Bangalore: The Geological Survey of India (GSI) will soon start exploring and mapping the mineral wealth of the country using the custom-made advanced light helicopter (ALH) Dhruv, dedicated for heli-borne surveys.
Union Mines Minister Dinsha Patel, who dedicated the chopper `Garuda Vasudha` to the nation Wednesday through a video conference from New Delhi, said the copter should be used optimally to derive maximum benefits.
"With the best and modern equipment fitted, Dhruv will help in exploration and mapping our vast mineral wealth," he said.
The chopper, built by the state-run defence behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) here, is equipped with the latest magnetic, spectrometric and gravity heli-borne geo-physical survey systems.
"India has become the seventh country in the world to have the heliborne survey system," HAL chairman R.K. Tyagi said at the event.
Presence of rear earth minerals such as gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc, nickel, cobalt, uranium, thorium, diamond, coal, petroleum, water, platinum, chromate, manganese and iron can be surveyed air-borne.
As the GSI is dependent on manual surveying, ground-based vehicle surveying or by fast-moving aircraft, the copter will help access remote areas to achieve self-reliance in its mission.
The heli-borne survey system will help geophysicists in data acquisition, processing and interpretation. Geologists will be able to carry out integration of geological and remote-sensing data to understand the sub-surface geology.
The regional tectonic set-up will also help in geological mapping and identification of target blocks for mineral prospecting.
The Kolkata-based GSI is the prime provider of the basic earth science information to the government, industry and the public. The vibrant steel, coal, metals, cement and power industries, which expanded phenomenally in the post-independence era bear testimony to its relevance in the national context.