Karnataka looks for closer mining ties with Australia

The Economic Times, Bangalore, 21 November 2002 :

Karnataka, which announced a new mining policy, is keen to promote closer ties with West Australia to tap its mineral wealth, according to Mr V Muniyappa, the stat’s minister for miens, geology and ground water.
 
Mr Muniyappa, who earlier inaugurated the office of GeoMysore Services, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Perth-based Australian Indian Resources (AIR) said, besides AIR, companies like Rio-Tinto and BHP have evinced interest in tapping the state’s mineral resources.
 
The state government has cleared 30 applications for reconnaissance and has requested to the Union government to clear the balance 24, he said. “GeoMysore has dug 18 borewells up to a depth of 1,144 metres and results are encouraging. Mining companies are interested in a large number of minerals like copper and zinc besides gold and diamond,” he said.
 
Studies have shown that rock formation in the state is similar to the one found in West Australia and is estimated to be over two billion years old, according to Mr Basappa Reddy, the state’s director for mines and geology.
 
GeoMysore has received reconnaissance permits covering 105 sq.km., which also includes the sourthern extensions of the gold reefs of the famous Kolar Gold Fields (KGF), according to Charles Devenish, chairman of AIR. “India holds tremendous potential given that this country is the world’s largest consumer fo the yellow metal, amounting got a sum of $ 7 billion annually,” Mr. Devenish added. Besides the reefs under KGF, GeoMysore would also be looking at the Hutti-Maski-Gold Fields, south Ramagiri Gold Fields and two potential major zinc resources and diamond bearing regions near Nagpur in Maharashtra, according to Mr Sandeep Lakhwara, GeoMysore’s managing director.
 
Mr Devenish also said one of the sister concerns of AIR had sought permission from the Foreign Investment Preview Board (FIPB) to take over a listed company on the Bombay Stock Exchange to eventually being in one or more of the above projects at an advanced stage of development into the company.