Nepal is one among the many gold producing countries, though its overall production is low. Nepal is a land locked country in the Himalayan belt and is surrounded by India on its three sides and faces Tibet and China on it Northern side.
Nepal is a country where 83% of its territory is extremely mountainous, which is vastly underdeveloped despite the fact that it has huge resources of minerals. Nepal has to use its natural resources for its economic development.
As almost the whole country is mountainous, it is very much suitable for exploitation of metallic, non-metallic and minerals.
Knowing fully of the potential available in the form of natural resources, Nepal has taken initiatives to further explore the possibilities of mining metals and minerals. After finding out the potential areas for mining activities, Nepal has been inviting potential companies/investors (both national and international) to invest in mining activities.
Locals commonly pan gold from the the river gravel/sediments from major rivers of Nepal such as Mahakali, Jamari Gad, CHamliya, Karnali, Rapti, Bheri, Phagum Khola, Lungri Khola, Myagdi Khola, Madi, Kaligandaki, Marshyangdi, Budigandaki, Sunkoshi and Bangabagar.
Primary gold occurrences are found from Bamangaon, Jamarigad, Gorang Bangabagara and areas of Lungri Khola which are to be fully evaluated when more detailed exploration of the precious metal takes place.
For now, much of the gold mined in the country is found by artisanal miners using primitive methods to extract fine placer gold from the rivers and streams.
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Nepal’s geology is complex due to geodynamic process in the Himalayan region resulting in thrusting, folding, faulting, metamorphic effects and magmatic activities. Of the five morpho-geotectonic zones from south to north, Lesser Himalaya area comprising the Mahabharata range and its midlands is blessed with metallic minerals; mainly Iron, copper, zinc, gold etc.
Also some of the areas in higher Himalayas are highly promising for semi-precious stones as well as gold. As the topography of these regions is mountain terrains with complex geology, good infrastructure and investment are required to further the exploration in the areas.
Potential for Commercial Gold Mining
The entire mineral resources of the country are owned by State and its Department of mines and Geology has been responsible for conducting systematic geological mapping and exploration activities during last five decades. Metallic minerals including gold are identified in different parts of the country but are yet to be mined commercially.
There are no commercial mines for production of gold in Nepal, although seasonal alluvial gold by people on the rivers mentioned earlier are going on for a very long time. Though Department of mining and geology has issued many prospecting licenses for gold exploration by commercial ventures, production is yet to commence.
Exploration efforts up to this point indicate that Nepal is certainly a potential country for major mining of gold and other metallic minerals in the future. The traditional alluvial gold mining in major rivers and the recent discovery of primary gold in Darchula, Baitadi and Rolpa are encouraging news for foreign investors.
Gold plays a vital role in the economy of most countries of the world. Gold mines have contributed to the overall economic growth and sustainable development in those countries as gold mining offers variety of opportunities to the local public.