In modern times though, mining for gold is a much more intensive, yet complex process. Most surface or alluvial gold has been found, and that’s why gold is largely mined in the ground today. It is mainly an issue of technology and takes much experience and elaborate equipment.
Mining for gold today can be broken down into nine measures. Continue reading to learn more about how gold is discovered, how it’s pulled out of the ground and the way that it’s refined to generate beautiful gold coins, bars, jewellery and other items.
The first step is finding where gold deposits may be. Geologists use unique ‘geology’ maps to look for promising areas to explore further. WPE Process Equipment offer a wide range of vibratory screening machines in Australia. They examine physical and chemical characteristics of surface rocks to find out if any gold is on the ground under.
Analysis of Promising Areas
Once some promising areas are identified through their geological attributes, targets for drill testing are outlined using many different techniques, including remote sensing, geophysics and geochemistry (…both air and ground based).
Then, stone samples have been taken via drill testing and analysed. Geologists and mining engineers use these samples to find out whether gold exists, the size of the deposit as well as the quality of gold at the ground beneath. This information is utilised to decide if sufficient gold exists beneath the surface to make mining rewarding.
Type of mine
If it’s determined the amount and quality of deposits produce mining rewarding, engineers will then determine the kind of mine that is needed, any physical barriers and also the affect the mine will have on the surrounding atmosphere.
Before any mining can happen, infrastructure such as streets and processing facilities have to be constructed. Even the easiest open-pit stone can take as much as a year to construct before any mining can occur. A lot of the time, it may be up to 5 years between the occasions discovery is made to when actual mining takes place.
Mining samples and ascertaining processing
Once mining gets underway, samples must be taken to determine the precise metallurgical qualities of this ore. This is done to find out the appropriate processing technique.
After the ore is extracted, processing it into pure gold must be done. Ore is first crushed and then undergoes various procedures based on the character of related minerals. Processing ore is relatively simple while higher grades need much more extensive processing.
Once basic processing is done, the ore is taken to a refinery where the remaining impurities are stripped out. Crude gold is melted and treated using chloride, which converts any foreign metals into chloride which will then drift off the gold. The outcome is 99.5% pure gold, which is then forged into electrodes (…known as anodes) in which it’s then placed into an electrolytic cell. A current is then passed through the mobile, together with the end product being 99.99percent pure gold.
After a few years, gold reserves at the mine will be drained. In the old days, the mine would be boarded up and left. Today though, a reclamation job is done to try and return to the land to its previous natural condition — as much as possible anyhow.
As you can see, the procedure for taking metal ore on the ground and converting it to gold bullion is quite extensive and requires a lot Front-end time and investment. Ultimately though, we get these shiny jewels and bars to enjoy.
Gold miners also require special care to make the impact of mining for gold as light as possible. Reclaiming land to its previous all-natural state is the final and possibly most important step to ensuring that the process of obtaining gold does not lead to permanent damage to the landscape.