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Gold Mining in Kolyma
January 22, 2019 21:42


Magadan Region leads in gold and silver mining in Russia. About 24.5 tons of gold is mined in Kolyma annually. Large-scale investment projects are being implemented in the region, new fields are being developed, such as Natalka and Pavlik, one of the largest in the world in terms of reserves. The balance reserves of gold at the Natalka deposit are 1,450 tons, silver - 331 tons, off-balance reserves of gold - 309 tons. At the Pavlik deposit, the established reserves of gold and silver are more than 154 tons and 39.8 tons, respectively; forecasted reserves - more than 200 tons.

On the lands of the Magadan region and the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Yano-Kolyma gold ore province is located. It includes 15 large deposits of precious metals with a total resource potential of 4.7 thousand tons of gold, and according to some estimates up to 7.2 thousand tons. The discovery of a unique gold-bearing area belongs to Dmitry Pavlovich Aseev, who headed Tenkinsky reconnaissance area in the early 40s of the 20th century. He discovered two gold-bearing brooks, later named after his children. Already on January 1, 1942, the reserves of open deposits were estimated at 50 tons of gold.

The main method of gold mining in Kolyma is open. Modern work on the extraction of valuable metal is maximally automated: it is washed in with special dredges, as well as with the help of mobile factories. Large stones are separated with a special net, then the remaining soil with gold contained in it is sent through pipes to the factory, where it is then additionally filtered: the smallest stones and waste rock are removed.

The second method of extraction, dredge, is a huge floating "barge", which is located in a dug pool with water. The work tool of dredge is an escalator with bowls, drawing rock from the bottom of the reservoir. The material, raised to the factory,  follows several hoses and conveyors. Along the way, it passes through the lines of drums and screens, and their task is to weed out everything that is unnecessary. One person manages the entire process using the remote. The dredge itself does not produce gold, but only gold concentrate. Ore gets into a special compartment where employees of the dredge have no access. Once a day, special people come, distribute the concentrate to “safes”, seal them and take them away for further extraction of the precious metal.

Every year, in the middle of summer, “prospectors” from all over the Magadan region, as well as from other regions of Russia, gather in the Gertner Bay in Magadan to take part in the “Prospectors’ Luck” gold washing championship held as part of the All-Russian Gold Festival. Participants compete in the skill of washing gold in the traditional way. The “prospectors” in the course of the competition are washing the gold-bearing soil with a large amount of water, and large pieces of rock must be crushed. Excess material is washed out, and gold particles, which are heavier than the soil, remain at the bottom of the wash tank. Grains of precious metal can be quite small, but this is a great success, because the cost of gold is very high.


Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Magadan region travel to Russia Russian history Sakha Republic  

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