There are two divisions in the Department namely Exploratory and Prospecting Division and Mineral Development and Mining Leases Division. A brief note on the functions and activities of the two divisions are given below: Exploratory and Prospecting Division The functions of the Exploratory and Prospecting Division include preliminary and detailed geological mapping, trenching, pitting, drilling, sampling and chemical analysis and mineral identification of samples. In addition to the exploration activities approved by the State Geological Programming Board, the Department also undertakes exploration activities of urgent nature for which specific directions are issued by the State Government. The Department is equipped with an analytical laboratory as well as mineralogy and gem testing laboratory. Chemical analysis of samples and mineral and gem identification are undertaken on payment basis. This division implements mineral exploration programmes approved by the State Geological Programming Board. Apart from the above, this division also takes up investigation programmes of urgent nature for the benefit of the mineral based industries in the State as per the directions of the Government from time to time. The Department has 4 core drilling units viz. LongYear 34, Vol 90, RD 30 and RD 30 each having a capacity to drill hard rock / soft rock up to a depth of 400 to 500 m. The drilling rigs are extensively used for mineral investigation carried out by the Department. Drillings are also carried out on payment basis for private as well as other government organizations.
This department has three laboratories viz.,
i. Analytical laboratory and
ii. Mineralogy and Gem testing laboratory
iii. GIS laboratory
These laboratories act as supporting units of the Exploratory and Prospecting division. Samples collected during the investigation are being analyzed in the laboratories. They include china clay, silica sand, graphite, bauxite, limestone, limeshell, stream sediments, rock samples etc. A number of precious stones brought by the public are being identified in the gem-testing laboratory, realizing the fee fixed by the Government. This laboratory also undertakes analysis and identification of rock samples brought by the public on payment basis.
Besides, the Department maintains a mineralogy museum with varied type of rocks and minerals samples collected from different parts of the state. Students from various educational institutions visit this museum. The museum also displays various types of polished granite dimension stones that are found in different parts of Kerala. The Department also participates in exhibitions organised by different organizations / agencies.
Mineral Development and Mining Leases Division
This division is responsible for the implementation of Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act, 1957, The Mineral concession Rules,1960 and the Kerala Minor Mineral Concession Rules,1967.This function is being executed through 14 District Offices, and 3 Kerala Mineral Squads (Southern, Central and Northern Region) with their head quarters at Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur and Kozhikode respectively.
The main activities of Mineral Development and Mining Lease Division are as follows:
- Recommending to State Government to grant/ renewal of mining leases and prospecting licences in respect of major minerals.
- Grant/renewal of quarrying permits, quarrying leases and dealer's licences in respect of major minerals.
- Inspection of mines and quarries and enforcement of relevant rules and regulations by virtue of the powers vested with it under the Mines and Minerals ( Development & Regulation) Act, 1957, the Minerals Concession Rules, 1960 and the Kerala Minor Mineral Concession Rules, 1967.
- Collection of revenue on both major as well as minor minerals.
- Curbing of illegal mining and clandestine movement of minerals.
- Attending to court cases in connection with mining and movement of minerals.
- Collection of data on production/sales/consumption of major and minor minerals and furnishing the required information to government of India and other Central/ State institutions.
The audit wing is attached to the Mineral development and mining leases division. Systemic annual audit of accounts in respect of collection of royalty, dead rent, surface rent etc. of various mineral concessionaires is the prime responsibility of the audit wing.
State Geological Programming Board
The Government of Kerala constituted the State Geological Programming Board (SGPB) to assess and evaluate of various geological activities (including geological investigations; mineral exploration, exploitation, and administration) in the State by various Central and State Departments / Organisations, Autonomous Bodies/ Institutions and Public Sector undertakings. Principal Secretary to Government, Industries Department, Government of Kerala is the Chairman of the Board. Every year a meeting is convened to review various programs carried out by different Departments/ Organisations in the previous year and to approve new programs for the coming year. The Director of the Department of Mining and Geology, Government of Kerala is the Member Secretary of the Board and is also the convener of the SGPB meeting. The Director is also a member in the Central Geological Programming Board (CGPB).