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Gold deposits found

By Our Special Correspondent

JAIPUR, MARCH 3. The Geological Survey of India (GSI) has found sizeable reserves of gold in Banswara and Dausa districts of Rajasthan and taken up exploration work for the precious metal to establish its good potential in the two regions. While 2.5 crore tonnes of gold ore has been found at Bhukia-Jagpura in Banswara, the discovery of gold-copper ore at Dhani-Basri in Dausa is of the order of 27 lakh tonnes.

The Deputy Director-General of GSI's Western Region, P.C. Bakliwal, announcing this at a press conference here today said the indications of huge gold reserves in Banswara district were noticed in 1992-93 and exploration was launched in nine blocks. The Bhukia gold belt may produce 95 tonnes of the yellow metal - with each tonne of the ore containing 1.5 to 6 grams of gold - valued at Rs. 5,600 crores in the international market. Mr. Bakliwal affirmed that GSI's similar efforts in the 1970s to discover phosphorite and gypsum had immensely benefited Rajasthan and enabled the State to achieve the leading position in the production of the two minerals. Resources of other mineral commodities, such as potash, lignite and dimensional stone, were later proved in the State in substantial quantity.

"In financial terms, GSI has contributed nearly Rs. 6,83,892 crores worth of mineral commodity in the last one decade alone to Rajasthan," he said while pointing out that the GSI's Western Regional Office, established here in 1966, had played a significant role in the development of Rajasthan and Gujarat.

GSI is observing March 4 as its Foundation Day to commemorate the completion of 154 years since it was established in Kolkata by the East India Company in 1851. A function marking the day will be held at the Western Regional Office here tomorrow and an exhibition will be organised on the occasion.

While the mining of gold in Banswara is not economically viable at present, another significant finding by GSI in the State is that of uranium ores near Khandela in Sikar district. Mr. Bakliwal admitted that the radioactive mineral had been unearthed recently in the region and said the "strategic information" had been passed on to the Atomic Mineral Division of the Department of Science and Technology. As regards the recent oil finds in western parts of the desert State, Mr. Bakliwal said the oil basin was about 10,000 sq. km. wide in size and there was an immense potential for more oil discoveries in the field in future. He said the establishment of an oil refinery in western Rajasthan following the discovery was "technically possible".

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