We have been conducting collaborative research under the MHRD-British Council-UGC-UKIERI Thematic Partnership project entitled ‘Sustainable resourcing of platinum-group elements (PGEs): studies to understand and locate PGE in chromitites and breccias in India’. The project involves scientific studies of Indian chromite and PGE bearing ores using a scanning electron microscope (SEM) that can analyse platinum group minerals (PGM) and laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (LA-ICP-MS) that can locate traces of PGE in Ni and Cu-ores. The PGE are rare and have a high value. The sources of these metals are scarce, and in India no PGE deposits have been found. However little exploration combined with the occurrence of comparable geology (similar to that which hosts PGE elsewhere) suggests that there are opportunities to locate PGE sources within India. Our aim is to locate PGE that are potentially economic within India so as to contribute to sustainable resourcing of the PGE. Three ultramafic-mafic complexes (Nuasahi, Sukinda and Nuggihalli) have been chosen for study because they contain chromitites (rocks known to contain PGE elsewhere) and PGE-enriched breccias. These chromitites are a major resource of chromium for India and we hope to establish their PGE potential also. The analysis of pathfinder elements in the chromites using LA-ICP-MS will identify the tectonic setting of these complexes.
The whole research project includes fieldwork to collect samples, use of sample collections and extensive laboratory work engaging M.Sc. and Ph.D. students, postdoctoral fellows under the direct supervision of two leading groups (Dr. Hazel Prichard and her group members at School of Earth & Ocean Sciences, Cardiff University, UK and Dr. Sisir K. Mondal and his group members at Department of Geological Sciences, Jadavpur University, India). The collaboration focuses on exchange of research scholars, postdoctoral fellows and M.Sc. students. Sisir Mondal’s research scholars will be trained in analytical laboratories in Cardiff University and all involved will conduct fieldwork together in India. This brings together two of the most active PGE research teams from the UK and India.
- Duration of the Project: 2013 – 2015
- Total Project Costs: £58,859 (GBP)
- Project Costs at Jadavpur University under Sisir Mondal: £29,246 (GBP)
- Project Costs at Cardiff University under Hazel Prichard: £29,613 (GBP)
- Project Administration: