New Delhi: Sonbhadra, a Naxal-infested backward district of Uttar Pradesh, has struck a very large reserves of gold estimated to be not less than 3,000 tonnes of the yellow metal worth over Rs 12 lakh crore.
These reserves are almost five times India’s total gold reserves of 626 tonnes as per the World Gold Council. The hunt for the gold reserves had begun in the Sonbhadra district in 1992-93 after the central Geological Survey of India (GSI) took over the work.
The Naxal menace apart, exploration of gold from the mines, discovered jointly by the GSI and the state’s Directorate of Geology, will pose problems since the gold is apparently seen as protected by the most poisonous snakes, including krait, Russell’s viper and cobra whose bite can cause instant death. The Son Pahadi, a hill, is full of the snakes
The gold has been found in the Son Pahadi in the Mahuli region and Hardi village in the Kone region. The UP government has ordered geo-taging of the entire region and a 7-member study team was supposed to submit its report to the Directorate of Geology and Mining, Lucknow by this Saturday.
In a related development, the GSI has estimated the reserves of Uranium, another precious material, in the Myopar block of Sonbhadra district, estimating not less than 100 tonnes. It is busy establishing the depth at which the precious material for nuclear arms and power is available.
The GSI sources said digging has begun on the Kudri hill at three places. Central Atomic Energy Department is also checking availability of Uranium through the aero-magnetic system mounted on helicopters. They said the department is also using the system to search for uranium in the forests and mountains/hills in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar.