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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Geologists Claim Massive Gold Find in Altai

Russian geologists have discovered massive gold deposits in the southern region of Altai with estimated reserves of up to 1,000 tons of the precious metal, a regional official was quoted as saying on Friday.

Anatoly Zaitsev, Altai's top geologist, was quoted by Itar-Tass as saying that total discovered reserves of gold, silver, copper, zinc and lead in northern Altai are estimated at 60 million tons.

Undiscovered reserves could be five times higher, he said.

By comparison, Sukhoi Log, the world's second-largest undeveloped gold deposit also located in Russia, has estimated reserves of 1,029 tons of the metal.

Altai's biggest deposits include Rubtsovskoye, Zarechenskoye and Korbalikhinskoye, where exploration has already started.

The earthquake-prone Altai region sprawls along Russia's border with Mongolia, Kazakhstan and China and is one of the country's biggest grain-producing areas.

Russia, home to one of the great unexplored gold regions, is now at the center of the investment radar for the world's big mining companies and domestic prospectors on the back of high gold prices.

The country is opening up to them at a time when growth at the top end of the mining industry can be difficult, dangerous or very expensive to achieve.

(Reuters, Bloomberg)