Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Uranium deposits found in India's Ladakh

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, Aug 28, IRNA
India-Ladakh-Uranium Deposits
Scientists have claimed to have found uranium deposits in the icy heights of Ladakh but the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) has adopted a cautious approach regarding the commercial importance of the find.

Geologists from the Kumaun University have found "exceptionally high concentration" of uranium and thorium in Udmaru, a small village situated on a volcanic rock formation in the Nubra-Shyok valley in northern Ladakh, PTI reported here Tuesday.

A preliminary study of a thick granite dyke showed that it contained abundant, small-to-medium grained euhedral, greenish colored zircon, Rajeev Upadhyay, a geologist at the Nainital-based Kumaun University said in a communication in the latest issue of Current Science.

"Geochemical analysis of the separated zircon grains showed exceptionally high concentration of both uranium and thorium," he said.

Rock samples analyzed in isotope laboratory of the University of Tuebingen in Germany have revealed uranium content to be as high as 5.36 percent compared to around 0.1 percent or less in ores present elsewhere in the country.

However, S K Malhotra, Head of Public Awareness Division of DAE said the finding was based on a "very small sample size (sub milligram) of zircon separated from the main ore body."

"In exploration carried out by Atomic Minerals Directorate (AMD) of the DAE we have to explore a large area and establish the size of the ore body with average uranium content. It is only after such estimates it is decided whether the deposit is of commercial interest," he said.

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