs will collaborate with their Polish counterparts for securing and optimizing raw material resources.” Tomar also apprised the delegates of the impending revision in MMDR Act, and the resultant simplification in the sector expected soon. He urged the delegation to discover partnership potential in exploration as much as mining.
The Secretary Ministry of Steel, Rakesh Singh informed the gathering of India’s ambitious plan to ramp up steel production from the present level of 90 MT to 300 MT by 2025. Emphasising that augmented steel capacities will need adequate energy back-up, Singh said, “We’re aware of Poland’s expertise in mining, especially deep underground mining. The move from open cast mining to scientific underground mining is the next logical step for our mining industry, and we’re looking forward to technical collaboration in this area.”
State Minister of Economy, Republic of Poland, Jerry W Pietrewicz underlined that Poland specializes in not just mining and processing of coal and lignite, but also in the modernization of mines using state-of-the-art technology. Citing the example of SAIL’s Chasnalla underground coking coal mine which employs mining technology supplied by Poland, Pietrewicz expressed his keenness in partnering Indian companies to modernize their mines. “Operating in difficult geological environment compels us to improve our technology, since most of our mines are located under major cities,” he explained. Pietrewicz added that with India’s vast economic potential, Poland could serve as India’s ‘gateway to Europe’ as Polish economy is well-versed with European market as well as with Indian PSUs such as SAIL and MECON.
The delegation also discussed the recent acquisition of coal mines in Mozambique by a joint venture of five Indian PSUs, International Coal Ventures Limited (ICVL). Polish Minister Pietrewicz mentioned that similar opportunities are being opened in Poland, with some mines scheduled to be put up for sale, and that India could make use of it. He also said that Poland was already in talks with Mozambique for mutual business opportunities, and that he looked forward to partnering ICVL there. Vice Chairman of JSW S.A., the largest coal mining company in Poland, Jerzy Borecki and other heads of Poland mining firms expressed keenness to work with their Indian counterparts in the production cycle of mining of coal and metals, right from the stage of design to actual production. They showed willingness to participate in the upcoming auction of coal mines in the Indian subcontinent.
The meeting was also attended by Ambassador of Poland to India Tomasz Lukaszuk, Additional Secretary (Steel) VK Thakral, Additional Secretary (Mines) R Sridharan, Chairman of Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) and ICVL CS Verma, CMD of MECON, AK Tyagi and other senior government officials and company representatives from both sides.