To spice up mineral exploration, GSI creating repository of all geological information of nation

Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 25

To collate and disseminate all the geological data of the country, the Geological Survey of India has initiated a project, National Geoscience Data Repository (NGDR) that would hold data by all agencies engaged in exploration and geoscientific pursuits.

The project, being undertaken under the aegis of the Ministry of Mines, aims at integrating the data collected by GSI, state geological departments, central public sector enterprises, academic and private sector agencies working in the domain to build a repository in the digital medium entailing multiple user access.

The ministry has also proposed that all the stakeholders from India and across the globe who are willing to participate in the current auction regime for allocation of mineral acreages will also be able to use the NGDR.

Further, the planned Baseline Geoscience Data Collection campaign would also lead to a huge database, which will be the primary inputs for future exploration programmes.

GSI is in consultation with Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Applications and Geoinformatics, Gandhinagar, a national institute under Ministry of Information and Technology for development of NGDR.

To expedite exploration activities in the country, GSI has also embarked upon an ambitious scheme to complete major national level surveys by 2022. These include the National Geochemical Mapping (NGCM), National Geophysical Mapping (NGPM) and National Aero Geophysical Mapping Program (NAGMP).

NGCM is an all India programme to cover the entire surface area of the country by geochemical sampling. It will generate distribution pattern of 62 elements for use in managing and developing natural resources; application in environmental, agricultural, human health and other social concerns, as well as to search for hidden mineral deposits.

NAGMP, which is the first of its kind project in the country, is meant to delineate concealed, deep seated structure/ litho-units capable of hosting mineralisation, delineate extension of the existing mineralised zone and understating of shallow crustal architecture in the context of mineral occurrence.

The collation, assimilation and integration of the data generated from the above projects and further interpretation will lead to identification of more areas for mineral exploration in the country, according to a statement issued today by the Ministry of Mines.

The increased investment in mineral exploration will build a robust pipeline of prospective mineral blocks for auction. This will ensure long-term viability and continuity of mining in the country in pursuit of self –reliance.

GSI is also going to adopt sophisticated deep penetration geophysical techniques such as Magneto-Telluric Surveys and Deep Seismic Reflection Surveys to define the crustal architecture for deep seated mineral targeting.

Out of the total mappable area of 3.146 million square kilometres of the country, 3.119 million square kilometres has been covered by Systematic Geological Mapping till December 2020, building up the knowledge database for National Geo-scientific information for boosting mineral exploration activities and other earth science related socio-economic activities and programmes.

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