Kashmir Sapphire Mines Being Explored Again

by Insha Shirazi

SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir mining department has announced plans to extensively and scientifically explore the world-famous sapphire found in the Paddar Valley of the Kishtwar district. According to officials, the sapphire from the valley is renowned around the world for its unique peacock blue tint.

On May 17, 2013, a 19.88 carat cushion-shaped Paddar sapphire known as the Star of Kashmir broke all auction records when it sold for $3,483,017 (almost 20 crore). Located at an altitude of 4,742 metres above sea level, a 116-km stretch in the valley is estimated to have a reserve of sapphire worth Rs 2,700 crore.

To begin the project, Amit Sharma, the mining secretary of Jammu and Kashmir, held a meeting on Tuesday to discuss strategies and tactics for sapphire exploration in the Padder region of the state. “The MCEL is going to explore the world-famous sapphire from the padder and the government is spending a good amount of money 50-60 crore on this project,” Sharma said. “The extraction of the sapphire, which will benefit the entire nation, is a huge and important event for Kashmir.”

In order to ensure the smooth completion of this project before the end of the working season, the government plans to establish various steering committees at the policy-level and the execution level. “MECL will share detailed timelines, and the government will review their adherence on a weekly basis,” Sharma revealed.

The Geological Survey of India (GSI) had previously prepared a PowerPoint presentation on the famous sapphire and ruby-like precious gems in several audits before two or three years ago in the khan area of the Padder. The crew is deliberately looking for a method to explore the famed sapphire.

Extraction of sapphires from Paddar began in 1885 and they received legendary status in the jewellery business. OP Bhagat, director of geology and mining, Arun Kishore Kotwal, director of the geological survey of India’s J&K branch, Ajay Kumar, general manager of mineral exploration and consultancy limited (MECL), P Ravindran, and J&K Minerals Limited MD, Vikram K Gupta, were present at the meeting in addition to mining experts.

Kashmir Gems

The mining department’s higher-ups have also advised deputy commissioner Devansh Yadav to fully support the working group headed by the geology and mining director for the upcoming exploration of the mines using National Minerals Exploration Trust (NMET) funding in a manner that is based on science.

According to reports, the project is expected to be completed before the end of the working season, and the extracted sapphire will benefit the entire nation. The officials have high hopes for the project, which is expected to create a significant positive impact on the country’s economy.

This project is expected to not only benefit the mining industry but also create job opportunities for the locals. The officials have revealed that the government is spending a good amount of money on this project, which is a huge and important event for Kashmir.

The officials have high hopes for the project, which is expected to be completed before the end of the working season.

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