Millions of tonnes of precious metals and minerals have been found in the deep waters of the Indian peninsula by scientists of the Geological Survey of India (GSI).
It was in early 2014 that a huge presence of marine resources was found off the coast of Chennai, Mangaluru, Mannar Basin, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and Lakshwadeep. Upon discovering lime mud, phosphate and calcareous sediments, hydrocarbons, metalliferous deposits and micro nodules, scientists had estimated that a larger reserve of these precious metals would be revealed upon exploring the area more extensively.
After exploring the seabeds for three years, GSI has produced seabed morphological data for 181,025 square kilometers and established the presence of over 10,000 million tonnes of lime mud lying within the Exclusive Economic Zone of India.
The exploration named High Resolution Seabed Mapping and Natural Resource Evaluation was carried out by three ultramodern research vessels named Samudra Kaustabh, Samudra Ratnakar and Samudra Saudikama.
The Times of India quotes superintendent geologist at GSI, Ashish Nath, saying,
The main objectives were to identify potential zones of favorable mineralization and evaluate marine mineral resources to benefit all stakeholders in the field of mining and geology, specifically industries based on cement, paint, fertilizer, construction and rare earth element.
GSI has also confirmed presence of gas hydrate in the channel-levee system off the Tamil Nadu coast in the Mannar Basin, phosphate sediment off Chennai, Karwar and Mangaluru coasts, cobalt-bearing Ferro-manganese crust in the Andaman Sea, and micro-manganese nodules around Lakshadweep Sea. After mapping, the results have been sent for appraisal to the ministry of mines.