No discovery of over 3,000 tonnes of Goldmine Reserves in Sonbhadra: GSI

Geological Survey of India recently clarified that the media reports regarding discovery of over 3000 tonnes of Gold Reserves in Sonbhadra are false. The GSI has not estimated such vast reserves in Sonbhadra, UP.

Created On: Feb 22, 2020 21:47 ISTModified On: Feb 24, 2020 09:38 IST
Representative Image
Representative Image

Goldmines in Sonbhadra: The Geological Survey of India (GSI) recently clarified that all the media reports regarding discovery of around 3350 tonnes of Gold Reserves in Sonbhadra district of Uttar Pradesh are false. The GSI has not estimated any such reserves in Sonbhadra. It further claimed that the total gold that can be extracted from the mineralised zone of Sonbhadra could be around 160 kg and not over 3000 tonnes. 

The exploration was carried out in 1998-99 and 1999-2000. The report regarding the discovery has been shared by the GSI with the DGM of UP for further necessary action.

Have a look at the GSI's clarification:

GSI Report

Earlier various news reports had confirmed that two goldmines with 3,350 tonnes (approx) of gold ore found in the Naxal-affected Sonbhadra district of Uttar Pradesh. It was also said in the media reports that the state's mining department has formed a seven-member team to map the goldmine field. The discovery took place nearly two decades ago, but the final estimation and demarcation process of this mine was completed recently. Now, a special team will look after this goldmine and prepare a map of this goldmine to start the work.

If the news was true then it could be five times the gold reserves of India. According to the report of the World Gold Council, India currently has 618.2 tonnes of gold in its reserves. It accounts for 6.6 percent of gold in total foreign reserves. In this context, India is at number 9 in the world in terms of gold storage.

What is Gold Reserve?

A gold reserve is the specific amount of gold held by the central bank of any country. It is used by the government during the economic crisis. It protects the country's currency and maintains the central bank’s purchasing power. The Reserve Bank of India keeps a specific amount of gold in its store. The Goldmine found in Sonbhadra is supposed to contain about 3000 tonnes of gold that costs about Rs. 12 lakh crore.

How it could impact India?

According to the World Gold Council’s estimation, the entire world demands 4000-5000 tonnes of gold in a year. If the gold reserves of over 3000 tonnes would be a reality, Sonbhadra goldmine could be sufficient to fulfill global gold demand for 8-9 months and could have reduced India’s gold import from foreign countries. 

India is largest gold importer

India is the largest importer of gold in the world. It is mainly imported to meet the demand of the jewelry industry. According to government figures, the country's annual gold import is 800-900 tonnes. At the same time, the country's gold import is about 33 billion dollars by value. This figure is for the year 2018-19. A year earlier, in 2017, the country's gold imports were up 3 percent, or about USD 34 billion. In December 2018, gold imports were USD 2.57 billion, while in December 2019, gold imports were about USD 2.47 billion.

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