Grasberg gold mine in the Papua province of Indonesia is currently the world's largest gold mine in terms of contained gold. The estimated gold reserves at Grasberg as of December 2012 stood at 70.968 million ounces (Moz). The Grasberg mining operation consists of the Grasberg open pit and two underground mines, namely DOZ and Big Gossan.
The mine is operated by Freeport Indonesia (PTFI), a subsidiary of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX). PTFI owns 90.64% of the Grasberg mining operation, while the rest (9.36%) is owned by the Government of Indonesia. Rio Tinto has also a sharing agreement with FCX in the Grasberg mining operation.
The Graseberg mine was discovered in 1988. The open pit operation started in 1990 and is expected to continue up to 2016. The mine produced 862,000oz of gold in 2012, milling 165,000t of ore a day. Ongoing expansions at the mine are expected to ramp up the production to 240,000t per day by 2022.
South Deep gold mine located 45km south-west of Johannesburg in the Witwatersrand Basin, South Africa, is the second largest gold mine in the world.
The managed mineral reserve at South Deep as of December 2012 stood at 39.1Moz. South Deep is also the seventh deepest mine in the world with a mine depth up to 2,995m below the surface.
South Deep was known by the name Western Areas Gold Mine until 2000. Mining operations at the site started in 1961. Goldfields became the owner and operator of the South Deep gold mine in 2006. The underground gold mine is operated through two shaft systems, known as the South Shaft complex and the Twin Shaft complex.
South Deep produced 270,000oz of gold in 2012. The mine is undergoing a major development project to increase its annual production to about 700,000oz by 2016. The mine life of South deep is expected to be extended up to 2092.
Lihir gold mine, located 900km north-east of Port Moresby in the New Ireland Province of New Ireland Province of Papua New Guinea (PNG), currently ranks as the third largest gold mine in the world. The in-situ gold reserve at the mine as of December 2012 was estimated at 32.7Moz (480Mt grading 2.1g/t gold).
The gold mine has been in production since 1997. It is owned and operated by Lihir Gold Limited (LGL), which was merged with Newcrest Mining in August 2010. Newcrest Mining currently owns and operates the Lihir gold mine.
The ore extracted from Lihir is mostly treated through pressure oxidation and conventional leach processes. The mine produced 649,340oz of gold in the financial year ending June 2013.
Newcrest commissioned a major expansion of the Lihir processing plant in the beginning of 2013. The annual gold production of Lihir is expected to reach 1.2Moz in future.
Olimpiada gold mine, located in the Krasnoyarsk region of Eastern Siberia, Russia, currently ranks as the world's fourth largest gold mine. Its proven and probable reserve is estimated at 30.01Moz (283.17Mt grading 3.30g/t gold) as of December 2012.
The gold mine is owned and operated by Polyus Gold. The mine employs a conventional open-pit method with the use of shovel and truck. The extracted ore is processed at two nearby plants with a combined annual capacity of eight million tonnes.
First production at Olimpiada gold mine occurred in 1996. The mine produced 653,000oz of gold in 2012. The recently completed exploration activities at the mine site confirmed the significant extension of Olimpiada's mine life.
Pueblo Viejo mine located around 100km north-west of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic is currently the fifth largest gold mine in the world. Pueblo Viejo's contained gold reserve as of December 2012 stood at 25Moz (302.9Mt grading 0.083oz/t gold), including approximately 3.888Moz of proven and 21Moz of probable gold reserves.
The mine is owned and operated by Pueblo Viejo Dominicana Corporation (PVDC), which is a joint venture between Barrick Gold (60%) and Goldcorp (40%).
The open pit mine exploits gold resources from two major oxide deposits, namely Monte Negro and Moore, as well as from three other small deposits.
Pueblo Viejo was brought into commercial production in January 2013. It produced more than 360,000oz of gold during the first half of 2013. The full year production from Pueblo Viejo in 2013 is anticipated to be more than 800,000oz. The life of the gold mine is estimated to be more than 25 years.
The Newmont-operated Boddington gold mine located near Boddington, Western Australia, ranks as the world's sixth largest gold mine. The mine contained a gold reserve of 18.6Moz as of December 2012, including 2.93Moz of proven and 15.67Moz of probable reserves.
The open-pit gold mine first commenced operations in 1987 by extracting the shallow oxide ores up to 70m deep below surface. It was brought under care and maintenance in 2001.
Commercial production from the Boddington gold mine was restarted in 2009, with an expected mine life of up to 20 years.
The mine produced 724,000oz of gold in 2012. A project is being implemented to extend the mine life up to 2041 by exploiting additional gold resources identified in the low-grade hard rock ores below the previously mined pits.
Pascua-Lama gold mine, which is yet to commence production, currently ranks as the seventh largest gold mine in the world. The mine, which is located in the Frontera district on the border of Chile and Argentina, contains 17.9Moz of gold.
The Pascua-Lama open pit mining project is being developed by Barrick Gold. The project was temporarily suspended in April 2013 due to an objection from a Chilean court on environmental grounds.
Barrick Gold has submitted a compliance plan to build a water management system by the end of 2014, after which the construction works on the Chilean side will be initiated.
The production from Pascua-Lama is expected to start only after 2014. The mine is expected to produce up to 850,000oz of gold per annum in the first full five years of operation. The expected mine life of Pascua-Lama is 25 years. Barrick Gold had invested.4bn on the project as of June 2013.
Carlin Trend gold mine operated by Newmont in Nevada, US, ranks as the eighth largest in terms of contained gold reserve. The combined proven and probable gold reserves at Carlin as of December 2012 were estimated to be 17.83Moz, which is a close tie with Pascua-Lama's reserves. The open-pit reserve at Carling stood at 11.6Moz and the underground reserve was estimated to be 6.23Moz.
Newmont started open-pit mining at Carlin in 1965. Underground mining was started in 1994. The open pit mines include Carlin main pit, Gold Quarry, Genesis, Post, Bootstrap, Beast, Lantern and Sold. The operation also includes four underground mines, namely Carlin East, Deep Post, Chukar and Leeville.
Newmont milled 18.443Moz of Carlin open pit ore in 2012. Underground milled ore during the year stood at 1.589Mt. The annual throughput of Carlin Mill 5 and Mill 6 were 5.122Mt and 3,060Mt respectively.
Cortez gold mine located 100km south-west of Elko, in Lander County, Nevada, US, is currently the ninth largest gold mine in the world. The mine contains a gold reserve of 15.1Moz (306.19Mt grading 0.049oz/t gold), including 2.089Moz of proven and 12.969Moz of probable gold reserves.
Cortez gold mine is owned and operated by Barrick Gold. Gold production from Cortez started in 1969. The mine employs both open-pit and underground mining methods. Gold from Cortez open pit, Pipeline and South Pipeline deposits are extracted through conventional open-pit methods.
The Cortez Hills underground mine is operated by twin declines. Underhand cut and fill mining method is used to exploit the breccia ore zone. Cortez produced 760,000oz of gold during the first half of 2013.
Mponeng gold mine located near the town of Carletonville, South Africa, ranks as the tenth largest gold mine in the world. The contained gold reserve of Mponeng was estimated to be 13.81Moz (42.52Mt grading 10.10g/t gold), as of December 2012.
Mponeng is owned and operated by AngloGold Ashanti. The underground gold mine is also currently the deepest mine in the world with a depth of more than four kilometres below the surface.
The Mponeng gold mine produced 405,000oz of gold in 2012. The mine uses a sequential grid mining method. The gold plant complex and the shafts at Mponeng were commissioned in 1986.
Muruntau gold mine in Uzbekistan, elsewhere reported as the one of the biggest gold mines, has not been included in the list as its remaining reserves are not disclosed.
Following the break-up of the world's largest potash mining cartel, prices of the fertiliser are on a downward trajectory.
The approach taken towards understanding explosions in the mining industry may best be described as 'trial and error', but a new team of scientists is setting out to change this.
Dolaucothi Gold Mines - Wikipedia Running horse clipart pictures