Harvesting of gold from the outermost layer of the Earth is referred to as gold mining. It includes a range of tactics and processes used to find, mine, and refine gold resources. Mining for gold has a rich history that dates back hundreds of thousands of years and is important to nations all around the world. Due to the potential for ecosystem damage, pollution, and human rights challenges involved with mining activities, it has stepped up exploration, colonization that are and economic expansion but also poses issues related to the environment and society.
The Grasberg Mine in Indonesia: The Largest Gold Mine
Dutch colonists found copper reserves in the glaciers of the Jaya Wijaya Mountain in the middle of the 1930s, which is when the Grasberg mine’s existence really began. The Grasberg mine is in the isolated Sudirman Mountain Range at a height of 14,000 feet. However, Grasberg mined 26.4 tonnes of gold in 2020.
The mine is operated by Freeport-McMoRan, a US-based mining company, through its subsidiary PT Freeport Indonesia.
The Grasberg mine has helped Indonesia’s economy tremendously by creating numerous jobs and producing billions in export earnings, but it has also had significant adverse impacts on the natural world. The mine’s waste has polluted rivers, led to significant destruction of forests, and even triggered landslides. As a result, the mining corporation is frequently criticized.
The Olimpiada Mine in Russia: Highest Reserves Expected to Remain
Located in Eastern Siberia, Olimpiada is an open-pit operation that has been producing gold since 1975. The mine is owned and operated by Polyus, Russia’s largest gold producer. Olimpiada holds over 30 million ounces of proven and probable gold reserves with an annual production of 1,200k oz. The mine yields a gold recovery rate of 81.5% and produced 1.2 million ounces of gold in 2020 alone. The mine invests heavily in local infrastructure like roads, housing, schools, and hospitals.
The Muruntau Gold Mine in Uzbekistan: Largest Open-Pit Gold Mine
In terms of production, the Uzbek gold mine Muruntau is the biggest open-pit gold mine in the world. Over 50 years have passed since it began to function. The mine is in the Qizilqum Desert of Uzbekistan. In 2020, Muruntau produces over 2 million ounces of gold contributing significantly to Uzbekistan’s economy.
The Muruntau mine is truly massive, covering an area of 170 square kilometres. The depth of the mine reaches up to 600 meters. Most of the gold from Muruntau is sold to the Central Bank of Uzbekistan.
Around 4,000 tonnes are thought to be the total mass of the remaining extractable resources as of the beginning of 2022. The giant open-pit still has a long life ahead.
The Carlin-Nevada Complex in the United States: America’s Largest Gold-Producing Region
The Carlin Trend in Nevada is one of the most productive gold mining districts in the world. Located in the northern part of the state, the Carlin Trend has been mined for over 50 years and has produced over 84 million ounces of gold so far.
After the mine, the term “Carlin-type” gold deposits was developed. It is a collection of mines along a very long strip in Nevada that is about 56 km long and 8 km wide, helping it to span an enormous distance. A full 51 tonnes of gold were produced by the original Carlin gold mine in 2020, and just 49.2 tonnes were produced in 2021. operated both underground and in open pits. Each year, the mine produces about 1,665 koz of gold.
The Super Pit Mine in Australia: Australia’s Largest Open-Cut Gold Mine
on the list of the largest gold mines in the world, Cadia East comes in the list. The mine’s moniker, “Super Pit,” seems fitting. With dimensions of 3.5 kilometres long, 1.5 kilometres broad, and 360 metres deep, it is a genuinely enormous hole in the ground. In the fiscal year 2021, Newcrest produced 2.09 million ounces of gold. Ore reserves of 18.7 M oz of gold are thought to be contained in the Super Pit’s entire gold resources. The Super Pit mine is open every day of the week, 365 days of the year.
The Super Pit will probably continue to be Australia’s largest open-cut gold mine and a significant contributor to the country’s economy for years because of gold reserves that may potentially persist through 2030.