The Muruntau gold mine in Uzbekistan exploits one of the greatest gold deposits on Earth, with more than 4000 tonnes (150 Moz) of contained gold amenable to open pit extraction, and at grades of around 3 g/t Au. This operation currently produces near 60 tonnes (2 Moz) of gold per annum.
The geology and setting of this giant orebody were the subject of one of the 16 papers delivered at the "Porphyry and Hydrothermal Copper & Gold Deposits - A Global Perspective" conference held in Perth, Western Australia from 30 November to 1 December 1998.
The technical program of this conference was organised by T M (Mike) Porter of Porter GeoConsultancy Pty Ltd for the Australian Mineral Foundation.
The papers of the conference concentrated on exploration case histories and descriptions of both major new discoveries and new mines brought into production in the last few years, as well as established major, but less well known deposits in Central Asia and Eastern Europe for which detail has only become available in recent years. All are "world class" deposits.
The scope was global, with papers grouped into the Asia-Pacific, Central Asia, the Tethyan Belt (extending from south-east Asia to Europe), and the Americas, representing virtually all of the worlds great hydrothermal/porphyry gold-copper provinces.
Ore deposits covered in the Asia-Pacific included the Kucing Liar discovery at the Grasberg Complex in Irian Jaya (Indonesia) which initially contained more than 2 billion tonnes of 2% Cu, 2 g/t Au, and the Monywa supergene deposit in Myanmar, with up to 1 billion tonnes of 0.41% Cu ore amenable to cheap SX/EW treatment.
In the Americas, among the enormous new mines described are the 3 billion tonnes of 0.8% Cu at Collahuasi in Chile, and the Fort Knox gold mine in Alaska.
In the Tethyan Belt there is an overview of copper in Iran, including the great Sar Cheshmeh mine, and the giant Bor-Majdanpek field in Serbia.
Presenters were mostly from industry and intimately involved in the discovery, development and advanced study of the deposits described.
Other deposits covered included Lepanto-Far Southeast-Victoria in the Philippines, Radomira Tomic and Agua Rica in South America, Jerooy in Kirgizstan and regional overviews of the Tethyan deposits in Iran and the giant Cu and Au deposits of Central Asia.
In addition there was a major keynote paper by the renowned international expert Dr Richard Sillitoe who addressed the conditions necessary to produce giant porphyry deposits, while a second keynote paper by John Rickus, Managing Director of Rio Tinto Technical Services covers factors influencing the viability of large gold and copper porphyry projects around the world.
PAPERS & AUTHORS
Sixteen papers were delivered at the conference, including two keynote presentations and fourteen other papers on individual deposits and provinces.
These papers addressed exploration case histories and descriptions of both major new discoveries and new mines brought into production in the last few years, as well as established major, but less well known deposits in Central Asia and Eastern Europe for which detail has only become available in recent years
A proceedings volume was compiled and editied by T M (Mike) Porter of Porter GeoConsultancy with the full text of all of these papers. This volume, now out of print, was subsequently sold to the industry world wide and is available in specialist libraries.
The titles, authors and abstracts for all 16 papers that were delivered at the conference may be read by clicking on Proceedings Volume.