Expression of Interest for Exploration & Exploitation of
Sapphire Mines in Jammu & Kashmir (India) through Joint Venture (JV)




Geology | Properties of Sapphire | Mining Activity | Generation of Hydroelectricity | Satellite Imagery | Drainage & Vegetation | Relief & Elevation | Submission of Expression of Interest |





J&K Minerals Limited invites Expression of Interest (EOI) from parties, having sound expertise in exploration, mine planning and mining of Gem Stones, for undertaking exploration and exploitation of world famous Gem Stone, Sapphire in Paddar area of District Doda in J&K, through joint venture (JV).

J&K Minerals Limited (a J&K Govt. Undertaking) is holding mine lease over an area of 6.65 Sq. Kms on G.T. Sheet 52/C at Paddar situated at a height of 4327mtrs and lie between latitude 33 20' 10" to 33 30' 10"and longitude 76 15' 00" to 76 25' 15".

Based on the Information to be received as above, a shortlist of parties will be prepared who will be issued the Request for Proposal (RFP) to submit their Technical and Financial

Proposals for the proposed Joint Venture. Copies of the Report on Geological and other relevant data and the Feasibility study conducted by JKML will be made available along with the RFP to the short listed parties for submission of their proposals.

The EOI, be addressed to Managing Director, J&K Minerals Limited, Old Secretariat, Jammu - 180001 (J&K) in double sealed cover/(s) within 45 days from publication of this notice.

Managing Director
J&K Minerals Limited
Zum Zum Complex, Ram Bagh,
Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir
J&K - 190015  India.
Phone: +91-194-2442009, 2442023, 2442024
For further details logon or
No: 27(2)/05/114
Dated: 09.08.2005

Note - The parties who have applied earlier in response to this office notification issues under No: BC:27(2)/04/01-17 Dated: 20.04.2004 need not apply afresh.


Expression of Interest for Exploration & Exploitation of
Sapphire Mines through Joint Venture (JV) 


Background: Jammu and Kashmir is famous for its Sapphire Mines which are situated in the highly rugged terrain of great Himalayan Range. The accessibility to the area is through fair weather road as well as bridle path. From Kishtwar to Atholi a distance of 60 Kms is covered by a fair weather road and from Atholi to Sumcham a distance of 40 Kms is through the bridle path only. J&K Minerals Ltd. (a J&K Govt. Undertaking) is holding lease for exploration / exploitation of Sapphire Gem Stone in the area. The Company is presently involved in exploitation of minerals like Lime Stone, Gypsum, Coal and is running a Cement Plant as well as two Precast Concrete Factories. It has played pioneering role in establishing Mineral based industry in the State of J&K (India).

In absence of evaluation of deposits in the area, and due to limited infrastructure at the mine coupled with financial constraints very little mining has been done by the Corporation by manual means through underground working. The mine has the possibility of Open Cast working after utilization of heavy mechanized machinery. With a view to ensure commercial exploitation, on scientific lines by following provisions of relevant statutes, the exploration of the area on scientific lines for estimation of reserves is essential.

With a view to develop these mines on commercial lines JKML has decided to invite "Expression of Interest" from reputed and experienced parties for short-listing of potential partners. The exploration and exploitation of Sapphire mine is proposed to be taken up through JV.

Geology: The mines which are situated in highly rugged terrain of Himalayan Range remains almost snow bound. Perpetual snow covered glistering vitreous mountains, rising as high as more than 5500 Mts. deep gorge's and precipitous defiles, cirques and amphitheaters, U-shaped glacial valley and hanging valleys all combine in the central Himalayan topography. The glacial carved out valleys represent a steep like longitudinal profile. Alluvial fans are seen throughout the paddar area. The weathering conditions smooth their way to gentler slopes and torrential stream gets away along it; a flat ground comes into existence. These flat grounds have been inhabited by the people from the villages like Garh and Masu. Besides, these river terraces are by no means uncommon in the paddar area. The town of Atholi and village of Kijai are situated on such terraces. There is the considerable moisture in the area because of the enormous heights. This area remains considerably under the clouds when monsoon attacks the plains. Average temperature during the working season of July to September remains around 5°C to 10°C during the day and almost minus 1-2°C during night. However, in the mine, the temperature is always minus 2-10°C.

The whole paddar area has undergone Regional metamorphism as one moves from Kishtwar to the Sapphire mine area. The original Argillaceous rocks subjected to Metamorphism changed the chlorite under Epidote - Amphibolite Facies as under:

Mg3Si2O5 (OH)4 + KAlSi3O5 = KMgAISi3O10 (OH)2 + 2Si2O + H2O
(Antigorite) (Orthoclase) (Biotite) (Quartz) (Water)

Properties of Sapphire: Sapphire is a Greek word meaning blue. Kashmir Sapphire is known as king of sapphires. The brilliance exhibited by it is of a rare quality and fetches the highest possible price per carat. Its deep blue colour with cornflower tinge is its specific colour characteristic. The velvety touch called as mercurial colour resembles to the neck of a peacock; which provides the only discernible characteristics of the stone from rest of the world. Inclusion of rutile needles result in silky sheen. Sapphire exists in the Rhombohedral form, the prominent face read 2243 /\ 2423 = 51° 58' between two prismatic faces. Crystal faces show striation and etch-mark. The majority of the crystals ranging from 0.8 inches to 1.5 inches in length are very much transparent, but, the crystals, which are beyond two inch in length, are mostly opaque and translucent. The hardness of the sapphire is nine as per the Moh's scale of hardness. The sapphire crystals are usually embedded in the fine matrix of kaolin transversing the pegmatite vein. The Kashmir Sapphire under microscope shows that they are uniaxial in nature. They depict negative characters. A variety having satellite opalescence when viewed in the direction of vertical axis of the crystal is the asteriated Sapphire. Sapphire is strongly diachronic. Streak is white, Sp. Gr. 3.93 to 4, fracture uneven, Ref. Index 1.765, Double Ref. Index 0.08, Disperssion 0.018, Pleochroism is blue. Absorption spectrum Blues from 4710, with Flourscance.

Mining Activity: J&K Minerals Limited has done mining activity in the area on a very small scale and the year wise details of Sapphire Corundum collected are as under:

Year Production of Corundum Grams
1963-64 50,000
1964-65 2,00,000
1965-66 2,24,000
1966-67 1,85,000
1967-68 1,83,672
1968-69 1,44,580
1969-70 1,40,415
1970-71 2,14,500
1971-72 --
1972-73 --
1973-74 84,845
1974-75 --
1975-76 --
1976-77 --
1998-99 2,696
1999-2000 1,807
2000-2001 3,460
2001-2002 1,340
2002-2003 1,297.5
2003-2004 3,294
2004-2005 3,215.50

The Gemstones are generally retrieved from screening of debris. This screened debris is subjected to splash of water which reflects upon wet gemstones getting picked up and are brought before Gemmologist for identification purpose. After visual identification by magnifiers, the corundum is segregated from sapphire. This segregated quality of sapphire is subjected to removal of Kaoline and other matrix. Concentrated Hydrochloric acid or Nitric acid is applied, as the case may be, in small proportions i.e. 100 gms. to 500 gms. And crystals are dipped in acid wash. After stirring for an hour the matrix gets dissolved and gemstone are retrieved. This is followed by passing the said stone through various sieves so that the size of the gemstone is established. Around 4 to 5 categories are made for evaluation and each and every piece in the sorted packet is properly weighed in carats for auction purpose.

Since we utilize 1 Kg to 2 Kg in a season of Hydrochloric Acid, as such, the waste of the said acid is properly disposed in a small pit, which is mostly covered on completion of job. Around 100CubicM of water is required for processing of debris which is stored in a pond near the mines and this water suffices for the entire period of operation of the expedition. There is thus no problem involved in disposing of waste water and extent of recycling.

Generation of Hydroelectricity: In view of numerous water falls in the area, it is possible to generate electricity from 5KW to 500 KW. In this connection an Alternator and Voltage Stabilizers is to be installed of required specification on Vertical Shaft Type. The Water from the fall is trapped and routed through the chute which falls on the flat blades.

Iron turbine with ball bearing and steel lining into wooden flume is installed for smooth passage of water which generates hydroelectric power on mini scale sufficient for the project requirements.

Satellite Imagery: J&K Minerals Ltd. with the active help from National Remote Sensing Agency, Hyderabad got drawn one satellite Imagery of Padder Sapphire Mines in 2001 on IRS IC/ID Satellite, Sensor LISS III, path 94 ROW 47, TS 52 Co7 Geocoded data on Segment of 28 Kms, Compatible to Q01 Toposheet on latitude from 33° 20' and longitude of 76° 15'to 33° 20' and longitude of 76° 15' to 76° 25'. This plan shows in detail the geotechtonics of the area, the movement of thrust fault zones, folding pattern etc. This imagery is the basis for undertaking tonnel interference in the area for locating probable Sapphire resources. This imagery provides the total picture of water regime in the area with glaciers of the sorts seen. River Chenab which takes its existence from here is also clearly seen piercing through the area No: 1 denotes Sapphire Mine area and rest are other locations with clear demarcation of linear and edges (Interanature Valley).

The pattern of mineralization structure and tectonics can be inferred from the study of this imagery. The imagery has provided ample information of the area with reference to its height to various mountain reaches in the area. This imagery has also highlighted the ridge of Zanaskar Range forming part of the pattern of Greater Himalayas. The high resolution multispectral satellite data forms an ideal base for mapping factual structural details and for preparing the interpreted structural map. Bedding terraces, trend lines, fracture, faults folds and intrusive bodies are clearly seen in this imagery, playing field anticline is clear.

The fundamental aim of the remote sensing mapping was in the study of segmentation of Geological & Geomorphical mapping in the depicting structure and tectonic pattern, lethological varieties and Geological Evolution higher spatial resolution of PAN & multispectral resolution of less III has given two mineral details, in the preperation of lithological structure, Geomophological & Geo Environmental. This information combined with Geophysical and other date had proved useful in tangetting areas of Mineral Exploration especially Sapphire Gemstone.

Drainage & Vegetation: The presence of snow in the mines gives rise to small drains but as and when the snow cover depletes the drains become dry. Since the area is within the snow line and above the forest cover only small herbs and shrubs are seen in the fauna and flora. The flora of the area is represented by different kinds of mild flowers with small grass that adds to the scientific beauty of the area.

Relief and Elevation: The relief of the area has been shaped by the action of ice and glaciers. Te north east limb of anticline has been eroded at many places to pseudo ridge like relief. Sometimes these ridges turn to cliffs which is exposed to near mines on the north east side. Elevation of the mine area starts from 4200mtrs. and covers more than 5600mtrs.

Submission of Expression of Interest: In order to submit the response in a structured manner you are requested to kindly fill the form and furnish us with the requisite data so as to enable us to proceed further. You are required to send the form to the Managing Director on the following address:

Managing Director
J&K Minerals Limited
Zum Zum Complex, Ram Bagh,
Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir
J&K - 190015
Tel: +91-194-2442009, 2442023, 24420241

within 45 days from the date of publication of this notice.

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