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Map the future of mines 

The Pioneer , Oct 11, 2018

In line with the year-long celebrations of 60th anniversary of the National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) Limited, the Navratna company hosted the “NMDC Golden Jubilee International Conference-Minerals and Metals Outlook 2030” from October 9 to 10 in New Delhi. With over 500 delegates, 64 speakers, 16 countries and 30+ international speakers, it created a platform for existing and potential metal producers and miners, both domestic and international, for discussing, planning and establishing mutually beneficial relationships.

The conference aimed to bring together all relevant stakeholders to deliberate and chart out a roadmap for the growth and development of the mining sector and achieve the projected target of 300 million tonnes production per annum of steel by 2030-31 under the National Steel Policy.

The conference was attended by the Union Minister of Steel Chaudhary Birendra Singh as chief guest and the event kicked off in the presence of N Baijendra Kumar, Chairman-cum-Managing Director, NMDC Ltd, Binoy Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Steel, Sanjay Chadha, Additional Secretary, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Narendra Kumar Nanda, Director (Technical), NMDC Ltd and the conference convenor, Edwin Basson, Director General, World Steel Association, Jatinder Mehra, CEO, ESSAR Steel India Ltd, Sajjan Jindal, Chairman, JSW Group and Dilip Chenoy, Secretary General, FICCI.

Speaking at the conference Chaudhary Birender Singh said, “Mines and mineral sector is the backbone of the country and propels the economic growth. Through forward and backward linkages it is one of the largest creators of employment in the country.” He was addressing the inaugural session of “International Conference on Minerals and Metals — Outlook 2030”.

The Minister expressed that, “The sector has a huge potential to drive growth in the global environment and he is looking forward to the recommendations of the conference for policy formulation.”

He added that “The conference is well-timed and in sync with the Government of India’s vision set in the National Steel Policy-2030. It will help in exchange of information and expertise across the sector.”

Minerals and metals are the backbone of almost every major industry, believes the Union Minister for Steel. Speaking at the conference, he said, “Be it steel, cement, automotives, construction or infrastructure, the vibrant mineral and metals has the potential to propel the growth not only through its contribution to the GDP but also through its forward and backward linkages. The sector also plays a crucial role in employment generation in India. The country produces 95 minerals which include fuel-related minerals, metallic minerals, non-metallic minerals, atomic minerals, and minor minerals and is among the top producers of steel, iron ore, coal, bromide, zinc and bauxite in the world.”

He further pointed out the despite being blessed with such rich resources, the production has not kept up to the potential of the sector due to some inherent challenges and constraints. Some of the challenges include inadequate infrastructure, land acquisition, ban on mining in some states, financial hurdles and lack of access to growth capital. The impact of mining on environment and the surrounding communities has also been a concern over the years. Mining has also been associated with many illegal and unauthorised activities.

The minister added, “India is far behind in using the latest technology for exploration and mining as compared to other countries. We need to upgrade these and use space technology, advanced equipment for open cast mining and even for monitoring and control of activities.” The minister assured that the present government has taken up these concerns seriously and taken initiatives to address the deterrents to the sector. “The amendment of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act (MMDR), 1957, is one example which would ease the path of doing business for the mining industry in the country. Infrastructure is being improved, innovative ways are being sought to transport ores like the slurry pipelines, adoption of machine learning, high-tech equipment and technology like satellite mapping is being encouraged among many other initiatives of the government," he said.

The NMDC chairman-cum-MD Baijendra Kumar, IAS, informed that through its journey of six decades, the company has explored and developed a number of mines which have become the basis of creation of various other PSUs in the country. “Many interventions have been made by the company since its inception. This is however just the beginning of the major role that NMDC has to play in the national target of achieving 300MT production capacity of steel by 2030-31. In line with this, NMDC has prepared a strategic management plan to achieve 67MT per annum production capacity by 2021-22 and aspires to reach 100MT per annum production capacity by 2030.”

He went on to add, “The International Conference on Minerals and Metals is an excellent platform for the metal producers and miners locally and internationally. The objective of NMDC conceptualising the conference is that being an important player in the industry, NMDC wants to leverage the existing knowledge base for the benefits of all the industry stakeholders. Along with placing India as one of the important cogs in the international mining and minerals eco-system, the conference will also help in the building new partnerships and trade relationships with different countries.”

He said, “This International Conference would not only put focus back on various aspects of the mineral and metal sector but will help to channelise all the stakeholders in achieving targets set in India’s National Steel Policy - 2030. The sector has a huge potential which is yet to be tapped fully and can create 6 million additional jobs by 2025. This conference will aid in charting a roadmap for mining and metals industry.”

The two-day conference saw speakers deliberate on developing the minerals and metals industry vision 2013 and the global perspective of minerals and metals.

The conference also had a dedicated Global CEO Session and Country Panel Discussion, engaging top CEOs and country heads of national and international organisations, deliberating on the future of minerals and metals worldwide. The event aimed to achieve an understanding of the global commodities market for minerals and metals, highlighting the inter-linkage between mineral development and economic growth, the developments in the international metals market that can impact the Indian metals industry and identifying opportunities in Indian mining and metals.

Conceptualised and hosted by NMDC, the conference is supported by Ministry of Steel, Ministry of Mines, and Ministry of External Affairs, and is being organised by NMDC in association with FICCI and Metalogic.

 

 

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