Patna: The Bihar government has decided to accord permission for exploration of the "country's largest" gold reserve in Jamui district, a senior official said on Saturday.
As per a Geological Survey of India (GSI) survey, around 222.88 million tonnes of gold reserve, including 37.6 tonnes of mineral-rich ore, are present in Jamui district.
"The state Mines and Geology Department is in consultation with agencies engaged in exploration, including GSI and the National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC), for exploration of gold reserves in Jamui.
"The consultation process started after analysing the GSI findings which indicated the presence of gold in areas such as Karmatia, Jhajha and Sono in Jamui district," Additional Chief Secretary cum Mines Commissioner Harjot Kaur Bamhrah told PTI.
She said the state government is likely to sign an MoU with a central agency or agencies for G3 (preliminary) stage exploration within a month's time.
In certain areas, G2 (general) exploration can also be carried out, Bamhrah said.
Union Minister of Mines Pralhad Joshi had last year informed the Lok Sabha that Bihar holds the highest share of India's gold reserves.
In a written reply, he had said that Bihar has 222.885 million tonnes of gold metal, which amounts to 44 per cent of the total gold reserves in the country.
"As per the National Mineral Inventory, the total resources of primary gold ore in the country as on 1.4.2015 are estimated at 501.83 million tonnes with 654.74 tonnes of gold metal and out of this, Bihar is endowed with 222.885 million tonnes (44 per cent) of ore containing 37.6 tonnes of metal," Joshi had said.