In a bid to strengthen bilateral trade relations, Mines Minister B.K. Handique will next week visit Canada to get first-hand knowledge of the country’s excellence in the mining sector and invite its leading companies to invest in India.

Mr. Handique will hold talks with his Canadian counterpart and top executives of mining companies during his visit from July 8 to 13, sources said.

The Minister, who will be accompanied by a high-power delegation including Sundeep Nayak, Joint Secretary (International Cooperation) in Ministry of Mines, is expected to sign a memorandum of understanding with Ontario province, which is home to a large number of nickel, gold and diamond mines.

Among other members of the delegation would be A.K. Srivastava, Chairman and Managing Director of National Aluminium Company Ltd (NALCO); A K Lomas, Chairman and Managing Director of Mineral Exploration Corporation Ltd (MECL); and representatives of the Geological Survey of India and Indian Bureau of Mines.

The Minister will address top Canadian mining companies in Toronto on July 9 and provide them glimpses of India’s new mining policy likely to be announced by the government soon.

Handique will also visit Sudbury, Thunder Bay and Ottawa in Ontario province to get first-hand knowledge of Canada’s excellence in the mining sector.

Currently, only about a dozen Canadian mining companies operate in India, selling equipment and offering technical knowhow.

Hemant Shah, Director of sales for mining equipment maker Cubex Ltd, said that the Minister’s visit would strengthen bilateral trade relations in mining sector.

“Canada and India had signed a MoU for cooperation in mining sector on Sunday (last), and big Canadian players are now only waiting for the new mining policy by India,” Mr. Shah said.

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