According to the surveys conducted by the Geological Survey of India (GSI), the team has found gold deposits in three districts of Odisha. State Steel and Mines Minister Prafulla Mallik said that the gold reserves were found in Deogarh, Keonjhar, and Mayurbhanj.
Massive Gold deposits
Prafulla Kumar Mallik has informed the state Assembly that Gold deposits have been found at different locations in three districts of Odisha, including Deogarh, Keonjhar, and Mayurbhanj. The Minister disclosed that the State Directorate of Mines and geology and the GSI performed a preliminary survey and found the presence of gold deposits in the Adas area of Deogarh, Gopur, Gazipur, Kusakala, Adal, Saleikana, Dimirimunda, and Karadanga area of Keonjhar.
The research also found that 1685kg of gold is present in the copper ore at the G2 Level in the Adas area. And 6.67 million tonnes of copper, 0.638 million tonnes of silver, and 0.10 million tonnes of nickel are estimated to have been present in copper ore in the region.
Notably, the first survey for the gold deposit in Keonjhar district was conducted in the 80s. With the technology known then, the GSI conducted the survey in the areas like Kushakala, Goppur, and Jaladiha villages under Taramakant and Nayakote Panchayats in Keonjhar district’s Banasapal block. However, the outcome of the survey was kept secret.
Later in 2021-22, the GSI with all the latest technology carried out another survey in those areas in the Keonjhar district. At that time too the GSI officials remained silent about the discovery from the survey.
India’s gold mines
Presently, India has three working gold mines in the country — Hutti and Uti mines in Karnataka and the Hirabuddini mines in Jharkhand. India’s gold production is around 1.6 tonnes a year, compared to the 774 tonnes a year of gold that it consumes.
Amid rising demand and prices of this treasured metal, the Centre wants to boost gold production in the country. Last year, NITI Aayog conducted an extensive study to identify potential gold mines in the country.
Now, India’s gold reserves stand at a total of 70.1t (17.2Mt at 4.1g/t), according to data from the Ministry of Mines. A large volume of reserves is discovered in South India, with 88 percent of reserves located in Karnataka alone.
Meanwhile, the World Gold Council in a report last year had said that India could ramp up its gold production to as much as 20 tonnes a year over the long term through improvements in mining infrastructure, as well as regulatory reforms.