Bhubaneswar, Nov. 28: Some good news for the state. Traces of gold have been found in the tribal-dominated Nabarangpur district, while fresh iron ore and bauxite deposits have also been discovered in various parts of the state.
The state geology department stumbled on the traces of gold during one of their routine explorations, steel and mines minister Prafulla Kumar Mallick told the Assembly today.
Director, geology, has already submitted a report on the findings to Mallick. The metal has been found in an area of 1,926 hectares in Nabarangpur district.
Speaking about the sudden discovery of the yellow metal, Mallick said: “Traces of gold have been found at Jharigram and Seraguda in Nabarangpur district. The government has already accepted the application to issue lease for its exploration.”
Sources in the mining department said Hindustan Alloy and Kaustuv Mining Smelting Private Limited had applied for exploration of gold. However, it is yet to be ascertained whether it would be commercially viable.
In a related development, hundreds of people have been engaged to explore diamonds at Anabadi village under Haguda panchayat in Koraput’s Bandhugaon block, about 650 km from here. The place is also reported to have yielded a lot of cat’s eye, a semi-precious stone.
A district official said businessmen from the neighbouring states, including Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, reached the place to search for diamond and other gemstones.
One of the villagers, Bhaskar, 43, said: “Businessmen from other states have come here and bought the valuable stones from us.”
Additional district magistrate Ekadashi Jena said: “We have informed the state geology and mining departments about the sudden discovery of valuable stones in these remote parts of the district. We have no idea about the nature of the stones.”
Besides gold, Mallick’s department has confirmed that new iron ore mines have been found at Rakama–Marsuana in Keonjhar district and Khandadhar, Deungula, Sagasahi, Bandhala, Kusumdihi, Roladihi, Randa, Damur in Sundargarh district.
“We have taken steps to estimate the iron reserves in the newly located areas,” said an official.
The steel and mines department also confirmed that 0.45 tonnes reserve of manganese ore has been found at Mutukudur, Rangua and Kenamenta in Sundargarh district, Mallick told the Assembly today.
Interestingly the state government has also stumbled on rich reserve of bauxite at new mines in Rayagada, Kalahandi, Koraput, Kandhamal and Sundargarh districts. This is good news for the government that has found it tough to hand over the Niyamgiri bauxite mines to the Vedanta for its Lanjigarh refinery plant in Kalahandi district.
In Kalahandi district, the new bauxite mines have been found at Keluamala with deposits of 49 million tonnes, Krushnamali (28.3 million tonne), Samarmali and Gunupur with deposits of 21.69 million tonnes.
“We have so far estimated 220.956 million tonnes of bauxite in the newly discovered bauxite mines in Rayagada, Kalahandi, Koraput and Kandhamal districts. As there is stiff opposition to hand over the Niyamgiri mines, we are planning to give some of the newly discovered mines to the Vedanta and other groups who are interested to set up their industries in the state,” said a senior official of the steel and mines department.
Vedanta chief Anil Agarwal has met chief minister Naveen Patnaik twice in the last six months and appealed to the state government to save the plant that is running at less 30 per cent of its installed capacity.
Besides gold, iron and bauxite, new gemstones and graphite mines have also been discovered in the state. While gemstones have been located in few pockets of Mayurbhanj district, graphite has been found in Angul district.
“ However, the state government is yet to make an assessment of these deposits,” an official said.
Saturday, November 29, 2014
Gold spots in Nabarangpur
The Telegraph (Kolkata), Nov 29, 2014