IBM for more spending on exploration of new resources

Bhubaneswar: Asking mines operators to get rid of the bad name of being polluters by undertaking green activities; Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) on Sunday said the country was lagging in exploration of new resources.

"While use of minerals is increasing fast in the country, much needed exploration for new deposits for future is not up to the expectation," IBM Controller General, C S Gundewar said.

Gundewar said this while addressing the mine operators at the final day function of mines environment and mineral conservation week here.

Stating that India was unable to balance exploration and exploitation, Gundewar said while Australia spent abut 500 million USD per annum on survey, Latin America`s expenditure on this activity was about 700 million USD per annum.

India, which has a geographical setting identical to both Australia and Latin America, spends only USD 5 million on promotional exploration, mainly through GSI, and major part of it is spent on coal.

"India accounted for less than one per cent of the global exploration expenditure," Gundewar said adding that in last 50 years, the total amount spent by GSI in mineral search is about Rs 500 crore only.

"Of Rs 500 crore spent on search for new minerals in the country, Rs 350 crore are for locating coal deposits alone," he said.

Experience in other parts of the world showed reserve could increase significantly with additional exploration by state-of-the-art technology, Gundewar said.

"Australia`s known iron ore resources increased hundred fold in 40 years from around 400 million tons in 1966 to 40 billion tons by 2005," he said.

However, in India, so far no major investment had been made in prospecting. IBM had taken initiatives to monitor the expenditure incurred by prospecting license holder, he said.

"All the IBM regional offices have been directed for effective monitoring for expenditure proposed in the scheme of prospecting," he said.

IBM`s controller of mines (central zone) Ranjan Sahai, told mines operators not to destroy greenery and ensure inclusive growth in mines areas.