We determined the concentrations of gold, silver, arsenic, antimony, and mercury in deep hydrothermal solutions (~1 km depth, 200° to >300°C) from active geothermal systems in the Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand, and Ladolam, Lihir Island, Papua New Guinea. The wide range of concentrations in the New Zealand systems and the stable isotope signatures at Ladolam confırm that magmas are an important source of high concentrations of gold and silver in hydrothermal solutions. The Rotokawa geothermal system in New Zealand has the highest hydrothermal fluxes of gold (~30–100 kg/yr) and silver (~5000–11,000 kg/yr), which, if they remained constant, could match the metal inventories of the largest ore deposits in the world in <50,000 years. This relatively short time span is comparable to the amount of time required to account for the known gold resource in ores at Ladolam, which has a slightly lower gold flux (~25 kg/yr). The fact that a giant gold deposit exists at Ladolam, rather than at Rotokawa, demonstrates the importance of fluid focusing and effıcient metal deposition in the formation of epithermal gold and silver ore deposits.

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