Solomon’s Gold Mine Believed Found -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bible and Spade (First Run)
Volume: BSP 05:4 (Autumn 1976)
Article: Solomon’s Gold Mine Believed Found
Author: Anonymous

Solomon’s Gold Mine Believed Found

A mine in western Saudi Arabia is now believed to have been the principal producer of King Solomon’s gold, according to a new study by scientists of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Department of the Interior, working with their counterparts in the Saudi Arabian Directorate General of Mineral Resources (DGMR).

Although many mines scattered throughout the region may have contributed gold to King Solomon’s treasuries, the principal producer and most likely candidate to be the fabled biblical Ophir is the Mahd adh Dhahab (Cradle of Gold) mine, located about midway between Mecca and Madina, the scientists believe.

The conclusion was reached after a four-year (1972–75) detailed geologic, geochemical, and geophysical investigation of the Mahd adh Dhahab mining district by the USGS-DGMR team that also found indications of additional gold-bearing zones.

Dr. Robert W. Luce, geologist, USGS National Center, Reston, Va., and member of the U.S.-Saudia Arabian study team, said, “Mining engineers who operated the Mahd adh Dhahab gold-silver mine during 1939–54 in Saudi Arabia suspected that it was the site of biblical Ophir. Our investigations have now confirmed that the old mine could have been as rich as described in biblical accounts and, indeed, is a logical candidate to be the lost Ophir.

“In fact, we believe that the mining district still contains workable deposits of gold, silver, and other metals,” Luce said. “Our geochemical sampling, for example, indicates that the mineralized zones continue into an area that has not been productive in the past. Shallow diamond drilling in this new area has outlined a mineralized zone with a potential gold resource equal in size and grade to the ore bodies mined during the period 1939–54.”

Map of the Near East showing the location of Mahd adh Dhahab.

Luce and USGS scientists Ralph J. Roberts, Ronald G. Worl, Richard H. Blank, and Mark E. Gettings, worked in collaboration with Abdulaziz Bagdady, Habib Merghelani, and Abdul-Rahman Gazzaz of the DGMR.

A prominent mining company has expressed interest in conducting further exploration in this area and has applied to the Saudi Arabian government for an exploration license.

One of the intriguing questions is how this fabulously rich area was “lost” in the first place. The Bible reports that King Solomon brought to Jerusalem from Ophir a total of 1,086 talents of gold (1 Kings 9:26–28 and 10:14

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