India Identifies Gold Deposits in Over 100 Places


". . .the new mining policy is expected to open up the mining sector for foreign investment."

A top Indian mining expert says the Geological Survey of India has identified gold deposits in over 100 places across the country.

S K Bhushan, former Deputy Director-General of the Geological Survey of India, said that gold deposits had been identified in over 100 places in the country, most of them being in the southern state of Karnataka.

Last year, India's Department of Mines and Geology recommended to the government seven of the 23 applications from 14 companies, including four MNCs, it received for gold mining in Gadag, Chitradurga, Raichur, Kolar, Belgaum and Gulbarga districts in the country.

India plays a dominant role in processing and consumption of gold and diamonds. But mining of gold and diamonds in India is amongst the lowest in the world. India imports gold and rough diamonds along with other precious metals.

Though private entrepreneurs have come forward for reconnaissance, less than 1% of them have come up to mining stage. This is mainly for want of the latest technology, high-risk capital, etc. The government is also formulating a new mining policy to boost exploration of gold and diamond deposits and cut down the country's over-dependence on imports.

India is all set to go for a gold hunt now. It is estimated to have 20,000 tons of gold and diamond reserves spread over several states.

Foreign companies rarely come to India because they cannot sell the data they map and can only utilize the information if they venture into mining themselves. Under the existing rules if any entrepreneur invests money and finds gold, then he must apply again for mining.

However, the new mining policy is expected to open up the mining sector for foreign investment. Under the new rules, approvals for most minerals must be made in about a year or be automatically referred to a tribunal.

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