23:49 GMT06 July 2020
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    India has launched its first seabed exploration for mineral deposits and precious metals in the Indian Ocean, local media reported Tuesday.

    NEW DELHI (Sputnik) – In February, scientists at India's National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR) were awarded 10,000 square kilometers (3,900 square miles) in the geological Rodriguez Triple Junction in the southern Indian Ocean for deep exploration of polymetallic sulphides.

    A corresponding license was granted to NCAOR by the International Seabed Authority in 2014 for 15 years.

    Scientists have surveyed the seabed and found deposits rich in copper, lead and zinc, as well as precious metals, including gold, silver, palladium and platinum.

    "We collected a large amount of data, including video and photos, which are currently being studied," India’s Secretary of Ministry of Earth Sciences Shailesh Nayak said.

    According to the Times of India, NCAOR will soon launch, as its second exploration stage, an underwater remote vehicle to identify hydrothermal springs, usually found near active volcanic areas.

    Earlier in May, China proposed to India several joint mining projects on the Southern Indian Ocean for precious metals including gold and silver.

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    Tags:
    science, seabed, natural resources, India
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