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False alarm – No major gold discovery in northern India

Liam Sheasby

Liam Sheasby, News Editor
26 Feb 2020, 11:25 a.m.

Reports came out over the weekend that a gold field, with reserves of anything up to 3,000 tonnes of gold ore, had been discovered in the Sonbhadra district of Uttar Pradesh, India by the Uttar Pradesh Directorate of Geology and Mining.

News broke on Friday courtesy of the head of the mining department. Throughout the weekend the potential for jobs and a surge in the domestic gold supply was discussed, with estimations of 3 grams of gold per tonne of metal ore.

Speaking to the news agency ANI, an unnamed mining officer spoke of discoveries at Sonpahadi and Hardi and suggested that the GSI – Geological Survey of India – has estimated 2,700 tonnes of gold in Sonpahadi, and a further 650 tonnes in Hardi.

India holds 600 tonnes of gold in its national reserves – five times less than what was supposedly found - and ruling party BJP politicians and senior state figures jumped at the news, suggesting that the gold found could be mined and added to central bank holdings.

Unfortunately for all parties, this has since been quashed by the GSI, who said that their estimates were far lower than reported – only 160 kilograms. In a brief statement the GSI said: “GSI has not estimated such kind of vast resource of gold deposit”.

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