Bhubaneswar, Sep 17 (PTI) The Centre has urged Odisha and its neighbouring states to explore untapped mineral resources in order to cater to rising demand and reduce import bills.

The mines departments and state PSUs have also been advised to actively participate in exploration activities and submit proposals for funding, an official release said. The Geological Survey of India (GSI) made a presentation on potential areas for mineral exploration in Odisha, West Bengal and Bihar and Jharkhand at a workshop in Bhubaneswar on Thursday, it said.

The event was organised by the Ministry of Mines in collaboration with the GSI and the Mineral Exploration Corporation Ltd (MECL).

“To meet the growing demand and to keep the import bill down, there is a need to increase exploration activities,” the release said.

The ministry of mines will extend all possible cooperation to state governments in this endeavour, it added.

Detailed presentations on project formulation, approval and execution mechanism through the National Mineral Exploration Trust were also made at the workshop.