What may be the largest single gold deposit ever discovered in Idaho - an estimated 2 million ounces - has been found in the central part of the state, Burlington Resources Inc. announced.

The discovery was made by Burlington's precious metals subsidiary, Meridian Gold Co., at its Beartrack Joint Venture property near Salmon in Idaho's Lemhi County.Meridian said an independent consulting geologist estimates the potential geologic resource at the site at more than 36.9 million tons, averaging .055 ounce of gold per ton and containing about 2.03 million ounces of gold.

Meridian is the manager of the Beartrack venture, with a 60 percent share. Canyon Resources Corp. of Golden, Colo., and its Minex partners own the remaining 40 percent.

To date, more than 100 test holes have been drilled at the 50-square-mile site. Meridian plans additional drilling and geologic studies before deciding next year whether to develop a mine.