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Aussie mining firms offer tech help

Calcutta, Feb. 4: Collaborations between Australian companies engaged in mining equipment and other related service and Indian giants such as Coal India, Hind Copper, SAIL and NMDC are a possibility as the Australians are in a position to offer cost-saving technology.

At present, an Australian team comprising several companies engaged in mining equipment, technology and services is touring New Delhi, Calcutta and Hyderabad to study the investment scope in underground mining technologies, safety and contract mining categories. It will also look at options in the construction and mining equipment segment that is currently dominated by the Chinese.

Paul Johnson, former chief executive of Lockheed Martin Australia and leader of the delegation, said the industry would need global expertise to meet its requirements under the Twelfth Five Year Plan.

At present, the mining industry in India faces several challenges surrounding land acquisition and environment.

“India is at a stage of the development cycle, where to achieve higher growth, a healthy resource industry is essential,” Johnson today said, adding that the advan-ced open cast and underground mining technology available with the Australian firms can benefit Indian miners.

“Business in resources requires long-term planning and with the scale of (business) opportunity in India, now is a good time for the Australian companies to seek collaboration,” he said.

The sectoral index of mining as a part of index of industrial production has been falling since March 2013. This is primarily led by the slow pace of growth in coal production and restrictions imposed on iron ore mining in parts of the country.

Johnson said the deliberations between the Indian companies and the Australian delegation highlighted the greater need for cost-effective mining technology, offer- ing better return on investments.

“Our discussion in the last few days with the senior officials of the companies augurs well for collaboration,” he said.

 
 
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