Draft mineral policy hints at placer gold deposits in Goa

August 9th, 2009 - 5:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Aug 9 (IANS) Known for attracting millions of tourists to its sun-kissed “golden” beaches, Goa now might as well brace for a frenzied gold rush.
For, according to a draft mineral policy tabled in the recently concluded monsoon session of the state legislative assembly, Goa possibly has a significant deposit of gold deposits.

“Residual placer deposits such as those of gold should be actively investigated,” reads the draft mineral policy document, which was tabled in the house for scrutiny last week.

Placer deposits are packed accumulations of valuable minerals formed by deposition of dense minerals trapped together under the earth over thousands of years.

The draft, which has been projected by the state government as the future guiding policy vis-a-vis mineral extraction in Goa, also advocates commissioning of studies to scout for minerals off Goa’s coast.

“Ilmenite and possibly monazite placers on the continental shelf should also be subjected to detailed scrutiny. Similarly, studies could also be carried out for offshore minerals along the coast of Goa especially for petroleum and manganese nodules,” states the report compiled by the state ministry of mines.

While Goa is well known for its manganese and low grade iron ore reserves, the draft mineral policy argues that Goa’s geological landscape looked promising when it came to mining for quartz, basalt, granite, chromite and soapstone.

The draft mineral policy also advocates integration of environmental management in the process of mining and development of mining resources.

“The mining industry in Goa has contributed immensely to the economic development of the state, but in its wake has also caused certain environmental degradation which needs to be addressed,” the policy states in its preamble.

“It is vital to formulate a policy for the excavation of mineral resources of the state keeping in mind not only sustainable development - environmental protection - but also scientific mining leading to reduction of mining wastes, mineral conservation and infrastructural development,” it adds.

Goa’s current mining output largely comprises 33 million tonnes of low grade iron ore, which is exported primarily to China and Japan, apart from smaller quantities of bauxite and manganese.

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