India expects to woo Rs 1 trillion ($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 Rs 50 billion into the search for deposits, he said. Imports of iron ore, for instance, may amount to about 10 million tons in 2016, according to the CRU Group, a commodities researcher. Environmentalists have resisted an effort by Vedanta Ltd. to mine the mineral at Niyamgiri in the eastern state of Odisha.