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Friday, April 3, 2020

No Discovery of 3,000-tonne Gold Deposits in UP’s Sonbhadra, Says GSI Director-General

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A clarification that washed away all the dreams of mining huge reserves of gold came on Saturday. Barely one day after the news of the discovery of over 3,000 tonnes of gold were reported by all mainstream news media.

The Geological Survey of India (GSI) headquartered in Kolkata on Saturday 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 a district mining official.

“Such data was not given by anybody from GSI…. GSI has not estimated such kind of vast resource of gold deposits in Sonbhadra district,” GSI Director General (DG) M Sridhar told PTI in Kolkata this evening.

“We share our findings regarding any resources of ore after conducting a survey with the state units…. We (GSI, Northern Region) had carried out work in that region in 1998-99 and 1999-2000. The report was shared with UP DGM for information and further necessary action,” he said.

The exploration works of the GSI for gold were not satisfactory and the results were not encouraging to come up with major resources for gold in Sonbhadra district, he added.

The earlier claim is rejected

The earlier claim is rejected

It was Sonbhadra district mining officer K K Rai who said on Friday that the gold deposits were found in Son Pahadi and Hardi areas of the district.

The deposits in Son Pahadi are estimated to be around 2,943.26 tonnes, while that at Hardi block is around 646.16 kilograms, the official had earlier said.

Rejecting the claim, Sridhar said that in its report after exploration in the district “the GSI has estimated a probable category resource of 52,806.25 tonnes of ore with 3.03 grams per tonne gold (average grade) for a strike length of 170m in Sub- Block-H, Son Pahadi of Sonbhadra district of Uttar Pradesh”.

The official clarification from Geological Survey of India
The official clarification from the Geological Survey of India

“The mineralized zone having an average grade of 3.03 grams per tonne of gold is tentative in nature and the total gold which can be extracted from the total resource of 52,806.25 tonnes of ore is approximately 160 kg and not 3,350 tonnes as mentioned in the media,” the DG clarified.

The mining of ore is even economically unviable

Furthermore, Sridhar said the deposits were spread across only 0.5 sq km in forest land, which made the mining of ore economically unviable.

“When there are several mines nearby, we can club it into a block and then it makes sense to mine the ore. But in this case, the deposits are too small to make it viable for any company to mine it,” he said.

The GSI normally follows the center’s mandate in prioritizing its exploration work. While strategic minerals like tin, cobalt, lithium, beryllium, germanium, gallium, indium, tantalum, niobium, selenium, and bismuth are atop the list in GSI exploration, gold is another commodity on its priority list.

The internet is having fun for sure!

The exact chain of events that led to the reporting of news is yet not clear. We will, however, find out and update you soon.

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