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Gold Exploration Models


Gold Exploration Models and Evaluation of the Gold Potential of Georgia

Tech Area / Field

  • OBS-NAT/Natural Resources and Earth Sciences/Other Basic Sciences

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Geological Institute, Georgia, Tbilisi

Supporting institutes

  • Caucasian Institute of Raw Materials (CIRM), Georgia, Tbilisi


  • US Geological Survey / Reno Field Office, USA, NV, Reno\nUS Geological Survey, USA, VA, Reston\nTechnische Universität Clausthal / Institut für Mineralogie und Mineralische Rohstoffe, Germany, Clausthal\nMiami University, USA, OH, Oxford\nUniversity of Southampton / School of Ocean and Earth Science, UK, Southampton

Project summary

Georgia faces a number of economic difficulties and residents of mountain regions suffer most of all. The migration rate has increased catastrophically; the residents of mountain regions suffer from high unemployment. These negative events can be avoided, since Georgia has a sufficient gold-bearing potential, which is estimated to be as much as 300 tons of metal. The necessary first steps are required to discover and then estimate the gold-bearing objects - an effective mechanism for exploration of industrially significant deposits should be introduced.

Some gold-bearing ores located within Georgia have only been estimated to a preliminary level. In the Svaneti region (potential resources – 200 tons of gold) trustworthy resources of the occurence of Lukhra have been estimated as 30 tons of gold, and 40 tons of Arshira. The gold-bearing occurence – Zopkhito with resources amounting to 60 tons and an average content of gold equal to 5-7 g/t – is well known in the Racha region. Ajara is also characterized by a suitably large potential; according to preliminary estimations, the ore manifestation Vaio, alone has a concentration of about 50 tons of gold. In the Bolnisi region gold has been recovered from the gold-containing quartzites of the Madneuli deposit for the last five years (Georgian-Australian venture ‘’Quartzite’’). A problem in connection with the extension of the raw-material base of the venture will arise in the near future. The above obstacles can be overcome provided the following objectives of the Project are achieved:

1) Elaboration of a method for exploration of gold mineralization in carbonaceous terrigenic and volcanic series by taking into account geological features of the Caucasus region;

2) Approbation of method and obtaining positive results for prospective gold-containing areas of Georgia;

3) Inculcation of gold prospecting methods into geological-exploration practice;

4) Evaluation of the gold potential of Georgia.

The following ore indicators will be revealed and estimated quantatively: lithofacial, magmatic, metamorphic, mineralogical, structural, geochemical, and paleohydrogeological. Genetic models elaborated for Caucasian gold deposits wil serve as the basis for these indicators. For each selected indicator (criterium) of mineralization, a method for its identification in natural circumstances will be proposed.

Gold-containing systems in carbonaceous terrigenic and volcanic series were most likely generated at different depths and their components had various sources. That is why the mechanism of their functioning and development were different. The deposits of the Southern slope of the Caucasus (Lukhra in granitoids and Zopkhito in terrigenous strata) and those of the Southern Caucasus metalogenic area (Madneuli and Vaio deposits) in volcanic series were selected as units for examination. Three main tasks should be accomplished for solving the objectives:

1) Collection and processing of materials to improve the methods for exploration of deposits in carbonaceous terrigenic strata; 2) Collection and processing of materials to improve the methods for exploration of deposits in volcanic series; 3) Preparation of cartographic bases for evaluation and prognosis of the deposits.

The first two tasks will be accomplished in three main stages. Field explorations are planned for the first stage: standard deposits will be mapped, sampling will be conducted for determination of the subsequent revealing of geochemical behaviour of ore and petrogenic elements, and determination of mineralogy of ores and hydrothemaly altered rocks. The second stage will involve the following tasks and analysis:

1)Microscopic study of rocks and ores (300 samples); 2)Instrumental neitron-activation analysis for gold and 33 elements (1500 determinations); 3)Isotopic analysis: Sm/Nd, Rb/Sr, Pb (20 determinations); 4)X-ray phase analysis (50 determinations); 5)Determination of chemical content of solid phases on X-ray microanalyzer ‘’CAMEBAX’’ (40 determinations); 6)Thermobarogeochemical analysis (50 samples); 7)Mathematical processing of analyses using software.

Lithofacial and paleovolcanic maps of ore fields will be compiled during the third and final stage which will depict indicators of mineralization. Genetic models will be elaborated for the generation and functioning of gold-bearing systems, and a complex of mineralization characteristics for the significant mining districts will be defined and methods for their discovery will be proposed. The third task implies the compilation of various-scaled maps of metalogenic content, and the gold potential of the Republic will be determined on that basis. The maps will be loaded mineralization features. Geo-information systems, according to the software Arc View-3.1, will be compiled for each map (metalogenic maps of Georgia scale 1:500000, specializing in gold deposits; maps of ore districts, scale 1:50000 – Svaneti, Racha, Ajara and Bolnisi).

Researchers and specialists from the defense sector have devoted many years to the exploration of minerals. They are experts in the exploration and prospecting of raw material deposits used for the production and delivery of nuclear and chemical weapons.

Therefore this proposal is deemed to be in accordance with the aims and objectives of the ISTC. The fulfillment of the project targets will assist in the development of the mining industry of Georgia, and especially for the revival of the economy in moutainous regions. It should be noted that obtained results would be of interest not only for Georgia, but also for foreign investors who are involved in the recovery of deposits. This would be valued greatly by the Georgian Government.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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