The country’s sole producer of primary gold, Hutti Gold Mines Limited (HGML), is pushing for increased gold production in Karnataka.
From reopening its existing gold mine to exploring new mines, the company is looking to revive one of its mines in Tumkur and open another in Chitradurga.
The reason is that the prevailing gold prices have made the reopening of its gold mines financially more viable.
For 12 years since 2002, the Ajjanahalli gold mine in the Sira taluk of Tumkur district was shut down due to financial non-viability of producing the yellow metal.
However, HGML has decided to reopen this mine. With an estimated reserve of 1.02 million tonnes of gold ore, the yield should be 2.50 grams per tonne.
The company is not in a position to estimate the gold production from this mine. However, the yield would be a fraction of what is being produced by the company in Hutti-Maski mine, which is about 5.62 grams per tonne. The reserve in this main mining area is 9.25 million tonnes.
HGML Managing Director A K Monnappa said the Ajjanahalli gold ore will be brought to the processing plant in Chitradurga for extracting pure gold from the ore.
Officials state that the requisite approvals for reopening the Ajjanahalli gold mine are in an advanced stage.
The mining plan and feasibility report have already been approved by the Indian Bureau of Mines. The Differential Global Positioning System survey work has also been completed.
The process of preparing the Environmental Impact Assessment report for clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) is on.
The firm has received Terms of Referencefrom the MoEF for gold exploration in Guddada Rangavana Halli (G R Halli) in Chitradurga.
As per the proposal by HGML, the G R Halli gold mine is likely to generate 250 tonnes per day (TPD) of gold ore.
Based on forest land of 62.72 hectares, HGML has estimated that Rs 20.5 crore would be required for the exploration and opening the gold mine for production.
“Considering the gold price and the demand for the yellow metal, it is planned to re-open these mines. Our operations will begin in these mines for increasing the production of gold,” said Monnappa.
While gold exploration will be taken up for the first time in G R Halli, the mine as such has been used previously for digging copper. Located close to the HGML Ingaldhal copper mine, the company is yet to receive the mining plan approved by IBM.