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Tamil Nadu’s mineral exploration projects for gold and rare-earth elements have received approval.

The National Mineral Exploration Trust recently approved exploration projects submitted by Mineral Exploration and Consultancy Ltd (formerly Mineral Exploration and Corporation Limited) for gold and rare-earth elements (REE) in Krishnagiri and Tiruppur districts. Additionally, an exploration project for graphite in the Arasanur East block, submitted by Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Limited, received approval. Tamil Nadu, rich in mineral resources, saw its revenue from these resources rise from ₹983 crore in 2020-21 to ₹1,836 crore in 2023-24, according to the Tamil Nadu Natural Resources Department Policy Note for 2024-2025.

To boost revenue, the state regularly undertakes the exploration of new minerals and deposits through agencies such as the Geological Survey of India, Mineral Exploration and Consultancy, and Kudremukh Iron Ore Corporation Limited. These agencies have submitted geological reports on limestone, dunite, iron ore, graphite, gold, platinum group elements, and molybdenum. District survey reports are prepared for all districts and made available on their respective websites.

Illicit mining and transportation of minerals present significant challenges, depriving the state of revenue and harming the environment. To combat this, the government has implemented several measures, including the use of drone technology, a mining surveillance system, and an online mineral management system. The Policy Note mentioned that ten limestone blocks in Ariyalur and Cuddalore districts have been identified for auctioning mining leases. A notice inviting tender was published on March 4, 2024, in line with the Mineral Auction Rules, 2015, and the tender process is underway. Substantial revenue is expected from the successful completion of the e-auction process. Furthermore, new mineral blocks of gold and limestone have been identified, and geological reports have been submitted by the exploration agencies. The auction of these blocks will be undertaken shortly, according to the Policy Note.

di Il Quotidiano Online

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