JAMMU: State Governor NN Vohra has asked Industries Department to take early steps for the exploitation of the world famous Kashmir Sapphire at Padder valley in Kishtwar district.
According to an official spokesperson, Vohra told this to Financial Commissioner of Industries and Commerce Department, Khurshid Ahmad Ganai, who has called on Governor NN Vohra here at Raj Bhavan on Monday.
Sapphire from Padder Valley in Kishtwar district is famous the world over for its unique peacock-blue colour.
Jammu and Kashmir Minerals Limited (JKML) holds a mine lease over an area of 6.65 square kilometre on GT Sheet 52/C at Padder, at a height of 4,327 meters.
Extraction of these sapphires from mines in Padder began in 1885 and they achieved legendary status in the jewellery world. The gems mined during this period are valued highly and usually fetch enormous prices around the world.
Experts say, the prized Kashmir sapphire, can fetch state much needed revenue (a 19.9 carat Kashmir sapphire was last year auctioned for about Rs 20 crore in London.)
The price of these pure sapphires easily crosses USD 100,000 a carat, making them the most expensive in their category.
The governor, according the spokesperson, also stressed on efforts being made to secure balanced growth of the state through sustainable utilization of all available natural resources in the state.
Ganai, according the spokesperson, briefed the governor about issues relating to industrial promotion, the obtaining entrepreneurial environment and the status of cottage and village industries, handicrafts and handloom sector in the state.
This was his first meeting with the governor after joining his present assignment.