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Chhattisgarh News
Nation’s first gold mine to be auctioned in Chhattisgarh
20-10-2015

Raipur: For the first time in the country, Chhattisgarh government is all set to auction the state's only known gold mine, Baghmara, for mining operations much on the lines of coal block auctions.

However, the mining department, which would conduct the auction, has not made an assessment as to how much money would be generated with this auction as the process to evaluate the exact quantity of the gold reserve is yet to be finished.

Tenders for the auction are all set to be floated next month and the company selected for the purpose would be issued licenses both for prospecting and mining of gold.

Confirming the move, Secretary (Mining) Subodh Kumar Singh said that composite license, which includes both prospecting and mining licenses, would be issued to the selected company. He said KPMG has been appointed as a consultant advisor to the project.

Singh said the mining department would carry out a detailed exploration, using the state of the art techniques, to assess the exact quantity of the reserve. As per plan, he said, the tendering process and allotment of licences should be completed by February 2016.

According to mining officials, earlier surveys carried out by the department in 1980 and 2003, indicate that the gold reserve is spread across 6.1 kilometers in Baghmara village of Lone Block in Sonakhan in district Balodabazar. They said the only gold block in the state has been demarcated in some 610-hectare area covered by thick forest.

Officials said the company, which gets the licence, would initially carry out exploration of mine and then get on with the excavation. They said earlier explorations done by the state agencies indicate gold layers about 650 meters below the surface. Though the estimated quantity of the gold under the ground is about 1,800 kilograms, officials claim that it could be even more. (With inputs from agencies)