The rise in global population, growth in the Chinese economy, urbanization of the Asian countries and the increasing requirements in the developed countries had created a strong demand for minerals and metals. The metals & mining industry caters to this ever-rising demand through extraction (mining) and primary and secondary processing of these metals. However, of late the moderate global economic growth in recent months has emerged as a major bane for the global metal industry.
In India too the mining business would continue to be uncertain and face problems in the near future. This is because of uncertainty in regulatory regime, declining global commodity prices and the Mines and Minerals Development & Regulation (MMDR) Bill not being in place.
The Indian Mining sector contributes around 3% and steel sector is contributing nearly 2% of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and employees over 15 lakh people. Rapid rise in steel production has resulted India becoming the 4th largest producer of crude steel and the largest producer of sponge iron in the world.
At the same time, non-ferrous metal industry is bracing for challenges such as rapid capacity expansion of input minerals, developing indigenous technological expertise and cost reduction.
At present, aluminium is the fastest growing non-ferrous metal and its production volume is next only to steel. Domestically, the demand and consumption of aluminium is projected to rise to about three million tonnes by 2017 from nearly 1.71 million tonnes now. By 2030, aluminium consumption growth will be driven by China and India. Also, copper accounts for third in consumption after steel and aluminium. India is also among the top five zinc mining countries globally.
For global players, India is a big market for mineral resources, as metals and power demand is expected to have robust growth in long term.
The country is endowed with huge resources of many metallic and non-metallic minerals. Mining sector is an important segment of the Indian economy. Since independence, there has been a pronounced growth in the mineral production both in terms of quantity and value. India produces as many as 87 minerals, which includes 4 fuel, 10 metallic, 47 non-metallic, 3 atomic and 23 minor minerals.
The Department is headed by Mr. Nilanjan Chaudhury.