The Geological Survey of India and the Uttar Pradesh Directorate of Geology and Mining discovered new gold reserves in the Naxalite-affected Sonbhadra district of Uttar Pradesh. The estimated 2,900 tonnes gold ore is around five times the current gold reserves of India, which is around 626 tonne, ANI reported.
"The government is thinking of putting these deposits on lease for mining, for which survey is being done. Gold deposits are found at two places - Sonpahadi and Hardi fields. GSI estimated gold deposits of 2700 million tonnes in Sonpahadi while 650 million tonnes in Hardi filed," KK Rai, District Mining Officer told ANI.
A seven-member team has been formed by the administration for auction of blocks through e-tendering. The team will map the goldmine area, conduct geo-tagging and submit its report. The government will start the auction process as soon as compensation payout and necessary approvals are granted, they say.
Rai said it is being assessed how much land comes under the revenue department and under the forest department so that the process of permission from the forest department for mining can begin. Geophysical survey is underway by helicopter in many parts of the district. Electromagnetic and spectrometer devices are being used in the survey. Part of these instruments hang under the helicopter which conducts a flying survey at an altitude of 60-80 meters above the ground surface.
Reports suggest that the GSI and the UPDGM have been exploring for the reserves in the area for over a decade and had confirmed the presence of gold in the ground eight years ago. The GSI team has been gunning for the reserves suggesting that there is another 600-tonne ore in Hardi block.
Apart from gold, officials are also exploring the possibility of rare minerals like uranium in the area. The development is being looked at as an opportunity to boost employment in the region and development of the area.