Rajasthan strikes gold in tribal belt

According to the survey conducted by the Geological Survey of India (GSI) and the Mines directorate, a gold mine was discovered in the Ghatol block of Banswara district. “The gold is found about 300 metre deep and the presence is said to be in the region of 2.55 ppm,” said the officials.

As per preliminary estimates the total quantity of gold is estimated to be about 200 tonnes, which according to the market value is estimated to be about Rs 40,000 crore.

According to officials, the GSI is also conducting survey on the presence of other metals like copper, zinc and nickel for commercial production. Though the stock of gold is not very large, the presence indicates similar stocks in neighbouring areas, said an official.

Since tribal dominated Banswara district comes under the Tribal Sub Plan (TSP) area, the mining rights here is reserved for the state-owned Rajasthan Mines and Minerals (RSMML). According to sources, the company is mooting private participation for the commercial exploitation of the mineral and metals in this belt.

Manager(projects) RSMML S H Arief said, “we had already got into a collaboration with Steel Authority of India (SAI)  for the mining of manganese in this belt and looking for a similar collaboration from companies for the exploitation of the yellow metal,” he said.  
Principal Secretary Petroleum and Mining Govind Sharma said, “initial reports indicate the presence of gold in the region.  However he added, “it is at a preliminary stage. We are assessing the commercial viability”.

According to Additional Director, Mines,  A K Viashiya, the full commercial exploitation of the gold and other metals may take a couple of years.

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