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Enhancing mineral exploration in India

Brookings - India has a landmass of 3.2 million km with a multitude of geological – tectonic domains, which evolved through the entire course of geological past and developed varied mineral potential. India also has a significant legacy of mining from pre-historic times which continues to this day.

For centuries, India produced iron ore, copper, zinc, lead, gold, silver, diamonds, and other precious gemstones and fascinating facing and building stones which are visible in our historical architecture. While in British colonial times, mining of precious metals and stones, as well as of coal (and petroleum) was the twin focus, it also laid the foundations of modern geological studies in India through the establishment of the Geological Survey of India (GSI) and institutions such as the Presidency College of Calcutta, which housed India’s first geology departments. Large iron ore deposits were discovered by the pioneering GSI geologists in eastern, central, and southern India towards the beginning of the 20th century and entrepreneurs like Jamshed Ji Tata accepted the challenge of setting up the foundations of India’s steel industry. The British also started the great geodetic survey of the South Asian region, while the GSI started the geological mapping of the entire sub-continent.

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