Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde’s disclosure that gold blocks have been detected in Vidarbha region is expected to attract many private sector players to the state’s mining sector. The expectation is heightened since, within hours, news began flashing that gold blocks could be existing in Konkan region’s Sindhudurg district as well. Thus, two extreme geographical locations in the state will open new avenues of development, it is felt. While addressing an investor conference in Mumbai, Shinde said that out of a dozen coal fields in Maharashtra available to the private sector through auctions, two can have deposits of gold and platinum group minerals. Shinde welcomed the news of the possible findings as a good omen for his government. He said he had appealed to the Centre for further studies and cooperation in developing the blocks. Chandrapur, a tribal district sharing borders with Telangana, is perhaps the lucky beneficiary since its Minzari and Bamni areas are likely to be the home to potential gold mines. Moreover, the belt is endowed with rich reserves of copper, according to preliminary reports of the Union Ministry of Mining. The existence of precious metals in Sindhudurg district, sharing borders with Goa, has been discussed for decades. However, a positive signal from the Centre is still awaited.