New Delhi– India has the capacity to produce over 100 tonnes of gold per year to better satisfy the country’s enormous demand for the precious metal which is mostly met by imports, a foreign expert said on Wednesday.

Addressing Assocham’s 11th International Gold Summit here, the Managing Director of Galaxy Gold Mines of Australia, Nick Spencer, said that such an increase in domestic production from the current level of just over 1 tonne per annum would go some way towards satisfying India’s hunger for the yellow metal.

“India currently produces 1 to 1.5 tonnes of gold per year from just one working field in the country while it consumes 900 tonnes per annum,” Spencer said.

“The country can ramp up capacity to produce between 100-200 tonnes of gold in a year which could come out of around 20 mines.

“To scale up mining to these levels would require investment of around $1-1.5 billion and it would provide employment to between 50,000 to 1,00,000 people,” he added.

According to the World Gold Council, despite a history of gold mining, India’s current production levels are very low and it produced less than 2 tonnes in 2016. (IANS)