By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: The Geological Survey of India has found Thorium reserves in the backward district of Nalgonda. The values of this radioactive element ranged between 104 and 165 parts per million.
This is the first time that Thorium reserves have been observed in Nalgonda. The district is already famous for its Uranium mines and with the detection of Thorium, Nalgonda is going to play a major role in meeting the future power needs of the country.
Andhra Pradesh is one of the few States in the country with vast resources of Thorium and Uranium, the two important radioactive elements required for generation of nuclear energy.
The GSI carried out low altitude magnetic and radiometric aerogeophysical surveys spread over 5000 sq km area in and around Nalgonda district. During the surveys, the GSI found significant radioactive anomaly. The area where the Thorium resources was found forms part of Eastern Dharwar Craton.
Granite rich in biotite (black mica) near Jangammaiahguda showed Thorium values of the order of 165 ppm. In the same area, the GSI also found Uranium ranging between 66 and 138 ppm.
The biotite granite in Mathmurigudem also showed Thorium. But the values varied from 35 ppm to 55 ppm. The Uranium values in the village ranged from 38 to 53 ppm. The GSI found a mineralised zone of Scheelite (tungsten ore) near Guddipalli village.
According to GSI officials, the State has the largest resources of Monazite, a mineral of Thorium, in the country. The city-based Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research has identified 3.73 million tonnes of Monazite at 21 places spread over Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Vishakapatnam, East and West Godavari, Krishna, Guntur, Prakasam and Nellore districts. In addition to these places, the GSI has found Thorium resources in Nalgonda, which is a land-locked district, unlike the coastal belt.
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