Scientists in China have identified a huge gold mine that is worth hundreds of millions of dollars, 2,000 meters under the sea in the waters of Sanshan Island. The gold mine is the first to be discovered in the ocean surrounding China, east of the Bohai Sea.
Initial estimates believe that there is at least 470.47 tons of gold to be mined — anything over 20 tons of gold is considered to be a “big” mine. Following three years of searching, the Shandong Third Institute of Geological and Mineral Exploration has located the incredibly valuable pit.
But experts now face the daunting challenge of accessing the mine, which is out of reach for excavators. China.org.cn reports that, despite the East Asian country being the world’s leading producer of gold, it lacks the technological ability to reach potential operations 1,000 meters below the earth’s surface.
It adds that, because the discovery is under the sea, it will be particularly hard to locate accurately, with more than a thousand workers needed for the operation. Zhang Junjin, program manager of the mining venture, told the news outlet: “It’s no easier than the docking of a space ship.”
Xu Zhiqin of the Chinese Academy of Science added: “Drilling in the ocean will mark the fact that China’s geological exploration has extended from land to sea, and that it is a strong power in geological terms.”