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India eyes coal reserves in Canadian province as it raises steel production

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India is planning to acquire several metallurgical coal assets in British Columbia (BC), Canada, in order to address the needs of its fast-growing steel industry.

In relation to this plan, a 'Cooperation Agreement' has been signed between BC's Minister for International Trade Teresa Wat and Indian state-owned steel producer, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam, during Indian steel minister's recent visit to BC.

The agreement has been signed with intent to promote and expand bilateral cooperation in the Minerals & Mining sector, explore and encourage investment opportunities, development and exploration of mining related projects as well as exchange of technological research and innovation.

According to Indian Government, the domestic demand for coal is expected to rise significantly in the coming few years. It is estimated that the country will need twice as much metallurgical coal by 2017.

The Mining Association of BC president Karina Brino told The Vancouver Sun that the province's coal industry is closely observing the growing Indian market.

The proposed move will improve BC's coal industry - the province's primary export business - worth $5.7bn a year.