Running a successful gold mining operation is not easy. it all comes down to finding the right location and keeping overhead costs down. The following mines are widely considered to be the biggest and most successful in the world. All of them have millions of ounces waiting to be dug up over the coming years.
South Africa’s South Deep Gold Mine
The largest gold mine in the world is located in South Africa. Known as South Deep, it is home to the biggest amount of gold to be dug up..A total of 32.8 million ounces can still be extracted from the ground. This figure may differ slightly, albeit it is difficult to tell with COVID-19. A lot of mining operations were shut down completely or partially, after all.
South Deep is located in Witwatersrand Basin, Looking at some other statistics, it is also one of the “deepest” mines in the world. This further illustrates its overall potential for future profits. This location has been in operation since 1961, and still has plenty of gold waiting to be extracted. Although its production had slowed down a bit in 2018 – when the last official numbers were recorded – it should last for another handful of decades, if not longer.
Indonesia’s Grasberg Gold Mine
Another prominent location holding over 30 million ounces can be found in Indonesia. Grasberg, located in the Papua province, has been operational since 1988. The current mining operation has four underground mines, as well as a large open-pit mine. More importantly, there is still an undeveloped ore location, which may yield a fair amount of gold in the future.
Contrary to South Deep, Grasberg is still being expanded as we speak. This process is expected to be complete by 2022, although there may have been some unexpected delays due to COVID-19. Its yearly production sits well above 2.5 million ounces per year, making it one of the most profitable locations today.
Russia’s Olimpiada Gold Mine
Although few people actively talk about it, Russia is home to genuine gold mining efforts. Its most prominent location is called Olimpiada, located in Eastern Siberia. With over 26 million ounces still to be mined, it is a very prominent location that warrants further exploration. Polyus Gold, the firm owning the mine, still has high hopes for the location.
Its open-pit mining is yielding significant returns. All of the ore is processed by two different plants, allowing Olimpiada to generate significant ounces every single year. With production only starting in 1996, it will remain a valuable location for gold mining for some time to come.
Papua New Guinea’s Lihir Gold Mine
One wouldn’t necessarily expect Papua New Guinea to be home to a big gold mine. It is certainly a location where many different types of ore are present, including gold. One may come across the Lihir gold mine, which still has over 23 million ounces in reserves as of today. The location has been in operation since 1997.
Contrary to other locations, the extracted gold ore is treated with slightly different processes. The ore is treated through pressure oxidation and conventional leaching, yielding a production of just under 1 million ounces to date. The location still has much more ore waiting to be produced.