Other Names: Kumtyer
District: Akshiirak Range
Commodities :   Gold, Arsenic

The Kumtor Gold Project is located 350 km to the southeast of the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek

and about 60 km to the north of the international boundary with the People’s Republic of

China. The deposit is perched at 4000 m on the western spur of the Tein-Shan Mountains, part of the Tien Shan Metallogenic Belt which represents a major suture that traverses Central Asia, from Uzbekistan in the west, through Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic, and into northwestern China. The metallogenic belt, a Hercynian fault and thrust belt, spans more than 2,500 km and hosts a number of mesothermal-type gold deposits including Muruntau, Zarmitan, Jilau, and Kumtor - which is largest gold mine operated in Central Asia by a Western-based company, having produced more than 8.6 Moz of gold between 1997 and 2011.


The Kumtor gold Project comprises a Central Deposit, historically referred to as the Central Pit or Kumtor Pit, and a series of smaller satellite deposits, the Sarytor Deposit, Southwest Deposit and Northeast Deposit. At the end of 2012, Kumtor’s proven and probable reserves totaled 93.1 million tones at 3.3 g/t gold, 9.7 million contained ounces, with an open pit mining life to 2023 and milling operations to 2026.


The Tien Shan Metallogenic Belt is subdivided in to three main accretionary elements, the North, Middle and South Tien Shan. The Nikolaev Fault separates the North and Middle terrains while the South Tien Shan is separated from the Middle by the Atbashi-Inylchek Fault. The Kumtor deposit is located in the northwestern section of the middle Tien Shan, which is cored by granitic and granodioritic intrusives assigned Meso- to Neoproterozoic ages. These intrusive have been thrust over Proterozoic sedimentary and volcanic rocks, which in turn, are thrust over younger Vendian-ages (youngest Proterozoic or oldest Palaeozoic) clastic sedimentary rocks.


The Kumtor deposit is classified as a structurally controlled meso-thermal gold replacement deposit, opposed to a porphyry or epithermal system which are also known within the Tien Shan Mineral Belt. The geology of the Kumtor deposit comprises a series of major thrust and fault slices resultant from multiple deformation events reactivating long-lived reverse faults. Mineralization is associated with hydrothermal alteration of Vendian sediments, which took place over four main pulses during the Permian. Pervasive quartz-carbonate-albite-chlorite-sericite-pyrite alteration charaterises the first pulse and deposited little gold. This first phase of alteration strengthened the host rock permitting intense vein, stockwork and breccia development during the following two pulses that deposited all of the economically significant gold. Gold mineralisation of these main pulses formed at temperatures of ~310 °C within veins, vinlets and breccia matrix, and covers a strike length of more than 12 km. The gold and gold-bearing minerals occur as fine inclusions within pyrite averaging sizes of only 10 microns.


Production in 2011 was 18.12 t (0.583 Moz) of gold. Remaining ore reserves and mineral resources at December 31, 2011 (Centerra Gold Inc., 2012) were: Proven + probable reserves - 59.694 Mt @ 3.3 g/t Au; (reserves are in addition to resources) Measured + indicated resources - 65.949 Mt @ 2.3 g/t Au; Inferred resources - 9.195 Mt @ 2.4 g/t Au.


(Source: Kumtor NI 43-101 2011 Technical report,  

 Porter GeoConsultancy, www.portergeo.com.au , 2013)