Huge mining potential seen in North-East

Mumbai, Jan 22 :

The Union Minister for the Development of the North Eastern Region, Mr B.K. Handique, emphasised the need for sustainable mining in line with the national environment policy.

Addressing a North-East Business Summit here on Friday, he said recently traces of rare earth metal had been found in Assam, which he said also imposed a huge responsibility on exploration with regard to the environment.

On opportunities in the north-eastern region, he said there was huge potential for industries related to coal-based power plants and coal-based methane, besides granite and carbide.

The concept of ‘geo-parks' was fast developing in the region. The integrated concept was bound to attract ‘geo-tourism'. Since the region had ample geological resources, geo-tourism with ‘fossil-park' could become an important source of tourism revenue in the days to come, he felt.

Assuring all possible assistance from his ministry, Mr Handique said it was for the private sector to invest in mining the North-East where the potential was enormous.

The Summit will have focused sessions on strategic areas such as: Prospects of Mining in North-East; Enhancing Infrastructure in the NER; Agenda North—East — Opportunities and Strategies; Action Agenda for Agro and Food Processing in the region.