Richard Johnson has a glittering dream he hopes India's dilatory government won't thwart.
The 60-year-old mining engineer wants to restart gold production at Kolar, site of one of the world's deepest mines in the heart of gold-fevered India.
The Kolar Gold Fields in Karnataka are just a two-hour drive from Bangalore and were shut a decade ago when it cost nearly 20,000 rupees to produce 10 grams of gold there and the selling price was about 4,500 rupees.
Now, gold has hit record highs of almost $2,000 per ounce - or around 28,000 rupees per 10 grams on the domestic market - intensifying the allure of reopening the mines.
"If anyone can get this mine going again, I think I can," says Johnson, who has been mining gold for 40 years from South Africa to Australia. "That's my vision."
Text: Jo Winterbottom, Reuters
Image: Schoolchildren play in front of an abandoned shaft at Kolar Gold Fields, located in Karnataka September 9, 2011.