On February 20, 2020, major news outlets across the country reported on the discovery of 3350 tonnes of gold deposit, in mines in Uttar Pradesh's Sonbhadra district. According to the news reports, this is 5 times the amount of India's gold reserve, which is currently at 618 tonnes.
But just a day later, the news turned sour as the Geological Survey of India clarified in a press release the estimated amount of gold that could be extracted from the mines stood at 160 kg and not 3350 tonnes.
The News Reports
According to news reports, the mines were discovered near the Son Pahadi and Hardi areas of Sonbhadra district in Uttar Pradesh.
The rumour around the 3500 tonne figure started when KK Rai, District Mining Officer of the UP Directorate of Geology and Mining, reportedly told ANI, "The government is thinking of putting these deposits on lease for mining, for which survey is being done. Gold deposits are found at two places - Sonpahadi and Hardi field. GSI estimated gold deposits of 2700 tonnes in Sonpahadi while 650 tonnes in Hardi filed."
And then you had headlines like: "Gold Rush", "Yogi Adityanath Strikes Gold".
Gold deposits found in Sonbhadra district by Geological Survey of India and Uttar Pradesh Directorate of Geology & Mining. K K Rai, District Mining Officer says, "Government is thinking of putting these deposits on lease for mining, for which survey is being done". (20.02.20) pic.twitter.com/mgC7QW4Ufo— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) February 21, 2020
As soon as the news reports came out, social media was abuzz with discussions on this surprising and shocking discovery that could see a drastic increase in India's gold reserves. Some like BJP's IT cell chief Amit Malviya linked it to the building of the Ram temple and the beginning of Ram Rajya.
Goldmines with over 3,000 tonnes of gold ore found in UP's Sonbhadra. Gold deposits at the two mines estimated to be five times that of India's current reserves...— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) February 22, 2020
अयोध्या में भगवान राम का मंदिर बनने का मार्ग क्या प्रशस्त हुआ मानो रामराज्य ही आ गया... https://t.co/J9r5jwcYNZ
An old man, probably in his 80s was once sitting next to me in a metro train and he told me that construction of Ram Temple is essential to correct the "vaastu dosh" of India as a nation. Arrogantly laughed it off then but I'm ashamed of my behavior now. https://t.co/WjoSB2kuqk— slick (@slickenteur) February 21, 2020
Sonbhadra is the 2nd largest district in UP and badly hit by Naxalite terrorism. It took us so many years to discover the hidden gold reserves here. But what a discovery! If we mine it properly, India will be second to only US in world reserve of gold 😍https://t.co/6Nykq0ZTdD— Monica (@TrulyMonica) February 21, 2020
Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri also tweeted a Times of India article and considered the discovery of 3000 tonne gold reserve in UP as a 'catalyst for growth of the district.'
India will now have the world's 2nd largest gold reserves. The massive Gold discovery in Sonebhadra will further catalyze growth of this beautiful aspirational district, bring positive change in the lives of the people & usher an era of transformation.— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) February 22, 2020
While social media was still raging with discussions on the discovery, GSI came up with a press statement on the matter, that turned the mood downright sour for all the gold-enthusiasts.
"GSI has not estimated such kind of vast resource of gold deposit in Sonbhadra district, UP," it read. The press release went on to explain how they arrived at the estimate of 160 kgs based on the 52,806 tonnes of gold ore found in Sonbhadra district during the exploration work in the year 1998-2000.
As per GSI study,the probable conservative figure of gold which can be unearthed is estimated to be around 160 kgs and not 3350 tonnes as mentioned in media reports.— Geological Survey of India (@GeologyIndia) February 22, 2020
For more details, read the GSI press release below!#GSI #UncoveringIndia #Sonbhadra #UttarPradesh #Gold pic.twitter.com/KvY5ffZsGh
It said, "The mineralized zone having an average grade of 3.03 grams per tonne of gold is tentative in nature and the total gold which can be extracted from the total resource of 52806.25 tonnes of ore is approximately 160 kg and not 3350 tonnes as mentioned in the media."
Therefore, approximately 160 kg of gold deposit is estimated to be held in these mines, as per GSI, as opposed to the elephantine figure of 3350 tonnes.
Updated On: 2020-02-25T15:07:02+05:30
Claim Review : 3350 tonnes of gold deposit found in mines in Uttar Pradeshs Sonbhadra district.
Claimed By : KK Rai, District Mining Officer
Fact Check : False