Indian Tech Centers Developing Bauxite Mining App

Indian Tech Centers Developing Bauxite Mining App
Lingamala Falls. Source: Wikimedia

Two Indian research centers are working to develop an app to deliver detailed data on bauxite and laterite deposits in the western Indian state of Maharashtra.

The Jawaharlal Nehru Aluminium Research Development and Design Centre (JNARDDC) and the Maharashtra Remote Sensing Application Centre (MRSAC), supported by the Geological Survey of India (GSI), intend to build an easy and convenient application for delivering the GSI’s data regarding the size, quality, accessibility, and other relevant qualities of the region’s bauxite. The developers say they intend to use remote sensing satellite data to develop a map overlay as well.

“To begin with, the two agencies would be making the app only for Maharashtra as a pilot project under the digital India campaign,” explained JNARDDC director Anupam Agnihotri. “Gradually the exercise can be extended to all other bauxite rich states.”

He went on to explain that the app will be available by the end of next year, and that the Ministry of Mines granted researchers ₹6,900,000 (US$102,000) towards the effort.

The center’s researchers have three volumes of data on the subject. Pravin Bhukte, the project’s coordinator, will be taking samples of the region’s bauxite and laterite as well to study local deposits’ physical and chemical properties.

“This will help to assess the quality and feasibility of mining the ore,” he explained.

In addition to chemical properties, the app will use geospatial data for mapping deposits and surface ownership. The app will also show distance to the nearest town, road, and rights issues that may make those deposits inaccessible.

“It would be possible to categorize the deposits in two distinct heads of ‘go’ and ‘non go’ areas. It means that the deposit in ‘go’ areas will be accessible for mining whereas in ‘non-go’ areas the deposits cannot be mined due to reasons like environmental protection, etc.,” he said.