This year Russia plans to sell potential investors 86 prospective hardrock gold deposits with exploration potential in situ of about 91 million ounces of gold.
The list of gold deposits, occurrences and prospective targets to be proposed in 2013 for mineral exploration and mining rights acquisition through the procedure of public auctions was recently announced in a document issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation.
According to this file, Russia’s authorities are willing to auction 86 gold properties from the state reserve fund distributed amongst 22 regions of country.
The most remarkable region in terms of gold potential proposed for investors is in the Buryatia Republic — 21 million ounces of gold — followed by the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic with almost 13 million ounces and then Khabarovsk Krai with about 8 million ounces (see figure 1).
Figure 1. Distribution of gold potential proposed for investors in 2013 by regions of Russia, ounces of gold (modified from this document).
The lion’s share, or 58%, of this gold resource potential is of the least reliable P3 prospecting category within the Russian geological reserves/resources reporting standard.
At the same time, stunning gold exploration activity results that increased reserves/resources of this precious metal to 17 million ounces in 2012, with confident A+B+C1+C2 exploration categories, is a good indicator of significant unlocked gold potential in-situ.
When looking for individual objects in listing in terms of gold potential, first place holds the central part of Taryn ore field with 7.8 million ounces of gold in situ, located in the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic. Overall, 25 properties with more than 1.5 million ounces of untapped gold potential are presented in the list (figure 2).
Figure 2. Gold properties in Russia, proposed for sale to investors in 2013, with more than 1.5 million ounces of untapped gold potential, ounces of gold (modified from this document).
Until gold grades attributed to every individual property in the list are officially known, a possible indirect indicator of their quality is current gold potential in situ/overall area it is occupied relationship.
The Yakutskoye deposit is the undisputable leader of this indicator with 2.3 million ounces of gold per one square kilometre. This outlier emerged because of 344,000 ounces of gold on 0.15 square kilometre this deposit occupied.
The list of 25 leading properties in terms of ounces per square kilometre is presented in table one.
Table 1. Gold potential/overall area property occupied relationship, ounces per sq. km.
When looking at combined ounces in situ and ounces per square kilometre characteristics, the Borovoye occurrence, Malo-Tarinskoye deposit, the central part of Taryn ore field, Vodopadniy and Ayakhtinskaya zones, Karimshinskoye ore field, Ukuchikta, Dzhugadzhatskaya, Nainga and Idolovskaya areas presented in both of the top listings.
Certainly it is a ballpark analysis and every investment decision about participation in auctions is subject to the details of geological, technological and other relevant surveys.
The complete list of gold properties proposed for acquisition by potential investors in 2013 can be found at the website of the Russian Federation’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.
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