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UP sitting on 2900-tonne goldmine at Sonbhadra

By Virendra Singh Rawat
February 22, 2020 11:09 IST
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According to the Geological Survey of India (GSI) and UP geology and mining directorate reports, gold reserves totalling 2,944 tonnes have been found in the Sona Pahadi and Hardi blocks of the backward Sonbhadra district.

Gold reserves, estimated at more than 2,900 tonnes, have been found at Sonbhadra district of Uttar Pradesh with the state government now gearing up for auctioning the mines for extraction of the precious metal.

According to the Geological Survey of India (GSI) and UP geology and mining directorate reports, gold reserves totalling 2,944 tonnes have been found in the Sona Pahadi and Hardi blocks of the backward Sonbhadra district.

“A team of our officials and scientists is currently camping in the district to submit a report in this regard,” UP geology and mining joint director Jai Prakash told Business Standard on Wednesday. He added that a detailed report was expected by Monday.

 

On the question of auctioning these mines for commercial extraction, he said there were many formalities, which would precede the prospective mining process. These include clearances by different state and central government departments, including forest, environment go-aheads.

The geology and mining department is also in the process of geo-tagging the areas spread across villages identified for prospective mining of gold and other minerals in Sonbhadra.

IMAGE: Sonbhadra in Uttar Pradesh. Photograph: ANI News UP.

Since India is estimated to have gold reserves of less than 700 tonnes, the projected gold reserves in Sonbhadra is nearly five times that amount.

Earlier, GSI additional director general (ADG) Som Nath Chandel had told Business Standard that UP contained ‘good’ deposits of gold, diamond and other precious metals and stones in the Vindhya and Bundelkhand regions.

“From our geological studies, we can say that UP contains gold deposits in Sonbhandra district, while ample copper reserves have been estimated in the Bundelkhand region. However, there is need for more in depth scientific studies in this regard,” he said.

He claimed UP was expected to have diamond reserves as well, which had not yet been explored beyond the 150-year-old geological records of the British period, when the area was first mapped for precious metals and stones.

In fact, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) had earlier planned to explore the sub-Himalayan region of UP for oil and natural gas and they were even given prospecting licenses by the state government.

Meanwhile, the state is estimated to have reserves of another precious metal, platinum, which the GSI noted requires deeper drilling.

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Virendra Singh Rawat in Lucknow
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