Global resources experts believe that as surely as night follows day, India will emulate China as the next explosive growth story in Asia.
The question is - will it be the needy customer such as China, desperate to build infrastructure based on overseas mineral supplies? Or will it be able to provide for itself? The answer appears to be India desperately does not want to be a needy customer.
One only has to look at the latest bold plans from Lakshmi Mittal, based in London but born in India and one of the richest men in the world, who is eyeing up a giant new opencast mine about 500km inside the Arctic Circle in an attempt to extract an estimated US$23 billion (Dh84.47bn) worth of iron ore.
Mr Mittal's company is ArcelorMittal, the world's biggest steel producer. It has already spent about $600 million to buy Baffinland Iron Mines and develop the Mary River iron ore deposits in the Nunavut region of the Canadian Arctic.
Mr Mittal appears to be going to extraordinary lengths to make his huge steel concern vertically integrated so it is not reliant on Australia's Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, or Brazil's Vale. Other Indian producers such as Tata Steel and Essar Steel are seeking to do the same thing.
Together with coal, iron ore is the building block on which China's growth has gained momentum. China has so far been largely dependent on the big three producers, which hold all the cards when dictating world prices.
Unlike China, India is more interested in high value-added flat-steel products, while China has used commodity grade steels to build infrastructure and commercial buildings. It is only recently that China has moved to higher-value products.
The problem for Indian producers is they are not ready to start building new capacity to produce commodity grade steels if they have to pay market prices and shipping for iron ore and coking coal from Australia and Brazil.
Many in Australia and Brazil still believe India is the next story in the making - rich pickings for them. India's low steel intensity per capita and its chronic lack of infrastructure are signals that steel production - and demand for the ore - can only get bigger there. In February, Vale said India would be forced to curtail iron exports to support its industrialisation process.
Unlike China, Japan and Korea - all of which have sourced their supplies through the traditional channels - India has plenty of its own iron ore. It has just been inefficient or incapable of extracting it in industrial-sized quantities.
The word from resources commentators in Australia is steelmakers in India are hoping to receive permits for new iron ore mines at home, or if possible to partner the few Indian companies that have supplies overseas.
Indian steelmakers will not put up a plant without raw materials security. An example is the steel galvaniser Uttam Galva, which has a blast furnace that produces 500,000 tonnes a year of steel at its site in Maharashtra. It is dependent on raw material supplies from some of ArcelorMittal's mines outside India.
As for India's own reserves, the allocation of land in the eastern ore-producing states has proved to be difficult. ArcelorMittal's bid to build a 12 million tonne a year steelworks in Jharkhand is still pending, as is a similar bid by the company to construct a plant in nearby Orissa.
Permit processes for the Indian mining industry are riddled with corruption, and applications can also fail on the objections of local tribes who live in these undeveloped areas. With the onset of the monsoon season in India, the supply of iron ore is affected from June to August. A Maoist guerrilla movement in some of the more remote ore mining regions has also deterred steel companies.
It seems until India can get its act together, progress on the building of infrastructure will be slow. If it does, the India story may not unravel in the way many expect. The three big incumbents may find not a needy customer in the waiting, but a well-resourced competitor.