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Australia and India have discussed opportunities in coal technology, skills development, and business-to-business collaboration at a Joint Working Group (JWG) meeting on ‘Coal and Mines’.

The forum was co-chaired by Australia’s head of resources division Paul Trotman and India additional secretary, Ministry of Coal, Vinod Kumar Tiwari.

The delegates also discussed issues relating to India’s coking coal import from Australia.

Australia made presentations on its Global Resources Strategy as well as ways of leveraging technologies and infrastructure to decarbonise energy and industry.

Tiwari provided an overview of the coal sector in India, outlining the country’s current and future coal resources, while forecasting India’s critical and strategic minerals demand and supply scenarios.

Tiwari also explained the coal and broader mining priority areas the two countries could capitalise on going forward.

Other specific conversations included India and Australia’s collaboration on clean coal technology, surface coal gasification, coal bed methane, sharing of technology deployed for fire quenching, coal-based hydrogen, and carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS).

An open house discussion was also held.

The JWG meeting was a precursor to the upcoming India-Australia Energy Dialogue – an annual meeting that will next take place on October 13.

The Energy Dialogue discusses the countries’ bilateral engagement on energy and resources.

Coal and Mines is one of four working groups established to support the forum, which also includes Oil and Gas, Renewable Energy and Smart Grids, and Power and Energy Efficiency units.

In June 2020, Australia and India announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on critical minerals.

The MoU has seen Australia take a significant step towards establishing itself as a reliable supplier of critical minerals for India’s growing manufacturing sector and its defence and space capabilities.