August 16, 1896 marked the first major discovery of gold in the Klondike after a man known as Skookum Jim Mason together with his cousin, Dawson Charlie, and their relatives found gold in Rabbit Creek. The area was renamed Bonanza Creek as millions of dollars of gold were mined.
It was the precious yellow metal that opened up the Yukon country, attracting the Klondikers during the gold rush in 1896-98. Since then, placer gold mining remained the backbone of the Yukon economy until the early 1920s. To date, fine gold production since 1885 recorded a total of more than 20 million ounces, valued at over 25 billion USD at todays prices. Major mining still continues today.
The Yukon Territory, covering an area of 207,076 square miles, is situated in the far northwest corner of Canada. Placer deposits occurred in several areas in Yukon, though traditionally, most of the mining took place near Dawson City, a favorable placer gold deposit location since it is within the un-glaciated portion of Yukon.
Despite Yukon has been glaciated at least four times, much of central Yukon escaped the effects of the Cordilleran ice sheets, which generally moved into the Yukon from southeast to northwest. The rich Klondike placer gold deposits in central Yukon were preserved from the scouring effects of the ice sheets which affected southern Yukon.
Historically, placer mining locations in Yukon can generally be divided into two group locations un-glaciated and glaciated areas that are clustered into ten principal areas: Klondike; Sixtymile; Fortymile; Moosehorn Range; Stewart River and its tributaries; Clear Creek; Whitehorse South (Moosebrook, Pennycook) and Quiet Lake (Sidney/Iron Creek) Areas; Mayo; Dawson Range and Livingstone Creek. Each area has its own earth surface formation setting and depositional history, which is associated to its glacial history.
Placer deposits in the un-glaciated Klondike, Sixtymile, Fortymile and Moosehorn drainages occur in gulch gravels and in high-level terraces in the higher reaches, while existing in valley bottoms and alluvial fans in the lower reaches.
The gulch gravels have discontinuous or separate pay streaks, while the alluvial fans have more scattered and irregular pay streaks, except at their apex where a more continuous placer accumulation can be expected.
Since these areas are un-glaciated, alluvial sediments have undergone an extensive period of weathering and fluvial reworking. This enabled a continuing cycle of uplift and erosion to concentrate and re-concentrate placers in rich pay streaks in valley bottoms, valley side alluvial fans and bedrock terraces.
The Stewart River crosses an area from the McConnell glacial limit, to the Reid glacial limit, to the pre-Reid glacial limit, and into un-glaciated terrain. Placer gold occurs on active point and channel bars along these reaches, especially along the course of the river and along abandoned channels and oxbows in areas where the stream course has shifted.
Placer gold in the area has mainly been transported during flood events from a number of dispersed sources of gold, from tributaries such as Clear Creek and McQuesten River, and from sediments on bedrock terraces adjacent to the Stewart River. Tributaries of the Stewart River in the un-glaciated areas contain placer gold deposits along narrow gulches within alluvial fans, in valley-bottoms, and on intermediate level bedrock terraces.
Clear Creek area lies within the pre-Reid glacial limit, just outside the limit of the major Reid Valley glaciation but including areas which may have been subject to alpine glaciers during the Reid episode. Surface deposits include Tertiary gravels similar to the White Channel deposits, pre-Reid glacial drift which has covered the Tertiary gravels, Reid alpine drift, Quaternary valley-bottom and buried placers, and colluvial deposits.
Mayo Lake tributaries, including Duncan Creek and the surrounding areas lie on the edge of the McConnell glaciation but entirely within the Reid glacial limits. Most of the Mayo Lake placer deposits lie at the apex of fan-deltas, which have built into the lake since the McConnell episode.
The Kluane area, glaciated several times, had placer gold deposits generally occurring in two settings which are geographically divided by Kluane Lake. The east side of Kluane Lake ( e.g. Gladstone Creek) was last covered by glacial ice during the second most recent glaciations (Reid equivalent), when valley glaciers originating in the St. Elias Range formed piedmont lobes which extended across Kluane Lake.
Placer deposits in the Gladstone Creek area consist of recent stream gravels which have re-concentrated gold above bedrock on top of glacial till and glacial lake sediments. Part of this re-concentration may be the result of melt water action at the end of the last local glaciation, and part may be due to fluvial reworking and re-concentration since that time. The placer gold is likely derived from a number of sources in bedrock and pre-glacial or interglacial gravels.
Confined to the west side of Kluane Lake was the Burwash Creek and nearby creeks, which were affected by the most recent ice advance. Prior to the latest glacial episode, the Slims River actually drained in the opposite direction (southward) into the Kaskawush River.
The glacial diversions of streams through ice-damming and subsequent release of melted waters caused a large amount of fluvial down-cutting (in many cases to bedrock) and caused reworking of sediments when streams were forced to adjust to new base levels and cut new channels.
Placer deposits of the Dawson Range lie within the pre-Reid glacial limits. Gold has been found in pre-Reid glacial till and glacio-fluvial gravels, as well as in non-glacial gravels which were deposited after and on top of pre-Reid glacial and glacio-fluvial deposits. Gold was preserved in the glacial material because the pre-Reid glaciation that affected the area was of an alpine nature, which resulted in only limited dispersion of pre-existing fluvial placers. These gold-bearing sediments were then incorporated into the glacial till.
Normal processes have subsequently concentrated gold above bedrock on top of the glacial till which acted as a false bedrock which was resistant to down-cutting. The gold is likely derived from lode sources within the numerous related vein systems in the area.
Placer deposits in the Livingstone placer camp lie well within the McConnell glacial limit, the most recent glacial advance. Auriferous interglacial gravels formed between the Reid and the McConnell glaciations occupy east-west trending valleys which are transverse to the direction of ice movement.
These placers were buried by several meters of glacial drift, which protected them from the erosive action of the ice which later scoured the ridges as the ice sheet moved northwestward. The gravels were later re-exposed by a large amount of fluvial down-cutting at the end of the glaciation and during a period of post-glacial fluvial reworking. The source of gold in the Livingstone area is most likely from telluride and free gold in small quartz veins which cross-cut local graphite schist bedrock.
The placer gold-bearing gravels of Quiet Lake and Whitehorse South areas (Moosebrook, Pennycook, Sidney, and Iron creeks) lie completely within the McConnell glacial limits, and are generally poorly understood as little scientific work has been done in the area. They may be similar in genesis to the placer deposits on Livingstone Creek, where auriferous interglacial gravels formed during the long period of fluvial action between the Reid and the McConnell glaciations.
The lode gold source in the Yukon Territory has been identified as the high grade gold-quartz veins which cut the metamorphic rocks (Klondike Schist and Nasina series) on ridges above creeks. Nevertheless, for some specific areas, the lode source of many of the placer gold deposits remains relatively unknown.
The potential for new placer discoveries in the Yukon remains high, as past exploration for placer deposits has focused mainly on traditional areas and only the most accessible drainages have seen extensive examination and testing. The search for new placer deposits, in the presence of diminishing reserves in traditional areas, is important in order for the placer mining industry to survive.
Gold was the first mineral discovery in the Northern Territory. The discovery had entailed numerous deposits that were found in small quantities in several locations during the 1860s. With these early finds, the plans of the Australian government to develop the Northern Territory flourished, with high hopes relying upon mining as a major economic force in the country.
In 1872 gold was discovered by construction workers while digging telegraph lines of the Overland Telegraph from Adelaide to Darwin in Pine Creek in the Katherine region, south of Darwin. The discovery resulted into another frantic Australian gold rush and triggered the influx of settlers from the south. Interestingly, the miners were dominated by Chinese immigrants who outnumbered native miners by seven to one at the time.
These large numbers of Chinese engaged in mining were initially brought into the Territory as sources of cheap labor for the construction of the telegraph lines. When gold was discovered, they started mining for gold!
In 1887, another discovery of the precious metal in alluvial deposits occurred in a dry creek bed at an area called Paddys Rockhole. The sites minor gold rush officially created the first town of central Australia, Arltunga, located east of Alice Springs Township at the eastern end of the MacDonnell Ranges.
In June of 1909, another discovery of rich gold deposits was reported from the rocky terrains of the Tanami Desert, about 200 miles from Halls Creek in Western Australia and 450 miles southeast of Wyndham.
In recent years, the modern metal detector has been a valuable tool in the search for gold nuggets. Dry washing operations have also improved over the years, aiding in the recovery of fine gold from arid regions throughout Australia.
The Callie open pit and underground gold mines are owned by the Newmont Mining Corporation, and located in the aboriginal freehold land at Dead Bullock Soak in the Tanami region. Over two million ounces of gold are held in reserve at this mine.
The major gold discoveries mentioned above are located within three distinct geological features and major concentrations of gold can be used as indicators for potential gold discoveries in the future. These three major gold provinces still have significant undeveloped gold resources; there are certainly other minor geological provinces with high potentials of gold yields. These prospective provinces include:
The Northern Territory has really been well-endowed with native gold deposits, and geological studies and records proved that the gold resources still contain estimated known deposits of approximately 14 million ounces.
Nearly all known gold deposits of the state has been situated within metamorphosed Precambrian rocks, or related alluvial sediments. Thus, this effectively reduces the search to the Pine Creek Orogen, Tennant Region, Murphy Inlier, Arnhem Province, Tanami Region, Arunta Region, and Musgrave Province.
Study the geology and understand the conditions that you need for gold to exist in good quantities. For the prospector looking for gold nuggets with a metal detector it is especially critical to identify areas that have produced coarse gold.
Gold mining in Arizona did not start to any appreciable extent until after the acquisition of the territory by the United States from Mexico in 1848 and 1853. What little mining was done by the Spanish and Mexican miners was for silver. A little placer gold was brought in to the churches by Indian converts from the dry working of gravels in the desert, but no systematic mining was done.
After the final occupation of Arizona in 1853, the only accessible part of the Territory was that around the old Mexican settlements of Tucson and Tubac. Considerable prospecting was done in this part of the Territory by American prospectors, and several silver mines and one copper mine were opened, but little or no gold mining was done. On the outbreak of the Civil War, the withdrawal of troops opened the door to Apache raids, and all mining ceased.
During the Civil War, prospectors entered the Territory with the California troops, and several exploring parties were organized to hunt for gold in the central part of the State, hitherto an unknown wilderness dominated by Apaches. Rich placers Were found near the Colorado River at Gila City, La Paz, and Quartzsite, and soon after the Rich Hill, Lynx Creek, Hassayampa, and Big Bug placers in the Bradshaw Mountains of central Arizona were discovered. Base metal mines and even silver mines were not sought, as only gold could be mined at a profit from this inaccessible and hazardous corner of the world. After the richer parts of the placers were exhausted, gold ledges were located and worked in the crudest manner. Most of the free-milling ore proved supeficial. Only one large deposit, the Vulture, Was exploited on a large scale.
At the end of the Civil War, troops were again withdrawn, resulting in ten years of chaos and bloody warfare With the Apaches. Little mining was done except around Prescott and Wickenburg where some protection was given by troops guarding Prescott, then the capital of the Territory.
Finally, in 1872, large reservations were set aside for the Indians and the first truce was declared. The country was then enjoying the post-Civil War period of high commodity prices. Gold was relatively low in price as compared with silver and copper. Prospecting for these two metals, on the establishment of peace with the Indians, took precedence over gold, resulting, in the succeeding ten years, in the discovery and exploitation of rich silver mines in the Bradshaws, Silver King, Signal, Globe, and Tombstone. This silver boom was followed after the completion of the two transcontinental railroads in 1881 by the discovery and early exploitation of nearly every copper deposit in the Territory.
From 1884 to 1893 the country Went through a severe deflation of commodity values. The copper and silver markets fell rapidly resulting in a relative rise in the price of gold. On the demonitization of silver in 1893, practically all silver mining ceased, and only the richest and largest copper mines continued to operate.
From 1893 to 1900, miners from all the old silver camps of the West again turned to the Search for gold, which resulted in Arizona in the discovery of numerous new gold deposits, more notably the Congress and Octave in the Bradshaw Mountains, the Mammoth north of Tucson, and the rich Harqua Hala, La Fortuna, and King of Arizona mines in the desert of Yuma County. The development of the cyanide process and of better concentration methods encouraged the reopening of numerous old mines near Prescott and the exploitation of the deeper base ore.
Towards the end of the nineteenth century, the long period of stagnation ended and commodity prices again turned upwards. Gold mining became less attractive, and the miners in Arizona turned their attention to copper. From 1900 until the business Collapse of 1929 and 1930, gold mining was subordinate to base metal mining. The only exceptions were the discovery and exploitation of the rich vein deposits of the Gold Road, Tom Reed, United Eastern, and others, in the Oatman district. Gold mining also continued on a reduced scale in the older rnines of the Bradshaw Mountains and in those of Yurna County.
On the collapse of Commodity prices in 1930, miners again turned their attention to gold. The first result was the search for new placers and the reworking of old fields, with indifferent results. The higher gold prices that were established by the United States in 1933 have revived activity in most of the old gold camps and stimulated prospecting throughout the State. In 1933, production was about 12 per cent greater than in 1932.
Arizona has produced more non-ferrous metallic wealth than any state or territory in the Union. While most of this production has been in copper, nearly every copper mining operation in the state has yielded important quantities of gold.
As a gold producer, Arizona ranks seventh in the United States. In the following table, the Arizona gold production is shown segregated as to its source. As is seen, about 40 per cent has come as a by-product of copper and lead mining, chiefly after 1900.
Location: 540 kilometers north west of Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia Metals Mined: Gold Mine Type: Underground Annual Gold Production*: 500 attributable Koz Date of First Production: 1983
Location: 16 kilometers from Boddington, Western AustraliaMetals Mined: Gold, copperMine Type: SurfaceAnnual Gold Production*: 703 attributable Koz2019 Annual Copper Production: 77 million attributable pounds35,000 attributable tonnesDate of First Production: 2009
The Ninga Mia Village, which houses around 100 aboriginal residents near our KCGM operation in Australia, was established in 1983 to provide more permanent accommodation for transient aboriginal people.
Newmont has fully owned and operated the Tanami mine since 2002. The mine is located in the remote Tanami Desert of Australia. The mine and plant are located on Aboriginal freehold land that is owned by the Warlpiri people and managed on their behalf by the Central Desert Aboriginal Lands Trust.
Tanami added $466 million of value to the Australian economy in 2012. Tanami is a Fly-in, Fly-out (FIFO) operation in one of Australias most remote locations. Tanami is 270km from its closest neighbours, the remote Aboriginal community of Yuendumu.
Location: 540 kilometers north west of Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia Mine Type: Underground Metals Mined: Gold Annual Gold Production*: 500 attributable Koz Date of First Production: 1983
We measure our success as a company by our contribution to the lives of our workers, their families and the communities living near our mines. Our ultimate goal is to achieve a culture of safety where all our people go home safe and healthy at the end of each work day.
For several years our people have been on a personal Safety Journey as part of an ongoing program to take responsibility for safety beyond awareness, understanding and knowledge to a level where it is intrinsic to how we think and behave.
The Vital Behaviors programme which works with site crews so they self-identify the vital behaviors that they need to keep themselves and their colleagues safe, has been a key driver for enhancing our safety performance.
We are committed to building respectful and mutually beneficial relationships with the local people communities near our operations. By working with community leaders, business owners, non-government organizations, government and industry we can provide the catalyst for long-term social and economic growth.
As part of our commitment to enable frequent communication with the community, a dedicated community relations team is based on site at Tanamis operations to encourage ongoing dialogue with all our stakeholders to ensure our operations contribute positively to the communitys growth. The mine site is the most remote in Australia, with the closest communities of Yuendumu and Lajamanu approximately 370 km south and 390 km north east of the mine.
Every five years, we conduct extensive research on the impact of our operations through social impact assessments. These assessments include collecting insights and feedback from residents and other stakeholders about Tanamis mining operation and the future needs of the community across the mines extended life.
Tanami contributes millions of dollars annually to Northern Territory economy through the employment of local citizens, the purchase of goods and services, payroll taxes, government royalties, land use payments, salaries and supporting community projects. We invest directly and significantly in community initiatives that support community capacity-building activities, including scholarships, in-kind support and sponsorship grants.
We also invest in cultural events. In 2010, we entered into a three-year strategic partnership with the South Australian Museum to fund a project to catalogue and digitize Australias largest collection of Aboriginal cultural artifacts. The online resource will make this valuable collection available to Indigenous communities and educators worldwide.
The partnership also supports the physical exhibition at the South Australian Museum in Adelaide and the mobile exhibition of the historically and culturally significant Tanami or Yuendumu Door. The Yuendumu Doors were created in 1983 by senior Warlpiri men, including Paddy Japaljarri Stewart and Paddy Japaljarri Sims, who took the historic opportunity to paint their sacred Dreaming designs onto the doors of the remote Yuendumu school, 250km north-west of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. It was a key moment in the history of Australian art, and it symbolised the Warlpiris decision to explain the Tjukurrpa (Dreaming) to the world beyond their desert home. There are 30 original Doors.
Newmont also supported the 2012 Milpirri Festival, a cultural dance held every two years that brings together male and female elders, parents, and young people to express their culture through traditional and contemporary forms of dance. The Festival is credited with increasing school attendance throughout the year and connecting generations by sharing cultural customs and stories in a modern setting.
Newmont invests in community programs include support for staff housing for the Warlpiri Youth Development Aboriginal Corporation; the Waninjawarnu Project, which provides resources on nutrition and healthcare to parents; the National Indigenous Music Awards; and the Books in Willowra Homes project, which works to improve literacy among young children in the community.
Whether it is management of water, cyanide, energy, noise, or dust emissions, our systems and processes at Tanami ensure we meet or exceed government regulations, as wells as our own technical standards. We track our environmental performance through monitoring programs, and the results are independently verified and reported to the government. In particular, we have programs in place that monitor carbon emissions and energy efficiency.
Our primary energy source at Tanami is diesel, followed by grid electricity. These energy sources power the majority of our vehicles, facilities and infrastructure. We are continuing to investigate the potential for solar power at Tanami. As the cost for solar generation continues to decrease, solar power may present a competitive and viable alternative compared to remote diesel generation.
We measure, report and verify energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. We have publicly reported our Asia Pacific carbon footprint and energy consumption since 1998, and take part in the Carbon Disclosure Project and S&P 500 Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index.
In 2009, Newmont began a forestry carbon offset project, planting a total of 800,000 mallee tree seedlings in New South Wales and Western Australia. The trees are expected to capture about 300,000 tonnes of carbon over a 30-50 year period and thereby support the Clean Energy Act. The trees also improve the salinity of the soils and increase biodiversity in the area. The trees are a part of the Carbon Farming Initiative, launched by the Australian government in 2011.
Newmont participates in the Australian Governments Energy Efficiency Opportunities (EEO) program. As a component of our participation, we conduct detailed assessments of our energy use and identify opportunities to improve energy efficiency. As a part of our transparency efforts, the 2012 and 2013 reports for our Australia operations are available online. These reports cover EEO assessments made from July 2006 to June 2012.
As a signatory to Enduring Value: the Australian Minerals Industry Framework for Sustainable Development, our Australia and New Zealand operations prepare an annual sustainability report. The Beyond the Mine report outlines our programs and performance particular to Australia and New Zealand.