The Geological Survey of India (GSI) recently unearthed lignite deposits in Ramanathapuram district, said A. Sundaramoorthy, director general, GSI.

Inaugurating the refurbished economic geology gallery at Government Museum on Monday, he said a GSI team was continuing work and drilling was in progress in Misal area in Boalur panchayat in the district. Lignite in this area occurred at 325 to 400 metre depth and GSI has established the occurrence of 1,100 million tonnes of lignite in Misal area, he said.

GSI has already established the presence of a 130-km long and 5 to 10-km wide lignite belt between Mannargudi and Bahur in Puducherry in which Neyveli and Jayamkondam are located.

Resources of molybdenite, a strategic mineral, in Dharmapuri district, the only source of primary ore of molybdenum in the country, has also been established. A 23-km long belt (Harur–Uttangarai belt) has been extensively explored and a reserve of 9.96 million tonnes has been proved. TAMIN, a State government undertaking, has taken up further work in this belt, he said.

The State has platinum group of elements in Sittampundi and Mettupalayam area which were under investigation. It also had large deposits of limestone mainly around Ariyalur supporting a number of cement industries which were not able to meet the demand. Recently, GSI established the occurrence of about 3 million tonnes of low grade limestone in Sengurichi area in Villupuram district and an additional reserve of 0.72 million tonnes of graphite in Sivaganga district.

In addition, about 0.79 million tonnes of zinc and lead, 26.85 million tonnes of bauxite, 481.9 million tonnes of iron ore, 45.52 million tonnes of magnesite and 67,000 tonnes of gold ore occur in the State, Mr. Sundaramoorthy said.

T.S. Sridhar, Commissioner, Department of Museums, said the government museum opened with the geology section.