Gold Mining, Processing and Refining
What exactly is gold mining? By exact definition gold mining is the mining resource that
extracts gold. For centuries and decades there has been innovations in the way that gold has
been mined and processed. Mining for gold in modern times is an intense but sophisticated
method. According to experts most surface gold or alluvial gold has been discovered, leading
to the fact that nowadays gold is mostly extracted from the earth. In order to do this
technology, expertise and sophisticated equipment is required.
Below we will discuss the process of finding, mining, processing and refining gold. This is just
a glimpse of how beautiful gold coins, necklaces, jewelry, etc come to fruition.
Phase 1: Finding Deposits
In the first phase the task is to discover where deposits of gold might be. This step is referred
to as prospecting. Special geology maps are used by geologists to search for potential places
to start exploring. To asses if there is any gold in the ground below, they investigate the
physical and chemical characteristics of surface rocks. Sometimes when these deposits are
found they may contain pure gold but usually that's not the case. The gold may be combined
with silver or other metals. Once they find traces of gold, scientists begin drilling for samples
below the surface so that they can analyze for their gold content. If enough gold is found an
entire operation is set up for large-scale mining.
Phase 2: Determining Type of Mining Technique
Gold is mined depending on its deposits. There are different types of deposits: lode deposits
and placer deposits. Lode deposits are gold concentrations found in rock solids. The mining
company would use open-pit techniques if the gold-bearing rock is found on the surface of the
earth. Next, miners dig a pattern of holes that they fill with explosives afterwards. Then, the
explosives are ignited to breakup up the soil so that it can be loaded into transport trucks.
Placer deposits are accumulations of loose gold in sediments of a stream or beach, they are
mined differently then lode deposits. Sand, gravel and rock are scooped up by miners and
combined with generous quantities of water. Due to its higher density, gold sinks faster than
other materials and collects at the bottom. For the separation of gold from sediments, a
method known as panning is used, often miners use a metal or plastic pan.
Phase 3: Processing
The next step after the ore is mined, it is important to start the process of turning it into pure
gold. Depending on the quality of the related materials, the ore is first crushed and then
undergoes different processes. Some of these processes are carbon-in-pulp (CIP),
electrowinning, and smelting. These process including dissolving gold out of the ore,
separating it from the chemicals and melting it to be almost pure. The liquid gold is then turned
into solid gold bars called doré bars. These bars are then sent to refineries all around the world
for further processing.
Phase 4: Refining
The ore is taken to a refinery until basic processing is completed, where the remaining
impurities are stripped out after the smelting process. The doré bars, as well as the scrap gold,
are then put in a furnace to liquify. Borax and soda ash are then applied to the melted metal,
separating the pure gold from other metals. Once this is done a sample is taken to a lab to
measure the gold content. Gold is usually 99.9% pure in most cases. After this is done it can
be determined what the gold with be used for.
Once the gold is mined, processed and refined it can be used for a variety of things. Such as
jewelry, technology and health care. This precious metal is not just used for leisure, it can be
used for so much more and brings a lot of value into the world we live in. Its unique properties
are what is allows to serve in many different industries, for example it doesn’t tarnish, its
malleable, and has high conductivity. If you are interested in buying or selling your gold contact
Global Jewelers. They are known to have a wide range of knowledge and experience when its
comes to handling gold and precious metals.