State-owned Coal India Ltd (CIL) today said diversification into new metals and minerals will not hinder or cause any conflict with coal production targets. Coal India had been contemplating a foray into new minerals and metals like iron-ore, nickel, bauxite and copper to harness its mining expertise. "Doesn't matter. It is like two verticals.
Coal group will look into coal while a new group can focus on new areas," Coal India chairman Gopal Singh told PTI when asked if foraying into new minerals was feasible. "We have to grow the company and we are working on diversification plans. We will come back with greater details," Singh said on the sidelines of the 43rd annual general meeting of the company. Singh said Coal India will stick to its target of producing 1 billion tonnes of coal by 2020. He, however, denied that Coal India lacks internal expertise in mining even as it expands its mineral portfolio. Our core strength is mining, be it coal or iron ore or anything else, and Indians are experts in these and have been sucessful in whatever mining ventures are undertaken, Singh said. Singh expressed optimism on the growth prospects of coal as thermal power sector grew at 17 per cent in August when hydel and nuclear generation down by 12 and 36 per cent respectively. He said there is a need for more coal production which will in turn generate more employment. Singh added that the share of coal in India's commercial primary energy supply was 55 per cent in 2015-16, and is expected to remain high at 48-54 per cent, even in 2040.
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