Kannada Prabha, 21 June 2003 :
Raichur June 20: Our company, which is exploring for gold in South Hutti has taken permssion from the government for exploration. The company, which is conducting the survey and exploration work in the region has clarified that it has no intention to take over the Hutti Gold Mines.
Australian-Indian Resources Private Limited Managing Director Sandeep Lakhwara and Director V N Vasudeva addressed a joint media conference here in the wake of the reports that the company is taking up exploration work despite the opposition from the local people.
The state government has given permission to our company to take up exploration work at 500 square kilometer on the southern side of Hutti Gold Mines as per the Government of India law in 1994 to allow mining to private firms. The belief about presence of mineral resources in several parts of the country is the reason for it.
On January 23, 2003, the state government has given us permission to take up exploration work around Hutti Gold Mines and it will be continued for three years. There are indications about the presence of gold minerals outside the Hutti Gold Mines but they are yet to be traced. There are no documents or authenticated information about the presence of gold minerals there, he said.
If the exploration work is successful the company plans to set up its company near Hutti Gold Mines. Our Indophil Company has aims to work with the Hutti Gold Mines, he explained.
Around Rs 30 to 40 crore is expected to be spent on the present exploration work being carried out by the company. Already Rs 10 crore has been spend and the no financial assistance has been taken from the state government. As per the act enabling mining activities taken up by the private companies they have to pay Rs 1 crore royalty to each tone of gold.
If their exploration is successful and it takes up the mining work it will give priority to the local people for employment. The company to has some advantages in taking the local peoples. Our company has plans to grow Macadamia nut tree for local people.
Rainwater harvesting, drinking water projects, construction of roads and other such welfare programmes are also proposed to taken up for local people, he said.
The director said that there is no opposition from people for the company taking up exploration work in the Hutti Gold Mines areas.
He said he will not react to the opposition raised by the Hutti Gold Mines Chairman and also Government’s silence on the controversy. However, he said that the Government can issue statement in that regard.
The Government has already called for the tenders to take up exploration work with the private particiapation as a joint venture. Our company has requested the Hutti Gold Mines to send the tender applications.
Since our company has taken up the exploration work as per the 1994 act , priority has to be given to our company while giving permission to private companies for mining. But, our company has no plans to take over the Hutti Gold Mines in future he clarified.
The Australian-Indian Resources Private Limited Company has already taken up exploration work in Andhra Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
It has an office in Bangalore, he added.