Beijing wants to import more iron ore from India

Ulhas Joglekar ulhasj at
Fri Nov 26 04:06:54 MST 1999

The Hindu on
Tuesday, November 23, 1999

Beijing wants to import more iron ore from India
By Our Special Correspondent
NEW DELHI, NOV. 22. China has expressed its intention to increase the
quantum of iron ore imports from India. Now, India exports about seven
million tonnes of ore and this quantum is likely to be increased to 10
million tonnes a year.
At a meeting with the Secretary in the Ministry of Steel, Mr. A. K. Basu,
here today, the visiting Chinese Vice-Director General of the State
Administration of Metallurgical Industry, Mr. Zhao Xizi, expressed an
interest in importing more iron ore from India, Mr. Basu offered to increase
the supply by three million tonnes and said the ore could be supplied from
the high quality mines of the National Mineral Development Corporation
(NMDC) and other sources.
It was emphasised to the Chinese delegation that importing ore from India
would turn out to be cheaper, than getting the supplies from Australia or
South Africa, in view of the lower freight charges.
The Chinese delegation also expressed an interest in doubling the quantum of
manganese ore imports from India from the present level of 50,000 tonnes. To
finalise this deal, the Chinese delegation agreed to send a technical team
to the mines of the Manganese Iron Ore (India) Limited in the coming months.
The two countries also took up the issue of technology transfer in the steel
sector. India offered the knowhow in stainless steel plates, stamp charging
and blue dust technology for cinder plants and asked China in return for
assistance and transfer of knowhow in the areas of waste recycling,
automation probing technology in blast furnace and surface cleaning in
cold-rolled systems.
The issue of Chinese investments in India for upgradation of Indian steel
plants was also taken up. While the funding aspects would be discussed in
the near-future, today's discussions centred round supply of equipment and
technology transfer and upgradation. Another possibility discussed was for a
collaboration between the Indian consultancy company, Mecon, and similar
institutions in China. The collaboration could be leveraged to get
consultancy projects in Third World countries in the area of metallurgy and
infrastructure development.
The Chinese delegation also proposed the setting up of a working group on
metallurgy so that mutual collaborations could be worked out in areas of
mutual interest.

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