KOLKATA (miningweekly.com) - The Geological Survey of India (GSI) has discovered platinum group elements and chromite reserves in the eastern Indian coastal province of Orissa.
“Results of geological mapping and testing of samples from Dhenkanal district in Orissa have been very encouraging,” a GSI official said.
“However, we are still studying the feasibility of mining and ascertaining the volume of deposits since the samples are yet to be testified,” the official added.
The platinum group elements comprise six silver-white metals including platinum, palladium, iridium, rhodium, osmium and ruthenium, which are rare in value and volumes. These elements have extensive applications and demand in jewellery, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications and fuel cell technology.
Earlier, the GSI found deposits of chromite in the region and geological mapping and sample testing concluded recently revealed numerous small patches of ultramafic and basic rocks occurring within the gneissic rocks.
The GSI would be sending an additional team of surveyors and geologists to the location to begin the next round of investigations and collect fresh samples for testing and verification.
Confirming preliminary findings, platinum group elements were found after excavating around 30 m in the Chandar region of Dhenkanal and though it varied across the site, the metal was preserved within a 1-m-thick band.
The GSI in collaboration with Orissa Mining Corporation, which is owned by the provincial government of Orissa, has also conducted a survey of the Bangur region in the Keonjhar district where deposits of platinum group elements have also been discovered.
This Baula-Nuasahi ultramafic belt was India’s sole proven reserve of platinum group elements with an estimated resource of 14.2-million tons. The deposit, which is yet to be mined, falls within an operational chrome ore mine.