Times News Network, Times of India, 19 May 2003 :
Bangalore: Come 2005, and Karnataka will witness the much-awaited ‘gold rush’. The government has set a date with 2005 to grant concurrence to private companies to commence commercial exploration of gold.
Karnataka has about three-fourths of the nation’s total estimated gold reserves (68 million tones). The state government has given 30 reconnaissance permits to eight companies to conduct aerial survey for gold.
“Three companies are mining by 2005. The Centre has to grant the final permission.”
Apart from GeoMysore Services Ltd., Hutti Gold Mines Ltd. And Ramagadh Minerals and Mining Ltd have been conducting aerial survey. “These three companies might complete aerial survey in the coming months following which core prospecting licenses will be granted to them,” Dalwal added. Other than traditional gold-mining districts of Kolar and Raichur, the reconnaissance permit covers Chuitradurga, Tumkur, Davanagare.
“Some are close to completing aerial survey and the results are encouraging, GeoMysore Services Ltd have struck gold north of Kolar Gold Fields and near Maski in Raichur district,” mines and geology secretary Ashok M Dalwai told the Times of India.
The exact amount of gold reserves can be ascertained only after the ground prospecting work is conducted. Subsequently, the company has to find out the economic viability through ore analysis and evaluation tests.
“It is a time-consuming process. If everything goes as planned, the government will give its concurrent for gold mining in Chamarajnagar, Shimoga, Uttara Kannada, Kaveri, Gulbarga, Dharwad, Bellary and outskirts of Bangalore, which contain traces of gold desposits.”
Menmin Finance and Holding Ltd., Minpro Corporation, National Mineral development Corporation and Indophil Resources Exploration Services Ltd are also conducting aerial survey for gold.
Diamond: For diamond exploration, the government has given five permits to Italian giant ACC Rio Tinto Exploration Ltd., which has discovered diamond deposits in Bellary and Raichur districts. “The company has set up a Rs. 4.8 crore laboratory in city to conduct tests,” he said.
Adams India Pvt. Ltd, Ms Diamond Prospecting Ltd and De-Beers Orissa Pvt. Ltd are also conducting an aerial survey for diamond.
“Once these companies complete aerial survey, ore prospecting and testing, obtain necessary clearances, their proposals will be forwarded to the Centre for grant of mining lease,” he said.