Jammu, India: The Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) State Government, India, is considering to undertake a satellite survey as part of a multi-pronged study to determine the sapphire deposits. Toward this end, the Indian Remote Sensing Centre at Hyderabad was contacted to lend its expertise last year, according to state-run J&K Minerals Limited. They said that the survey is expected to take place by the end of year 2011.
Kashmir sapphires are world famous for their unique peacock blue colour. And, the State Government is keen to make it available in the global gemstone market. The government has also invited a global tender for extraction of the gemstones from Paddar Valley in Kishtwar district. “The step has been initiated to ensure competitive bidding at a large scale with utmost transparency,” said, Surjeet Singh Salthia, State Minister for Industries and Commerce.
The minister hoped that Paddar sapphires would now make a comeback in the market. J&K Minerals Limited had invited an Expression of Interest (EOI) from interested parties with expertise in exploration, mine planning and mining of gemstones for undertaking exploration and exploitation of sapphires in Paddar through a joint venture (JV), the minister added. The company holds the mining lease for a 6.65 square kilometre area on GT Sheet 52/C at Paddar, situated at a height of 4,327 metres between a latitude of 33° 20′ 10″ and 33° 30′ 10″ and a longitude of 76° 15′ 00″ to 76° 25′ 15″.
Source: Greater Kashmir