Modern Gold Rush in China's South Gobi

(100-troy ounce bars from Mongolian gold placer operations.)

Good Gold Ground in the Gobi

Not a day passes these days that those of us in the rest of the world don't read, hear, or see articles or programs about Communist China's emerging economy and wealth. China is rich, not only in terms of manpower, but also in many natural resources, including gold and platinum.

Where to Find Placer Gold

For the past 10-12 years now a modern, state-sponsored gold and platinum rush has been taking place in Mongolia, especially in the southern Gobi desert region where rich placers containing both precious metals have been discovered or are already being worked. The great majority of state-approved placer mining operations in Mongolia are fairly large scale and well organized, but many small-scale Chinese placer miners (both male and female) are also working good gold ground in the Gobi.

 (Chinese prospectors in the Gobi checking black sand streaks with visible gold and platinum in them.)

The latter are considered "illegal" by the Chinese government but little has been done to this point in time to stop these self-proclaimed "Ninja" miners from doing their thing. Armed only with the simplest placer mining tools the Ninjas are taking their share of the Gobi's gold and platinum which they, in turn, sell under the table to buyers who are not state-approved. Go figure...

We Could Learn a Thing or Two

As an aside here, I have no love for the Chinese Communists or their totalitarian regime. One reason (and there are countless others) is that their support of North Vietnam during the Vietnam War ensured that a good number of my comrades were killed or wounded by Chinese supplied weapons and ammunition (sorry about that, but some wounds never heal...).

Still, I hold no animosity toward the Chinese people themselves and I admire these Ninja placer miners who are currently thumbing their noses at the Communist bureaucrats in Beijing. Good for them! Maybe small-scale gold miners here in the U.S. could learn a thing or two from them about bucking the anti-mining BS here.

Gold, Platinum, and Dinosaur Bones

One of the richest placer areas in the south Gobi is the Altan Uul region. Here, ancient paleo-placers from the Cretaceous Period have eroded out from old hillsides into shallow-depth dry placers where some paystreaks are actually visible to the naked eye! Aside from gold and platinum, Altan Uul's Cretaceous gravels also contain dinosaur bones and teeth (some of which can be sold for decent money as well).

(Water is scarce in the Gobi but monsoonal flash floods do occur.)

In much of the Gobi water is a scarce commodity which can prove problematic for processing gold and platinum-bearing gravels. In most instances where commercial mining is being conducted, wells are drilled to tap into scarce groundwater sources. Many of the Ninja miners, however, are relegated to washing pay gravels near scarce water supplies or after monsoon rains and floods.

I don't know about you, but I'd be pleased as punch to be working a claim where I could pull gold, platinum, and dinosaur bones in one fell swoop!

Good luck out there.

(My thanks to miners "Rattlesnake" Jim and Stan M. for providing me with the source of this info.)

If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Gold Exactly Where it Shouldn't Be"

(c)  Jim Rocha (J.R.)  2012

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