In a report that was published in the journal Geothermics, researchers have discovered that there are gold and silver deposits under New Zealand’s volcanoes. The small team believes that they have found at least six reservoirs containing large deposits of the precious metals that sit beneath several volcanoes.
We have known that the Tuapo Volcanic Zone in New Zealand has gold and silver in its sub-surface rocks, but it has always been thought that there was not enough to mine. Now, with the knowledge from the researchers that with the magma heating the water, it has been breaking down the rocks, leaving the precious metals behind, which are then left deep inside the reservoirs.
Lake Rotokawa, Taupo, New Zealand:
Even the researchers have to admit that mining under the volcanoes would be challenging and that: “New technologies need to be developed to extract the metals from the flow stream of production wells without interfering with geothermal energy production for continued metal extraction to be feasible.”
The researchers believe that a mine could yield nearly $3 billion worth of gold and $3.5 billion in silver each year that it operates. Stuart Simmons, a geologist at the University of Utah and lead author suggested that an “alternative is to let precious metals accumulate in two-phase pipelines, to be recovered in intervals, when practical for steam field operations and optimal in terms of profitability.”
The team also noted that testing at Rotokawa and Mokai showed even higher concentrations of precious metals.
This suggests that production of 680 to 7,500 kg of gold a year may be possible.