2014-Sustainable Industrial Processing Summit
SIPS 2014 Volume 1: Mining

Editors:Kongoli F
Publisher:Flogen Star OUTREACH
Publication Year:2014
Pages:424 pages
ISSN:2291-1227 (Metals and Materials Processing in a Clean Environment Series)
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    The Kolar Gold Mines, India: present status and prospects for phytomining

    Rachna Chandra1; V Sathya2; B. Anjan Kumar Prusty3; P. A. Azeez4; S. Mahimairaja2;
    1TAMIL NADU AGRICULTURAL UNIVERSITY, Coimbatore, India; 2TNAU, Coimbatore, India; 3GUJARAT INSTITUTE OF DESERT ECOLOGY (GUIDE), Bhuj, India; 4SACON, Coimbatore, India;
    Type of Paper: Regular
    Id Paper: 171
    Topic: 1


    Mineral exploration and processing is a major industrial sector in India and contributor to its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The present study briefs the history of Kolar Gold Mines (KGM), options for further mineral exploration and opportunities in implementing new scientific tools for sustainable mining and environmental management. With a recorded history of 200 years of mining activities, KGM at Kolar Gold Fields (KGF), were once considered world's second deepest gold mine. The KGM have so far produced 800 tonne of gold per 51 million tonne of gold bearing rock. During 1972, Bharat Gold Mines Limited (BGML) took over KGM. The KGM yielded 47g of gold per tonne of ore during 1881-1890. However, during 1990s the returns were 03g/t due to the depletion of the high grade ore reserve and increase in production costs, which lead to its closure few years later. Mine wastes in the form of rock fragments and mill tailings have been stacked in huge piles and heaps, occupying about 15 to 20% of the lease area. In 1994, BGML floated 02 global tenders a) exploration and exploitation of gold in leasehold area, and b) extraction of gold from mine tailings. Notwithstanding earlier attempts of joint explorations, there have been recent initiatives for the revival of these mines. BGML has 33 million tonnes of tailings with 0.72g/t gold spread all over the mining township of KGF. We have recently initiated a study exploring the potential of gold phytomining from tailings at KGF. Chelate assisted phytoextraction, effect of co-metal ions on phytoextraction and metal accumulation with respect to soil particle size are being explored for optimizing gold extraction. The study also attempts at issues such as leachate studies with respect to gold and chelates. Thus, the present study aims at sustainable mineral exploration and integrating environmental management.


    gold phytomining, KGF, mineral exploration, phytoextraction, sustainable mining

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    Cite this article as:

    Chandra R, Sathya V, Anjan Kumar Prusty B, Azeez P, Mahimairaja S. The Kolar Gold Mines, India: present status and prospects for phytomining. In: Kongoli F, editors. Sustainable Industrial Processing Summit SIPS 2014 Volume 1: Mining. Volume 1. Montreal(Canada): FLOGEN Star Outreach. 2014. p. 273-282.