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Niti Aayog to identify potential gold mines

The Centre will soon lay out a detailed roadmap to boost gold production in the country with private participation amid a surge in imports of the yellow metal and rise in its prices.

The plan will identify potential gold-bearing regions to be developed by 2030 and the policy interventions needed to attract private investment into gold mining, a senior government official told ET.

Niti Aayog has conducted an extensive study to identify potential gold mines in the country and proposed a pan-India exploration programme over the next 10 years.

“The key recommendations of the study include providing incentives to small explorers to take up mining of gold in India,” the official said, requesting anonymity. “Besides, some policy tweaking could be done to make gold mining cost-competitive.”

India is the world’s second biggest consumer of gold, after China.

India’s gold imports rose 33.41% to $46.16 billion during 2021-22 from $34.6 billion in the previous year, a key reason behind widening of the trade deficit to $192.41 billion last fiscal from $102.62 billion in FY21.

Gold is among the 102 priority items that the commerce department has identified whose imports are high and need immediate interventions for domestic production opportunities.

Gold accounted for 7.53% of India’s total inbound shipments in FY22. In April-July, gold imports rose 6.39% year on year.

Hutti Gold Mine, the only gold mining company in the country located in Raichur district of Karnataka, has produced some 84 tonnes of gold since 1947.

As per National Mineral Inventory data, total gold ore reserves in the country have been estimated at 501.83 million tonnes. The largest resources of primary gold are located in Bihar (44%) followed by Rajasthan (25%), Karnataka (21%), West Bengal (3%), Andhra Pradesh (3%), and Jharkhand (2 %).

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