India and Canada are looking at exploring more opportunities in the mining sector.
Over 140 industry leaders attended the India Mining and Metals Forum in Toronto. V I Lakshmanan, co-convener of the forum, told rediff.com, "The event helped establish contacts with Canadian counterparts as the country has niche opportunities and good core competence."
Vijay Kumar, secretary, mining, Chanakya Chaudhary, chief resident executive, Tata Steel, Sharad Kumar Ghodke of the coal ministry; Tuhin Kumar Mukherjee, executive director, JSW Energy Limited; Dr Lakshmi Raghupathy, secretary general, Electronic Recyclers' Association of India, and former Indian president A P J Abdul Kalam attended the conference.
The Canadian delegation included several ministers and industry leaders. "Mining and metals in Canada is very different from Australia, South Africa, Peru as we can help people in identifying resources," he said.
"Canada has examples of industry leaders like Peter Munk, head of Barrick Gold, a multinational company with largest gold reserves. We have the unique experience of bringing people from various disciplines together during the Prospector and Developers Association of Canada annual conference, which attracts between 8,000 to 10,000 leaders in mining and mental industry from all over the world."
"It takes time for a strong relationship to develop," said Indira Singh, executive director, Ontario Mineral Industry Cluster Council. "The energy forum, and the Ontario government mining mission (slated to go to India next month), will help in building trust, relationship and confidence... These are good signals, as we know India has a demand side in terms of Canada's technology, know how, expertise, financing and mining training."
Canada is the "world's largest repository of end-to-end domain knowledge and expertise within the mining and metals sector, covering the full range of related activities from prospecting and exploration to mining operations, commodities and market development and world class legal and financing capabilities," said a message from the forum co-chairs.
Michael Gravelle, Ontario minister of northern development, mines and forestry, said, Ontario was what India was looking for. "The scope of our relationship is very exciting," he added. "I am committed to enhancing Ontario's relationships and trade with India, especially in the mining and minerals sector."
India, he said, was "looking at its need for base metals, alloy steel and gold. India's demand for Ontario's base metals will continue to soar, as well as the need for our world-renowned mining expertise, state-of-the-art equipment, innovative technologies, and high-quality aftermarket services."
"I feel this is an important event and a good opportunity for the Indian mining sector to showcase the strides it has made so far," B K Handique, India's mining minister, said in a message to the CIF. "Our goal is sustainable development of India's mineral industry with a view to achieving desired growth."