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Bihar govt asks GSI to conduct detailed exploration for gold reserves in Jamui

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PATNA, July 2 (PTI): Bihar’s Department of Mines and Geology has asked the Geological Survey of India to carry out a detailed exploration to trace gold reserves in Sono area of Jamui district, days after the state government decided to allow auction of nine mineral blocks, officials said.

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The department has also asked the competent authority to extend the exploration work to identify more coal-bearing areas in Batesarthan-Kasri-Jagarnathpur area in Bhagalpur district.

“Geophysical work has to be completed before taking up drilling and exploration for the presence of gold reserves in Sono. The G4 stage exploration (preliminary survey) is required to find out the presence of any gold reserve in the area.

“The DMG has requested the GSI to carry out a detailed analysis/exploration in this regard,” Md Nayyer Iqubal, director (Mines), Bihar, told PTI.

There are four stages of exploration for mineral deposits – reconnaissance survey (G4), preliminary exploration (G3), general exploration (G2) and detailed exploration (G1), the officials said.

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As far as exploration of coal blocks is concerned, Iqubal said, “Earlier, the GSI carried out G3 exploration for fireclay in Batesarthan-Kasri-Jagarnathpur area, and reported presence of carbonaceous shale with patches of coal at a depth of around 47-68 metre. Presence of coal was not reported in this part earlier.

“The area is in the north of Mandar Parvat block, where the Central Mine Planning and Design Institute (CMPDI) has established reserves of coal. The DMG has now asked the competent authority to extend the exploration work further to identify more coal-bearing areas in the Bhagalpur region.”

The Bihar government had recently engaged SBI Capital Markets Ltd as transaction advisor, and state-run Metal Scrap Trading Company (MSTC) for providing the platform for auction of the nine mineral blocks in different parts of the state. The decision to this effect was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Nitish Kumar on June 27.

The nine mineral blocks ready for auction include 48.40 million tonne of magnetite in non-forest areas of Majos (Jamui), 88.38 MT of glauconite in 12.46 sq km non-forest areas in Pipradih-Bhurwa and Chutia-Nauhatta in Rohtas.

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