The government is considering setting up an exploratory mining centre in Sikar district of Rajasthan where over 14,000 tonnes of uranium ore deposits have been discovered.
In a written reply in Lok Sabha, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office Jitendra Singh said pre-project activities required for obtaining statutory clearances have been initiated by Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL).
As a part of this, the state government of Rajasthan has issued Letter of Intent (LOI) for granting of mining lease to UCIL, he said.
According to the information shared by the minister, the Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD) found 8,813 tonnes of uranium oxide deposits in Rohil in Sikar district, 1,086 tonnes in Rohil west, 3,570 tonnes in Jahaz and 1,002 tonnes in Geratiyon ki Dhani.
At Umra in Udaipur district, the AMD had found uranium oxide deposits to the tune of 1,160 tonnes.
The total uranium ore deposits found in Rajasthan are 15,631 tonnes 14,471 tonnes in Sikar district and 1,160 tonnes in Udaipur, Singh said, adding that these deposits have been classified as "small deposits".
"Mining technology and economics are important criteria which decide the exploitation and extraction status of a deposit like other mineral deposits," Singh said.
Across the country, the AMD, a constituent unit of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), has established a total of 3,82,675 tonnes in situ U3O8 in 47 uranium deposits in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Maharashtra.
Presently, the deposits at Jaduguda, Narwapahar, Bagjata, Bhatin, Banduhurang, Turamdih and Mohuldih in Jharkhand and Tummalapalle in Andhra Pradesh are under exploitation by UCIL, Singh said.
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