History of the site

During the Second World War, there was organised artisanal mining of mercury in what is now the Kyrgyz Republic. Subsequently, until the late 1960’s, the main focus of exploration was on discovering further mercury deposits, although signs of gold were noted. In 1968 a geological research team was tasked with carrying out an assessment of the gold-bearing Paleozoic rocks in the Turkestan-Alai Mountain Range, leading to the discovery of gold deposits within the area covered by the Company’s two licences. Further detailed prospecting of the ore zones was carried out between 1971 and 1972.

After this, during the Soviet era, there was a comparative lack of interest in smaller gold deposits, in part because global gold prices were low and because exploration and prospecting work at that time was focused on mercury and antimony.

During the period between 1981 and 1987 a further geological survey was undertaken which included a small amount of surface mining, the result of which was a more precise geological understanding of the field as well as the identification of new ore zones thus extending the perspective of the deposits in the area.

Between 1993 and 1998, a more detailed survey was carried out in the eastern part of the area during which time the Aprelskoe deposits were discovered in addition to several other new deposits of gold, arsenic and mercury mineralisation; which were identified as promising areas for detailed prospecting. In 2002 a further detailed study of the gold deposits within the licenced areas was undertaken.

Between 2004 and 2007 significant exploration was carried out at the deposits which included drilling 33 diamond drillholes, trenching and driving two adits into part of the Aprelskoe deposit.

Drilling team, 2006

Adit, excavated in 2007

Core sample logging and dispatch