Kitco ranked the five largest gold deposits in South America in the 2nd quarter of 2021. The rating was created on the basis of public data on the performance of companies.
At the Kinross Gold deposit called Paracatu in Brazil, a record amount of gold was mined in the 2nd quarter of 2021 - 151 thousand ounces. It is the largest gold deposit in South America. During the reporting period, the volume of production significantly exceeded the figures for the 1st quarter of this year and the same period of 2020. The increase was achieved more through timely ore processing, which also helped offset lower ore productivity and quality in 2021 compared to last year.
As you know, Paracatu is the largest gold deposit in Brazil with a long life. It is located near the city of the same name in the state of Minas Gerais. Estimated gold reserves in the deposit are 17.5 million ounces. Thanks to "Paracatu," the economic situation in the state is improving, helping to reach its full potential. In 2014, the management company was awarded a prestigious award in the field of environmental protection, and in 2015 it was recognized as one of the best employer companies in the country.
The Fruta Del Norte mine, located in Ecuador, is firmly entrenched in the ranking in 2nd place. In the 2nd quarter of 2021, 108.8 thousand ounces of gold were extracted from the deposit, and the production rate is constantly increasing. The management company Lundin Gold reports that the planned production volume for 2021 will be achieved. The company's goal is to increase the volume of precious metal production at the mine for the current year to 380-420 thousand ounces. Fruta Del Norte is the highest quality ore in South America. The explored reserves are 5.02 million ounces of gold with an average content of 8.74 g of gold per ton of ore.
Note that the Fruta Del Norte mine was officially opened in 2019. It is located in Zamora Chinchip province and is the first major gold deposit in the country. During the design phase, the annual production of precious metal was expected to be more than 300 thousand ounces. The life of the mine is 14 years. Experts estimate the mine will bring nearly $2 billion in taxes, royalties and other payments to the Ecuadorian government until 2034.
Newmont Mining's Merian mine is located in Suriname (a state in northeastern South America). The volume of yellow metal production from the field during the reporting period reached 105 thousand ounces, making it the third largest in South America. The indicator increased by 5% year-on-year due to higher quality ore and efficient processing.
The estimated yellow metal production at the Merian mine at the time of its opening in 2016 was 11-12 tons per year, and the explored reserves are 133 tons. Gold mining plays an important economic role for the local population. Precious metal production in the region is controlled by foreign, mainly American, capital. The owner of the Merian mine is Newmont Mining, an American mining company specializing in gold and controlling 6% of the world's yellow metal production.
The fourth place went to the Cerro Negro mine, located in southern Argentina. The volume of gold production from the deposit in the 2nd quarter of 2021 increased almost 3 times compared to 2020 (by 192%) and reached 76 thousand ounces. The main reason for the increase in the indicator is that last year the mine was closed for repairs as a result of quarantine restrictions due to the pandemic.
Argentina is currently the leading producer of gold, silver, copper and other metals in South America. In recent years, the country has attracted large investments for geological exploration. Cerro Negro is one of the largest gold mines in the world. Estimated reserves of yellow metal in the field are 5.74 million ounces.
At the largest Brazilian copper mine "Salobo" 74 thousand ounces of gold were mined as a by-product. This gave it the opportunity to be the fifth largest deposit of precious metal in South America. This field is owned by Vale.
The Salobo mine is a large gold deposit in Brazil, where precious metal is mined as a by-product in copper production. Brazil has the largest yellow metal deposits in the world. Over the past few years, the country has mined the most gold in South America.
In total, the 5 largest gold deposits in South America brought 838,000 ounces of gold to their owners in the 2nd quarter of 2021, up 13% year-on-year.