I remember reading this ca. 1974. It was a YA novel in English that I got from my school library. They had a mass-market paperback copy. Unfortunately my memory is extremely sketchy, since it was a long time ago, and I was a little kid.
I remember two main things in the book that excited my imagination:
There are lizard-like intelligent bipeds.
There are machines sort of like underground submarines, or Mole Man's vehicle in the Marvel universe. They burrow deep underground, I think all the way down into the Earth's mantle. I think a lot of the plot involves people chasing each other underground in these vehicles, or racing against time.