The Centre has decided to revive Bharat Gold Mines Ltd. (BGML) and restart operations for extraction of gold ore at Kolar Gold Fields (KGF), where BGML used to extract gold before it was closed in 2001, said Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Coal and Mines Pralhad Joshi.
In a release on Wednesday, he also said National Mineral Development Corporation, Donimalai, will immediately begin iron ore mining across 597.54 hectares at Donimalai area, with the State government issuing a notification permitting iron ore mining under interim system on Wednesday. “After the August meeting with Mr. Yediyurappa, I had asked Mineral Exploration Corporation Ltd. to explore availability of gold ore at KGF. The study report had suggested a possibility of KGF still having gold ore. Consequently the Centre has decided to restart BGML operations,” he said in the release.
BGML, which was in profit, had celebrated its centenary year in 1980 but subsequently had incurred losses finally leading to its closure on February 28, 2001. The Centre’s decision was in accordance with its attempts to reduce dependency on gold import and explore the possibility of reviving existing gold mines, Mr. Joshi said.
The Minister also said that during the meeting he had with Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa in August this year, the issue related to Donimalai was discussed and now the State government had issued the notification on Wednesday. In the current financial year, the State was likely to get a revenue of ₹400 crore. Subsequently, it could expect a revenue of ₹1,100 crore. It would also promote trade and commerce locally and in surrounding areas, he added.
Mr. Joshi said that the development was due to the bold decision taken by Union Ministry of Mines under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and consequently the issue which was pending from 2018 had been cleared now.
The Union government had set a target of production of 300 MTPA iron ore by 2030-31 and the decision by theSstate government to permit mining would help in meeting the target. Mr. Joshi thanked Mr. Yediyurappa and Minister for Mines and Geology C.C. Patil for the decision.