Dilip Majumdar, the Dean of the School of Earth, Atmospheric Science, Environment and Energy, at the Dibrugarh University in Assam, is over the moon ever since he just detected the presence of platinum deposits in the state’s Karbi Anglong district recently, according to the Hindustan Times.The rare and expensive metal was found in a remote hill, around 250 km from the state capital.
This discovery has put Assam on the same level as Odisha, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, where the rare platinum metal has been found.
Speaking to the Hindustan Times, Majumdar said, “It is a very significant find. Preliminary investigation establishes the presence of platinum. We were able to confirm using a scanning electron microscope and X-ray powder diffraction technique.”
Majumdar, who is a professor of Applied Geology started working in Karbi Anglong since January, collecting samples. Platinum cannot be detected through the naked eye; hence tests were performed at the university, on samples from the site.
Appearing optimistic about his find, Majumdar told HT that he had shared the findings with a few experts outside Assam, who confirmed the presence of platinum. The professor added that details of how much platinum is present in the site, will be known with further studies and maybe the use of remote sensing technologies.
According to initial observations, the deposit amount could be significant.
The find has even garnered praise from the State government. Assam’s Mines and Minerals Minister Sum Ronghang, who also hails from the Karbi Anglong district, has said that the presence of platinum in Assam is excellent news and commercially extracting it would benefit Assam as a whole.
Platinum has a variety of uses and can be implemented in the telecommunication, pharmaceutical, jewellery, and manufacture of high-tech lab equipment. However, its growing demand and scarce availability keep the price of this element high. On Thursday, the metal was priced at Rs 1,958 per gram in the Indian market.
Along with platinum, other minerals like iron, vanadium and titanium were also discovered at the site in Karbi Anglong. The professor did not divulge the exact spot, as he fears it would lead to people rushing there to extract platinum.
Incidentally, in India, the biggest reserves of platinum are found in Baula Nausahi in Odisha, Hanumalpura in Karnataka and Sittampundi and Mettuppalaiyam in Tamil Nadu.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)