Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Orissa to explore bauxite in Keonjhar, Koraput

Business Standard, Oct 8, 2008

With a view to augment the availability of bauxite for the aluminium plants coming up in the state, the Orissa government plans to start exploration of bauxite in the Keonjhar and Koraput districts during the current fiscal.

It will take up exploration in the surrounding areas of Dholkata Pahar in the Keonjhar district and small and medium size plateaus in Dashmantapur block in the Koraput district to assess the availability of bauxite there.

An exploration was undertaken in Dholkata Pahar by the directorate of geology between the field seasons 1975-76 and 1981-82 and a reserve of 5.09 million tonnes of metallurgical grade bauxite was found.

Preliminary investigations carried out in the surrounding areas of Dholkata Pahar, like Unsir, Serenda and Samrajpahar, also indicated the presence of bauxite.

Drilling in Dholkata Pahar has revealed the thickness of laterite profile of up to 18metres, with bauxite being encountered up to a maximum depth of 16 metres from the surface. As Unsir, Serenda and Samraja Pahar are adjacent to Dholkata Pahar and have similar geological set up, the directorate hopes to get bauxite of the same nature there.

Keeping that in view, it plans to carry out geological mapping for bauxite in these areas, followed by drilling wherever necessary. While geological mapping will be taken up for 100 square kilometres, trial excavation, drilling and sampling are proposed to be taken up if necessary, sources added.

Similarly, assessment of bauxite and gemstone potential in Dashmantpur block in the Koraput district is proposed to be taken up during the current fiscal. It may be noted that the area around Girliguma in Dashmantapur exposes the ‘Eastern Ghat Super’ group of rocks.

While the eastern part of Girliguma is occupied by about 36 plateaus of various dimensions, the valley part of the area exposes basic granulites, pegmatites and quartz veins. The gravels, derived from the pegmatites and their contact zones, are often panned by the local people to recover fibrolite with cat’s eye effect.

In this backdrop, an exploration will be undertaken in these plateaus for bauxite.

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