Like most countries in the central Asian region, Kyrgyzstan is rich in a wide range of minerals. However, unlike most of its neighbors, its key mineral is gold and not oil. In fact, gold is the one of the central pillars of Kyrgyzstan’s economy.
The country is the third largest gold exporter in the Commonwealth of Independent States region behind only Russia and Uzbekistan. When Kyrgyzstan gained its independence in 1991, it only depended on a single gold mine to boost its economy, but today there are several new mines that have increased productivity.
Still there are a lot of potential for gold exploration and mining as it has estimated that gold reserves in the country is about 560t. This means that there are great potential in gold mining in the country.
Current Gold Mines in Kyrgyzstan
Today Kyrgyzstan has over 40 commercially viable gold deposits that have been discovered, yet it is believed that this figure could double with further exploration activities. This gives a great chance to invest in gold mining in the country, as the future looks bright for the gold mining sector. The government is still required to carry out further gold deposit evaluation and appraisal and further prospecting in new areas. This is the reason why the government is still granting gold exploration and development licenses due to the huge potential the country holds.
The gold reserves in the country are found in four major areas currently being exploited. The Kumtor and the Makmal gold deposits are relatively old and are currently being mined while the Taldy and the Jerooy deposits are relatively new and are still being developed. Other gold deposits that you may consider are Kuran-Dhzailiau and the Solton-sary gold deposits although they only contains a low tonnage of gold deposits.
The largest gold mine both in the country and in Asia is the Kumtor gold mine. This open pit gold mine has over 514t of gold deposits and it produces gold at an average of 2.1 grams per ton. While this is relatively low-grade ore, the huge amount of it makes this a hugely profitable gold mine. It is run by the Kumtor Gold Company, which is owned by both the Canadian company Centerra Gold Inc and the government of Kyrgyzstan.
The mining of gold in this mine begun in 1997 and it is expected that the mine’s life will run beyond 2023.
The second largest gold mine in the country is the Makmal, which is run by the government through the OJS Company. The OJS Company is fully owned by the government of Kyrgyzstan. This mine is in its final stage of operation and it is expected that the mining activities will wind up in 2016. This mine produced about 21 tons of gold between 1986 and 1996 and it was estimated that the remaining deposits were about 20 tons. When Kyrgyzstan declared its independence in 1991, it depended on this mine to boost its economy.
With the dwindling prospects of the Makmal gold mines the Jerooy gold mines have assumed the second position when it comes to ranking the largest gold deposits in Kyrgyzstan. It is mined by a combination of both open pit mining and underground operations. The mine is operated by the Jerooy Gold Company, which is owned by the government of Kyrgyzstan and Norox Mining, which is a subsidiary of Oxus Gold. Mining of this gold deposit begun in 2005 and it is estimated that the mine has about 107 tons of gold deposits.