Huge $16 billion gold deposit discovered in China

Chinese authorities from the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region confirmed Friday the discovery of a 50 tonnes gold deposit that also holds 187 million tonnes of iron and 1.5 million tonnes of zinc.

According to China's state-run Xinhua news agency the deposit is believed to have a potential economic value of 100 billion Yuan ($16.3 billion), and it is the result of six years of exploration at the Dunde Iron Mine in Hejing county.

Feng Jinxing, the geological team leader, told the news outlet the exploration is ongoing, adding that a mining plant will be constructed in the area, providing over 2,000 jobs.

Although it is the third mine discovered in the valley, today’s discovery is the second largest deposit found in the region's Tianshan Mountains, after May’s finding.

The area falls within the Narat-Hongliu River metallogenic belt, which suggests more precious metals will be discovered.

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In 2007, China overtook South Africa as the world’s largest gold producer and last year it broke production records with an output increase of almost 12% from a year earlier, or 403.05 tonnes, according to data from the China Gold Association.

The Asian nation is also on track to displace India at the top of the gold consumption table.