Top 12 Multi-Million Ounce Gold Deposits (Part 1)
(Winter-time sample drilling at the Pebble Deposit in Alaska.)
Over the years a number of you have asked me whether there are any new large-scale gold deposits out there. To answer that for you, I've created a list of the top dozen multi-million ounce gold deposits in the world today.
Some of these gold deposits are being worked, some are undergoing exploratory evaluation, and some are claimed up and being held in "reserve" for the time being. Troy ounce estimates for the deposits are based on extensive sampling of ore bodies or placer ground values:
1) Pebble Deposit (United States)
The Pebble Deposit is in southwest Alaska and contains an estimated 104,000,000 troy ounces of gold, as well as additional metals in the form of copper and molybdenum. The Pebble is primarily an open-pit operation requiring heavy machinery and large-scale operations. However, opportunities abound in this part of Alaska for experienced small-scale miners willing to narrow their horizons, work hard, and contend with the harshness of the elements. (Have no fear...the "greenies" are trying their best to throw a big environmental monkey wrench into the works at the Pebble.)
2) KSM Deposit (Canada)
Located in beautiful British Columbia (B.C.), this Canadian gold ground contains somewhere in the vicinity of 60,000,000 troy ounces of gold. As far as I can determine, only exploratory work has been done at the KSM thus far. (You Canuck miners out there can set me straight if I'm wrong about that.)
3) Snowfield/BruceJack Deposit (Canada)
Also in B.C., the Snowfield/BruceJack Deposit (or contiguous deposits) consists of high-grade stringers (veinlets) of gold in quartz as well as numerous low-grade ores, including those containing gold, cooper, and molybdenum. Total gold values are estimated to be close to 58,000,000 troy ounces. The Snowfield/BruceJack is considered very rich ground. (You U.S. miners might want to take note...overall, Canada is vastly more pro-mining than our own country.)
4) Obuasi Deposit (Ghana)
This African deposit has been producing for at least two years now. The Obuasi is said to contain just under 50,000,000 troy ounces and consists primarily of gold-bearing sulfide veins with additional gold recovered in residual placers that eroded out of primary vein material. (Unless you have armed security personnel like the big corporations, robbery, scams, violence, and claim jumping are rife in the Ghana goldfields so small-scale miners beware.)
5) Oyu Tolgoi Deposit (Mongolia)
The Oyu Tolgoi is considered by some as the largest gold/copper deposit in the world today. After much preliminary work, mining and processing at this rich open-pit deposit has just started (Spring 2013). Experts say the Oyu Tolgoi Deposit will probably produce around 46,000,000 troy ounces of precious metal. (Many small-scale Chinese gold miners are illegally working placer grounds on the periphery of the Oyu Tolgoi...this has been an ongoing thorn in the side of Chinese officials as well as big-time mining concerns.)
6) Donlin Creek (United States)
Alaska is still rich in gold and the Donlin Creek Deposit is a good example. This is primarily a lode gold mine with highly refractory ores that are sulfide in origin. In other words, these are not free-milling gold ores but ore bodies formed with the gold in a chemical state, which makes them harder to process. That said, Donlin Creek is expected to produce nearly 39,000,000 troy ounces of gold down the road. (As I've said before, Alaska still holds great gold potential.)
(Open-pit operations at Oyu Tolgoi.)
Hitting the "Big One"
I know most of you are thinking that these sorts of rich gold deposits are far beyond your means to locate, sample, or work. That's very true for the most part. However, file a claim on similar deposit even on a much smaller scale and you could be on easy street after selling the rights to the big boys.
That's what an old timer did back in the early 1980s when he located and filed on one of the richest Carlin-type gold deposits in the State of Nevada. He knew he would never be able to work a huge, micron-particle gold deposit like this so he sold his claims to a major mining concern and ended up smiling all the way to the bank...you see, this old timer was no Shorty Harris. Unlike poor Shorty, he knew what to do when he hit the 'big one."
There's more to come, so stay tuned.
If you liked this post, you may want to read: "The Perennial Question: 'Where Can I Find Gold?'"
(c) Jim Rocha (J.R.) 2013
Questions? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org