Aerial survey planned to scan precious metal deposits in State

Hutti Gold Mines Ltd looks to strike gold, silver, copper in 4 dists

Aerial survey planned to scan precious metal deposits in State

Hunt for gold, silver and other precious metals will begin in the State soon with the Hutti Gold Mines Limited (HGML) planning to go for an aerial survey to find the deposits.

HGML, a State-owned company, is the only one to produce gold in the entire country.
The company, at the recently held board meeting, has decided to take the assistance of a central government agency to conduct a heliborne geophysical survey to explore deposits of gold, silver, copper, etc. The districts likely to be covered are Tumakuru, Shivamogga, Davangere and Haveri.

HGML chairperson Rani Satish said it had been planned to revive the copper mine in Ingaldhal and gold mines in Ajjanahalli and GR Halli, all in Chitradurga district. The company had suspended the mining activities years ago when the prices of metals decreased and the extraction was not economically viable.

In four districts

She said that in addition to the revival of the mines, the proposed heliborne survey would try to explore gold and other precious metal deposits in the four districts. The due permission is yet to be secured for the aerial survey. HGML Managing Director A K Monnappa said that heliborne survey is cost-intensive and the board had decided to allocate Rs one crore as the initial amount for the survey. Two competent authorities to take up the survey are Geological Survey of India and National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad.

The survey will be taken up once the mining blocks are allotted by the Centre in these districts and the process for the same is on, he said.

Prabhakar Sangurmath, Deputy General Manager (exploration), said before the closure of the Ingaldhal mines, it used to yield 9 kg of copper per tonne of ore and nearly 1.8 gm of gold per tonne of ore in the Ajjanahalli mine and three gm in GR Halli. A feasibility study would indicate how much metal could be extracted. The deposits could be moderate, he added.

The DGM said that as iron ore mining activities had been revived in many districts, HGML would also be reviving its old mines in Chitradurga as well as explore the possibilities of expanding its activities in the select four districts. Statutory clearances are awaited, he said.

Expansion of activities

Rani Satish, who assumed office in recent months, intends to expand the mining activities at the mining cluster at Hutti in Raichur district. She said it was economically viable to dig deeper to extract the yellow metal. A mega shaft is being put up by investing nearly Rs 350 crore.

Preparations are on for the second phase mine development below the 2,600 to 3,000 feet level. A mega exploration is also going to be taken up in Hutti north and south areas.


Production

Year    Gold (kg)
2009-10    2,069.95
2010-11    2220.03
2011-12    2182.57
2012-13    1582.00
2013-14    1556.45
2015-16    2000*
2016-17    2300*
(Note: * indicates production schedule for the coming years as given by HGML)

 

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