After two decades of painstaking research, the Uttar Pradesh Directorate of Geology and the Mining and Geological Survey of India have discovered two goldmines -- one each at Son Pahadi and Hardi village -- in the state that could collectively possess 3,350 tons of gold ore. The gold deposits together could be five times that of India's current reserves.
However, Geological Survey of India (GSI), on February 22, said there has been no discovery of gold deposits estimated to be around 3,000 tonnes in Sonbhadra district of Uttar Pradesh, as claimed by the district mining official.
In Son Pahadi the gold deposit is estimated at approximately 2,943.25 tonnes, while almost 646.15 tonnes could be found at the Hardi field. India's current gold reserves is around 626 tonnes. The gold at both deposits could amount to approximately Rs 12 lakh crore.
According to officials, a seven-member team tasked with geo-tagging and mapping goldmine areas visited Sonbhadra on February 20. Officials claimed that the mineral-rich mines of Sonbhadra are easy to dig give their geographical position as they are mostly situated on hillocks. The officials believe that the government will begin the auction process once compensation payout and necessary approvals are granted.
Apart from gold, officials are exploring the possibility of unearthing rare minerals like uranium in the area. The discovery of the two mines is expected to give a considerable boost to the state's revenue. Not only will it provide skilled and unskilled labour, but could lead to much-needed development of backward regions in the two districts.
(Note: This story was updated to incorporate Geological Survey of India (GSI)'s clarification that no such gold deposits had been discovered there.)