Mining analysts MinEx Consulting released an interesting study on global exploration last week. Showing that China is by far the world’s largest spender on mineral exploration — but that discoveries here have lagged other jurisdictions, despite all the dollars being thrown around.
(Click to enlarge)
MinEx Consulting found that China has spent the most money on mineral exploration (yellow bars) but has seen one of the lowest global discovery rates (orange).
But just days after the study’s release, China’s miners had a response — the reported discovery of a gold deposit that may be the largest in Chinese history.
Local news reported that China’s number-two gold miner Shandong Gold Group made the find in eastern China’s Shandong province. Consisting of a mineralized structure running 2 kilometers in length, and 67 meters in width.
All told, Shandong Gold estimates the current gold resource here at over 382 tonnes — equal to 12.3 million ounces. With the company saying the deposit could grow to 550 tonnes, or 17.7 million ounces. A mark officials said would be China’s largest gold find ever.
The grade is reportedly high, at 4.52 grams per tonne. Although the company didn’t specify whether the deposit is likely to be produced by open-pit or underground methods. Related: Trump Can’t Save Coal
Some caution is warranted on the exact resource numbers, as no details of the drill intercepts and other data are available. But it appears this will be a significant find — one which refutes the doubts about China’s exploration industry raised by last week’s MinEx study, and shows why China has vaulted to top spot for global gold production over the past decade.
In fact, Shandong Gold made a point that this discovery was the result of “deep mineralization theory and deep exploration technology”. Suggesting that Chinese explorers may be adapting global technology and best practices to improve their targeting.
If so, there’s a lot more to be found across China’s proven and fertile gold fields. Watch for more details on this deposit, and other exploration results emerging from Chinese projects.
Here’s to drilling deep.
By Dave Forest
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