The country’s largest iron ore producing company, the National Mineral Development Corp. (NMDC) Ltd signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Mineral Exploration Corp. Ltd (MECL) to collaborate and conduct exploration in mutually agreed projects for iron ore, gold, coal, diamond and other minerals across various states.
This coming together of the two leading Indian exploration agencies under the management of the Central Government implies better synergies in mineral exploration and allied works. It is expected to help establish resources and reserves of various minerals and ores and their extraction while identifying unexplored mining areas. This will support the Central Government’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan initiative and extend the commitment towards mineral security for the nation.
Commenting on the occasion, Sumit Deb, Chairman & Managing Director, NMDC, said, “I hope this venture accomplishes the mission of strategic and beneficial exploration for both the companies and concentrate on high priority exploration areas and helps in realising the overall objective of promoting domestic production of previously imported items to foster self-reliance. NMDC has been a pioneer in mining and is also venturing into coal at Tokisud North Coal Mine, and Rohne Coal Mine in Jharkhand.
PK Satpathy, Director Production NMDC Ltd is associated in finalisation of this MoU and further mentioned that NMDC is using technologies like space geophysics EIGEN 6C4 gravity field models for diamond explorations in Madhya Pradesh and said NMDC is also preparing mobile geographic information system (GIS) study using the Bhuvan Platform app in all its exploration programmes.
Dr. Ranjit Rath, CMD, Mineral Exploration Corporation Ltd, stated, “MECL is well poised to augment and expedite exploration coverage for all mineral commodities pan-India. Earlier, MECL has conducted successful exploration for NMDC in Shahpur East and Shahpur West Coal blocks in Madhya Pradesh. I hope this MoU turns out to be successful and fruitful.”
NMDC is presently producing about 35 million tonnes (MT) of iron ore annually from its fully mechanised mines in Bailadila Deposit- 14/11C, Bailadila Deposit-5, 10/11A (Chhattisgarh State) and Kumaraswamy Iron Ore Mines (Karnataka State). NMDC produces most of the diamonds from the Diamond Mining Project, Panna in Madhya Pradesh. NMDC also has set up a research and development centre for the study of ore beneficiation and minerals processing.
MECL has been carrying out mineral exploration activities since 1972 and is the premier exploration agency in the country. With its strategic growth plan under Vision-2030, MECL has emphasised providing, exploration and consultancy services for different minerals in India and overseas geographies on behalf of other agencies including the public sector, private sector and state governments on mutually agreed terms and conditions.