Bengaluru: The popular Kolar Gold Mines, contributed 900 tons of Gold since 1956, have been reopened for the first time since February 28, 2001. The mines were closed for nearly two decades over environmental concerns and high cost of mining of Gold.
The Union minister for Coal and Mines Pralhad Joshi allowed for reopening of the mining activity. He took to Twitter to announce this decision on Monday, saying,"Happy to convey that exploratory drilling at Betrayaswamy block of Kolar Gold Fields commenced today (Monday)."
He also shared photographs on Twitter of the commencement of the activities. Joshi said the mining would help resolve Bharat Gold Mines Limited (BGML) issue over exploration in KGF that has been pending for the last 16 years.
The exploration started after Joshi's meeting with Karnataka Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa on August 28.
Joshi said he had directed MECL to carry out immediate exploration in the mining lease area of BGML after meeting Yediyurappa.
In the meeting, Yediyurappa and Joshi had also decided that either the high-value minerals at BGML are explored or handed over to the Industries department for setting up an industrial cluster to start large-scale economic activities there.
One of India's first power-generation units in Shivanasamudra, which is 100 km from Bengaluru's Mandya district, was built in 1889 to support mining operations. To its credit the mine complex hosted some particle physics experiments between the 1960s and 1992.
The pyroclastic and pillow lava at Kolar Gold Fields have been declared a National Geological Monument by the Geological Survey of India (GSI) for their protection, maintenance and encouragement of geo-tourism.
Kolar is a popular city across Karnataka, and also the theme of the Kannada blockbuster movie - KGF Chapter 1. The much awaited sequel KGF 2 has also been shot here.
Disclaimer: Image used only for representational purposes and is not from the mining venue.