The Sotk (Zod) Gold Deposit
The Sotk deposit is located in the Gegharkunik region, at the upper reaches of the Sotk River, on the southern slopes of the Sevan ridge at a height of 2,200 to 2,500 meters above sea level.
The history of the deposit goes back as far as 3,000 years. Gold has been mined here from ancient times, as evidenced by the traces of ancient mining, and primitive tools are found in the area of the deposits. It was rediscovered in 1950 and has been worked since 1976.
There are more than forty bodies of ore in the deposit; however, most of the reserves are concentrated in the seven or eight largest ones. One can separate streaky zones, streaks, lenticular and pocket- shaped bodies, mineralized dikes and zones of streaky-inset ores by their morphological peculiarities.
The ore of the Sotk deposit is of the complex polysulfide type. The following minerals contain the gold; arsenopyrite, pyrite, pyrrhotite, sphalerite, chalcopyrite, galenite and tellurides. Visible or so-called “free” gold, is also often seen.
The ore contain more than 120 minerals. The ore is being excavated through both open and underground mining and is transported by railroad to the Ararat gold- extracting factory. The Sotk deposit is the largest in the Caucasus and the most heavily prospected one in Armenia.