The quest for gold is as old as civilization itself. Kingdoms devoted a massive chunk of their resources to look for it. And that has not changed a bit. Mining companies are still spending billions searching for this precious metal that hides deep in the earth’s crust.
Today, we cover the biggest investment man has ever made in gold mining. You can also call them the most prosperous operations the world has ever seen.
Situated in Papua, Indonesia, Grasberg produced a whopping 2.6 million ounces of gold in 2018 alone. It was found by a geologist who was exploring the region in 1936. Still, it wasn’t until the 1970s that Freeport Mcmoran, a US company, started a large scale operation in the area. Presently, the mine employs over 30,000 people.
Found in Uzbekistan, this mine is 3km long, 2km wide, and 600 meters deep. It produced 2.4 million ounces of gold in 2018, which amounts to a total of 150 million ounces in its lifetime. The companies behind it, Navoi Mining and Metallurgical Combinant, are all state-owned, which explains the relatively big budgets, even when global gold prices are not so favourable.
Goldstrike is a mining complex in Nevada that is now part of the Barrick-Newmont Joint Venture in the US. It was discovered in 1962 by Atlas Minerals, which lead to a small open pit operation a few years later. Barrick acquired the property in December 1986 and has managed to produce over 42 million ounces in the past 33 years.
Olimpiada sits in one of the most productive gold provinces in Russia. Operations began in 1966, and it boasts of producing more than half of the country’s gold. It delivered 1.3 million ounces of gold in 2018, after processing 13 million tons of ore in its three processing plants.