The Gold mine at Hatti in North Karnataka is the only operational gold mine of the Country. The old pits in Hutti in Raichur district shows that gold extraction prevailed here since pre Ashokan era. A British firm called John Taylor and Company owned the mine from 1889 to 1902. Thereafter the Nizam of Hyderabad owned it till 1918. After Independence the Karnataka Government began mining here under the name Hutti Gold Mines Company.

The gold mines of Bharat Gold Mines Limited (BGML) in the Kolar Gold Fields of Karnataka and in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh have been closed due to uneconomic operations. Hence Hatti Gold Mine has the distinction of being the only producer of primary Gold in the country today. Gold extraction is a cumbersome business involving complex procedures. First thing is you need to send miners and machines more than 2000 feet below the ground, blast the gold yielding quartz rock, crush them and lift them up. Thereafter a lengthy arduous process begins to separate the ore from the elusive gold dust. The dust is then poured in the graphite crucible for smelting.

Two workers hold the red hot crucible with the help of forceps with long handles and pour them into castings. Only then gold bars or the final product takes shape. To run the entire show of gold production, security, transport and sale, the Company employs 3900 people at different levels. This shows why the yellow metal is so precious. Dr.V.Chandrasekhar, Managing Director of Hutti Gold Mines says told AIR that the Company has introduced modern technology of extraction and is investing in exploration of new gold mines. Bulk mining and mechanised mining have now been introduced. Running of Hopper loaders has helped change over to trackless mining. Rock breakers and loco loaders are speeding up extraction and transportation work now.

Dr.Chandrasekhar disclosed that the company is planning to sink bigger shaft for larger movement of men and material to the inner depths. He told that as part of Phase II mining, coarse ore bin, crusher chamber, fine ore bin, conveyor belt and measuring flask will be installed at greater depths. He also added that potential new mining sites at Hira-Buddini, Uti, Wondalli, Ajjanahalli and Guddada Rangavana Halli have been located in the neighbouring districts and exploration is on. Scouting for new deposits of gold in Shimoga and Davangere districts too is on and will be explored soon.

Dr.Chandrasekhar said that the company can last for the next 50 years only if they augment the ore extracting capacity and the prices of gold do not fall in the bullion market. During 2009-10, the Company was awarded, “Annual Chief Minister’s Ratna Award for its best performance. Hutti Gold Mines Company has joined the bandwagon of the leading gold producing companies in the world by becoming the 40th member of the World Gold Council. This is the first Indian company to become a member of the Council. Subscribe to SCHOLARS CLUB
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