New Delhi: One month ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s scheduled visit to the Republic of Kazakhstan, Union Minister of Steel and Mines Narendra Singh Tomar, met a delegation from Kazakhstan, led by Minister of Investment and Development of Kazakhstan, Asset Issekeshev, at the Udyog Bhawan here on Monday.
The meeting witnessed high level deliberation regarding areas of mutual collaboration between the two countries, particularly in the mining sector.
Welcoming prospective partnership with Kazakhstan, Tomar said, “This government is proactive to collaborate with governments and industries abroad to foster mutual growth and industrial development, and we look forward to further economic partnership with Kazakhstan.”
Secretary (Mines) Anup K Pujari, Additional Secretary (Mines) AS Sridharan, CMD, NMDC, N Kothari, senior officers from the Ministry of Steel and representatives from steel and mines PSUs also attended this meeting.
Kazakhstan Ambassador in India, Sarsenbaev Bolat, senior government officials of Kazakhstan and heads of industry attended the meet on behalf of Kazakhstan.
Tomar informed the delegation about the interest elicited by Indian state-owned companies in aiding exploration and mining in the mineral rich country of Kazakhstan.
He urged the delegation to take a re-look at the proposal made by NMDC to undertake exploration in Greenfield projects, especially in iron ore, coal and potash.
The Minister also informed members that Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) and Geological Survey of India (GSI) were ready to offer necessary training and mentoring support to the respective industry in related areas of regulation, monitoring, policy formulation, policy implementation and capacity development.
Tomar welcomed the idea of forming a Working Group that would study avenues for alliance in detail, and pave way for forging an MoU between the two countries.
Issekeshev informed the meeting that Kazakhstan had developed rail connectivity, via Iran, to the port of Bandar Abbas, which would solve all issues pertaining to transportation of minerals, hitherto caused by poor connectivity.
He expressed keenness of Kazakh public and private companies to join hands with their Indian counterparts, which was welcomed by Tomar and PSUs present during the meet.
Issekeshev apprised officials that besides being richly endowed in Copper, Zinc, Gold, Iron ore, Tungsten and other such minerals, industry in Kazakhstan was also making foray in the area of steel production.
He sought Indian alliance in both exploration, a priority which was reinforced by Tomar, and also in the area of mining. Tomar sought a list of such proposed partnerships from the Kazakh delegation for taking it ahead with companies concerned.