Uttar Pradesh's Sonbhadra district is often in news for Naxal-related incidents and poverty but things might change soon. The Geological Survey of India (GSI) and Uttar Pradesh Directorate of Geology and Mining experts have discovered two goldmines near Son Pahadi in Sonbhadra. Experts estimate that almost 3,350 tonne of gold ore is present in the region.
A rough estimate suggests the amount of gold in the region is almost five times the current gold reserve of India. India's gold reserve in December stood was at 618 tonnes, valued at $ 27.831 billion in Dec 2019. India has 10th largest gold reserves in the world, as per the World Gold Council data.
"The government is thinking of putting these deposits on lease for mining, for which a survey is being done. Gold deposits have been found at two places -- Sonpahadi and Hardi field. GSI estimated gold deposits of 2,700 tonnes in Sonpahadi, while 650 tonnes in Hardi field," KK Rai Mining Officer was quoted by ANI.
Sonbhadra is the second largest district of Uttar Pradesh. It borders with four states - Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar. Sonbhadra lies between Vindhyanchal and Kaimur Hills, The area is rich in mineral ores, bauxite, limestone, coal and gold among others. River Son flows throw the Sonbhadra district from West to East. The area is rich in mineral resources is no secret considering several thermal power plants including the one by NTPC. Despite being immensely rich in natural resources, Sonbhadra continues to be one of India's most economically backward places when it comes to poverty. Can the discovery of one of India's largest goldmine actually changes the fortune of the place is to be seen?