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India to outsource mapping of mineral reserves

New Delhi, India: The Ministry of Mines, Government of India (GOI) is considering outsourcing mapping of potential mineral reserves. All mapping work for finding mineral reserves is currently done by the Geological Survey of India (GSI).

“This proposal could come under the proposed MMDR (Mines and Mineral Development and Regulation) Bill or form a part of a scheme,” said a senior mines ministry official on anonymity. “GSI’s manpower is increasing. But by outsourcing, a lot more area can be mapped.”

GSI’s geochemical and geophysical mapping has currently covered only 5 percent and 9 percent, respectively, of the “obviously potential area” that needs to be explored, said the official, adding that work needed to be stepped up in a big way to meet the 100 percent target within the 12th Plan period.

“If we have to cover 100 percent of the area with GSI alone, it will spill over to the 13th Plan,” the official said, highlighting the urgency in expediting mineral prospecting. GSI would also be allowed to outsource work to eligible foreign companies, the official added.

Source: Livemint