Minerals are essential raw materials for industrialization of any country, ultimately leading to economic and social progress of that society. Not only for industries, minerals are also used in many gadgets in our day to day life. All governments around the globe give importance to mineral survey programmes. Such work has been going in our country since 1860, initially by the British, followed by elected governments after 1947. Mineral survey is a continuous activity as new prospects add to the existing resource position and thereby help in planning process for future.
In our country, this work is mainly conducted by central and state agencies, but at times research workers from different Universities have also made significant contributions in this field. It is heartening to note that more information has come to light about new mineral finds in three areas in 2023. Following paragraphs give a brief account of such work.
The first and foremost information has come from Bundelkhand region of North central part of India. This region is quite important from geological point of view as some of the oldest rocks formations on earth are found here and they hold the key to many geological secrets. Work done by officers of Geological Survey of India, Bhopal office has brought to light the occurrences of Copper-Molybdenum-Tungsten near Kanchanpur and Thuni villages in Shivpuri district of Madhya Pradesh. Keeping aside the technical jargon it can be mentioned that mineralization has been observed in a 3.5km long belt in this region. The chemical analysis of rock samples from this area have shown following values for different elements viz. Cu-1530 ppm, Mo-4080, W-1449 ppm. Such values are quite significant and require further evaluation to prove the average grade and total reserves in this area. Though there is no need to emphasise this but we all know that deposits of above elements are quite important for our country.
The second discovery is from Mahendra Garh district of Haryana; the Aravalli hills of Rajasthan also extend to this area. The new mineral find her has been possible due to a joint research project of Geology department of Kurushetra University, and Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Dehradun. Research work done by scientists of above organizations have identified Cobalt bearing rocks near Nasibpur and Raghunatpura villages above mentioned district in South West Haryana. In their research paper the geoscientists have found that analysis of quartzite rock of above villages have shown high concentration of Cobalt. The average value reported is 166 to 3657ppm, but higher range 2371-3657 ppm could be observed in Nasibpur village. It is well known that Cobalt is included in list of critical minerals by Govt of India, which has mane use cases. Nowadays even a layman knows that this element is part of Cobalt Therapy machine used for treatment of Cancer.
The third and most important mineral reserve has been identified in the mineral rich State of Rajasthan. This important discovery has also come to light from Bileta village of Reni tehsil in Alwar district. This is actually a chance discovery due to common sense exhibited by an educated person. Director of Mines department informed media through a press release that a team of Geology wing officers have collected rock samples from this village and analysed them. This has shown the possibility of presence of Lead, Zinc and Silver deposit in this area and detail exploration work has been planned in 2023. Certain other facts have also come to light about this area. Actually many leases of the masonry stone of Cheja stone have been sanctioned by the State Mines department.
Individuals are mining the stone for use in house construction and for making boundary walls of agriculture fields. During excavations some months ago some villagers found a shiny stones in few mines, which were different from masonry stones. Thinking them to be some precious stones, some villagers put them in the foundation of their new houses and thought that this would bring peace and prosperity. But some alert mines owners took these shining stones to a Chemistry Professor of a Govt college who belonged to the nearby area. Being an educated person, the Professor Sb immediately recognized that these shining stones are different minerals. He arranged for chemical analysis and found that the rocks have Lead content. Then the villagers and mine owners informed state department whose team then took up further work.
It is now clear from above paragraphs that this year 2023 has definitely brought good news in form of new mineral discoveries. It is hoped that further work shall convert these occurrences into full fledged workable mining projects.