A gold deposit with an estimated worth of more than US$22 billion has been announced by Shandong Gold Group, the nation’s second-biggest producer by output, state media reports. Shandong Gold said on Wednesday it had already detected more than 382 tonnes of gold at the mine in Xiling, according to People’s Daily. The report said the total volume of gold from the mine could reach about 550 tonnes once exploration was completed in two years. It is expected to take 40 years before the deposit is exhausted. Missing gold on a Hong Kong hillside? History buffs return to plane crash site in search of truth - and treasure The mine is located in the Laizhou-Zhaoyuan region of northwest Jiaodong peninsula, an area which contains a quarter of the nation’s gold deposits, according to the Ministry of Land and Resources. Shandong Gold saw its share price rise by as much as 2.8 per cent in Shanghai upon news of the find. The listed unit said on Monday its net profit doubled to 1.29 billion yuan last year from a year earlier as gold prices rebounded. The resources ministry said yesterday it had taken the Shandong government 16 years and US$46 million in investment to locate the deposit. Huge seabed gold deposit discovered off eastern China coast Chinese gold companies have been stepping up their search for domestic deposits and eyeing acquisitions as the nation seeks to boost its reserves by about 3,000 tonnes to as much as 14,000 tonnes by 2020, Bloomberg cited the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology as saying last month. China is the world’s leading gold producer, a position it has held for a decade, with volume reaching more than 453 tonnes last year. The nation has also turned to seabed gold mines, with the first deposit discovered off the coast of Laizhou. It estimated to hold at least 470 tonnes of the precious metal.