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Government of India
Ministry of Steel
16-December-2011 12:44 IST
Australian Minister Calls on Union Steel Minister to Discuss Cooperation in Mining and Ore Exploration
The Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations and Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, Government of Australia, Mr. Bill Shorten called on the Union Minister for Steel Shri Beni Prasad Verma here yesterday. They discussed cooperation in the Mineral and Mining sector.

During the meeting, Shri Verma said that 80% of coking coal used by Indian Steel Industry is imported from Australia. He said that Australia a very important partner for the India, which contributes significantly to India’s growth. Shri Verma urged Mr. Shorten for support to Indian Iron and Steel Industry to acquire coking coal and iron ore assets in Australia. Mr. Bill Shorten, assured all help to the Indian companies to set up a base in Australia.

During his interaction with the foreign delegation, the Secretary Steel, Shri P.K. Misra sought the help of Australian Government in verifying that the mineral properties being acquired by Indian companies are encumbrance free. Replying to the secretary’s questions Mr. Shorten said that such aspects could be looked into.

The Chairman of SAIL, Shri C.S. Verma said that SAIL sources 10 Million tonnes of coking coal from Australia and is scouting for coking coal properties in the country. He asked if Australian banks could give loans at competitive rates to our ventures in Australia, it would boost investments by Indian companies in Australia’ he said. Replying to the question, Mr. Bill Shorten said that superannuation fund in Australia is large and mechanisms can be worked out to give loans from this. But he added that for any such arrangement to work out, a thorough dialogue between the two Governments is necessary.

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NSK/DB