The Kolar Gold Fields
is located 27 Kms away from Kolar. The K.G.F. City is entirely a creation of the Gold mining industry. The Champion mine is the deepest mine in the world. The BEML, recently established at this place by the Union Government as a large scale industry for the manufacture of Earth moving Equipments and Crawler tractors.
Gold was first mined in the area in the 2nd and 3rd century AD by the digging of small pits. During the Chola period in the 9th and 10th century AD the scale of the operation grew, but large-scale mining only came in the 1850s under the British with more manpower and sophisticated machinery. In 1873, M.F. Lavelle, a resident in Bangalore, applied to the Mysore Government for the exclusive privilege of mining in the Kolar district. His request was granted and he commenced operations by sinking a shaft near Urigam (Oorgaum) in 1875, but, finding that large capital would be required he, in the following year and with the approval of the government, transferred all his rights and concessions to the late Major General G. de la Poer Beresford. Major General Beresford formed a syndicate known as the Kolar Concessionaries (now merged into the Gold Fields of Mysore Co.) which took up the matter in earnest, and gradually acquired the area known as the Kolar Gold Fields.
The Kolar Gold Fields ... these are to the south of the Bowringpet Taluq, to the east of a low ridge of hills of which the Betarayan Hill, 3199 feet above sea level is the most conspicuous point. They are connected by the Gold Fields Railway with the Bangalore-Madras line at Bowringpet, and a road runs through them from Bowringpet to Kamasandra, where there is also a railway station. Bharat Gold Mines Limited (BGML) became a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) under the Department of Mines in 1972. It is primarily engaged in mining in its captive mines in Kolar Gold Field (KGF), Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh and production of gold in KGF. As a diversification, the Company also undertakes mine construction, shaft sinking, manufacture of mining machinery and other fabricated items for outside clients for which it has set up a Mine construction and Engineering Division.
The following were the principal Mines in the Gold Fields in 1905:-
The Mysore Gold Mine
Champion Reef Mine
Tank Block Mine
Gold Fields of Mysore
Nine Reefs Mine
Road Block Mine
Mysore Reefs Gold Mines Coy
Until the year 1902 all the machinery in the Mines was worked by steam power, but in August 1902 the completion of the Cauvery Power Works, brough about a complete revolution in the working of most of the Mines on the Fields, whereby 4000 H.P. of electric energy is transmitted to the Gold Fields from the Cauvery Falls Power Station received at an elaborate Transformer House centrally situated and distributed to the various mines in quantities contracted for and by the mneans of this electric power the majority of the mines work their milling and stamping machinery.
The Kolar Gold Field water Supply Scheme was completed in 1901-1902. The water was drawn from the Bettamangala and Ramasagram tanks. Rotertsonpet suburb was established around 1901, and the name was given by the then H.H. the Maharaja in commemoration of the memory of Sir Donald Robertson, KCSI, late Resident in Mysore, on 15th August 1903. In the same year Kolar Gold Fields established a Corps known as the Kolar Gold Fields Volunteers, and earlier part of the Bangalore Rifle Volunteers . The Corps had its Head Quarters at Oorgaum.
In Oorgaum, there was a Kolar Gold Field Club and Kolar Gold Fields Library in a building called Oorgaum Hall. In 1905, S.M. Pritchard (the Clubs Hon. Secy), H.H. Osborn (H. Treasurer), with R.R. Rodda. G.H. Burnell (Secy & Librarian), Committee members P. Bosworth-Smith, H.M.A. Cooke, Rev. L.G. Pollard.
Some of the schools that existed then were Kolar Gold Field School, Nundydoog Mines (1901), St. Joseph's Convent Girl's School (Order of St. Joseph of Tarbes), Champion Reef, St. Thomas School.
One of the bigger public instutions was The Kolar Gold Field Gymkhana Club, which hosted a Polo, Golf and Hockey team.DescriptionKolar Gold Fields (KGF) was one of the major gold mines in India and was considered the world's second deepest gold mine. After almost 2,000 years of gold mining, and three centuries of great importance, the mines were closed a few years ago. This resulted in massive unemployment as hundred thousands of miners worked for the gold mine. Many people moved away and Kolar has lost a lot of inhabitants. Now the government of Karnataka plans to open the first show mine of India here, to create a new income for at least some of the former miners. The idea is to attract both international tourism and inland tourism from the nearby Indian IT capital Bangalore, which is only 100km away. Schools
Kolar is located on a plateau called Deccan. This plateau is about 1,000m above sea level and thus has a rather moderated climate, a reason why it was very popular among British civilians. One settlement was once known as Chhota England, or Little England. This time ended in 1956 whene the Indian government took control.
The Kolar Gold Fields produced 800 tons over the last 100 years. 200,000 people lived in the area, and all of theme were directly or indirectly dependend on the mines. Champion Reef Mine was recognised as one of the deepest mines in the world, 3.2km below the surface. The decline came with the closure of Bharat Gold Mines in 2001. Until 2003 all mines in the area were closed and at least half of the inhabitants moved away in the first year.Bharat Gold Mines Limited (BGML) is under the Department of Mines. It is primarily engaged in mining in its captive mines in Kolar Gold Fields (KGF) [located in Karnataka] and Andhra Pradesh and production of gold in KGF - a small town in Kolar District. As a diversification measure, the Company also undertakes mine construction, shaft sinking, manufacture of mining machinery and other fabricated items for outside clients for which it has set up a Mine Construction and Engineering Division. BGML was one of those mines which was the adding to the glory of India with its largest Produlction of Gold.
I took training at Champion Reef Mine and Nyndydroog Mine of Bharat Gold Mines during 1974 - 1975.
Edgars Shaft at Kolar Gold Fields.
Mysore Mine Club at Kolar Gold Fields
Geology. The eastern Dharwar Craton of southern India includes at least three schist belts. One of them is the Kolar Shist Belt. They are 2.7Ga old, and have been alterated by mesothermal, quartz-carbonate vein gold mineralization. The host rocks are amphibolites and the ore veins are flanked by only a thin zone of biotitic alteration.
|~100||first mining activities.|
|~900||mining intensified during the Chola period.|
|1850s||large-scale mining under the British.|
|1873||exclusive privilege of mining in the Kolar district granted to M.F. Lavelle by the Mysore Government.|
|1875||first shaft near Urigam.|
|1956||Indian government takes control.|
|1965||first cosmic ray neutrino interaction recorded in an underground laboratory in KGF mines.|
|2001||Bharat Gold Mines closed.|
Kolar Shist Belt is the southernmost belt, trending north-south. It consists predominantly of tholeiitic amphibolites, in minor amounts komatiitic amphibolites (BIF), graphitic schists and felsic schists (Champion Gneiss). The gold-quartz vein mineralization is most intense in the central zone, along a tectonic contact zone between two suites of metavolcanics. The Kolar schist belt is a late Archean suture (~2.5Ga)