OREANDA-NEWS. February 19, 2016. The Union Minister of Steel & Mines Shri Narendra Singh Tomar launched Operation Khanij Khoj of Geological Survey of India (GSI) and received GSI report of 100 mineral blocks for regional exploration during 55th Central Geological Programming Board meeting in New Delhi today.

While addressing the representatives from different states and institutions of the country in the meeting, Shri NS Tomar said, Mineral exploration in India needs to be done in a proactive and time-bound manner. Government of India has taken several decisions to enable this, and to build exploration capacity in the country. Mineral exploration and mining are independent of each other. Former aims to build a comprehensive database of countrys mineral resources, while mining of these resources can be done based on the requirement. Exploration by its very nature needs to be done well in advance and not when there is scarcity of minerals. The central government under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Modi has created a spirit of national pride and belongingness through programmes like Make in India, Skill India etc. All of us need to carve out a role for ourselves as individuals and organizations to be a part of this drive to make a better India. Shri Tomar congratulated GSI and CGPB for their initiative and contribution and exhorted them to take up more challenges and assured that Government will provide all possible support.

The Secretary, Mines, Shri Balvender Kumar in his address informed that in next few months, over 6600 geological exploration reports will be put in public domain by GSI in digitized format, the work on which is already on. Selection of consultant for aero-geophysical survey of the entire 8 lakh Sq. Kms. Area is also in advanced stage and is likely to be completed in this month, he added. Shri Balvender Kumar stated that the changes being brought in the Mining sector over the last one and a half years are going to revolutionize the mining sector in the coming 2-3 years.

Additional Secretary Shri R. Sridharan spoke on the status of exploration in India vis-?-vis international developments in exploration.

As mentioned, Geological Survey of India [GSI] has identified 100 such blocks which may be taken up by the private explorers for regional exploration. The Steel and Mines Minister today released the document in six volumes detailing these blocks. Ministry of Mines will take further action in this regard. The identified blocks includes total area of about 12,000 sq. km with prospects for minerals such as, basemetal, gold, iron, tin/tungsten, strategic minerals, etc.

The Operation Khanij Khoj state-of-the-art project of GSI launched today in the 55th meeting of CGBP is to be implemented in two selected areas in the country. It is focused on probing for deep seated/concealed mineral deposits. Characterizing Indias geological cover, investigating lithospheric architecture, resolving 4D geodynamic and metallogenic evolution, and detecting and characterizing the distal footprints of ore deposits, would be the main components of this initiative.

These programmes are also important action points of the draft National Mineral Exploration Policy (NMEP).

The 55th Central Geological Programming Board Meeting being held in New Delhi under the chairman Shri Balvender Kumar Secretary Mines has emphasized on judicial and sustainable utilization of natural resources. GSI under the Ministry of Mines will act as a torch bearer in coordinating with other stake holders through CGPB in the field of mineral exploration. Exploration of minerals and mining is crucial for the development of the country for increase in the GDP growth and employment generation.

The coordinated efforts of GSI, MECL and state governments were emphasized for accelerating the exploration activities in the country. The private investment in exploration will be stepped up after approval of the attractive options proposed in National Mineral Exploration Policy. The Policy is under finalisation and will be notified soon.

GSI has undertaken an important step for digitization of its over 6600 exploration reports for putting it in the public domain so that data is available to all the stake holders.

The Operation Khanij Khoj project of GSI launched during the meeting is targeting concealed and deep seated mineral deposits. GSI has planned two projects in (i) Northern parts of Arravallies and Bundelkhand craton; (ii) Western and Eastern Dharwad cratons.

GSI has initially identified 100 blocks for reconnoitory survey. Once the NMEP is approved, these blocks will be put on e-auction for undertaking regional exploration by private companies.