Bhubaneswar: With a view to expedite the process of making mines actionable, the Odisha government has set up a state of the art lab for speedy exploration and assessment of mineral resources in the State.

The Odisha steel & mines minister Prafulla Mallick inaugurated the highly advanced and scientific XRD & XRF lab in the directorate of geology, Bhubaneswar, on Monday.

“The XRD & XRF Laboratory will step up the analytical aspect of rocks and minerals which in turn will accelerate auction process,” said the minister.

XRD (X-Ray diffraction) machine will precisely identify the mineral phase whereas XRF (X-Ray Fluorescence) is for elemental analysis of rocks / ores instantly. Both the instruments cost around Rs 5 cores.

“The mineral exploration programme is surely going to get a boost with the commissioning of these instruments. The grade determination will be more accurate and analytical time frame will be much less which in turn will lead to enhance overall royalty gain of the state. This Laboratory will not only cater to the need of the Directorate but will be of immense help for research students and all mining agencies operating in the State,” said Debidutta Biswal, director of mines;

The directorate of geology acts as the nodal agency for the exploration and assessment of mineral resources in the State. Odisha is bestowed with a good number of mineral deposits like Chromite, Bauxite, Graphite, Iron ore, Manganese, Coal, Gemstones, Limestone, Chinaclay and many more. Due to the relentless efforts of the officers of this Directorate, Odisha is reckoned as most prolific mineral producing state in the country. Now the exploration work is in auction mode and the prime responsibility of directorate of geology is to identify and assess the minerals blocks for auction.

Odisha steel & mines principal secretary D.K Singh, OMC managing director Balwant Singh, director geology M. R. Panda, additional director geology M.R. Mahapatra, joint director geology Dr. Prabal Kumar Chand, deputy.director geology; Md. Q. Jamal Khan, and geologists Subhra Sunayana Aich, Monica Ghana, Geologist and Santosini Swain were present.