Letter to the Editor re: Gold Rush needed

K R Raghu Mohan, Bangalore. Times of India, 8 July 2003 :

This refers to your interview with Charles Devenish (July 4). Between 1880 and 1900, a large part of south India (encompassing parts of the present Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh) witnessed a ‘gold bloom’. About 35 companies were in the field simultaneously. It is high time we witnessed another gold rush in the region, geographically referred to as the Dharwar Carton, considering there is buoyancy in gold prices and a high demand for the metal.

There is no dearth of gold resources here. What we do lack, however, is a dynamic approach in prospecting and mining, application of appropriate technology for maximum gold recovery and innovations in organizational set-up to achieve a higher level of productivity. Despite our glorious heritage in mining and metallurgy (gold, zinc and diamond mining) we failed to achieve a breakthrough in the 1980s because, unlike other countries, we did not adopt bulk mining of complex ore bodies and efficient recovery of gold from low-grade and refractory ores. The central and state governments should now leave the field entirely to private investors and create a friendly environment for them to operate in. This will see them reaping a golden harvest for the country.