India plans to invite bids to extract gold from 50 million tonnes of processed ore at a cluster of colonial-era mines in Karnataka, a senior government official with direct knowledge of the matter said Thursday.
The Kolar Fields, located about 65 kilometers (40 mi) northeast of Bengaluru, are among the oldest gold mines in the country.
The Kolar mines, which closed more than 20 years ago, had gold deposits worth about $2.1 billion, and India is now keen to take advantage of new technology that can extract gold from even the remnants of ore that has been mined in the past. incorporated.
In addition to gold, the government also wants to extract palladium from the processed ore, or landfills, said the official who did not wish to be named in accordance with official rules.
“We are looking at how to monetize these gold reserves tied up in the processed ore,” the official said.
He said the government expects to invite bids in the next four to six months.
“Our only limitation is that only foreign companies have the technology and experience to extract gold from processed ore, but foreign companies can always collaborate with local companies or even form a consortium,” said the official directly involved in the decision-making. .
The Federal Ministry of Mines did not immediately respond to an email from Reuters asking for comment.
India is the second largest consumer of gold in the world after China and meets most of its demand through imports.
In July, India raised tariffs on gold from 7.5 percent to 12.5 percent to dampen demand in a bid to reduce the trade deficit and ease pressure on the Indian rupee.
According to the World Gold Council, Indian demand for gold in the quarter through September was up 14 percent year-on-year to 191.7 metric tons.
Featured video of the day
3 arrested for acid attack on schoolgirl in Delhi