PGE comprises six metals– platinum, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium, and osmium
Preliminary surveys by the Geological Survey of India (GSI) have found encouraging results for the presence of Chromite and Platinum Group of Elements (PGE) in parts of Ladakh. These minerals have immense economic significance.
According to GSI officials, high values have been obtained for the presence of these minerals in explorations carried out near Dras during the past year and survey base would further be expanded. The findings were presented at a high-level GSI conference held this month.
PGE comprises six metals– platinum, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium, and osmium, which have similar physical and chemical properties and occur together in nature and are among the rarest metals occurring on Earth.
Their properties such as high melting points, corrosion resistance and catalytic qualities make them indispensable to many scientific and industrial applications, including production of items for day-to-day use. Chromite has an important role in the production of steel.
In 2022, GSI had stepped up its exploration for chromite and PGE in Ladakh and had also explored the feasibility of collaborating with other geological institutions for research and data sharing.
GSI officials said that so far three other sites, Baula-Nausahi Complex in Orissa, Hanumalpur Complex in Shimoga, Karnataka and Sittampundi-Anorthosite Complex in Tamil Nadu have been identified for potential deposits of PGE.
The presence of PGE in India is minuscule. The global reserves of PGE are estimated to be 70,000 metric tonnes with the bulk being present in South Africa, followed by Russia and Zimbabwe, according to available information.
PGE also forms part of the first ever list of 30 critical elements identified by the Ministry of Mines, which are vital for the country’s economic growth, technological development and zero-emission future. The list was released in June.