India has a unique blend of big and small, manual and mechanised, opencast and underground mines. The total number of working coal mines as on date are 572, in the oil sector there are 29 oil projects excluding installations off-shore beyond territorial waters. As far as metaliferous mines are concerned, a fair estimate indicates about 6 000. The total workforce of the mining industry in India consists of about one million workers. The sector is witnessing a lot of growth primarily due to the rise in infrastructure development and automotive production. Power and cement industries are also aiding growth, while the demand for iron and steel is set to continue, given the strong growth expectations for the residential and commercial building industry.