New Delhi: Indian Bureau of Mines, a premier organisation under Ministry of Mines, Govt. of India, is the custodian for mines & mineral data in the country. In pursuance of one of its vital responsibilities as specified in its Charter of Functions, Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) undertakes updating of all data-points concerning mines & minerals every five years.
This quinquennial exercise of updating Reserves/Resource position of minerals as per United Nations Framework Classification (UNFC) – adopted in the year 2005 – was actually commenced by IBM in the year 1980. Initiated as a rudimentary necessity in the year 1968, this vital activity of IBM entailing preparation of mineral inventory took major shoots in the year 1971 with the preparation of Mineral Inventory of 34 important minerals. Presently, there are 70 minerals in the NMI database and all mineral parameters are carefully monitored & maintained by IBM through its Mineral Economics Division and Minerals Development & Regulation Division.
National Mineral Inventory provides valuable database that enables planning, development and judicious management of the country’s mineral resources. IBM in consonance with the contemporary demands in the Mineral & Mining Sector and in accordance with its mandate and functioning role as National Mineral Information Repository elicits cooperation & support from all Agencies engaged in different stages of exploration, i.e., reconnaissance, prospecting and mining, in collecting/collating data which after due process of analysis & vetting are woven into NMI database.
In line with the above backdrop, IBM organised a National Conference on National Mineral Inventory (As on 01.04.2020) at its Headquarters in Nagpur on 23.01.2020 as a consultative process with all Stakeholders involved in this mammoth process and with the guided principle to assimilate all information/opinions/views/nuances that which could be integrated to enhance the comprehensiveness of the title ‘’National Mineral Inventory (As on 01.04.2020)’’.
The inauguration of the National Conference was held under the Presidentship of the Controller General (I/c), IBM, Smt Indira Ravindran. Accompanied by the Chief Guest of the function Shri S.N. Meshram, Director General, Geological Survey of India, Smt Indira Ravindran along with Shri S.K. Adhikari, Chief Mining Geologist and Dr P.K. Jain, Chief Mineral Economist, adorned the dais. Delegates from various Departments, namely, MOIL, MECL, JNARDDC, SAIL, BALCO, HCL, FIMI, HGML, TATA Steel, NMDC, GSI and State Govt. Department of Geology attended the Conference.
In his address to the august audience, Shri S.N. Meshram, Director General, GSI, narrated the importance of authenticity of data and its effects in measuring not only the strength of the nation in terms of its mineral endowment but also its Economic vitality. Highlighting upon the various aspects of exploration works undertaken by GSI, Shri Meshram briefed that organisations, such as, HINDALCO, HZL, HCL, etc. owes its existence to the discoveries of minerals their deposits made by GSI. Elaborating on the challenges faced by geologists as many of the mineral sites fall under forest areas, Shri Meshram said that such challenges pose problems in data collections. Describing that Data is the new oil for today’s Economy, he further said that for accurate predictions data should be accurate. He congratulated IBM for shouldering this arduous task of preparing the National Mineral Inventory for the country and wished well for the smooth conduct of the Conference.
Speaking on this occasion and delivering the Presidential address, Smt Indira Ravindran encapsulated the objectives of IBM in hosting this National Conference and thanked the honourable presence of all dignitaries & delegates especially from State Govt. Depts/other Govt Departments along with mineral enthusiast who have shared their valuable time & inputs, which she said, would not only embolden the conviction of IBM in sustaining this nation-building task but will also go a long way in revitalising the data that which would be contained in the forthcoming edition of National Mineral Inventory (As a on 2020). Stressing the importance of critical minerals, such as, Rare Earth elements (REE) & Platinum Group of Metals (PGM), Smt Ravindran said it is vital that the concentration of Exploration Organisation, such as, GSI & MECL should be in the direction to improve the mineral-resource- findings of such critical minerals. Highlighting the need for Real-time data, Smt Ravindran said in today’s Digital Age it must be our endeavour to upgrade NMI database too into a Real-time data resource.
Addressing the audience, Shri S.K. Adhikari, Chief Mining Geologist, voiced a note of encouragement regarding hosting such conference where delegates from the consanguinity get opportunity to interact and share expert opinions which he said would work in the larger interest of the domain of Minerals & Mining and would enable improvisation in the data acquisition & assimilation process. Elaborating on the various aspects of mineral inventory and the significance of data acquisition, Shri Adhikari highlighted the various methods of classifications of minerals including CRIRSCO and UNFC, i.e., adopted by NMI.
In his speech, Dr P.K. Jain, Chief Mineral Economist, listed out the complexities of the preparatory work involved in this exercise of preparing the National Mineral Inventory and briefed the audience on the structure, content and features of the National Mineral Inventory database and also elaborated on the utility of the database in defining the Mineral wealth of the Nation. Briefing the chronology of mineral classification system, Dr Jain also listed out the global mineral position of India’s major minerals.
Earlier, the inaugural function began with the lighting of traditional lamp, introduction of the Guests on the dais and presentation of bouquets and mementos. The inaugural function was compered by Shri A.D. Selokar, DME (I) while that of the Technical Session that ensued the inaugural programme was steered by Shri A.K. Ray, Mineral Economist.
The National Conference drew to a close after the presentation of vote of thanks proposed by Shri Arun Kumar, AME (I).