“The Altai Mountains could be sitting on a vast gold mine – quite literally. Geologists have discovered a large deposit of the precious metal to the north of the range, with estimates it could be worth as much as $850 million,” The Siberian Times reports.
It is thought there could be up to 22.2 tonnes in the valley of the Anuy River in Ust-Kansk. The announcement was made by Gorny-Altai Expedition, a subsidiary of Rosgeologiya.
The Altai Mountains are a mountain range in Central Asia, where Russia, China, Mongolia and Kazakhstan come together, and are where the rivers Irtysh and Ob have their headwaters.
The name “Altai” means in Mongolian “Gold Mountain”; “alt (gold) and “tai” (suffix – “with”; the mountain with gold) and also in its Chinese name, derived from the Mongolian (Chinese: 金山; literally: “Gold Mountain”). Also the Golden Mountains of Altai is the name given to the area on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The mountains are rich in precious metals. Copper, silver and lead have been found since the 18th century. However, the latest gold deposit discovery is very unique and triggered geologists to start their research work.
The Siberian Times noted that “geologists have now completed their field and laboratory work and compiled a final report. The deposit was recommended for inclusion in the list of subsoil plots, but it is not clear yet which company will be engaged in gold mining there.“
Coincidentally last week, on Thursday, May 28th, Bloomberg reported that “China National Gold Group Corporation signed framework agreement with Polyus Gold International Ltd. to cooperate on development of gold and nonferrous metal resources. Under the agreement, the two parties will carry out in-depth cooperation in such fields as development of mineral resources, technology exchanges, as well as materials supply.” Polyus Gold is Russia’s main gold producer.
The agreement between Polyus Gold and the China National Gold Group Corporation (CNG) will also see the two working together at Natalka on Kolyma, Russia’s largest gold deposits in the the Far Eastern oblast of Magadan’s Kolyma district.
The agreement was signed during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s latest visit to Moscow. The mine is expected to be able to produce about 15 tonnes of gold a year by the end of 2016 or in early 2017.