How Gold Was Extracted In Ancient India

  • 02 May 2019

Have you ever wondered about the gold that you wear? Gold in India has always been coveted by everyone for centuries and even the Romans would trade with India for it.

The Hutti gold mine was first commissioned in 1902 and is one of the oldest mines in the world.

However, the mining activity in the region is been going on for almost 2000 years. That is because the Hutti region in the district of Raichur in Karnataka is one of the commercially active areas for gold in South India.

The ancient miners used to work deep in the mines, reaching depth between 35 to 190 metres.

According to archaeological findings, the fire setting technique was used back then to break down rocks in the mine, alternating between heating up the rocks and cooling them down.

They would then grind the stones and crush the ore to extract the gold. A mixture of crushed ore and water would be passed through goat's hide to separate the heavier gold particle from the lighter ones.

It was in the 1880s that the Nizam of Hyderabad Company took over the mining business in that region. Between 1902 and 1918, 3.8 million tonnes of ore were mined and 7.41 tonnes of gold were extracted.
However, the mine was forced to shut down in 1920 because of the overly extracted gold.

In 2,011, a new company took over and were able to process 5.66 million tonnes of ore and about 2,181 kg of gold. With advance technology, the miners are able to reach a depth of 2,600 feet, extracting about 1,500 tonnes of ore a day and 8 kg of gold per day.

Photo source: Business Insider

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