KGF: Making of Gold - extraction, smelting, cooling
Director: Janaki Nair; Cinematographer: R V Ramani
Duration: 00:13:59; Aspect Ratio: 1.366:1; Hue: 287.444; Saturation: 0.041; Lightness: 0.196; Volume: 0.105; Cuts per Minute: 19.224; Words per Minute: 20.082
Summary: J. Nair: This is quartz or sponge gold?
Worker: This is called sponge gold, nuggets, steel wool
In this video, there is hardly any conversation while the gold is extracted from the ore. This is the final stage of the entire process and the ore has already been treated at a heap leaching plant.
The video, mostly in a few long shots, lingers on the fetishized object of gold that is at the center of the bustle, as it goes through various changes. The camera mirrors the fascinated gaze of all those around but occasionally looks up to the rapt faces of others. What remains intriguing is that after a hundred years of mining or perhaps because gold is no longer so easily found in KGF, there is still so much interest and palpable excitement about the discovering, finding and polishing of gold in Kolar.
Technically, this is the final stage of extracting gold from the ore, which is called smelting. Here the treated ore is heated and melted to take the form of a brick. Janaki Nair asks them why they (KGF workers and management) did not put an imprint for their gold brick, but apparently this is done elsewhere and not at the KGF processing plant itself.
Kolar Gold Field, Kolar District, Karnataka
J. Nair: This is which state?
This is a gold nugget
J. Nair: This is quartz or sponge gold?
This is called sponge gold, nuggets, steel wool (?), (tamil: show them the steel wool?).
This is actually an ore which was available just like that in the old days, the ore was so rich, no, it appeared in the form of nuggets, it has come from underground.
(Tamil) Hold it from underneath and show them.
J. Nair: This is also like how it was?
Yes yes the native state.
J. Nair: Can you hold it in this hand? Both hands?
Gold in the form of nuggets found in the mine, the ore from which gold is then extracted
J. Nair: So this will be what grade of ore?
Probably about 100gms, 200gms per tonne.
In 1973, they found this piece in the underground...
Nugget gold, as it is we got from the underground. By nature itself...
Continuing shots of old nuggets of gold kept in the KGF safe. The locking of the safe
(Aside) 11.15 you come to smelting room, 11.30 we will ...
Get the seal ready.
You've got any still camera with you?
J. Nair: We have a still camera.
Smelting of gold to extract gold in its pure form. It is then poured and pounded into gold bricks
Roll the camera now, they are pouring it.
Gold is slightly cold and cut into the form of a gold brick or biscuit as it is also known
Right, very good, leave it.
See if you can take some more out.
Take that hook!
The gold biscuit/brick is put into water, then washed, polished and its shape made smoother. It is evident from the conversations that each person plays a specific role, though in this particular instance for the camera, many workers, maistry, guard, management and others crowd around.
... you're the maistry, let someone else do it
Brush it well. Now turn it over, brush it.
We have to weigh it now.
6 kgs and 20 gms.
J. Nair: How much? Six? I can't hold it in one hand.
No, not like that, you might drop it.
Come on, smile yaar.
J. Nair: I've never held six kgs...
You take one... take the (transparency?) Take it, let's see how much comes.
The gold then has to be weighed and its weight is approximately 6 kgs. The filmmaker Janaki Nair is then given the gold biscuit to hold. An imprint of the source of the gold is usually put on the biscuit but at the smelting stage, on molten gold.
J. Nair: Who's that?
Mr simha, he's our chief ...
0:13:08.720 (section unclear)
J. Nair: Is this an imprint, or...
J. Nair: you don't have an imprint?
No, later we'll
... to bombay, not in this position
According to their direction we are doing.
Thank you very much.