Uzbekistan is home to the world's largest open-pit gold mine
Uzbekistan is home to the world's largest open-pit gold mine, which is located near Muruntau in the Qizilqum or Kyzyl Kum deserts. The mine produces around 2 million ounces of gold each year, and the pit measures 2.17 miles by 1.55 miles at a depth of 1,837 feet. The gold reserves in the Muruntau area, including those in the process of production, are estimated to be over 170 million ounces of gold. The gold was discovered in the area for the first time in 1958. Originally, the area was a source of turquoise throughout the Silk Road period. However, the region was not substantially studied until the 1950s. Commercial mining began in 1967 and has continued ever since.