The Department of Mines and Geology is more than 110 years old. The erstwhile Mysore Geological Department was established in the year 1894 with the objective of Geological and structural mapping of the then Mysore State. The pioneering efforts of the Geologists like R.Bruce Foote, H.K.Slater, W.F.Smeeth, P.Sampath Iyengar and others has resulted in the preparation of the Geological map of old Mysore State. Geological investigations lead to the discovery of different mineral deposits in the State. This has helped in establishing many mineral based industries in the State.

In recent years, apart from the mineral and groundwater investigation, it has become one of the revenue earning departments of the State. Ten years back revenue realisation was about 55.00 crores and to-day it has reached about 475.00crores.

In the year 1966 for the first time Dr. B.P.Radhakrishna, the then Director of Mines and Geology, initiated investigations for the study of occurrence and availability of groundwater resources in the State. The efforts of the hydrogeologists of the Department gave a great impetus to the irrigation in the dry lands of the State and also provided safe and assured drinking water mainly to the rural population of the State. Since 1998, the department has started on a pilot scale constructing artificial recharge structures by using remote sensing techniques to recharge the groundwater resources in the State.

The Department has initiated many new investigations and studies to tackle the problems in groundwater and mineral fronts.