Newly discovered mine expected to be China's largest-ever gold reserve

By Zhao Ruixue in Jinan | China Daily | Updated: 2017-03-30 07:34

China has detected a gold mine with estimated reserves of 550 metric tons in the eastern province of Shandong, a major gold producer has announced.

A total of 382.58 tons of gold reserves have been located at the Xiling gold mine in the Laizhou-Zhaoyuan region, according to Shandong Gold Group, one of the top-three gold producers in the country.

The volume of gold could reach more than 550 tons once exploration is completed in two years, with a potential value of more than 150 billion yuan ($21.8 billion), which would make Xiling the largest-ever gold reserve mine in China, according to the group.

The Laizhou-Zhaoyuan region is one of the largest gold production areas in China, with gold reserves and output in the region ranking first in the country.

Newly discovered mine expected to be China's largest-ever gold reserve

Chen Yumin, chairman of the group, said that the gold deposit at Xiling mine extends more than 2,000 meters and part of it has a thickness of 67 meters. The 382.58 tons of gold reserves have been detected to have an average gold grade of 4.52 grams per ton.

"The gold mine could potentially be exploited to process 10,000 tons of ore every day for about 40 years," Chen said.

Shandong Gold Group has spent 16 years exploring the mine with a total investment of 320 million yuan, according to the company.

The group aims to produce 55 tons of gold a year by 2020, according to the company's development plan.

To achieve the goal, the company has to go overseas to explore other gold mines, Chen said.

Last year, the company conducted research in places such as Africa, North America and East Asia.

Statistics from the China Gold Association show that China produced 453.49 tons of gold in 2016, remaining the world's largest gold producer for the 10th consecutive year.

China was also the biggest buyer of gold in the world for the fourth consecutive year, with gold consumption reaching 975.38 tons last year, down 6.74 percent compared with 2015.

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