To give a true picture of the size and potential of the globe’s largest deposits of gold, MINING.com and sister company IntelligenceMine ranked the orebodies according to total resources – measured, indicated and inferred. Many companies include proven and probable reserves that can be economically extracted in resource estimates and the ranking was adjusted where this wasn’t the case.
Overall resources can also change significantly over time, often when resources are moved into the proven and probable category. For instance, the Livengood project in Alaska being advanced by Tower Hill Mines fell to just outside the top 20 after the company updated resources in August last year, cutting nearly 10moz from the total estimate. Things also move in the opposite direction with Seabridge continuing to add ounces to its KSM project in British Columbia.
Looking at proven and probable reserves only is a moving target as gold prices and mine economics change. When considering proven & probable reserves only Freeport’s Grasberg in Indonesia moves to the top followed by KSM and Barrick and Novagold’s Donlin joint venture in Alaska.
Closely watched projects in the top 20 include Newcrest and Harmony Gold’s Wafi-Golpu project in Papua New Guinea which ranks no. 11 with 37.6moz of reserves, AngloGold’s mothballed Obuasi mine in Ghana (no. 17 with 27.3moz), and Barrick’s stalled Pascua Lama property straddling the border between Chile and Argentina (no. 19 – 22.8moz).