Gold mining in Russia: the main deposits where gold is mined, methods and technology, position in the world's seven gold miners, the main gold mining companies in Russia, other ways to get gold

Gold mining industry in Russia is developing in an unstable way. There are many factors affecting the amount of precious metal, not the least of which is the complexity of the technology. There is also a considerable percentage of illegal production. mining. But the Russian Federation is still the leader in the ranking of countries where rich deposits have been discovered. Today gold mining In Russia, gold ore is extracted from the ground in various ways, with the bulk of it coming from the ground.

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Gold as a historical instrument and economically valuable metal

Since ancient times in the history of mankind mined gold It was used as a tool for transactions: buying, selling, and exchanging. Over time, coins began to be minted from the metal. At the same time, it was used for making valuable things, decorations and cults. The metal has unusual physical and chemical properties:

  • high density;
  • low hardness;
  • thermal conductivity close to the limit;
  • resistant to most acids (except for aqua regia or a mixture of nitric and hydrochloric acids) and other aggressive substances (does not react);
  • fusibility.
Gold deposits in Russia
Gold mining in the river

In terms of chemistry, the metal behaves unusually - there are few compounds of Au with other elements. This is due to the low degree of stability of gold. As a result, there is a constant change in the formula. Gold does not have magnetic properties. The metal is also not radioactive.

Earlier it was believed that it was expedient to use Au only as a payment instrument. Back in the 19th century this was indeed the case. However, as technical progress developed, the metal began to be used in industry as well. At the same time, the gold mining industry expanded as the demand for Au increased.

We are talking about the production of radio components for printed circuit boards, the creation of contact coatings on microcircuits, the use of this component for nuclear fusion, the development of the space industry, weapons production, etc.

Despite such changes, metal is still the backbone of the economy. It is still the backbone of the economy. gold reserve states. There is a large amount of ore on the territory of Russia. And the amount of mined gold is more than 8% of the world's production.

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Ten leading gold mining countries

The largest amounts of gold ore are concentrated in certain areas. As deposits are developed, some states have taken the main positions in the world. The first place is steadily held by China. The remaining positions are periodically occupied by other countries. The statistics are as follows:

  1. China - 415 tons.
  2. Russian Federation - 329.5 tons.
  3. Australia - 325.1 tons.
  4. The US is 200.2 tons.
  5. Canada - 182.9 tons.
  6. Peru - 143.3 tons.
  7. Ghana - 142.2 tons.
  8. South Africa - 118.2 tons.
  9. Mexico - 111.4 tons.
  10. Brazil - 106.9 tons.

Many countries are known for their gold: Egypt, Turkey, Argentina, Sudan, Guinea and others. However, it is unlikely that they will ever rise to the top of the ranking in terms of production of the precious metal.

Gold mining in Russia: the main deposits where gold is mined, methods and technology, position in the world's seven gold miners, the main gold mining companies in Russia, other ways to get gold
Kolyma Gold Nuggets

Russia's position in the global gold mining market

Gold occupies the first position in the list of precious metals, which has moved it into the category of strategically important materials. For this reason, it is necessary to determine which countries have a tendency to develop this market. Russia is in the top four, its position varies (sometimes Russia is in the second line of the list), but there is a steady increase in precious metal volumes by the number of tons per year, although this process develops unsteadily. For example, until 2012. Russia was in the lead, but there was a slight decline in the intensity of gold mining. The reasons could be different:

  • crisis;
  • development of mining deposits, insufficiently fast development of new deposits (low development of exploration works);
  • decrease in the volume of gold production at placers and complex deposits;
  • The obsolescence of the funds of major gold mining companies;
  • increased exports (low domestic demand);
  • problems of market infrastructure development;
  • Weak exchange turnover of precious metals.

Since then, the Au number has gradually increased. Such ups and downs of the state against the backdrop of the leading gold mining countries happen all the time.

Top 7 major gold miners in Russia

The number of large gold mining companies is quite large, but small businesses also exist, although it is more difficult for them to develop due to the limited conditions created by the peculiarities of the legislative framework. It is even more difficult for individual entrepreneurs. Often their ventures never develop. In addition, obtaining gold is possible in certain areas (some regions), but not everywhere.

Top 7 major gold miners in Russia
Industrial gold mining

This has led to the fact that the market presents its services only a few dozen major companies. Briefly about the largest companies in this list:

  1. PAO Polyus. The main shareholders are: S. Kerimov, Z. Mutsoyev, and G. Yuvshayev. The company is actively developing several gold mines in Russia: in the Krasnoyarsk region, Yakutia, the Amur region, the Irkutsk region, and Magadan. Profits over the years have increased from several tens to several hundreds of billions of dollars.
  2. Kinross Gold or Chukotka Mining Company is a representative of a Canadian organization. The bulk of the precious metal (more than half of the total volume) rises from the ground in the U.S. - 60%. By 20% accounts for Africa and Russia. As a result, the company is engaged in gold production in both hemispheres. In Russia, the legitimate interests of Kinross Gold subsidiary (since 1995). Its profit is more than 200 billion dollars, and the annual volume of precious metal is 15 tons.
  3. JSC YuGK or YuzhUralZoloto. A group of companies united not only by their name, but also by their line of business. They are engaged in the development of gold mining sites. On the map, the deposits are located in different regions: the Chelyabinsk region, Khakassia and the Krasnoyarsk region. The advantage of YuGK is the location of industrial plants, factories, production facilities - all of them are located in Russia.
  4. PAO Severstal or Nordgold. A British company that develops gold in Russia. The representative office is in Moscow. In addition, the company also operates in Guinea, Kazakhstan, Burkina Faso. Russia is developing gold deposits in Buryatia, Yakutia, Amur region. The profit for 1 year is more than 1 billion dollars, and the volume of precious metal for the same period of time - 8 tons.
  5. JSC Polymetal or Polymetal Inc. This is a group of companies that hold general shareholdings in several mining companies, exploration, and prospecting organizations. In addition, Polymetal has promoted the creation of an engineering center, which develops projects for the development of deposits where gold mining is possible in Russia.
  6. Vysochaishy PJSC or GV GOLD. This is "our" company - located in Bodaibo (Irkutsk Region). It develops several gold deposits in Russia. Its profit is a little over 4.6 billion rubles. The volume of precious metal for the same period is 4,6 tons.
  7. HRGM (Canada) or Russdragmet. A company with a representative office in Bashkiria. The head office is located in Canada. The company develops several mines. Gold mining in Russia is carried out in Khabarovsk and Zabaikalsky regions. There are also separate mines in Kyrgyzstan. The company is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange.
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Gold mining in Russia by individuals: the legal framework, whether individuals need a license for gold mining or any other permit to mine legally

Relevance of small-scale gold mining in Russia

Today, about 10% of the precious metal volume comes from private mines. This means that a large volume of metal belonging to the country is deposited with individuals who make a profit without paying taxes. Previously, this sphere was not controlled. Anyone who finds a deposit of gold ore or a scatter deposit can mine it. Such people have long been called miners. Such actions were not considered a violation of the law until some 30 years ago (the 1990s).

Industrial gold mining
Mining of loose gold

It was not forbidden to wash yellow sand. However, more often than not, a self-developed gold mine was not profitable, and the work was hard. To get rich quickly was a matter of chance. Many people died in the mines, especially in winter; others were killed by their fellow miners. Consequently, almost the entire stock of metal remained in the ground, from where it could only be extracted by oneself using special methods and equipment. The prospect of getting rich in the Urals, Kolyma, Alaska and Siberia (in the Altai Territory) without facilities was low, so the authorities looked the other way.

Gold mines may reveal other deposits, such as oil, diamonds, or gas. This is how coal and other minerals are found. The likelihood of repetition of the situation increases when the initial goal is to develop deposits with other minerals and substances (quartz, phosphorite, etc.). In this case they find already Au.

Legalization of private miners

To minimize the likelihood of illegal gold mining in Russia, as well as to introduce taxation, profit when detected by private individuals nuggetsNow there is an opportunity to legally develop deposits. Such changes have been in force since 2017. It is necessary to obtain permission - to register an organization (IE). Other requirements that must be met at the stage of transferring activities from the shadow sphere to the legal sphere:

  • a plot of land up to 150 thousand meters is provided2;
  • duration of the license - no more than 5 years;
  • It is forbidden to provide assistance with large-sized equipment (to use dredges), hired workers, all such actions are performed manually;
  • It is acceptable to use improvised tools (pick, cutter, tray, etc.), mining is less efficient, the restrictions imposed legally greatly hinder the process.

The disadvantage of this method of developing gold deposits in Russia is the need to independently organize the entire process. An individual entrepreneur is responsible for safety. In addition, it is also necessary to look for signs of metal at the extraction stage on your own.

It is allowed to enter into a contract with large companies mining gold in Russia. There are benefits for both parties. For example, large companies get the opportunity to transfer for the development of areas where it is difficult to carry out work. A private person (small IE) can truly engage in prospecting for metal in the gold deposit.

It is also recommended to investigate old mines and the area where a stream or river may be flowing (a common sign is the presence of shiny yellow fractions on the bank).

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Washing of gold-bearing sand in mountain rivers
Prospectors mining gold from natural sources

Criminal liability for illegal mining

When deciding how to mine gold, you should also consider the possible risks. For example, the rules have recently become stricter:

  • a possible fine for activities that go beyond the law (unauthorized gold mining in Russia);
  • one of the penalties is the confiscation of equipment when violations are discovered;
  • If an individual is found in possession of a precious metal, mined illegally (was extracted from the ore or is a nugget), and its total amount is 1 million rubles, it could lead to imprisonment under the Criminal Code of Russia.

Map of Russian gold deposits

If you plan to start your own business, you must first find out where to mine gold. You can study a map of deposits, read reviews, encyclopedic sources of information, printed publications (newspapers, magazines from the archives). And the coverage should be as wide as possible (subject to the law). Someone can find signs of gold in the Donbass, or the territory near Norilsk, Tatarstan, Chimkent (Kazakhstan), the Kursk region, etc. Other people's experience should also be taken into account, but it should not be the only source of information.

The Magadan region is the leader in production, about 50 tons

The territory of this region has the most gold, which was determined by the volume of extracted precious metal. And most often there is development of loose deposits, but there are much more of those deposits where gold is contained in the rock ore. The average volume of precious metal at such sites within Kolyma alone is 15 tons per year.

There is information that there are 12 deposits, which are not yet assigned to anyone. The estimated amount of gold in them is 356 tons (mineral reserves from the bowels of the earth).

Operating fields, which are considered to be the largest:

  • "Pavlik."
  • "Natalinskoe;
  • "Rolling.
The Magadan region is the leader in production, about 50 tons
Gold mining in the Magadan region

Chukotka - hard-to-reach gold and silver territory (25 tons)

This region is in second place among the most sought-after gold deposits. Silver is also mined here. The annual volume of precious metal raised from the bowels of the earth is 25 tons. First of all, gold prospectors are interested in the largest ones:

  • "Double;
  • "The Dome.

There is an opportunity to continue and develop gold mining at the bottom of the mine or open pit. Note the large number of opportunities for the development of new sites. On the one hand their advantage is a lot of difficult places, on the other hand, this feature allows you to find a lot of ways to get to the precious metal. In this case, not always help signs, but intuition works.

The Sakha Republic is a gold rush site (25 tons)

The area is one of the oldest places where prospectors previously sought to make a career during the gold rush, making the area famous. There are already more than 800 mines on the ground and rocky terrain. Most of them are located along the river (up to 25 km in length). Famous mines where mining is taking place:

  • "Short;
  • "South;
  • "Lateral" et al.

The region provides the country with a large amount of gold - 25 tons/year.

Irkutsk region - place of alluvial gold mining (23 tons)

The amount of metal in the region is 23 tons in 1 year. And the gold (95%) is concentrated predominantly in one area, which makes it easier to obtain. Deposits where mining is carried out:

  • "Western" is next to Dry Log;
  • "Verninskoye", "Velichay", etc., and almost all of them are located near the town of Bodaibo.
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How to find out whether there is gold in the river or stream, you can wash it in a simple way: the stages of preparation, study of the landscape and riverbed, the peculiarities of the search for nuggets and gold sand
Gold mining in Russia Irkutsk region
Gold Mining - Irkutsk region

Priamurye: mining in mines and placer, 223 tons

The Amur region and nearby lands are most popular with miners and specialists. Priamurye is not too much inferior to Irkutsk in the rate of gold mining in Russia and the volume of this precious metal. The most famous places where you can mine Au:

  • "Pioneer;
  • "Berezitovoe.

It is enough to make an assessment of the area to determine where to start gold mining. There is a possibility of developing open and closed deposits. Due to this, it is noted that the daily volume is substantial - 223 billion tons of alloy.

Khabarovsk Territory - large ore deposits, 23 tons

The region is inferior to the others in terms of the amount of precious metal mined. However, it is also considered popular among prospectors. If you wonder how gold is mined, you should consider that mainly ore deposits are concentrated here. The most sought-after ones are:

  • "Yurievskoe;
  • "Ozernoe.

Some of the mine-type deposits have long been flooded with water.

Zabaykalsky Krai and placer gold, 13 tons

Remote regions have always been in demand among gold prospectors. However, potential prospectors from the times of the Russian Empire did not find anything here at first. For the first time gold was found on the territory of Zabaikalsky Krai closer to the middle of the 19th century. The main type of deposits is a scattered one. The region can yield up to 13 tons of gold in 1 year. Where to look for it (the largest deposits):

  • "Alexandrovskoe;
  • "Savkinskoe.

Chelyabinsk region 5-7 tons

In terms of the volume of mined metal, the region is inferior to the previously considered. However, even this amount (5-7 tons) is enough to continuously increase the annual volume of gold throughout Russia. Among the deposits there are crude deposits and ore deposits (mine type). The latter occur more frequently, but among the first there is one ("Murashkina Mountain"), which gives up to 140 kg of gold sand in 1 year, which is a good indicator.

The largest deposits:

  • "West Kurosan;
  • "Svetlinskoye.
Nugget localization locations
Gold mining - large gold nuggets

Republic of Buryatia (6 tons)

When planning a trip to search for gold deposits in Russia, you need to pay attention to the amount of metal. For example, on the territory of Buryatia the amount of Au is much less than in Khabarovsk and Irkutsk regions. But placer deposits are discovered more often than mines. The following places are considered popular: Tsipikanskoye, Iorokinda.

Sverdlovsk region (6-11 tons)

The development of the deposits here began several centuries ago. Later, other springs were discovered. Since then, it is believed that the Sverdlovsk region represents the key through which the gold mining era was discovered. There are newer and older mines, one of which, Kochkarskoye, is located in the Far East.

Republic of Bashkiria - 1 ton

The volume of gold mining is small - 1 ton each year (average). However, Bashkiria is famous for the fact that nuggets can be found here, sometimes even quite large ones. For this reason, the Bashkirian areas are highly valued. More than 300 Au deposits have been developed. Many of them are placer deposits.

The end of the last century (1992) was marked by the discovery of a large nugget weighing 5 kg, it was named - "Irendyk Bear". Due to its size, the gold formation resembles a huge stone, although it is not directly related to it.

Ratio of Russian gold mining types

In the process of lifting gold ore from the bowels of the earth and washing sand at placer deposits, a lot of associated components, materials are formed. For example, schlich is the result of mineral exploration, but only by using a certain the way to extract gold. Usually such fractions of black color remain at placer deposits.

In addition, in the process of extraction of precious metal, sulfide wastes are stored, which contributes to the development of hydrochemical anomalies. In the surface waters of rivers components are found: lead, copper compounds, thallium, cadmium, etc. These and other features are determined by the technology of gold mining, on the basis of which a suitable method is selected with due consideration of natural conditions.

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Gold Mining
The way of gold miningVolume of mined precious metal, %
Complex deposits, when mining is carried out jointly with minerals10

Technology for mining and extraction of valuable metal

Gold is everywhere (even seawater contains it), but often the amount of Au is so small that it is almost impossible to detect these particles, and it is impractical to mine. Previously, a simple method of ore washing was used to obtain the precious metal, but it did not allow increasing the scale of gold mining. Today, more technologically advanced methods are used. Examples of operating plants: "Jubilee" Combine in Kolyma, Vasilkovsky GOK in Kazakhstan, Bogomolovsky mine in the Urals, etc. Each of them uses its own methods of obtaining the precious metal, taking into account natural conditions and the composition of the rock.

Industrial development of mines

There are surface and underground technologies of precious metal mining, in the first case there are about 10, and in the second - up to 20 methods. The choice is made taking into account the conditions of work and the environment. There are 2 main ways of organizing the process of gold mining:

  • open or career;
  • closed (shaft).

In addition to the complexity of organizing mining of the precious metal, the degree of damage caused by derivative components that are released during the development of the deposit is also taken into account. The method of operation also depends on the availability of gold in the area. The purity of the gold depends on whether it will need to be cleaned of impurities, in which case an appropriate method is chosen.

Alluvial mining technology

The main steps step by step:

  • diversion of the reservoir bed, which prevents further spreading of the precious metal particles;
  • removal of the surface layer of rock, these works are called stripping;
  • extraction of the precious metal;
  • washing, removal of impurities (sand, clay, etc.);
  • enrichment.

When winter comes, work doesn't always stop. To extract the frozen placers, the ground is loosened beforehand. This will require the purchase of special implementation equipment:

  • hydraulic thawing;
  • of the drilling and blasting method.
Alluvial mining technology
Alluvial gold

Techniques for cleaning the "wheat from the chaff"

To improve the quality of the precious metal, one technique is used:

  • leaching - methodbased on the extraction of Au from complex compounds, for example, if sulfide iron minerals are present, it is necessary to heat the working environment to a certain temperature and increase the pressure (autoclaving method), impurities will be removed, and gold in this method of mining and purification will become a solid residue;
  • electrolysis - the method is used provided that alloy contains no more than 5% of impurities Ag, when electrolysis is used, gold is dissolved by preparing certain types of acids (most often hydrochloric acid), then the precious metal goes into a special chamber, and impurities - another compartment;
  • amalgamation - the method is based on the use of mercury, which absorbs particles of Au, when their number in the liquid metal becomes extremely high, separation occurs, which allows to collect the precious metal, separating it from the mercury as well;
  • water washout - the method is used when gold is mixed with lighter minerals.

The largest nuggets in Russian history

During the two-hundred-year history of gold mining in Russia, several large native formations have been found:

  • 1842, Ural: "Big triangle" (weight is 36 kg);
  • 1936, Chelyabinsk Region: "Big Tyelginsky" (14 kg);
  • 1961, Magadan Oblast: "Golden giant" (14 kg).
The Golden Giant
The largest gold nuggets

Alternative ways of extracting gold from old machinery

Gold is used for a variety of purposes, one of which is the production of parts. The precious metal can be recovered when the machinery fails. But it should not be thrown away; the pieces should be recovered.

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Top 10 largest gold nuggets found in the world and in Russia

Receiving raw materials

Independently sell spare parts from the phone, and other electronics is difficult, so more common method of surrendering devices to special points. To determine the authenticity of Au, at home use chlorine, iodine. In a day you can extract enough boards from non-working appliances, gadgets, and then find a point of reception of electronics in the Moscow region, Moscow or another region, city of Russia.

Each board contains a few milligrams of gold, according to observations of experts and radio amateurs in the old technique detects more precious metal.

Microchip etching technology

The craftsmen disassemble the electronics, remove the microcircuits. Soak them, preparing a solution of hydrochloric acid and hydrogen peroxide (2:1). The soaking takes one week. Toward the end of this period, you may see yellow scales that have separated. They are quickly collected through a coffee filter, washed with alcohol. Then they are melted down (a transformer will be needed).

Microcircuits containing precious metals
Gold-containing radio components

Profitability in numbers: pros and cons

The profitability of such an activity as mining gold from electronics himself at homedepends on the number of devices. If you take apart a dozen old devices, you can collect about 1 ounce of precious metal, which is 31.1 grams. If you convert grams to dollars, you'll find that a small ingot will be cost 600 to 1600 $.

Official Permit to Operate

Illegal refining, other manipulations with the precious metal and the means that contain it are punishable by law. According to Article 192 of the Criminal Code, such actions are defined as evasion of compulsory gold surrender.

Video: how companies and small-scale miners extract gold in Russia

Subject: Q&A

How is gold mined in northern regions in winter?

Opinion of an expert
Andrei Shabanov
Amateur searcher, has been prospecting for gold for over 14 years
Frozen soil is difficult to work with: to carry out overburden work, etc. For this reason it is first loosened - a drill and blast method is used. Where it is somewhat warmer, gold mining in Russia is done by hydraulic thawing.

Which technique has more gold?

Opinion of an expert
Zavorotny Alexey
Engineer of the service center "iTerra
The chips contain from 1 to 5% Au. The leaders in gold content are capacitors, which were used in old military equipment. Today, semiconductors, connectors, transistors and radio tubes contain about the same amount of gold. Parts are used in computers, cell phones, printers, and tape recorders. However, the leader is the PC.

Is it possible to mine gold from radio components at home?

Opinion of an expert
Andrey Seleznev
Chemical-technologist of the plant "Krasny Oktyabr" Volgograd
Such activities are not allowed by law. It is recommended to deliver the equipment or parts containing gold directly to special points. You can try to extract the precious metal yourself, but it will be difficult to sell it - only on the black market or to private individuals.
How do I remove gilding from radio components at home?
Removing gilding from radio components

What will it take to get gold from microchips?

Opinion of an expert
Zavorotny Alexey
Engineer of the service center "iTerra
It is recommended to prepare a solution that can separate the gold from the other metals. Hydrochloric acid and hydrogen peroxide (2:1) are used. The boards should be kept for at least 1 week.

Which region is the best place to start panning for gold? What does it take to become a prospector officially?

Opinion of an expert
Andrei Shabanov
Amateur searcher, has been prospecting for gold for over 14 years
The largest number of deposits is in the north-east of Russia. To find out where there is the best chance of finding the precious metal, they study all kinds of information, including the forecasts of specialists and reviews of local miners. It is possible to obtain official status by registering an IE, then apply to the agency Rosnedra.

Commentary from an experienced miner

Dmitry Dovgopolov
Dmitry Dovgopolov
Often searchers do not discover anything worthwhile during exploration. However, many do manage to start prospecting. The main task is to look for signs of gold. If one has an idea of where to look, has knowledge of the conditions under which gold concentrate is collected, that is half the battle. One must also be able to use the equipment or tools that are allowed to be used given the new legislation. The other 2 factors that influence the efficiency of gold mining throughout Russia: persistence and belief in oneself and success.
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