Setting of the giant Muruntau Gold Deposit: Implications for ore genesis

Andy R. Wilde, and D. Gilbert

The Muruntau gold deposit is situated in the Kyzyl Kum Desert of Uzbekistan. It is currently being mined in the world's largest open pit gold mine with production believed to be of the order of two million ounces per annum. The open pit measures about 3.5 by 2.5 km and extends to a depth of 350m. The gold ore resource in the Muruntau deposit, including production, is about 170 million ounces of gold (Anonymous, 1996).

This paper presents a summary of the deposit geology and its regional geological setting. Information used in this paper has been generated from observations made on two visits to the mine and its environs, and a review of the Russian- and English-language literature.