After much wait, KGF-Chapter 2 has been released in cinemas across the country. Yash starrer KGF made a sensation through chapter 1. After watching chapter 1, fans were eagerly waiting for KGF Chapter 2. The movie is all set to create new records. For unversed, the movie’s story revolves around Kolar Gold Fields (KGF). We have seen the KGF in reel life, now it is the to know about real Kolar Gold Fields.
Kolar district is located in the southeast region of Karnataka. Robertsonpet is a tehsil, 30 km away from district headquarters and about 100 km from Bangalore. The district has a huge gold mine. The Kolar Gold Field is the second deepest gold mine in the world, the first being the Mponeng Gold Mines of South Africa. Which is located southwest of Johannesburg in South Africa.
If we go by folklore, people used to dig gold by hand here. Impressed by this, a British lieutenant Warren challenged that one who will show gold from this mine will be rewarded. In the greed of getting the reward, the villagers brought a cart full of mud in front of Lieutenant Warren. When the villagers washed the soil in front of Warren, traces of gold were seen in it. At that time, Warren got about 56 kg of gold out. However, the government did not give heed to this. Many people lost their lives due to this research. Due to this excavation was banned there.
How mining was started?
Michael Fitzgerald Lavelle, a retired British soldier came to India from New Zealand. He was very excited about the Kolar Gold Fields after reading a report published in the ‘Asiatic Journal’ in 1804. Lavelle decided to stay in Bangalore. In 1871, Lavelle travelled for about 100 kilometers by bullock cart. During the journey, Lavelle identified mining sites and was successful in finding gold deposits.
Lavelle sought a license to conduct mining in Kolar in 1873 from the government of the Maharaja of Mysore, after completing two years of exploration. On 2 February 1875, Lavelle got the license to mine, but he did not have much money, so he looked for an investor and the work of mining fell into the hands of John Taylor and Sons, a large British company. Much of his time was spent raising money and preparing people to work. Eventually, the work of extracting gold from KGF started.
Domination era of KGF:
In 1902, 95% of India’s gold was extracted from the Kolar Gold Field. In 121 years, 900 tonnes of gold were extracted from mining engineering equipment. John Taylor and Sons took over the mining operation in 1880. ‘State of the Art’ Mining Engineering Equipment installed. The equipment installed by him in 1890 lasted till 1990 i.e. was operational for 100 years. In 1905 India was sixth in the world in producing gold.
The laborers used to go through the shaft made for gold mining. A wooden beam was supported on its side. But many times the workers lost their lives during mining. Mining operations in the 1880s were extremely difficult. There were shafts to go into the mines, which were supported by wooden beams. It is believed that more than 6000 people died in 120 years of operation.
Due to lack of electricity, there was a problem in gold mining. To meet the shortage of electricity, the first power plant was installed in India near Shivanasamudram falls in Mandya district of Karnataka. This power plant was the second power station in Asia and the first in India. After getting electricity, the work of Kolar Gold Field skyrocketed. Due to gold mining, KGF started getting priority instead of Bangalore and Mysore.
Nationalisation to closure:
In 1930, about 30 thousand labourers used to work in Kolar Gold Field. When the gold reserves in KGF started depleting, the workers also started leaving Kolar. The central government decided to take control in its hands in 1956. At the same time, the ownership of most of the mines was handed over to the state government. The mines that produced 95% of India’s gold were nationalized to avoid closure. By 1979, mining from here was no more profitable. Due to heavy losses, the Kolar Gold Fields were closed in 2001.
The Kolar Gold Field has been in ruins since 2001. The gold mining tunnels are filled with water. Even today, there is so much gold in the Kolar Gold Field, by extracting which the burden on the country can be reduced.
During its peak time KGF gave so much gold that India did not require to import the gold. Ever since KGF was closed, the burden of importing on India has been increasing. Despite the orders of the government and the court, no one revived KGF again. It is believed that KGF still has a lot of gold, but the cost to extract it is more than the available gold.