The giant Muruntau Gold deposit was discovered in 1958. The area was a source of turquoise since the days of the Silk Road. It was not until the nineteen fifties, however, that the Muruntau area was systematically explored, initially for uranium. A huge gold and arsenic geochemical anomaly, (see Drew et al., 1996) detected during systematic geochemical sampling and 1:200,000 scale geological mapping of the area indicated the Muruntau deposit. Auriferous quartz veins were subsequently found in surface exposures at the site of the current open pit. Mining commenced on the deposit in 1967, and production has been continuous ever since.