1Geological Survey of India, Jaipur-302 004, India
2Department of Geology, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur-302004, India
Gold was obtained through washing or panning of the river sands during initial periods of civilisation. With the advent of knowledge of metallurgical processing of ores it was recovered through mining of in-situ quartz reefs, and then from auriferous sulphide ores. The metal mining activities are evidenced in the form of large number of ‘ancient metal mines’ or ‘old workings’ and ‘placer mining sites’ almost in all the States of India. Gold artefacts have been found in Early Harappan sites. Some of the ancient gold mines are found to be more than 200 metres deep, probably the deepest of that period in the world. Geological surveys, investigations and explorations initiated during nineteenth century, are being continued mainly by the field officers of Geological Survey of India in different parts of the country to locate the gold prospects i.e. past and the future. Ground geological and archaeological findings related to gold have been brought out by several workers. The voluminous data existing on the ancient gold mining activities has been synthesized here for an overview.