A massive deposit of gold discovered more than a mile underwater off the eastern coast of China could have a value of more than $16 billion, China Topix reports. According to the People's Daily Online, the undersea deposit was found near the city of Laizhou in Shandong province and announced Monday. The South China Morning Post reports the deposit, which contains at least 470 tons of gold, is likely to become China's first undersea gold mine.
The deposit was found by Laizhou Ruihai Mining after three years of searching, including 67 undersea drilling platforms, approximately 75 miles of drilling, and nearly 1,000 workers, the People's Daily Online reports. “Drilling holes into underground rocks that are more than 1,000 meters deep is a big challenge,” the project manager says. “Normally in China gold mine prospection is conducted within 800 meters underground." According to China Topix, more than 2,000 tons of gold has been found in Laizhou, giving the city the largest gold reserves in China.