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ArticleName Muruntau gold mining and refining operation: Resources, expansion program and future considerations
DOI 10.17580/gzh.2021.05.02
ArticleAuthor Sanakulov K., Snitka N. P.

Navoi Mining and Metallurgical Combinat, Navoi, Uzbekistan:

K. Sanakulov, CEO, Professor, Doctor of Engineering Sciences
N. P. Snitka, Chief Engineer,


The international geological community has acknowledged Muruntau gold deposit as the greatest discovery in the mid-to-late 20th century. Muruntau mine field holds the total appraised resource potential of more than 4.5 thousand tons of gold. Hydrometallurgical plant GMZ-3 implements gold-ore processing by gravitational sedimentation and adsorption. The technological and instrumental modernization of the gold processing circuit toward its higher capacity, gold recovery and thoroughness are the important aspects of production improvement and cost reduction. The developed and introduced ore milling flowchart provides replacement of the second milling stage pumps by higher-capacity pumps backed up with additional cyclones. Aiming to ensure stable gold production at plants GMZ-2 and GMZ-3, Navoi MMC’s experts accomplished the feasibility study of mining operations in Chukurkuduk and Turbai deposits in 2020. The growth prospects for open pit mining in Murunatu–Myutenbai fields after 2060 are estimated using the model of optimized ultimate pit limit design at the gold price of USD 1500/t. The model ultimate pit limit embraces all probable reserves as per the detailed 2D seismic data as of early 2020, including proven reserves intended for open pit and underground mining. The gold ore appraisal and the expansion program elaborated for Muruntau gold mining and refining integrated works in joint Muruntau–Myutenbai field, through implementation of operation phases V and further make it possible to forecast stable performance up to 2030–2050.

keywords Murunatu deposit, gold mining and refining, mineral reserves and resources, status evaluation, future considerations

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