Bhubaneswar: Marine minerals from coastal and ocean sources will be key to the country’s future economy and metals like nickel and cobalt will play an important role in promoting renewable energy technologies needed to fight the climate change challenges, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said.
Singh was addressing scientists and students while inaugurating new building facilities at CSIR-IMMT (Institute of Minerals & Materials Technology) here.
Highlighting that India has emerged as one of the frontline nations in marine scientific research under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Singh who is the Minister of State (independent charge) for Science and Technology, said the country is now actively engaged in exploring the resourceful ocean bed for meeting the country’s future energy and metal demands.
“The ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ initiated by the Modi government heralds yet another horizon to various resources to enrich the ‘Blue economy’,” Singh said.
Steps are being taken for close coordination and collaboration between IIMT and NIOT (National Institute of Ocean Technology), Chennai, for accelerated progress in developing India’s ‘Blue economy’ and harnessing its ocean resources, Singh said.
Efforts are on for the development of suitable technologies for effective mining of some of the deep-sea mineral resources and exploitation of gas hydrates resources, he said.
In October this year, the minister had launched the country’s first Manned Ocean Mission ‘Samudrayan’ at Chennai to carry out deep ocean exploration of non-living resources such as polymetallic manganese nodules, gas hydrates, hydro-thermal sulphides, and cobalt crusts.
He pointed out that over the last seven years, the main thrust of research and development at CSIR-IMMT has been to empower Indian industries to meet the challenges of globalization by providing advanced and zero waste process know-how and consultancy services for commercial exploitation of natural resources through public-private-partnership (PPP) approach.