Beijing: Geologists have discovered a massive gold mine in China’s restive Xinjiang province, according to state news agency Xinhua. The new find, close to the border with Kyrgyzstan, has proven gold reserves of 127 tonnes, Xinhua said. If the estimates are correct, the reserves could be worth around 40 billion yuan ($6.5bn).
The Xinjiang Geology and Mineral Exploration Bureau spent two decades exploring the area, where geological workers found more than 20 belts of gold ore in the 20-square-km Sawayaerdun deposit.
It the biggest gold mine discovered in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region to date. “It’s expected the total reserves will exceed 200 tons,” said Cui Hongbin, head of the exploration team.
The discovery will not only increase China’s gold output, which totaled 211.07 tons in the first half of this year, but will also benefit local revenue and employment, said Cui.
The discovery has attracted the attention of several major mine developers in China who have expressed interest in co-development.