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India in talks with Mongolia, Russia on coal supplies

Russia intends to increase coal supplies to India to 28 mln tonnes by 2025

NEW DELHI, January 13. /TASS/. India is holding talks with Mongolia and Russia on coking coal imports to reduce dependence on already existing suppliers, Petroleum, Natural Gas and Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Monday.

"India has been importing coal from Australia, which is good, but high-quality coking coal is also available in Mongolia. We are looking to bring that coal at a reasonable price. We are in talks with the Mongolian government," Pradhan said, cited by the Economic Times newspaper.

New Delhi is also discussing coking coal supplies from Russia and is considering an opportunity for establishing joint ventures in the coal sector, the minister said. "We have also initiated talks on behalf of the Indian government with the Russian authorities and signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation for undertaking coking coal ventures," he noted.

India intends to increase coking coal purchases in connection with the steel production growth program, the minister said.

"The talks are being taken forward by public sector companies in India, including Coal India and SAIL," the minister added.

Russia intends to increase coal supplies to India to 28 mln tonnes by 2025, First Deputy Minister for Far East and Arctic Development Sergei Tyrtsev said last October.