A lucrative business
In recent years, Mr. Mulentau of Uzbekistan has taken first place from Mr. Grasberg. In 2013 and 2014, the competition isn’t even over yet. Mulentau produced 2.52 million ounces of gold in 2013 and 2.6 million ounces in 2014. The huge open-pit mine is estimated to contain about 170 million ounces of gold, so at current production levels it could be a leader for another 60 years. Muluntaw is owned by Navoi Mining and Metallurgical Engineering, a company owned by Uzbekistan. The Navoi mining division that handles the Mulentao deposit is the Central Mining Administration, which was founded in 1964 as part of the Soviet gold mining business. Navoy commissioned the world’s largest bioplant to deal with the depletion of its oxide reserves.