Hyderabad

NMDC to undertake diamond exploration in MP

Public sector iron ore miner NMDC, as part of its pursuit of diamonds in Madhya Pradesh, has joined hands with Geological Survey of India to get access to the latter’s aero-geophysical data (magnetic).

After this and a few other pre-exploration surveys, the NMDC would undertake eight-inch dia diamond core drilling in identified areas, which would be the first of its kind for mineral exploration in the country. “In one or two years, we will see big discoveries coming from NMDC,” said an official.

A memorandum of agreement (MoA) between the two entities was signed on Wednesday, something NMDC described as a “historic step for the country as the processed data may provide clues for hidden deposits.”

The agreement is for sharing data for mineral exploration in part of the Obvious Geological Potential (OGP Block-2) in Madhya Pradesh. The NMDC has already identified 45 target areas for drilling for ‘diamondiferous kimberlites’ in MP. The corporation has also identified iron-bearing areas in Sidhi-Singrauli Block in the State, a release from NMDC said.

GSI would first fly an aircraft at a low height to collect the magnetic data of geological potential blocks. In turn, NMDC would be processing this aero magnetic raw data using different software such as Geosoft and take up modelling to identify ‘diamondiferous kimberlites’ - ice-cream cones or carrot-shaped rocks found at 150 km depth containing different minerals, including diamonds.

NMDC will also undertake ground geophysical survey as well as geo-chemical survey. The process would also help in iron ore exploration. A change in the mining rules three years ago, he said, was behind the NMDC getting into diamonds mining after Australia’s Rio Tinto group had exited.

The target areas identified by NMDC are more in number when compared to those of Rio Tinto, the official said, adding thta the PSU would be spending over ₹100 crore. The data would be processed jointly by NMDC-Centre of Exploration Geophysics, Osmania University, for obtaining more diamondiferous areas/targets in the 18 diamondiferous blocks. The MoA was signed by M. Mahadevan, Executive Director (RP&S), on behalf of NMDC and Dayanand, DDG and HoD, AMSE, GSI.


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Printable version | Jul 28, 2021 11:32:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/nmdc-to-undertake-diamond-exploration-in-mp/article26450365.ece

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