MECL Starts exploring the Kolar Gold Fields in Karnataka after 16 years

The Bharat Gold Mines Limited (BGML) in the Kolar Gold Field (KGF) again hopeful  for its revival in last 16 years after the Union Minister for Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi directed the Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited (MECL) to start exploring the gold fields.


  • The Kolar Gold mine fields are located some 100 km from Bengaluru. These mines were closed on February 28, 2001 after the gold prices fell down
  • The Geological Survey of India (GSI) have declared the pyroclastic and pillow lava at Kolar Gold Fields as a National Geological Monument in order to protect, maintain and encourage the geo-tourism.
  • The mining operations on the fields were stopped by the Union Government on February 28, 2001 because of environmental and economic reasons. Also, the productions were not justifying the investments.

Key Facts

  • One among India’s first, the power generation units in Shivanasamudra, Mandya districts were built to support the mining operations in 1889.
  • Kannada films “K.G.F: Chapter 1” and  “K.G.F: Chapter 2” were also set on the fields.
  • The Kolar Gold mines were nationalised in 1956.

Gold Reserves and productions in India

  • As per the World Gold Council, India has 10th largest gold reserves in the world with capacity of 600 tonnes.
  • Karantaka is the largest producer of gold in India.
  • Kolar gold mines in Karnataka is one among the deepest mines of the world.
  • Second largest producer of gold is Andhra Pradesh.
  • Ramagiri, Anantpur of Andhra Pradesh is an important gold field.

Gold Reserves in World

  • US has the highest gold reserves in the world having capacity of 8,133 tonnes.
  • Germany have second highest reserved with capacity of 3,366 tonnes.
  • International Monetary Fund is holding 2,451 tonnes of gold.
  • Deepest gold mine of the world is- Mponeng Gold Mines of South Africa.

Largest Producer

  • China is top gold producing nation that accounts for 11% of global mine production. It produces some 420 million tonnes of gold annually.
  • Australia with the production capacity of  330 million tonnes (MT) stands at second position. Russia took lead over Australia recently.
  • Russia is the third largest producer having capacity of 310 million tonnes. 83 percent of European gold comes from Russia.
  • Other countries in top list include:
    1. United States – 200.2 MT
    2. Canada – 180  MT
    3. Indonesia- 160 MT
    4. Peru – 130 MT
    5. Ghana – 130 MT
    6. Mexico- 110 MT
    7. Uzbekistan- 100 MT
    8. Kazakhstan- 100Mt
    9. South Africa – 90 MT

Gold Imports and Exports

Currently, India is the largest importer of gold in the world while, China is the world largest exporter of gold.