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India needs to exploit new mineral deposits: GSI

Written by: Staff
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Visakhapatnam, Mar 3 (UNI) With foreign industrial investors coming up to set up more mineral-based plants in the country, there was a need to explore and exploit new deposits of minerals, experts at a seminar here said.

Speaking at a seminar on 'Evaluation of Mineral Resources in India', part of 8th Convention of South Asia Association of Economic Geologists (India Chapter), Geological Survey of India (GSI) Deputy Director General S K Bhushan said yesterday as many existing metal industries were adding fresh capacities, this called for exploiting new mining areas which contained a host of minerals.

''The answer to our environmental problem is not killing of proverbial golden goose but rather in addressing these issues in a scientific manner. Environment and eco-friendly mining is what is required for sustainable development. A case in point is the raging controversy regarding exploitation of bauxite present in Eastern Ghats in Visakhapatnam and East Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh,'' Mr Bhushan said.

''It is possible to mine the bauxite with minimal damage to the environment the Inhabitants should be rightfully the greatest beneficiaries of any such development. The case of Western Australia where bauxite is being mined from reserve forest area, is being done with minimum impact on environment or soil fertility. I understand NALCO is doing the same on its mines at Panchpat Mali, Damanjodi in Orissa'' he opined.

Mr Bhushan said the Indian economy as a whole and mineral and mining sector in particular was booming and growing. It contributed 2.5 per cent of GDP and 17.6 per cent of export earnings, excluding cut diamonds.

However, he regretted that the academic institutions were not imparting practical training and little attention was being paid to the field of mineral exploration. In the present scenario, there was an urgent need for highly professional multi-disciplinary teams with state-of-the-art equipment to narrow down the target of mineral availability and demand, he said.

Andhra University Vice Chancellor Prof L Venugopala Reddy, said ''We should prepare more and more students into the newly emerging fields in Geology.'' Convener of the seminar, Prof CV Raman opined that Indian mineral deposits were mined indiscriminately to some extent and the precious ores were exported for a cheaper price without a reference to the futuristic prices of these valuable resources.

UNI RS ROY PV GC1133

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