New Delhi: The government will invest around Rs 3,500 crore on conducting aero-geophysical survey of 8.13 lakh sq km area for probing deep seated and concealed mineral deposit, a move that will boost mineral exploration in India.
Geological Survey of India (GSI) is undertaking the national aero-geophysical mapping programme (NAGMP) for which it had appointed a consultant in March this year, a senior government official said today.
Now the process is on to float a tender to hire an agency to conduct the aero-geophysical survey. NAGMP project will cost about Rs 3,500 crore over a period of seven years, the official added.
Confirming the development, another official said NAGMP includes acquiring aeromagnetic and gravity data, which will aid exploration companies.
"These surveys provide valuable inputs on soil-covered and concealed minerals deposits. West Rajasthan, Deccan trap and peneplained precambrian terrains are areas that will be focused in the surveys to get more precision in data generation," he added.
Precambrian period extends from around 4.6 billion years ago - when Earth began to form - to the beginning of the Cambrian period, 541 million years ago, while peneplain is an area that has been reduced almost to a plain due to erosion.
The precambrian rocks are divided into distinct segments based on principle orogenic trend and are spread over Dharwar, Eastern Ghat, Aravalli and Satpura.
In a bid to boost mineral exploration in the country, the government has notified the National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET) and is in advanced stages of finalising the National Mineral Exploration Policy (NMEP).
Besides, the Mines Ministry has identified 100 mineral blocks for exploration, which will be offered to the private sector once the government notifies the NMEP.