The Geological Survey of India on Saturday denied news reports that around 3,000 tonnes of gold deposits had been discovered in Sonbhadra district of Uttar Pradesh. The earlier claim had been made by district mining officer KK Rai.

“Such data was not given by anybody from GSI,” Director General M Sridhar told PTI hours after Rai’s claim. “GSI has not estimated such kind of vast resource of gold deposits in Sonbhadra district.”

Sridhar said the organisation shares its findings about any resources with state units after conducting its surveys. The northern wing of the GSI had carried out the work in the region between 1998 and 2000 and had shared its report with the local authorities for further action, he said. In that report, the GSI estimated around 160 kg of gold in the district, he said.

If the gold deposits were around 3,000 tonnes indeed, they would be almost five times India’s current reserve and the country would end up having the highest gold reserve after the United States. Rai had claimed that the deposits, worth Rs 12 lakh crore, were found in the district’s Son Pahadi and Hardi areas.