NMET approves 309 mineral exploration projects worth Rs 21 bn

01 Sep 2023

The National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET) has granted approval to 309 projects, with an estimated total cost of Rs 21 billion, for conducting regional and detailed exploration activities throughout the country.

Among these 309 sanctioned projects, 151 have reached completion, while the remaining 158 are progressing through various stages.

The respective State Governments have successfully auctioned eleven blocks, generating revenue of Rs 1.69 trillion, as reported by the Ministry of Mines.

In its mineral exploration endeavours, NMET is also financially supporting projects aimed at generating fundamental geoscience data. This includes conducting multi-sensor aero-geophysical surveys under the National Aero-Geophysical Mapping Program and the National Geophysical Mapping Programme. These initiatives are being executed by the Geological Survey of India (GSI) and will assist in identifying potential areas, including concealed and deep-seated target areas for further mineral exploration.

Furthermore, NMET is funding the development of the National Geoscience Data Repository (NGDR) Portal by GSI, which is set to launch shortly.

Union Minister Pralhad Joshi, while chairing a Consultative Committee meeting for the Ministry of Coal and Mines, expressed that the Central government is providing substantial financial and technological support to State governments. This support aims to bolster mineral exploration efforts and enhance India's self-reliance in this sector. Joshi also highlighted ongoing efforts to expedite the auction process for critical minerals within India.

Joshi further elaborated that NMET has devised and disseminated schemes to provide financial assistance for the procurement of machinery, equipment, instruments, and the upgrading of existing software and other cutting-edge technologies in both Central government organisations and State Directorate of Geology and Mining (DGMs). These initiatives are geared towards strengthening technical infrastructure.

It has been decided that 25% of the project cost will be designated as an incentive for projects focused on exploring deep-seated and critical minerals.

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