Total 8.13 lakh square kilo meter of obvious geological potential area will be taken up for aero-geophysical survey. This was stated by Minister for Mines & Steel Narendra Singh Tomar, while chairing the first meeting of the governing body of National Mineral Exploration Trust. He emphasised on the need for working in close coordination with states, and also bringing the beneficiaries from exploration and exploration agencies, on same platform for better synergy and progress. The Minister underscored the significance of professional and business-like functioning for a time-bound and result-oriented approach. Exploration of minerals on an urgent basis is need of the hour, and NMET is taking a concrete shape with this first meeting to give direction and energy to exploration, he added.
Minister of State with Independent Charge for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy, Shri Piyush Goyal suggested that coking coal should be given priority while carrying out exploration, to achieve self-sufficiency and to minimise spends on foreign currency. He spelled out the need for adopting innovation and advanced technologies in meeting the exploration goals. Various issues that came up for discussion included Environment and Forest clearances for exploration, use of space technology, pooling of resources and capabilities, NMET fund utilization, role of central and state agencies and PSUs, exploration status with respect to mine auction planning, bringing in experts and private agencies for value-addition, matters pertaining to North-east states, exploration rate schedule for all minerals and e-governance. Minister-in-charge, Mines & Geology, Madhya Pradesh Shri Rajendra Shukla, Secretary, Mines, GOI, Shri Balvender Kumar, Secretary, Coal, GOI, Shri Anil Swarup and senior officials from Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Petroleum, state governments, GSI, MECL attended the meeting.