Karnataka’s untapped mineral wealth!
Mining in Karnataka is one of the major industries of the state. The gold found in the Harappan sites are believed to have been excavated from the mines of Karnataka. Karnataka still continues to be equally rich in its mineral wealth.
Karnataka is endowed with fairly rich mineral wealth distributed more or less evenly all over its territory. It has one of the oldest Geological Survey Department in the Country, started as far back as 1880. The State is endowed with rich deposits of asbestos, bauxite, chromite, dolomite, gold, iron ore, limestone, kaoli, magnesite, Manganese, ochre, quartz and silica sand. It is also the sole producer of felsite, moulding sand (63%) and fuchsite quartzite (57%).
Karnataka is the major gold producing State in the Country with the two major mines located in the districts of Kolar and Raichur. The gold mines at Kolar and Hutti are producing about 3,000 kg of gold, about 84% of countries production per annum. Karnataka is very rich in Iron and Manganese ores.
The iron-ores of Bellary-Hospet region are considered to be one of the World's best iron ores. The total reserve of high grade iron ore available in the State are of the order of 1,000 Million tones. Karnataka has earned international fame for the Ornamental Granites with different hues. It has granite rock's spread over 4200 Sq.kms.
Also high value minerals – gold, diamond, titanium, cobalt, uranium, platinum and rare earth elements like lanthanum and cerium – haven’t been tapped to the full extent. There’s potential for diamond exploration in the eastern part of the state across 48,110 sq.km. As per gold deposits explored by the geological Survey of India, there are 25 million tonnes of different gold grades. Currently 12 major companies are involved in gold exploration. The state has 40,000 sqkm of green stone belt.
The government showcased the state’s high value minerals during the Global Investor’s Meet in June this year. During a presentation, commerce and industries secretary B S Ramaprasad said that state was the only one producing primary gold and one of the top in iron ore, manganese and limestone. Referring to high value minerals, he said gold. Copper and diamond were not fully explored and there was potential for titanium, and other rare earth materials.