An aerial geophysical survey to detect presence of minerals was launched across four mineral blocks in the country on Friday from Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport in Nagpur.
Undertaken by the Geological Survey of India (GSI), the “multisensory aero-geophysical survey of the obvious geological potential” employs low-flying aircraft fitted with various equipment to detect the minerals. The program was launched by Minister of state (independent charge) for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines Piyush Goyal through video conferencing from New Delhi.
The aircraft belongs to a consortium of service providers led by McPhar International (India) with partners EON Geosciences Inc. (Canada) and Kiwi Air Ltd. (New Zealand). More international companies will join ,in subsequently taking the total number of aircraft to eight.
The aircraft will survey four mineral blocks covering Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Chattisgarh. The four blocks are part of the first phase of the project to be completed in three years. The pilot project of the four blocks is scheduled to be completed by December 2017.
The data compiled from the first phase will be analysed to launch the second phase using helicopters with higher resolution sensors to zero in on finer mineral blocks. The survey is being undertaken after inviting the international consortiums through a global tender process and is aimed at speedy coverage of over 8 lakh sq km area for mineral detection. Over the past few years GSI has undertaken similar surveys with its own aircraft in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh belt successfully.