NAGPUR: India imports a number of minerals like phosphates, tungsten, potash, gold and platinum every year. Keeping the ever increasing demand in mind, the national mission II on natural resource management (NRM) of Geological Survey of India (GSI) will now take up exploration of these minerals on domestic front as one of the priority area besides looking for rare earth elements (REE).

Though the new deputy director general of NRM, Anjan Chatterjee who took charge on April 1 at the mission headquarters in Nagpur, has his priorities listed, he wants to continue with the conventional work of identifying the indicated, probable and proved deposits of different minerals.

Speaking to TOI, he said exploration of minerals with poor resource-cum-reserve base will the biggest priority of the mission. "Minerals like phosphate and potash used in fertilizers are always in short supply in imports. India is world's second biggest consumer and importer of potash. During good monsoons, the prices of these minerals shoot up and government has to subsidize it for farmers. So we really need to look for may be small but economically viable deposits," he said. Rajasthan has some known deposits but they are of very poor quality and need enrichment. This may require help from the Indian Bureau of Mines. Gold is another mineral which should be explored in newer areas.

Source: Times of India - see full article