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Saturday , January 23 , 2010
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Coal camaraderie
Jaiswal: Novel idea

Calcutta, Jan. 22: Union coal minister Shriprakash Jaiswal feels Asian countries should join hands in developing minerals, particularly coal.

At the third Asian Mining Congress organised by the Mining, Geological and Metallurgical Institute of India, Jaiswal cited several instances of Asian countries who are the market leaders.

China is the world’s largest coal producer, while India is third.

“Indonesia is also fast emerging as a major coal exporting country. Coal is still the most affordable and locally available fuel and it is the fastest growing mineral for consumption. What we need is greater regional co-operation and collaboration in mineral development, particularly in the coal sector,” Jaiswal said.

“This collaboration can come in the areas of joint exploration or the development of mines,” the minister said.

He said India needed to have access to new coal reserves for its industries.

China’s consul-general Mao Siwei said the governments of both the countries had planned collaborations in coal. “China produces 40 per cent of the total coal production in the world. And China has now become the largest trading partner of India.”

Meanwhile, Coal India has started the process of forging strategic partnerships with producers overseas to bring coal at a price lower than the import price. “Coal companies abroad are witnessing an annual growth rate of 3 per cent. The growth rate is 1 per cent for US companies. India offers a better growth prospect for them,” said Partha S. Bhattacharyya, chairman of Coal India Ltd.

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