Mines and minerals’ warmth amidst Indo-Canada chill

Mines and minerals’ warmth amidst Indo-Canada chill

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  • September 18, 2023
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New Delhi: Union minister for coal, mines and parliamentary affairs Pralhad Joshi on Monday held a meeting with the Canadian delegation led by Ranj Pillai, premier of the Yukon territory.

A statement from the union ministry of mines said that during this ministerial-level meeting, both sides deliberated on enhancing cooperation in the mining sector, especially mining of critical minerals. Together, both India and Canada resolved to strengthen the supply chain of critical minerals between the nations, the statement said.

The delegation is in India for a four-day visit from 17 September to 20 September. Yukon is the westernmost territory of Canada and is rich in mineral resources such as lead, zinc, silver, gold, asbestos, iron and copper.

“Ranj Pillai briefed about the mining and mineral potential in the Yukon, including pathways for Yukon resources to support Indian industry,” the statement said.

Union minister Joshi informed that ministry of mines has formed an entity Khanij Bidesh India Ltd (KABIL) to outsource critical and strategic minerals.

The ministry said that officials from both sides will deliberate on the way forward for cooperation in the field of mineral resources.

Pillai invited a delegation from India to Yukon and assured his full cooperation to the delegation for exploring investment opportunities and acquisition of minerals. “This meeting has paved the way to deepen cooperation between both the countries,” the statement said.

Of late, India has emphasized the need for critical minerals, given their requirement across key sectors including renewable energy, telecom, and defence among others.

In June this year, during prime minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US, India entered Minerals Security Partnership (MSP) alliance, a US-led alliance of 14 countries that aims to catalyze public and private investment in critical mineral supply chains globally.

Further, in July, the government released a list of 30 critical minerals for India and said that these minerals are critical for the economic growth of the country.

This visit by the premier of a Canadian province comes at a time when diplomatic relations between the two countries have hit a rough patch.

During the meeting of prime minister Modi and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, the Indian prime minister conveyed India’s serious concerns about the anti-India activities involving extremist factions in Canada to his counterpart Justin Trudeau.

India has also expressed concerns to the Canadian authorities over the rally by Khalistani separatists on 8 July.

“Canada will always defend freedom of expression, freedom of conscience, and freedom of peaceful protest, and it is extremely important to us… at the same time we are always there to prevent violence and to push back against hatred,” Trudeau had said after the G20 Summit concluded.

Further, on 15 September, Mint reported that the negotiations between India and Canada on the free trade agreement (FTA), which resumed after a decade, have come to a halt due to political concerns.


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Updated: 18 Sep 2023, 08:44 PM IST

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