Foreign majors to come to India for gold mining: Minister

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Bangalore, Feb 9 (UNI) Multinational mining majors like De Beers, Anglo American and Indo Gold will take up gold and diamond mining in India with their joint venture partners under the 'New Mining Policy' of the Centre, Union Minister of State for Mining T Subbarami Reddy said here today.

Speaking to the mediapersons on the sidelines of the valedictory of the All India Granite and Stone Association's 'Stona-2008' exposition, he said the New Mining Policy would attract world majors in mining.

''Top foreign gold and diamond companies have evinced interest in taking up gold and diamond mining in the country. Karnataka has 70 per cent of the gold desposits, but very little is being exploited.

The state also has rich deposits of diamond. It needs to be made use of. I want India to become self sufficient in gold production in the next ten years,'' he said.

The minister claimed that the long delayed New Mining Policy would come into force within three months. ''The Policy has been finalised and it will go to the Union Cabinet shortly and then to the Parliament. After making slight modifications, we will come out with the new Policy in two to three months,'' he said.

The minister said India imports most of its 800 tonnes of gold requirement and the government has asked the Geological Survey of India (GSI) to focus on finding gold and diamond desposits in the country.

He said under the new Policy, state governments will stand to gain substantially in terms of royalty collection, mainly in iron ore mining. It envisaged uniform royalty throughout the country.

Karnataka alone will be able to collect Rs 3,000 crore of royalty per annum from the present Rs 800 crore.

Mr Reddy said the mining ministry had formed a core committee, comprising officials from Rajasthan, Orissa, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka to bring about uniform royalty rate across the country for major minerals.

UNI RS AK HT206

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