Discovered and undiscovered gold endowment of Turkey: a quantitative mineral resource assessment using GIS and rank statistical analysis

Yigit O.

MINERALIUM DEPOSITA, vol.47, no.5, pp.521-534, 2012 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 47 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00126-011-0392-1
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.521-534
  • Keywords: Zipf's law, Pareto, Tethyan metallogeny, Turkey, Gold exploration, TETHYAN METALLOGENY, MISSING LINK, EXPLORATION, DEPOSIT, ZIPF, LAW


An assessment of the discovered and undiscovered gold endowment of Turkey, a prolific sector in the Tethyan Metallogenic Belt, is developed from a comprehensive Geographic Information System database containing 402 gold deposits and prospects. The majority of the gold deposits and prospects are epithermal, porphyry, volcanic-associated massive sulfides, orogenic gold, and skarn systems. These five major deposit types form more than 90% of the known gold deposits and prospects. Just 87, corresponding to 21.6%, of the deposits and prospects in the data set have current calculated gold reserve and/or resources, containing a total of 54.885 Moz Au. Current gold reserves of the country are 21.447 Moz constituting 39.1% of the total gold resources, of which 17.1 Moz gold are contained in four deposits. Out of these 87 deposits and prospects, only 27 contain significant gold reserve and/or resources (defined as equal to or more than 0.32 Moz or 10 tons Au), and contain 91.8% of the total gold endowment of the country. The cumulative frequency distribution model of the gold endowment of Turkey abides by log-normal distribution. Observed and estimated 10th, 50th (median), and 90th percentiles of the data are 0.0046 Moz [0.0045 Moz estimated], 0.1030 Moz [0.0875 Moz], and 1.4969 Moz [1.6938 Moz], respectively. The 99th percentile of the data is 7.6444 Moz [18.9636 Moz]. The arithmetic mean of the known gold endowment is 0.657 Moz and the Swanson mean size is 0.492 Moz. The arithmetic mean of the 27 significant gold deposit or prospects is 1.94 Moz. Zipf's law estimates of the undiscovered (residual) gold resources of Turkey are based on the current size of the largest, rank 1, gold deposit of Turkey, which is the Kisladag porphyry deposit that has 17.481 Moz gold endowment (including past production). Zipf's law estimates a total of 88.261 Moz natural or total gold endowment, 57.133 Moz or 65% of which has already been found. This predicts at least 31.128 Moz residual or undiscovered gold resources to be found in Turkey, though the lack of full delineation of the rank 1 deposit, Kisladag, means that this figure is very conservative.