Staff Correspondent

Raichur: The Raichur District Freedom Fighters’ Association has urged the State Government not to allow private mining around the Hutti gold mines area in Raichur and let the Hutti Gold Mines Company Limited (HGML) improve its gold production by exploring new deposits around Hutti village. Adopting a resolution to that effect at a meeting of the association here on Sunday, Kashi Rao Patel, vice-president of the association, said the HGML, a State utility, had been the only company involved in gold extraction for more then 50 years, and it had been running in profit. Apart from producing gold, the company had created employment opportunity for people in the surrounding villages and helped improve basic facilities in the taluk.

Exploration

Mr. Patel said that during a recent exploration, the area in and around the Hutti village in Lingsugur taluk was found to be a rich deposit of gold ore. HGML had the capacity to go ahead with gold mining at the new sites found in its surroundings.

But there were reports that the Government had a proposal to entrust mining at the new sites to private companies. Leasing mining activity to private parties might affect State’s interest and harm functioning of the HGML, he said.

He said that a few years ago, mining was leased out to a multinational company. However, it was withdrawn after people including the association and several other organisations in the district staged a dharna opposing the decision.

The association would stage a dharna if the Government allowed any private company to take up mining here, he warned.

Mr. Patel said the association had decided to take a delegation to the Chief Minister next month to submit a memorandum in connection with their demand.

The association members met in-charge Deputy Commissioner N.V. Prasad and submitted a memorandum to him regarding the same demand.

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