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Southern States - Karnataka

Hutti Gold Mines becomes member of World Gold Council
By Our Special Correspondent

BANGALORE, JAN. 16. The Hutti Gold Mines Co. Ltd., a State Government undertaking, on Wednesday became the 40th member of the World Gold Council and the first from India. Trevor Greenwood, Secretary and Director International Services of WGC, handed over the membership certificate to K.L. Negi, Chairman and Managing Director of Hutti Gold Mines, here.

Mr. Greenwood told presspersons that the council was a non-profit organisation seeking out sources of gold and its markets, and while the gold mining majors such as South Africa, U.S., and Canada were constantly increasing gold stocks, the WGC tried to push up demand. India was now estimated to account for 20 per cent of the total global gold market, and the jewellery industry of Southern India was an important demand creator, he added.

Mr. Negi said Hutti Gold Mines (formerly Hyderabad Gold Mines Company) was founded in 1947, and contributed to more than 50 per cent of the total gold mined in India. It was a profit-making PSU now, having wiped out losses between 1995-96 and 2000. During the current fiscal year, it had earned a net profit of Rs. 19 crore up to December 31, 2001. Production of gold had increased from 1057.48 kg. during 1991-92 to 1,847 kg. between April 1, 2001 and December 31.

During the current fiscal, Hutti estimated to produce 2,500 kg. of gold with a turnover of around Rs. 112 crore. During 2002-03, the anticipated production would be 3,500 kg. with a turnover of Rs. 150 crore, Mr. Negi said. The company was planning to instal new machinery with 2,000 tonnes per day milling capacity, and that would help increase production of gold.

The proved and probable reserves of ore at Hutti are 31.02 million tonnes, and the total gold reserves are estimated at 150.41 tonnes. There are two satellite mines at Uti and Hirabuddini nearby, with anticipated reserves expected to last at least 50 years. Hutti Gold Mines is using its own revenue to implement its VRS which will reduce the workforce by 719 employees, and they will be paid a total of Rs. 21 crore.

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