Striking platinum

Published: Sunday 31 October 1999

RESERVES of platinum have been found for the first time in India at Baula-Nuashahi in Orissa by the Geological Survey of India (gsi). The concentration of platinum found in the region is believed to be at par with the world's leading platinum mines in South Africa, Russia, usa and Zimbabwe. The combined reserve of platinum, palladium and gold has around six million tonnes of platinum at concentrations of 2 milligrammes per tonne and a total of 14.20 million tonnes if the lower concentrations are included. India imported 1,400 kg of the metal in 1998. According to S K Acharya, director-general, gsi, this is the first instance in South or Southeast Asia that gold has been found along with the platinum group of metals. Known as a strategic metal, platinum is used in a wide range of applications and processes, including photography, the manufacture of computer memory devices and lasers.

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