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Gold Ingots Stolen in Sado - But All in Replicas!

By April 22, 2017 at 3:01 am
Aikawa Folk Museum website
Aikawa Folk Museum website(Photo : Aikawa Folk Museum)

Here's a shocking and yet amusing case of burglary - 5 kilos of gold ingots in replicas stolen at Aikawa's Folk Museum,  past midnight April 17.

According to the Sado City Board of Education, a security alarm sounded at midnight in the chamber displaying the history of gold/silver mining in the island of Sado. The patrolman checked and found the backside windowpane broken open.

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The police inspected the chamber in the following morning to discover the glass showcase plied open and 5 pieces of "gold ingot", weighing 1 kilo each, missing. The museum confirmed all the gold ingots were in gold-plated replicas and were displayed as part of the exhibits to tell the story of the Sado Gold Mine in bygone days.
Also in the showcase were 3 silver ingots weighing 30 kilos each and genuine gold ores, and they were left intact. The Sado Board of Education commented the thieves had mistaken the replicas for real.

The Sado Mine in the island of Sado, Niigata, is a major gold/silver line productive over the period 1601 through 1974. When gold veins were discovered in Kitayama in 1601, the Tokugawa shogunate placed it under its direct control.

In the Keicho period (1596-1615) through Kannei period (1624-45), the mine produced 400 kg of gold and 40 tons of silver per annum. The Sado Gold Mine was then one of the world's most production gold mines.

Today, Japan still has a few commercially viable gold mines - not Sado nor Hokkaido but in Kagoshima down south. One of them is Hishikari Mine in Isa City, Kagoshima, own by Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. and   Akaishi Mine operated by Mitsui Kushikino Mine Co. in Minami Kyushu also in Kagoshima.

Since its founding in 1985, Hishikari had unearthed 216.7 tons of gold as of March 2015  -  at an annual rate of 7 tons. The mine confirmed gross reserves of 150 tons at its 30th anniversary in 2012. The company has located a new 30-ton worth of vein for ready exploration starting 2018.
 Folks, Japan still is a gold-rich "Chipangu". (Nathan Shiga)

Source: NHK

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