Sapphire mines of Paddar: Scientific exploration of world’s finest sapphire likely to begin in June – by Ravi Krishnan Khajuria (Hindustan Times – May 11, 2023)

“On May 17, 2013, a 19.88 carat cushion-shaped sapphire from Paddar, called Starof Kashmir, had smashed all records after it was sold for $3,483,017 (nearly ₹20 crore)at an auction in Geneva.”

The mining department of Jammu and Kashmir has finalised a strategy for detailed and scientific exploration of world-famous sapphire from the mines of Paddar in Kishtwar district.Hitherto, the scientific exploration of the mines had not been possible for varied reasons.

On Tuesday, mining secretary Amit Sharma chaired a high-level meeting wherein a pointed strategy was finalised for conduct of detailed exploration study of the sapphire in Paddar area.

Apart from experts of the mining department, Geology and Mining director OP Bhagat, mining additional secretary Arun Kishore Kotwal, Geological Survey of India (GSI) J&K director Ajay Kumar, Mineral Exploration and Consultancy Limited (MECL) general manager P Ravindran, J&K Minerals Limited MD Vikram K Gupta and geologists attended the meeting.

The GSI team made a powerpoint presentation before the mining secretary about the exploratory studies conducted by them in the past two to three three years in Khan area of Paddar regarding presence of sapphire and ruby like precious gems in different adits, mostly in corundum form. The team also deliberated upon the way forward.

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