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Golden opportunity for old mines

12 December 2011 Last updated at 23:38 GMT

Gold prices have jumped nearly 40% in the last year.

Even though India is the largest consumer of gold in the world, most of its demand is satisfied by imports, which were valued at $34 billion in 2010-11.

The southern state of Karnataka used to be once known for its rich gold mines. But the old mines were abandoned when production become unviable.

But now as gold prices hover at all-time highs, companies are about to reopen mines because, at current prices, even the low-grade ores are valuable.

The BBC's Shilpa Kannan gets exclusive access into one mine in the centuries old Kolar Gold Fields.

Special report: The Technology of Business