The Union Government is likely to auction at least three gold mines in 2016, says reports. The government is planning to open up the sector to private firms for the first time ever in a bid to slash imports of the metal that cost the government $36 billion last year, says reports.
Several local and multinational companies had reportedly shown interest in the mines, but their names have not been disclosed.
The report further adds that of the mines to be auctioned, two are new and located in the eastern states of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, with combined gold ore reserves estimated at up to 3 million tonnes, Kumar said. The Chhattisgarh mine will be auctioned in March 2016. Gold ore typically yields 0.0005-0.001 percent of primary metal.
As for Kolar in Karnataka, that was shut 15 years ago on high costs, steel and mines minister Narendra Singh Tomar has cleared a proposal to restart production there and has written to Karnataka’s chief minister regarding this.
Kolar has been a gold mining centre for centuries. Post-Independence, it was run by state-controlled Bharat Gold Mines Ltd (BGML) until its closure in 2001. It is still estimated to have up to 280 tonnes of gold to recover in dust, open pit and underground reserves.
India is hoping to raise more than 60 billion rupees ($876.11 million) by selling gold dust from Kolar, says reports.