Millennium Post

Govt has identified over 100 blocks for gold and diamond exploration

The Mines Ministry has identified over 100 blocks for reconnaissance stage exploration of minerals such as gold, diamond, bauxite, iron ore and limestone, Parliament was informed Wednesday. The Technical Committee of the National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET), the body formed to promote exploration in India, has cleared 13 project proposals, which are to be vetted by NMET’s Executive Committee, Minister of State for Mines Vishnu Deo Sai said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

According to the data presented by Sai, of the total 108 identified blocks, eight blocks are for iron ore and limestone, bauxite (2), gold (21) and diamond (6). Other identified minerals include manganese, chromite, graphite, tin-tungsten and phosphate.

On NMET he said, “States have started transferring NMET contributions since October 2015 into account of NMET. Till March 31, 2016, Rs 134.41 crore has been accrued to NMET fund.” In all, 13 project proposals have been cleared by the Technical Committee at the total cost of Rs 28.21 crore for the approval of the Executive Committee of NMET, he added.

After approval, the projects will be implemented by the Mineral Exploration Corporation Ltd (MECL), which has been identified as the nodal agency for carrying out exploration under NMET, Sai said. “A revolving fund will be provided from NMET to MECL for this purpose,” the Minister said.

On the reconnaissance permits, he said as per Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) records, 401 such permits were granted. Out of these, 36 have been converted into prospection licences after successful completion of reconnaissance survey. “The reasons for low conversion of reconnaissance permits to prospecting licences may be because during reconnaissance survey significant prospects could not have been identified to take it further for detailed exploration,” Sai said. 

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