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India Launches First Survey on Rare Earth Metals to Reduce Dependency on China

CC0 / / Rare-earth oxides
Rare-earth oxides - Sputnik International
The Indian government has earmarked 12 minerals crucial for the manufacturing of cutting edge defense equipment. India has no declared domestic reserves for majority of the identified critical [rare earth] minerals and is heavily dependent the world’s biggest producer.

New Delhi (Sputnik) — India has invited companies to participate in a three-year survey for its deposits of rare earth minerals. The aero geophysical exercise will be conducted over three years for collecting baseline magnetic and spectrometric data. The government will soon finalize the global firm that will conduct the survey over 800,000 sq. km area at a cost of $ 210 million.

"The Geological Survey of India has initiated a national aero-geophysical mapping program over the identified `Obvious Geological Potential' (OGP) areas for acquiring the baseline magnetic and spectrometric data. By April 2017, aero-geophysical survey over an area of about 2.05 lakh sq. km is planned to be carried out," said Piyush Goyal, Indian Minister for Mines.

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Indian government is involving private exploration agencies through a revenue sharing mechanism and expects to provide a structured framework for targeting deep-seated and concealed mineral deposits in the country.

The government has identified critical minerals that play an important role in aerospace, automobiles, cameras, defense, entertainment systems, laptops, medical imaging, nuclear energy, and smart phone segments. India is totally dependent on imports for seven out of the 12 identified critical minerals. India doesn't have any declared resources for them, except light rare-earths (found along with monazite sands) and beryllium.

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