GORKHA, June 25: Preparations are being made to reopen nearly a century old out-of-use copper mine in Gorkha district. The mine is located in the jungles of Khanigaun of Palungtar Municipality-8.
“Our forefathers told us that there was a copper mine in the jungle where they used to work,” Ward Chairperson Shankar Kandel said, adding, “We will draw a plan after studying the possibility of reopening the mine.”
He further said they are planning to examine the soil and rocks in the mine.
“We expect much help from the municipality and the provincial government,” he added.
With a budget of Rs 50,000, the ward conducted a study of the mine last year.
Locals from the area are confident that a copper mine exists in the area. Padam Narayan Shrestha, a local, said that copper dishes made from the ore can still be found in the local households and many a structure of a nearby temple were built of copper from the mine.
“We were told that there was a huge tunnel there which was blocked by the debris of a landslide, also ending the mining prospect,” said a local.
The ward office has planned an examination by a geologist in the area with cooperation from the municipality. Ward Chairperson Kandel said, “We know that there is a mine but we are unsure if it has enough copper to yield profit. Our efforts would be wasted if we were to have loss.” According to him, a plan will be drawn after an estimation of the quantity of copper in the mine.