Introduction

The Tien Shan Gold Belt extends for over 2500 km, from western Uzbekistan, through Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and southern Kazakhstan to western China, and represents the central part of the Altaid Orogenic Collage of central Eurasia (Source: Sengör et al., 1993; Sengör and Natalin, 1996; Yakubchuk, 2004).

The Tien Shan Gold Belt is a Hercynian fold and thrust belt hosting numerous mesothermal gold deposits. It forms a part of the Himalayan orogenic belt formed by the collision of the Indian and Eurasian plates during the Cenozoic era, and is now fast becoming a hot spot for gold mining companies (Source: Mining Maven).

Map of the Tien Shan Gold Belt

Figure 1: Map of the Tien Shan Gold Belt
Figure 1: Map of the Tien Shan Gold Belt

 

Tien Shan Gold Belt: Mineralisation

Known as the ‘heavenly mountains’, the Tien Shan Gold Belt is host to one of the world’s largest concentrations of multimillion ounce gold and silver deposits. One of them is Muruntau with a resource of 107m ounces and believed to be the world’s largest open pit gold mine.

Gold mineralisation occurs in two principal settings within the Tien Shan Mineral Belt, namely as porphyry and epithermal systems developed within magmatic arcs, and orogenic-type gold deposits that are structurally controlled, and temporally and spatially associated with late Palaeozoic, syntectonic to early postcollisional, highly evolved, I-type granodioritic to monzonitic intrusives in fore- and back-arc terranes (Source: Cole and Seltmann, 2000; Yakubchuk et al., 2002; Mao et al., 2004).

Today there are many exploration companies prospecting in the region, such as:

List of gold deposits in the Tien Shan Gold Belt

Deposit Name Gold Ounces
Almalyk 93,000,000
Amantaytau 10,000,000
Chaarat 6,100,000
Chore 1,000,000
Daugyztau 18,000,000
Jerooy 5,600,000
Jilau 3,000,000
Kochbulak 4,000,000
Kokpatas 5,000,000
Kumtor 5,600,000
Kuru-Tegerek 3,000,000
Makmal 1,100,000
Muruntau 175,000,000
Pakrut  4,720,000
Shambesai 277,000
Tabospin  1,683,897
Taldybulak Levoberezhny 4,100,000
Taror 3,000,000
Zarmitan 11,000,000

Source: Company Reports

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