The World’s Most Fertile Gold Fields
As one of the world’s most prized earthy possessions, gold fever has struck mankind throughout history. Today’s gold mining is considered a monumental undertaking, far from the swirling pans of gold dust that dominated San Francisco’s 1849 Gold Rush. Modern engineering feats delve deep beneath the earth’s surface and feature gold pits so massive that satellites in space can record their tremendous sizes.
The world’s most fertile gold fields include the following:
- Witwatersrand Basin – Located in Johannesburg, South Africa this mine contains the richest gold reserves ever discovered. Estimates show that nearly 40-percent of the world’s gold has been mined in this area; however, by 2009, this mine’s production only accounted for 8-percent of the world’s annual production.
- Carlin Trend – Located in Nevada, this gold field was largely overlooked for years. This area is fed by hot springs, which contain microscopic deposits of gold. Mining in this area began in 1965 and today Carlin Trend is one of the world’s richest gold fields. In fact, this area accounts for nearly 80-percent of all gold mined within the U.S.
- Irian Jaya – Virtually inaccessible, this Indonesian body of gold is the single largest in the entire world and also the third largest copper deposit ever discovered. The Grasberg Mine is located at an elevation of 14,010 feet and the building of this massive structure was documented on the Discovery Channel’s “Super Structures.”
- The Super Pit – The largest open pit style mine in Australia, this mine covers an area of nearly three square miles and is clearly visible from space. This pit is set to remain in production through 2017, at which time it will be closed and allowed to fill with water.
- Yanacocha – High within the Andes Mountains at more than 13,000 feet is the leading gold mine in Latin America. Encompassing nearly 60 square miles, this mine has reported monetary returns of more than $7 billion to date.
- Gold Country – Where the elusive gold fever broke out, California’s Sierra Madre Mountains is now a historical site, dedicated to those who traveled westward to strike it rich.
- Homestake Mine – Closing in 2002, this South Dakota mine was once the deepest and largest mine in the entire Western hemisphere. Over 125 years, this mine has produced approximately 40 million ounces of precious gold.
- Lihir Island – Exotic and remote, this mine is located in Papa New Guinea. Operating close to sea level, large pumps are required to keep the mine from flooding.
- Dawson City – Remote and desolate, the Yukon Territory is located in Canada. With temperatures plummeting to negative 60 degrees Fahrenheit, estimates say that nearly 12.5 million ounces of gold was unearthed in this area.
- Hishikari Mine – With high volcanic gold concentrations, Japan’s gold mine is still locating new gold reserves.
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