NMDC and IIT Kharagpur sign MoU for drone exploration


Posted by Paul Moore on March 19, 2022

National Mineral Development Corporation Ltd (NMDC), India’s largest iron ore producer and CPSE under the Ministry of Steel, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with IIT Kharagpur for mineral exploration by drone.

The NMDC has been exploring minerals for six decades, including copper, phosphate rock, limestone, magnesite, diamond, tungsten and mineral sands, among others, from reconnaissance level G4 to detailed level G1 of the UNFC.

The MoU for “Drone Based Mineral Exploration” was signed on a virtual platform in the presence of Shri Sumit Deb, CMD; Shri Amitava Mukherjee, Director (Finance); Shri Somnath Nandi, Director (Technical); Shri DK Mohanty, Director (Production) of NMDC and Professors of IIT Kharagpur.

The said MoU was signed on behalf of NMDC by Shri DK Mohanty, Director (Production), and on behalf of IIT Kharagpur by Prof. SP Sharma, HoD, Department of Geology and Geophysics, and Prof. Samir K Pal, HoD, Department of Mining Engineering. .

Shri Sumit Deb, CMD, NMDC said, “NMDC would be the first CPSE in India to conduct drone-based geophysical surveys and hyperspectral studies for mineral exploration in the country. NMDC’s combination with IIT-Kharagpur will open a new chapter and set a benchmark in mineral exploration for the country.

NMDC is conducting exploration for various minerals in the state of Madhya Pradesh and also Beloda-Belmundi block in Chhattisgarh for diamonds. The NMDC is also the first CPSE to use space geophysics in the Central Indian Diamond Province and the first to use online monitoring of data mining on the BHUVAN platform. NMDC says it increasingly relies on technological innovation and digitization of its database related to exploration and mining.

With the launch of a drone policy, the government has taken the first step to regulate and monitor the use and operations of drones in India which are currently being used in agriculture, urban planning, forestry, mining, disaster management, surveillance, transportation. etc

NMDC and IIT Kharagpur would develop spectral products, methods and algorithms for exploration using the drone (UAV) for mining. The collaboration between NMDC and IIT Kharagpur would further lead to the development of software spectral tools for mining excavation and mining technology capacity building programs.

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