Ethiopia could be sitting on world’s great untapped gold deposits

Ethiopia could be sitting on world’s great untapped gold deposits
The gold mines are in the Asosa Region, Ethiopia. (AP Photo/Elias Asmare)

Gold mining has a legendary history in Ethiopia, with Ethiopian mines providing gold to the ancient Egyptian empire and possibly even King Solomon’s Mines and the Queen of Sheba. Today, gold occurs in the PanAfrican age schist belt and Tertiary basaltic lavas of the Asosa region of Benishangul-Gumuz, western Ethiopia.

There is widespread artisanal gold production in the Asosa region, with moderate activity by small numbers of local workers producing relatively large amounts of gold. There is a strong relationship between predominantly shear zone-hosted gold deposits and the Kuluck shear zone, suggesting a structural control on gold accumulation.

Gold is also commonly associated with secondary sulphide mineralization and magnetite alteration in Asosa rocks. The source of the gold is thought to be the sub-volcanic intrusions generated during the subduction of the oceanic crust at the trench island-arc system, akin to what we see today in epithermal and porphyry type gold systems.

Historical workings and anomalous gold concentrations in rock, soil and stream sediments point to a potentially significant untapped gold resource in the Asosa region of western Ethiopia.

Read the new geological research here

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