Gold bars
An estimated 3,000 tonnes of gold reserves have been found in Indian state of Uttar Pradesh’s Sonbhadra district Image Credit: Pixabay

Sonbhadra: The Geological Survey of India (GSI) has poured cold water on the El Dorado-type scenario in Sonbhadra as it estimates that only 160kg of gold can be extracted from the deposits and the surveys for gold in the region have not been encouraging.

The GSI has clarified on news reports about the availability of 3,350 tonnes of gold in Sonbhadra Pahadi and Hardi field.

Some of the reports have mentioned that the State Directorate of Geology and

Mining, (DGM) Uttar Pradesh has shared this information.

"Geological Survey of India is not a party to the information published in the news. GSI has not estimated such kind of vast resource of gold deposits in Sonbhadra district, UP", the GSI said categorically in a statement.

The Geological Survey of India, Northern Region, has carried out several exploration works for gold. "However, the results were not encouraging about major resources for gold in Sonbhadra district", GSI said.

Earlier report

An estimated 3,000 tonnes of gold reserves have been found in Uttar Pradesh’s Sonbhadra district, the Department of Geology and Mining confirmed on Friday.

According to current prices, the value of this amount of gold could be around Rs 12 lakh crore (Rs12 trillion). Sonbhadra is counted among the most backward districts of the country.

The area of the hill where the gold was found is said to be 108 hectares. An order for its auction has also been issued through e-tendering.

A seven-member team was constituted for geo-tagging of mineral sites, and their report will be submitted to the Department of Mining, Lucknow by February 22.

Sonbhadra District Mining Officer K.K. Rai told IANS that a team of Department of Geology and Mining and Geological Survey of India (GSI) is engaged in this task.

He said that work on the site started after 2005 and the report has just been received. It is estimated to hold about 3,000 tonnes of gold.

The GSI is conducting an aerial survey of the quarry area for which two helicopters have been deployed.

Rai said it is being assessed how much land comes under the revenue department and under the forest department so that the process of permission from the forest department for mining can begin.

The state government has also expedited the process of leasing these mines. For the mining, the process of geo-tagging has been started before the auction process. E-tendering will be done as soon as the demarcation work is completed.

There is also a strong possibility of presence of other precious minerals, including uranium, in the hills of the region.

Geophysical survey is underway by helicopter in many parts of the district. Electromagnetic and spectrometer devices are being used in the survey. Part of these instruments hang under the helicopter which conducts a flying survey at an altitude of 60-80 meters above the ground surface.