BHUBANESWAR: Mining industries in the country are recovering fast and mineral production is looking up despite global economic slowdown, said Union Secretary of Mines Balvinder Kumar on Thursday.
Kumar was addressing the inaugural session of the national seminar on ‘Aluminium: The Strategic Metal’ organised by Aluminium Association of India (AAI) here.
With more than half the bauxite reserves of the country and massive presence of Nalco, Hindalco and Vedanta, Odisha is soon going to be the aluminium capital of India, Kumar said.
However, it is a matter of concern that the installed capacity is far more than the aluminium production in the country, he said.
With the Centre planning to develop 100 Smart Cities and a number of infrastructure projects including freight and industrial corridors in the pipeline, there will be huge demand for aluminium, he said.
“The demand for an Aluminium Development Council is genuine and the Government will set up the proposed council as suggested by president of AAI and Nalco CMD Tapan Kumar Chand,” he said.
Kumar further informed that the Ministry of Mines has requested the Railway Ministry to charge the freight of bauxite at par with limestone and include alumina in the non-metal segment.
In his welcome address, Chand said while the aluminium industry across the globe is passing through sluggishness, AAI is taking steps to strengthen the sector through various initiatives. He stressed on cost reduction, making domestic market more vibrant and enhancing the aluminium market through introduction of various value-added and high-end products.
The seminar is a precursor to the International Conference on Aluminium 2017, which will be held in the State Capital next February.