Asit Tripathy, Development Commissioner has asked the Odisha Mineral Exploration Corporation limited (OMECL) to extend the services of scientific exploration and analysis to other States and agencies on payment basis.
Sponsored exploration work from various mining lease holders and other organizations are to be taken up by OMECL to make the organization commercially viable, sources said.
While reviewing the activities of OMECL, Mr.Tripathy said that the subsidiary company of the Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) also is needed to perform at the level of OMC, which is scaling new heights.
R Vineel Krishna, Managing Director OMECL gave out details on the activities taken up by the Corporation.
OMECL was set up in October, 2016 to prove mineralized/ ore bearing virgin area of the State to at least G2 Stage of UNFC, for facilitating auction of Mineral Blocks by the State Government.
While Government of India has asked mineral rich states to complete by next month the exploration of all the mining leases expiring in another two years, Odisha is trying to complete the job in time, said sources. .
Odisha has around 700 Square Kilometer of virgin and freehold area which is supposed to be bearing minerals like asbestos, bauxite, china clay, cobalt, chromites, fireclay, graphite, limestone, manganese, mineral sand, nickel, platinum group materials (PGM), tin ore and vanadium, apart from coal and iron ore.
Till now, explored mines account for over seven per cent of the Gross Domestic Product of the State. The vast reserves of minerals have substantial scope for enhanced contribution to State’s GDP, said official sources. The mining potential of the 700 SQ.KM unexplored area needs scientific exploration activities.
Experts say that with available technology, around 1.5 lakh meter core drilling can be done per year requiring around 30-35 years for drilling of the entire area.
Other associated activities like remote sensing study, geological mapping, geophysical investigation, core logging, sampling, analysis, data interpretation, 3D modeling, preparation of plans and sections, reserve resource estimation, etc., are required to be completed to make the new mines auctionable.
The approximate cost for core drilling is around Rs.200 crore per one lakh meter. As such, the financial requirement per annum would be around Rs.300 crore to achieve the targeted quantum of 1.5 lakh meter drilling.
So, the State Government formed OMECL to take up mineral exploration in virgin and free hold areas and Government of India has also notified it in this regard, said sources.
In the meantime State Government has allotted 8 Mineral Blocks of Iron Ore and another 8 Blocks of Bauxite to go for exploration.
Those are Iron Ore and Bauxite Deposits include Thakurani, Khandadhar, Lingapadar, Kishanmali, Kelumali, Majhingamali, Nuapaimali, Tarhapani, Karnapodikonda, Chitamgudi and others.
Seven Iron Ore Blocks of Khandahar in Sundargarh and One in Thakurani area of Barbil in Keonjhar have been allotted to OMECL.
OMECL has chalked out time bound plans for exploration and it is being taken up on fast track mode, said sources.