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NEW DELHI-How Not to Look for Minerals

NEW DELHI How Not to Look for Minerals EVEN as it struggles to explain what purpose has been served by the pompously- termed Operation Hard Hock, the Ministry of Mines and Metals has signed an agreement with a French agency for yet another airborne mineral survey. Operation Hard Rock was financed by US AID credits and carried out by an American company. The funds for it were diverted from American assistance earlier earmarked for developing the Khetri copper mines in Rajasthan and setting up a large copper smelting complex and related facilities. The American authorities later became lukewarm about the Khetri project and, instead of helping to exploit the copper reserves already dis- covered by the Geological Survey of India and the Indian Bureau of Mines, sold to the Department of Mines and Metals the idea of launching airborne surveys to locate new deposits of base metals. US AID hinds were offered for the purpose and it was claimed that the airborne surveys would be twice as quick as the conventional work being carried out by Indian agencies.

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