Mining - A New Chapter
Finally, there is good news for the Indian mining industry. The Indian Parliament has recently passed the Coal Mines Special Provisions Bill and Mines and Minerals Development (MMDR). Definitely, a huge shot in the arm for this industry and all its stakeholders.

Further, as envisaged, the concluded auction of coal blocks, by the government heralds a plethora of new opportunities to private and government mining companies as well as mining equipment vendors, in future.

Off-Highway Research also projects that the overall construction
and mining equipment market will grow at 13-15 per cent every year until 2017. However, on-ground realities paint a different perspective. Long gestation periods riddled with bureaucratic formalities and procedures for start up of new mines, funds availability, poor cash flow situation, increase in clean energy cess on coal to Rs 200/tonne from Rs 100/tonne, hike in basic custom duty on metallurgical coke to 5 per cent from 2.5 per cent and increase in excise duty for commercial trucks making them costlier, dampens the enthusiasm of the industry.

The new scenario poses fresh challenges to the mining sector which is already under tremendous pressure, to enhance production to meet the increasing demand for coal, iron ore and other minerals; upgrade technologies and methods to reduce production costs and meet environmental norms. This would necessitate huge investments towards acquiring modern mining equipment / machinery; methods and technologies. Despite these challenges, Coal India and its subsidiaries have already made significant investments, in this direction and others are expected to follow, over a period of time.

Overall, India should witness significant growth in the mining industry in terms of development of new mines, induction of ultra modern mining methods, state of the art mining equipment; large capacity earth movers and haulage equipments; bulk handling, processing and conveying systems; long distance bulk transportation and others. There will be huge opportunities to all segments of the allied industry involved in development of the new mines, their support infrastructure and above all, employment for the people!