Copper: Despite significant dependence on imported copper concentrate, there has not been a significant addition to domestic copper reserves for the last few years. Comparing Indians r/p ratio of India with countries such as Australia, the US and Canada indicates the urgent requirement of investment in copper exploration.
Zinc and lead: The r/p ratio of zinc and lead in India (8.52) is significantly lower than the world average of 20.5. In India, the demand for zinc and lead has increased at a CAGR of 7% and 11% respectively in between FY08 and FY10. Though, India is producing more than its domestic requirement currently, it is imperative that it ramps up the exploration and prospecting of zinc and lead for its future growing needs.
The Indian landscape is geologically very rich in mineral content, being the part of erstwhile Gondwana landmass; it has rich reserves in variety of minerals such as iron ore, coal and many other non-ferrous metals. It is estimated that the country holds abundant reserves of key minerals such as iron ore, bauxite, dolomite, gypsum, limestone, mica and adequate reserves of chromite, manganese, zinc and graphite. Potential areas of exploration venture include gold, diamond, copper, lead- zinc, nickel, cobalt, molybdenum, lithium, tin, tungsten, silver, platinum group of metals and other rare metals, chromite, manganese ore, marble ore (marble mining equipments)and fertilizer minerals.
Gold: The yellow metal is one of the least prospected and explored in India, despite India being one of the largest consumers of gold in the world. Only around 20%-30% of the potential area with possibility of gold reserve has been prospected. There are certain areas in the country, which are still untouched and require investments for prospecting and exploration.
Diamonds: Exploration and prospecting have not been done sufficiently though the results are encouraging. Only around 20% of the potential area is explored in case of precious metals. The lower than average r/p ratio indicates the requirement of exploration and prospecting.
Platinum group of metals (PGM): These are one of the most virgin and untapped minerals in India. Out of the total potential area, only around 1%-2% of the area is prospected. While the world average r/p ratio is 173, only 7.7 tonnes of resources have been indicated in the pre-feasibility stage in India.
To achieve most out of these opportunities in the mining and metal sector, there is a need for expertise in exploration and prospecting of minerals along with latest technology. This also reflects immense opportunities for suppliers of technology, skills and capital.
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