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Where are the Largest Gold Deposits in the World?

Some of the largest gold deposits in the world are in places you wouldn't expect.

Although much gold has already been mined throughout human history and the gold reserves of foreign countries are massive, there are still large gold deposits out there. Some of them are in places you wouldn’t expect.

Witwatersrand

Witwatersrand, which means “the ridge of white waters” in Afrikaans, is the most famous and the largest of all the gold deposits in the world, and for good reason. Out of all the gold mined in the world in all of history, a full forty percent of it has come from Witwatersrand. Scientists speculate that there is much more left under there, with 1/3 of the total gold in the world estimated to be undiscovered.

Gold was first discovered in Witwatersrand in 1852. However, this discovery and a subsequent discovery in 1853 was kept quiet and it wasn’t until 1886 that everything started in full. An Australian miner discovered gold while out walking. He took his claim to the government but later sold it for ten pounds.

Much like what was seen in the California Gold Rush, people quickly flocked to the area. In just ten years, nearby Johannesburg became the largest city in South Africa.

Olympic Dam

In 2007, rumors spread that Australian company BHP had discovered a gold deposit even larger than Witwatersrand. Although these claims were exaggerations, the gold deposits at Olympic Dam in Australia make it large enough to be the fifth largest in the world. Not bad for a mine that also holds the world’s largest uranium deposit and the fourth largest copper deposit.

Grasberg

Grasberg, Dutch for “Grass Mountain”, doesn’t contain the largest deposits of gold in the world, but it is the world’s largest gold mine. Located in Indonesia, the mine is owned primarily by an American company, although the government of Indonesia owns just under 10% of the mine. The mine is the second in the area, coming after Ertsberg, which was depleted in the early 1980s.