Panaji, Feb 9: The central government is all set to exploit 10,000 sq. kms of the Indian Ocean seabed for minerals including gold, silver and platinum.
According to a top scientist, the earth sciences ministry is finalising a contract with the International Seabed Authority(ISA) to formally enable India exploit 10,000 sq kms of the Indian Ocean seabed for minerals including gold, silver and platinum.
Director of the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR) S. Rajan, who attended a three-day Bharatiya Vigyan Sammelan here over the weekend, said the legal and technical commission to the Jamaica-based authority had also approved exploration plans submitted by India.
"Action has been initiated to formalise a contract with the ISA facilitating the initiation of a 15-year programme of mineral exploration in the allocated area," Rajan said.
The Goa-based NCAOR had been designated as the lead agency for this programme by the Union Earth Sciences ministry.
THe scientist said mid-ocean ridges in the central and south western parts of the Indian Ocean were rich in metals like copper, lead, zinc as well as other noble metals like gold, silver, palladium and platinum.
"The deep ocean realm along the mid-ocean ridges has kindled a lot of interest, primarily on account of the high concentration of base metals and many noble metals in them," Rajan added.