The Carlin Gold Mine is one of the most famous mines in the world. It is located in the state of Nevada, USA and is owned approximately 60 percent by Barrick Gold Corporation and just under 40 percent by the Newmont Mining company. In terms of annual production, the Carlin Mine is one of the largest gold mines in the world.
Large gold deposits due to the Carlin trend
In the northeastern part of the state of Nevada, there is a geological feature known as the Carlin Trend. A collision of the Earth’s crust there with the North American plate about 350 million years ago brought minerals dissolved in rock, including rich gold deposits, close to the Earth’s surface in a region about 40 miles long and 5 miles wide around the present-day city of Carlin.
This terrain later became the site of the Carlin Gold Mine, among others. The mine is part of the so-called Nevada Gold Mine Complex. The entire complex consists of a total of 12 open-pit mines and 10 underground mines. Together, the Nevada gold mines are the largest gold mining complex in the world.
Large quantities of gold are still being mined there today, especially at the Carlin Mine. The gold is found in dissolved form in pyrite or arsenopyride and is mined by both open pit and underground methods.
In 2020, the total gold mine production worldwide was about 3400 tons of gold. The Carlin Mine alone produced approximately 52 tons of this material.
Gold mining at the Carlin Mine began in 1965. In the first 25 years of mine operation, a total of approximately 250 tonnes of gold has been produced from the Carlin Mine. Experts believe that more than 120 tons of gold reserves are still available there.
A mine of massive proportions
The Carlin Mine is also truly remarkable in terms of size. With a length of more than 2 km and a width of approximately 500 m and a fracture depth of more than 200 m, it is also one of the largest gold mines in the world in terms of its extent.
Commercial gold mining began at this mine as early as 1965. In addition to gold, other valuable minerals are present in the earth’s crust, such as the golden yellow auripigment in particular. Auripigment is mainly used in painting and is therefore a valuable by-product of gold mining in the mine.
To date, the Carlin Mine has one of the largest gold deposits in the world.
As in most gold mines, most of the mining is done by surface mining. However, in order to exploit the rich gold deposits as efficiently as possible, the valuable precious metal is also partially extracted in underground mining at the Carlin Mine.