India to explore mining potential with huge aero-geophysical survey

A group of three surveying firms will put in eight aircrafts to conduct the survey.

The Dollar Business Bureau

India will start next month its biggest aero-geophysical survey for minerals to explore deep-seated resources like copper and gold, as it strives for developing its mining industry and decrease its dependence on minerals imports.

More than 200,000 square kilometres of area will be covered by the survey across seven states of the country from Rajasthan in the western region to Andhra Pradesh in the southeast, Balvinder Kumar, Mines Secretary, told Reuters on Monday.

The collected data will be made public for domestic and foreign firms later this year to consider mining in India.

Only a portion of areas in the country with potential for minerals has been explored which means that India has to import everything from copper to aluminium and asbestos to gold.

“The survey will go a long way in unearthing the untapped resources lying underneath. The kind of exploration advanced countries like Australia do, we are nowhere near that. But in three years, we should reach that level,” Kumar said.

A group of three surveying firms from Kazakhstan, Australia and India will put in eight aircrafts from New Zealand and Singapore starting on February 15 to undertake the survey, at an initial cost of $16 million.

Apart from Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan, the companies will focus on the states of Karnataka, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh.

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The Dollar Business Bureau - Jan 31, 2017 12:00 IST