Indiaâ€™s appetite for energy will continue to drive change in the sub-continentâ€™s mining sector and create new opportunities for Australian businesses despite the global economic downturn, according to Austradeâ€™s New Delhi-based senior trade commissioner Peter Linford.
Speaking at Indiaâ€™s largest mining industry event, the International Mining and Machinery Exhibition (IMME 2008), held in Kolkata from November 5-8, he said: â€œIndia is not affected as much by the global financial crisis as other markets including China.
â€œIt's a much more domestically driven economy, relying less on exports as a percentage of the GDP. According to the IMF, Indiaâ€™s exports as a percentage of GDP were 21.2%, nearly half that of Chinaâ€™s at 40.7%.
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â€œIndiaâ€™s economic growth averaged 9% in the past four years and is forecast to be 7.6% this year.
â€œTo keep pace with this growth, India needs to modernize the mining sector and run more productive mines. This is the driving force behind the take up of Australian mining technology and services.
â€œWe also expect to see increased investment opportunities for Australian companies in India, and most definitely an increased interest from India in investment into Australian resources, reserves and assets.â€
More than 50 Australian companies showcased their mining expertise at IMME 2008 with Australia being the focus country.
As well as attending IMME 2008, the delegation of Australian mining technology, equipment and services providers also visited two open cut mines in the state of West Bengal and participated in an Austrade-organized seminar on partnerships in technology and investment, which was attended by Indian industry leaders, including the worldâ€™s largest coal producer, Coal India, and senior government officials.
Australian Government Minister for Resources and Energy Martin Ferguson delivered the opening address at IMME 2008 and addressed the Austrade seminar.
Austradeâ€™s Kolkata-based industry specialist Partha Sen said: â€œIndia is rapidly moving towards environmentally sustainable options in coal mining, and there is strong interest in all â€˜clean coal technologyâ€™ from Australia.
â€œThereâ€™s growing acceptance among the Indian industry that it's not only environmentally unsustainable to burn coal with an ash content of around 30 to 45% but that itâ€™s also not economical to transport unwashed coal over large distances. So coal washeries are becoming a major area of opportunity for Australia.
â€œAustralian mining software, especially mine management systems, is sought after in India. Other areas for growth are equipment and services for underground mining.
â€œIndia is increasingly moving towards large, modern underground mines as surface coal and minerals are exhausted. Just in the last 12 months, Australian companies Thiess Leighton India and India Resources have won significant contracts to provide contract mining services.â€
The ASIA Miner editor John Miller interviews Gemcom Software International president Rick Moignard about the acquisition of the company by Dassault Systèmes, the 3DExperience Company. Click here
Martabe first gold pour imminent
G-Resources will pour first gold at its world-class Martabe Gold-Silver Project in North Sumatra, Indonesia, by the end of July. This is a major milestone for the company and for Indonesia, as stated by chief exexcutive officer Peter Albert in an interview with The ASIA Miner editor John Miller (click here).
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