Till the time the British were in India, the Kolar gold fields in Karnataka provided them with a steady supply of gold. But a decline in gold production from the mines resulted in their closure in 2001.
Now, the government aims to revive the mines because they still have around $2.1 billion worth of gold in them.
India’s Gold import costs stands at around $30 billion making it the second largest importer after China.
Gold is, perhaps, the most prized metal in India because of its association with cultural and religious events across the country.
Compared to the approximate 1000 tonne gold import, India’s own gold production stands at just around 3 tonnes. The deficit is huge which is why the government is concerned about lessening it to some extent.
Mining rights of the Kolar gold mines were with Bharat Gold, whose license expired in 2013. Now the Centre and the Government of Karnataka will together plan out a method to restart the mining.
Reports say that the Centre has asked the state-run Mineral Exploration Corp Ltd to explore the Kolar Gold Fields.
SBI Capital has been tasked with finding out a method for a one-time settlement of the dues of Bharat Gold, which owes workers, the State and the Central Government.
Located around 65 km northeast of Bengaluru, Kolar Gold Mines are among the world’s deepest. Mining started in 1880 under John Taylor and Sons, a British engineering firm. As is with every mining town around the world, Kolar expanded during the British rule. It is now a ghost town where derelict colonial-era buildings stand.
Reports say that all assessment will be complete by July this year. The final call will be taken based on the assessment.