After two decades of search, Geological Survey of India and Uttar Pradesh Directorate of Geology and Mining have discovered two goldmines having around 3,350 tonne gold ore in the Naxalite-affected Sonbhadra district. The discovery of gold deposits is around five times the current gold reserves of India, which is around 626 tonne.
"The government is thinking of putting these deposits on lease for mining, for which a survey is being done. Gold deposits have been found at two places -- Sonpahadi and Hardi field. GSI estimated gold deposits of 2,700 tonnes in Sonpahadi, while 650 tonne in Hardi field," KK Rai Mining Officer told new agency ANI.
The state mining department has formed a seven-member team that visited Sonbhadra on Thursday. The team will map the goldmine area and will conduct geo-tagging. Officials say the mineral-rich mines of Sonbhadra are easy to dig due to their geographical position. The mines are mostly situated on hillock, which makes them easy to mine. The government will start the auction process as soon as compensation payout and necessary approvals are granted, 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.
The exploration of the vast goldmines and other minerals will give a big boost to the state's revenue. Apart from providing both skilled and unskilled jobs, this will also lead to the much-needed development of the backward regions of these two districts of UP.
As per the World Gold Council's (WGC), an independent agency that tracks gold trade globally at the wholesale level, India has 626 tonne of the yellow metal as holdings, which is 6.6 per cent of the share held in gold in total foreign reserves.
United States (US) has the largest holding with 8,133.5 tonne, followed by Germany with 3,366 tonne and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) with 2,814 tonne. Other countries having more gold reserves than India are Italy with 2,451.8 tonne, France with 2436 tonne, Russia with 2,241.9 tonne, China with 1,948.3 tonne, Switzerland with 1,040 tonne and Japan with 765.2 tonne.