Scientists from the Geological Survey of India have discovered millions of tonnes of precious minerals and metals deep under the waters surrounding the Indian peninsula, The Times of India reported on Monday. The GSI complied the data after surveying 1,81,025 square kilometres of seabed.

Indian research vessels Samudra Ratnakar, Samudra Kaustabh and Samudra Saudikama carried out the exploration, named ‘High Resolution Seabed Mapping and Natural Resource Evaluation’. “The main objectives were to identify potential zones of favourable mineralisation and evaluate marine mineral resources,” Ashish Nath, uperintendent geologist at GSI, told The Times of India.

The GSI first identified the presence of large amount of marine resources off the coasts of Mangaluru, Chennai, Mannar Basin, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and around Lakshadweep in early 2014. After three years of exploration, the GSI has also confirmed the presence of phosphate sediment off Karwar, Mangaluru and Chennai coasts, gas hydrate in the Mannar Basin off the Tamil Nadu coast, ferro-manganese crust from the Andaman Sea and micro-manganese around Lakshwadweep Sea.