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India’s national Cabinet approved a new National Mineral Exploration Policy for the country this week. With the bill spearheaded by Prime Minister Modi aimed at jumpstarting mineral work across India’s high-potential terrains for gold, copper, platinum, iron ore and beyond.
The scheme itself appears somewhat questionable. With India proposing to conduct exploration via a “reverse auction” — where successful explorers get a royalty on the deposits they discover, while failed projects are reimbursed for their expenditures.
We’ll see if that unusual arrangement draws many takers. But at the same time, another area of India’s re-emerging minerals sector is getting a lot of attention — the revamping of historic mines recently put out for bids to the private sector.
One of those projects is the Baghmara gold mine in the east-central state of Chhattisgarh. Which was won in a bid round last February by top India mining firm Vedanta — a company today run by ex-Rio Tinto head Tom Albanese.
And Vedanta said Wednesday they are preparing to go full-steam on reinventing the mine. Which will give us one of the first modern looks at the potential of India’s prolific past-producing gold fields.
Albanese told local press that Vedanta geologists see big potential here. Saying they believe a deep drilling program could unlock substantial new resources at the old mine site.
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The results of such advanced work will be a very interesting data point on India’s mineral potential. With mines like this one being some of the most important gold-production centers the world over during past decades and centuries.
That bodes well for the chances of a world-class discovery, when modern exploration methods are applied. Meaning all eyes in the gold industry should be tracking the developments on this project — and other historic mines being awarded to the private sector around India.
Watch for drill results from the Baghmara program in the fall — with work expected to kick off after the monsoon season, likely in September or October.
Here’s to drilling down
By Dave Forest
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Dave is Managing Geologist of the Pierce Points Daily E-Letter.