Adelaide, Australia 10 March 2011: Astra Mining Ltd is currently in the process of assessing the acquisition of 1 or more of 12 gold mines in Karnataka State, Southern India. The immense geological potential and the advanced infrastructural set up means there is huge potential for mining development in the area.
India is the largest buyer of gold, but smallest producer
India is currently the largest buyer of gold, but smallest producer. Gold imports stood at 739 tonnes during the year 2009-10, with production of gold in India reported as being just 12.82 tonnes in the year 2006-07. ‘Import needs are expected to grow exponentially in the near future, and Astra Mining Ltd is planning on being at the forefront of mine development in India, which will reduce the need for importing and aid in boosting the country’s economy internally,’ said Jaydeep Biswas, Chief Executive Officer of Astra Mining.
Gold production is currently confined to only three mines in Karnataka, however Astra Mining Ltd is planning to expand on this by exploring the vast areas of greenstone belts in the areas that have reported gold occurrences. These include the extension areas of belts in Kolar, Hutti and Gadag, which have significant exploration data that has been collated for the next generation of gold exploration. Astra Mining Ltd plans on using this data to take full advantage of the mining possibilities in the area.
The southern India state of Karnataka covers almost 190,000 sq. km. of land, more than half of which is occupied by the Archean Dharwar Supergroup of rocks. This Supergroup of rocks hosts an extensive collection of granite greenstone belts, each containing gold mineralization in varying forms. Approximately 75% of India’s total high grade gold reserves reside in this area, which is mainly due to the presence of the Kolar Gold Field (KGF). Having produced nearly 800 tonnes of gold over its history, the KGF accounts for the most well-known, and profitable, open-cut mines in the area.
The KGF is divided into two belts across the Balaghat North Fault system. Mining operations were taking place in the area until the 80’s, closing due to non-feasible operations at deeper mining levels, however studies have revealed there is still significant underground resource potential. Although all 4 mines in the area have high mining potential Nundydroog has the greatest, with proved and probable reserves of 27 million tonnes, having a grade of 5.3 g/t for proved and 4.4 g/t of probable reserve, with possibilities for expansion already being explored. ‘The presence of mills, housing, tailing dumps and other infrastructure also enhance the mining opportunities in the area and reduce initial output costs,’ said Silvana De Cianni, Managing Director of Astra Mining.
The Nundydroog champion load also offers mining potential by open cut method. Although the reserves of gold ore have not been proved, an estimation under measured resource category of around 3.2 million tonnes of average grade of 15g/t has been made in some exploration reports.
The hundreds of years of mining that have occurred in the KGF have led to 37 million tonnes of mill tailings which have been distributed over 13 dumps scattered over Karnataka. These tailings can be treated, and the gold removed, however due to their age some are likely to be weather damaged and contain hydro-sulphates.
Prospecting LicensesAstra Mining Ltd is intending to apply for a number of Prospecting Licenses (PL) for multiple greenstone belts, including 3 which are situated with the Dharwar Craton and 3 in Hutti-Maski. Each PL has been assessed in terms of geological milieu, style of mineralization and previous exploration data including gold incidence.
For further information on Astra Mining Ltd, please visit the website located at www.astramining.com
Astra Mining Ltd
Astra Mining Ltd is a diversified, operational mining company with iron ore, gold and coal projects in India and Australia and intellectual property for manufacture of high-strength steel.
Ms Adele De Cianni
P: 08 8239 2322