Chinese geologists have found a gold reef containing over 470 tonnes of gold ore under the East China Sea, according to online news portal jiaodong.net.

The deposit, China’s first deep-sea goldmine, is around 2,000 metres under the ocean north of the Sanshan Islands in Laizhou, Shandong province, the report said.

Drilling platforms off Sanshan Islands, Shandong. Photo: xilu.com.

Scientists have been working to locate the goldmine since 2012. The exploration phase will be complete by the end of this month.

A few dozen drilling platforms were built in the area. And as many as 1,000 workers worked on the mine, said the report, which was also carried on Xinhua news agency’s website.

Workers working on a drilling platform. Photo: xilu.com.

Ding Zhengjiang, a scientist leading the project and vice director of the Shandong No. 3 Institute of Geological Exploration, said Laizhou has been known for its gold resources “since ancient times.”

Experts at the Chinese Academy of Engineering expect the gold ore to yield an average of 4.3 grammes per tonne, the report said.

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Vivienne Zeng

Vivienne Zeng is a journalist from China with three years' experience covering Hong Kong and mainland affairs. She has an MA in journalism from the University of Hong Kong. Her work has been featured on outlets such as Al Jazeera+ and MSNBC.