Sunday 14 August 2016

Significant new gold deposits discovered on the Jiaodong Peninsula in Shandong Province, China.

The Jiaodong Peninsula of Shandong Province in northeast China is the most significant gold-producing area in China, with known gold reserves exceeding 3000 tonnes. These deposits have been exploited since at least the third millenium BC, and are thought to have been formed by the action of hydrothermal vent systems along the edge of a subducting tectonic slab during the Early Cretaceous. The presence os several large gold ore bodies in the region has led to many attmepts to find new ore bodies, though the discovery of significant new deposits in an area with such a long history of prospecting and mining is rare.

In a paper published in the journal Acta Geologica Sinica in February 2016, Hao Ziguo and Feng Hongcai of the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences and the Editorial Office of Acta Geologica Sinica at the Geological Society of China, Hao Qingqing of the Editorial Office of Geology and Exploration at the Institute of Mineral Resources Research of the China Metallurgical Bureau, and Liu Lan, also of the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences and the Editorial Office of Acta Geologica Sinica at the Geological Society of China, describe the discovery of two significant new gold deposits on the Jiaodong Peninsula.

The first new deposit described is located offshore, about 26 km to the north of the city of Laizhou, and is thought to comprise about 470 000 kg of gold, with the ore having an average gold content of 4.3 grams per ton. These deposits are also thought to contain 663 000 kg of associated silver and 23 700 tons of lead, as well as 2 380 000 tons of available sulphur. The gold of this source is estimated to be worth about 120 billion yuan (about UD$18 billion).

Offshore construction scene of gold deposits in the northern sea area of Shanshandao. Hao et al. (2016).

The second deposit described is located at Shaling to the west of the peninsula. This ore body is thought to contain about 389 tons of gold, as well as about 264 000 kg of silver and 47 000 tons of sulphur. The ore of this deposit is of rather lower quality that the offshore field, but is also rather more accessable. The gold in this deposit is estimated to be worth about 100 billion yuan (about US$15 billion).

Construction scene of the Shaling gold deposit. Hao et al. (2016).

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