India expects to woo 1 trillion rupees ($15 billion) of investment over five years to double mining output and cut mineral imports.
The government’s goal is to speed up exploration, including upfront payments for discovered deposits when the mines are auctioned, Mines Minister Piyush Goyal said in an interview. The administration will invite foreign companies to participate, he said, while acknowledging challenges such as land acquisition and environmental hurdles.
“We’re working to change the rules of the game from doing small amounts of exploration in an incremental fashion to doing it on a fast-track, one-shot, big-picture way,” Goyal, 52, said on Saturday in New Delhi. There’s “easily” scope to pour 50 billion rupees into the search for deposits, he said.
The world’s fastest-growing major economy will need increasing supplies of everything from iron ore to coal to achieve Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s objective of faster development powered by more manufacturing.
Rio Tinto Group and steelmaker Posco are among foreign companies that have put Indian plans on hold because of red tape and difficulties in acquiring land, an indication of the challenges Goyal’s agenda faces.
India in 2015 embraced competitive auctions as the best long-term approach to resource allocation after bruising corruption scandals over discretionary or free allotments. The nation auctions exploration and mining rights.
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