India possesses 501.83 million tonnes of gold reserves: Union Minister Joshi
Bihar, Rajasthan and Karnataka have largest reserves of gold
India has an estimated 501.83 million tonnes of gold reserves or resources of gold ore, as per the National Mineral Inventory data.
Out of these, 17.22 million tonnes have been placed under the reserves category and the remaining 484.61 million tonnes under remaining resources category, Union Minister of Mines, Coal and Parliamentary Affairs Prahlad Joshi told Rajya Sabha in a written reply on Monday.
He told the House that the largest resources of gold ore are located in Bihar (44%) followed by Rajasthan (25%), Karnataka (21%), West Bengal (3%), Andhra Pradesh (3% ), and Jharkhand (2 %).
The remaining 2% resources of ore are located in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.
Minister Joshi said the Geological Survey of India (GSI) is actively engaged in geological mapping followed by mineral exploration (survey) for various mineral commodities including gold with the aim to identify potential mineral rich zones and establish resources.
Every year, as per approved annual Field Season Program, GSI takes up mineral exploration projects in various parts of the country for augmenting mineral resources.
The Minister further noted that recently the government of India has amended the MEMC Rules to allow auction of composite licence at G4 level for deep seated minerals including Gold.
This is expected to bring more participation from private players with advanced technology in the field of exploration and mining of deep seated minerals which is expected to reduce the cost of extraction of gold, he said.
There is no proposal to restart the closed gold mines, he added.