GOLD and other precious metals, along with minerals, promise a new dawn in a land that starvation has stalked.
This treasure trove has been found in areas in the vicinity of the Vindhyan range in Uttar Pradesh.
Besides gold, geologists and scientists have stumbled upon deposits of platinum, diamond, limestone, China clay and quartz in Bundelkhand and Sonebhadra regions.
The process was set in motion in September 2005 when the Directorate of Geology and Mining was asked to look for minerals in the potential zones.
Exploration by 11 field parties yielded rich dividends.
The teams struck platinum and gold in the sleepy villages of Ikauna and Gerar, located at a distance of eight kilometres, in Lalitpur district. Ironically, the villages were in the news recently due to drought and starvation.
The survey results are encouraging, confirms secretary, Minerals and Mines, Rajnish Dubey. The platinum deposit in Ikauna is one of the best in the country.
The Indian Bureau of Mines has given its quality stamp.
Gold deposits have been found on the land surface in Gerar village. Geologists believe a large quantity lies underground as well.
Geologists have found diamond reserves in pits in the Baghain river basin area. The area is adjacent to the diamond- rich zones of the Panna and the Satna districts of Madhya Pradesh.
China clay deposits have been found in Ramgarh and Bagisoti areas in Sonebhadra. Initial investigation indicates the region may have a potential reserve of 17 million tonnes of China clay. The find will give a major boost to the pottery industry.
Large deposits of quartz in Jhansi and Mahoba districts will give a fillip to the iron and steel industry, officials say, adding that the demand for quartz is increasing over the years in ferro-silicon, silicon-manganese, silicon-chrome and silicon-refractories.
“We have found a huge reserve of limestone in Gurma and Pataudh villages in Sonebhadra district,” an officer says. “Acknowledging our find, several cement factories have already expressed their desire to set up units in the region,” he adds. Dubey says petroleum has been found in some areas of the Shahjahanpur district after drilling by ONGC, Oil India Limited and Cairns Energy.