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Coal India gets a call from Canada

Stewart Beck (right) and CII chairman (eastern region) Viresh Oberoi in Calcutta on Tuesday. Picture by Kishor Roy Chowdhury

Calcutta, April 8: Canada is wooing state-run miner Coal India Ltd (CIL) to invest in metallurgical coal, or coking coal that is used by steel plants.

Canadian high commissioner to India Stewart Beck today met top officials of CIL to invite them to explore mining opportunities in that country.

“We would like them (CIL) to be an investor in metallurgical coking coal. Canada has different natural resources and one of them is metallurgical coal. British Columbia has good reserves of metallurgical coal,” Beck said on the sidelines of a session organised by the CII earlier in the day.

CIL is planning to import coal to meet the shortfall in supply to power plants and a tender has already been floated seeking bids.

However, as CIL is looking at thermal coal to feed power plants, it is looking at sources closer home.

Canada also has a number of mining equipment manufacturers specialising in underground and open-pit mining.

Beck said India could hedge costs by owning and mining a block instead of meeting its requirements by buying from the market.

India and Canada have set a target of increasing bilateral trade to $15 billion by 2015. Trade between the two countries stood at around $5.6 billion in 2013.

In other areas of engagement, Canadian pension funds have kept India on their radar to reap long-term returns. Some of these funds are already well invested in developed markets such as Europe and New Zealand. Over $2 billion approximately has made way into India through such funds.

 
 
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