This year, the gold mining industry of Yakutia is celebrating its 95th anniversary. YSIA has prepared a selection of interesting facts on the extraction of noble metal in the republic.



The first gold in Yakutia was found back in the 18th century

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For the first time, gold in Yakutia was found in 1747 on the banks of the Tyra River, the right tributary of the Aldan.  Mining engineer Afanasy Metenev discovered the zolotniks (old Russian measure of weight, equivalent to 4.26 g -Translators’ note) in the red shkvarts - quartz, a satellite of gold ore. This fact became known thanks to the archives 200 years later. Now in this area there is the well-known Nezhdaninskoye field.


Industrial gold mining began almost 200 years later

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In the 20s of the twentieth century, industrial gold mining began, starting from June 19, 1923, when the gold miner Mikhail Tarabukin discovered alluvial gold on the Nezametny creek in the Aldan district. This date is also celebrated as the birthday of the town of Aldan. Latvian Voldemar Bertin confirmed the deposit and created the first labor artel with the name of the creek. A year later, in 1924, the government of the republic established the YaGzoloto State Gold Industrial Trust.


Because of the permafrost, ore gold is literally “evaporated” when mined

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Gold in Yakutia is mined in permafrost conditions. If metal deposits are found at a depth of more than 4 meters, then it is extracted in a special way - the soil is heated with steam, and only then treated. Sometimes metal is found in rocky terrain. In this case, special mechanisms are used that crush the rock before washing process.


One of the largest Yakut nuggets named after diamonds

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The largest nugget in the collection of the Yakutia’s Treasury weighs almost 2 kg and bears the name of 40 years of Yakutia’s diamond mining. The largest nugget in Yakutia was found in 1945 in the Tuora-Tas creek of the Oymyakon ulus. Its weight is 9.6 kg. The very first nugget was found on the Olekma River in 1846.


Record of gold mining in Yakutia - 36.5 tons

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The maximum amount of gold mining in Yakutia was reached in 1975 - 36.5 tons.

In 2018, the production of noble metal amounted to 28 tons. At the beginning of this year, Yakutia entered the TOP 3 of the Russian Federation in gold mining.