Believe it or not, but one of the country’s poorest state, Bihar, is the goldmine of the nation, literally, holding country’s largest resource gold ore, more than traditional leaders.
This revelation has been made by union minister of mines, coal and parliamentary affairs in reply to a question in the Lok Sabha on Monday.
The National Mineral Inventory data on gold resource in the country (including identified reserves), presented in Parliament shows that Bihar has gold ore resource of a staggering 222.8 million tonne (MT), or 42.21 per cent of the total gold ore resource available in the country.
This is far more than Karnataka, the traditional seat of gold mining with its age old Kolar Gold Fields. As per mines ministry data, Karnataka’s gold ore resource is just half of that of Bihar at about 103.84 MT.
The mystery around gold resource of Bihar gets deeper as not an inch of mineable land has so far been used in the state and not even an ounce of gold ore dug up. Bihar, traditionally has almost negligible presence in the country’s roadmap and the sorry state of erstwhile mineral rich Bihar became a reality after Jharkhand was carved out of the state taking away all the mineable land.
The data presented in Parliament on gold ore resource in the country has been given by Geological Survey of India (GSI) after thorough study of satellite imageries and ground surveys. So, the reserve status gets some degree of credibility. But the fact remains if such a vast resource is available in Bihar, why it has not been exploited so far.
Sources said that a lot of gold ore resource identified in Bihar falls in Naxalite ridden regions that makes government agencies’ task of researching the prospect further difficult.
The surveyed gold ore deposits largely lies in Gaya, Rajgir and Jamui districts of Bihar. In the year 2020-21, gold ore exploration projects have been started in Ajaynagar block in Gaya and Siwalik Himalayas belt of West Champaran. Hopefully, the initial work results in details exploration in the state that will help the state shine again on the rich yellow metal.