India - Country Commercial Guide
Mining & Mineral Processing Equipment      

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country.  Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2020-08-25


India possesses significant mineral resources, ranking among the top ten global producers of mica, barites, coal and lignite, iron ore, chromite, bauxite, and manganese.  According to the Ministry of Mines, India mined 95 different minerals from 1,405 mines and produced an estimated $17 million in minerals (excluding atomic minerals) during the fiscal year of April 2018–March 2019.  Coal production leads the Indian mining industry, accounting for 78 percent of total mineral sector production.  India’s coal reserve is estimated at 301.5 billion tons (10 percent of global reserves).  The country produced 728.72 million metric tons (MMT) of coal during April 2018-March 2019.  Although the official target for April 2019-March 2020 was set at 810 MMT, actual production only reached 729.10 MMT.  As in past years, many mining projects across the country faced delays caused by government decision-making, ongoing court cases, or environmental, regulatory, and land acquisition issues.  The COVID-19 pandemic has slowed mining company operations in 2020, and the industry has faced supply chain issues and import challenges. 

India allows 100 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) for the exploration and mining of non-core minerals like gold, silver, and diamonds, as well as in oil exploration, captive mining of coal and lignite, and coal processing (washing and sizing).  To meet energy demand, India plans to upgrade the equipment and technology used in many of its mines, particularly in the coal sector.  In 2020, the Indian Government passed an ordinance allowing commercial mining of coal in India and removing all restrictions on end-use of mined coal.  The ordinance also removed barriers of required experience for companies to participate in coal block auctions. 

The most attractive niche sector for U.S. exports is in high-end, specialized coal mining equipment.  India’s coal mining industry accounts for 80 percent of its demand for mining equipment, especially equipment used in open-pit mines, which account for 90 percent of India’s coal mining operations.  With India’s new coal block allocation process initiated in 2018, and the healthy procurement budget allocated to Coal India in 2019 for the purpose of modernizing its equipment, we anticipate steady growth in the mining industry and a higher demand for new mining equipment in the near term.  Although China has been the primary foreign supplier of mining equipment in recent years, ongoing political tensions between India and China may open the market to give U.S. suppliers the chance to regain lost market share of India’s imports.

Estimated Size of Mining Equipment in India:

Units: $ millions  





2020 est.

Total India Imports





Imports from the United States





U.S. Share of Imports





 Source: Global Trade Atlas (HTS 82071300, 820719, 843031, 84303900, 843041, 843049, 84314990, 846711, 847420, 8474900)

Leading Sub-Sectors

  • Long wall machinery, such as loaders, draglines, and jumbo drills
  • Heavy machinery, such as excavators, shovels, dump trucks, and coal/rock cutters
  • Continuous and highwall mining technology
  • Equipment for mineral screening, crushing, grinding, and coal washing
  • Underground communication and mine safety systems
  • Coal mine methane utilization / Coal bed methane (CBM) technology


Coal India Limited (CIL) is the single largest coal producer in the world, operating 364 mines (166 underground, 180 opencasts, and 18 mixed), and is directly administered by India’s Ministry of Coal.  CIL  oversees the activities of the Central Mine Planning & Design Institute Ltd., which acts as a centralized planning organization assisting in mining operations and design.  Currently CIL has 121 ongoing coal mining projects which are under different stages of implementation.  In 2019, CIL approved an additional 20 coal mining projects, bringing a total capacity of 87.81 MMT per annum and total capital investment of $1640 million.  CIL produced 602 MMT of coal from April 2019-March 2020, compared to 606 MMT mined during the previous year.  It also operates 16 coal washeries (12 coking and 4 non-coking) and will be setting up 18 new washeries to increase the supply of washed coal. 

To enhance production, CIL seeks to improve railway links, modernize equipment for higher capacity mining (e.g. exploration augmentation, operator independent truck dispatch systems, continuous miner technology, long wall technology), and increase coal washing operations.  In the next five years, CIL plans to introduce 26 continuous miners in 19 mines and 2 longwall miners in 2 mines, for which proposal reports are undergoing the approval process.  In the next three years, CIL plans to procure 6 draglines, 31 shovels, 300 dumpers, and 47 bulldozers.  Coal India Tenders provides the current tender announcements by CIL, as well as an explanation of the procurement process.

Apart from CIL, several other public and private entities procure mining equipment.  In South India, Singareni Collieries Company Limited, jointly owned by the Government of Telangana and Government of India, produces about 62 MMT of coal from 18 opencast and 27 underground mines.   In Tamil Nadu, NLC India Limited produces 30 MMT of Lignite from four open cast mines.  In the private sector, Tata Steel continues to be a major buyer of equipment for its captive coal and iron ore mines in Jharkhand.  India’s private sector power utility companies like Reliance Power, CESC, Jindal Steel and Power, and Tata Power are also working on projects to develop, own, and operate captive coal mines which will require the latest technologies and equipment. 

NMDC Limited is India’s largest iron ore producer and exporter, mining over 35 MMT per year from its three fully mechanized mines.  The Ministry of Mines has provided targets for NMDC to increase output to 48 MMT by the end of 2020.  In addition to iron ore, NMDC plans to acquire new mining leases for other minerals such as coal, diamonds, and gold, and will be leasing or buying properties directly from foreign countries through Special Purpose Vehicles or Joint Ventures.

Other large mining companies in India include Essel Mining, Orissa Minerals Development Company, Vedanta Limited, Hindalco, National Aluminum Company Limited, and Steel Authority of India Limited. 

Small-scale opportunities exist in the used equipment market, despite the lack of a common trading platform.  Mining equipment rental is nascent and slowly growing.  While companies with large fleets like iQuippo and Sanghvi Movers are entering the market, most services are still provided by small fleet owners with less than 10 machines on average. 

For more information about export opportunities in this sector, please contact U.S. Commercial Service Industry Specialist Shantanu Sarkar.