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Wednesday, August 19, 2009


This is a picture of my dad Sydney White with his award that he received at the Safety Week celebrations in 1965 at the Gymkhana Grounds. My brother John, Mr Rajan, Viswa and Murthy are also see in the picture.


This is a picture of my dad with his award that he received at the Safety Week celebrations in 1965

The Cynaide Dumps

The gold mining process at the KGF mines has generated about 32 million tons of tailings called Cyanide Dumps. These dumps are the accumulation of the slurry waste and residue that was piped out of the mills, after the gold was extracted from the ore. The residue slowly hardened over time and formed huge hills around all the mines in KGF of soft fine dust. They were known as the Cyanide Dumps because of the cyanide content that was used in the process of gold extraction. The Mines used a special technique for gold processing that involved dissolution of gold in the ore by water soluble alkali metal cyanides such as sodium cyanide or potassium cyanide. The gold ore was first crushed and agglomerated in the mill and then dissolved in the cyanide solutions in order to recover the gold. This process was known as Gold smelting and the chemicals would give out a bad odour whenever the smelting process was done. The whole of KGF would stink on smelting day!!! Due to the continuous mining activity of over a century and the regular pumping of the slurry waste, these cyanide dumps occupy almost 20% of the total area of KGF. The dumps have hardened over the years and look like hills all around the place, some of them more than 30 metres in height. These Cyanide Dumps that have been deposited here since inception of mines have now become a tourist attraction and are used as a film location for shooting dance sequences of many regional language films. However, they are still an environmental hazard even today. Many people suffer from respiratory related diseases such as Asthma, Wheezing etc because of the fine dust from these dumps.

The Oogaum Library

This is the gate leading to the Oorgaum Library and the Oograum Hall. English Movies were screened at the Oorgaum Hall for discerning minority who loved to watch English Films. The Popular movies in those days were, Ben Hur, Is Paris burning?, Bridge on the River Qwai, The Bible and later, My Fair lady, The Sound of Music, To Sir with love, Mary Poppins, etc to name a few.

The Oorgaum Library stocked books on various genre.

King George Hall Robertsonpet KGF

This is the King George Hall in Robertsonpet KGF. It was famous for its snooker and billiards parlour in the old days

KGF Club Oograum KGF

The KGF Golf Club was established in 1885 and is the oldest club in KGF. It has the distinction of being the 4th oldest Golf Club in India. In those days, it was totally out of bounds for the Indians, and only the British and Europeans could become members. This club was and still is affiliated to Indian Golf Union, and it has the best Golf course even today and the club is affiliated to all the major clubs in India.

These are a few pictures of the KGF Club taken during my recent visit to KGF. The mounted Antlers and Horns still adorn the foyer of the club. The grand Piano in the erstwhile "Ladies Bar"now lies unused and in need of repairs. The Billiards Room however, is still in good condition.

Mr John Taylor, The Founder of the KGF Mines.

Mr John Taylor, The Founder of the KGF Mines.


This class photo was taken when I was studying in the 4th Std in KGF School. Mrs Monisse was the class teacher and Mr Dudley Pinto the Head Master. I'm seated 3rd from left. Seems a life time ago


The Mining Hospital in KGF.

A well equipped hospital to cater to the medical needs and emergencies of the miners and their families was established by the John Taylor and Sons Company as early as the 1920s. This Mining Company Hospital slowly gained the distinction of being the best hospital in the whole of the Kolar district and was staffed with eminent British and Indian doctors and British and Anglo-Indian nurses. The wards were named after retired English Officers of the Company.

This Company Hospital was later recognized by the Indian medical council as a reputed center for the treatment of Occupational Diseases, such as Tuberculosis, Silicosis, etc. Medical Treatment was free for the miners and their families. A well maintained Maternity Unit was also later established in a separate wing of the Hospital.

However, now this Company Hospital with its expensive equipment and more than 200 beds has been shut after the closure of the mines. Most of the medical equipment has been stolen. The Hospital Wards named after the erstwhile British bosses such as Gideon Ward, Henry’s Ward, Morgan Ward, etc., are completely denuded of the beds and furniture and the hospital now resembles a haunted building. Most of the equipment has been pilfered, and the building is slowly falling down in parts. No one can imagine that this hospital was once the best hospital in the whole district!!!!!