On January 21, 2021 Department of Mines & Geology (DMG), Govt. of Rajasthan signed a tripartite agreement with Rajasthan State Mines and Minerals Limited(RSMML) and the Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited (MECL), Govt of India to take possibility steps towards study solution mining of potash in the Nagaur-Ganganagar area of Rajasthan, covering parts of Sriganganagar, Hanumangarh, and Bikaner districts.
- MECL will be the program manager and this will create a path for solution mining which tends to be established as the 1st solution mining hub of potash in India.
Prahlad Joshi, Union Minister for Coal, Mines & Parliamentary Affairs, Arjun Ram Meghwal, Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal, and Chief Minister of Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot also virtually participated during MoU.
Why Rajasthan for Potash Mining?
- Rajasthan is said to be the major contributor to our country in the field of minerals.
- Rajasthan has major Potash and Halite resources across 50,000 sq. kms in the Nagaur – Ganganagar basin.
- Geological Survey of India(GSI) and MECL has confirmed that 2476.58 million tonnes of Potash and 21199.38 million tonnes of Halite are there in the basin.
Benefits of the Project:
The MoU helps to make a proper study to use the subsurface salt deposits through solution mining, utilizing the rich mineral reserves of the state.
India is dependent on imports and spent Rs 10 lakh crore of foreign exchange for potash of about 5 million tonnes every year. This MoU will eliminate the complete dependence on import trade for potash.
Significance of Potash
Potash is mainly used to make fertilisers and it is also used to manufacture glass, explosives and chemicals, petrochemicals.
Points to be Noted:
Recently, the Cabinet has approved proposal for Mineral Reforms by Amending the Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act 1957 of MMDR Act, 1957
Recent Related News:
On November 24, 2020 Indian Railways(IR) collaborated with the Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad for a study on ‘An Integrated Coal-Freight Optimization Model’ to increase network throughput and optimize freight transportation over Indian Railways.
About Rajasthan State Mines and Minerals Limited(RSMML):
It is an undertaking of Rajasthan govt
Chairman– NiranjanKumar Arya, IAS
Headquarters– Udaipur, Rajasthan
About Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited (MECL)
It is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Mines, Govt of India
Chairman & Managing Director(CMD)– Ranjith Rath
Headquarters– Nagpur, Maharashtra