The Geological Survey of India (GSI) on Saturday said there has been no discovery of gold deposits estimated to be around 3,000 tonnes in Sonbhadra district of Uttar Pradesh, as claimed by a district mining official.
Geological Survey of India and Uttar Pradesh Directorate of Geology and Mining have found two goldmines having about 3,350-tonne gold ore in the Naxalite-affected Sonbhadra district. The discovery of gold deposits is about five times the current gold reserves of India, which is nearly 626 tonne.
The government is considering putting these coats on lease for drilling, for which a survey is being made. Gold deposits have been found at two sites — Sonpahadi and Hardi field. GSI expected gold deposits of 2,700 tonnes in Sonpahadi, while 650 tonnes in Hardi field,” KK Rai Mining Officer told news bureau ANI.
The state mining board has formed a seven-member team that visited Sonbhadra on Thursday. The team will map the goldmine area and will conduct geo-tagging. Executives say the mineral-rich mines of Sonbhadra are easy to dig due to their geographical position.
The mines are mostly located on a hillock, which makes them easy to work. The government will start the sale process as soon as payment payout and necessary approvals are given, they say.
Apart from gold, officials are also exploring the possibility of rare minerals like uranium in the area. Bundelkhand and Vindhyan districts of UP are rich in minerals like gold, diamond, platinum, limestone, granite, phosphate, quartz, and China clay.
As per the World Gold Council’s (WGC), an independent bureau that tracks gold trade globally at the wholesale level, India has 626 tonnes of the yellow metal as holdings, which is 6.6 per cent of the share held in gold in total foreign assets.
Sonbhadra district mining officer K K Rai had said on Friday that the gold deposits were found in Son Pahadi and Hardi areas of the district. The deposits in Son Pahadi are estimated to be around 2,943.26 tonnes, while that at Hardi block are around 646.16 kilograms, the official said.
Rejecting the claim, Sridhar said that in its report after exploration in the district “the GSI has estimated a probable category resource of 52,806.25 tonnes of ore with 3.03 grams per tonne gold (average grade) for a strike length of 170m in Sub- Block-H, Son Pahadi of Sonbhadra district of Uttar Pradesh”.