9 step process for discovering, mining & refining gold
In modern times though, mining for gold is a much more intensive, yet sophisticated process. Most surface, or alluvial gold has been found, which is why gold is mainly mined from the earth today. Its largely a matter of technology and requires much expertise and elaborate equipment.
Mining for gold today can essentially be broken down into 9 steps. Continue reading to learn more about how gold is discovered, how its brought out of the ground and how its refined to produce beautiful gold coins, bars, jewelry and other items.
The first step is discovering where gold deposits may be. Geologists use special geology maps to look for promising areas to explore further. They examine physical and chemical characteristics of surface rocks to determine if any gold is in the ground beneath.
Once some promising areas are identified through their geological characteristics, targets for drill testing are outlined using a variety of techniques, including remote sensing, geophysics and geochemistry (both air and ground based).
Next, rock samples are taken through drill testing and analyzed. Geologists and mining engineers use these samples to determine if gold actually exists, the size of the deposit and the quality of gold in the ground beneath. This information is used to determine if enough gold exists under the surface to make mining worthwhile.
If its determined the amount and quality of deposits makes mining worthwhile, engineers will next determine the type of mine thats needed, any physical obstacles and the impact the mine will have on the surrounding environment.
Before any mining can take place, infrastructure like roads and processing facilities must be constructed. Even the simplest open-pit mines can take up to a year to construct before any mining can occur. And since many potential mines are in remote areas, entire infrastructures like roads, administrative offices, equipment storage areas and even whole towns have to be built. Much of the time, it can be up to 5 years between the times discovery is made to when actual mining takes place.
Once ore is extracted, processing it into pure gold must be done. Ore is first crushed and then undergoes various processes depending on the nature of associated minerals. Processing low-grade ore is relatively simple while higher grades require 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 with chloride, which converts any remaining foreign metals to chloride which will then drift off the gold. The result is 99.5% pure gold, which is then cast into electrodes (known as anodes) where it is then placed into an electrolytic cell. A current is then passed through the cell, with the end product being 99.99% pure gold.
After a few years, gold reserves in the mine will be exhausted. In the old days, the mine would be boarded up and abandoned. Today though, a reclamation project is done to try and return the land to its previous natural state as much as possible anyway.
As you can see, the process of taking metal ore from the earth and converting it to gold bullion is quite extensive and requires a lot front-end investment and time. In the end though, we get these shiny coins and bars to enjoy.
Gold miners too take special care to make the impact of mining for gold as light as possible. Reclaiming land to its previous natural state is the final and perhaps most important step to ensuring the process of obtaining gold doesnt result in permanent damage to the landscape.
The post on the 9 steps of how gold is refined, has helped me to relate the process of Gods divine will has a child of God, when one is choosen by God, he or she has to go through a process in order to accomplish the will of God and also to embrace others in knowing God. I was inspired spiritually by God in researching the steps and process gold has to go through to become the finest gold.
It seems that many have thought on the gold mentioned in the Bible and having done so, think further about the processing of it spiritually in ones own life. The temple was covered in gold. We go through processes in our lives too so that God can clothe us in His righteousness not our own, and it is a costly process and time-consuming but the value of it will one day be revealed not now but when the process is completed in His time.
mining : what is gold mining? how is gold mined? | geology page
Placer mining is the technique of extracting gold accumulated in a placer deposit. Placer deposits are composed of relatively loose material that makes tunneling difficult, so most extraction methods involve water or dredging.
Gold panning is mainly a manual gold separation technique from other materials. Large, shallow pans are filled with gold-containing sand and gravel. The pan is submerged and shaken in water, sorting the gravel gold and other material. It quickly settles down to the bottom of the pan as gold is much denser than rock.
Usually the panning material is removed from stream beds, often at the inside turn in the stream, or from the streams bedrock shelf, where gold density allows it to concentrate, a type called placer deposits.
It has long been a very common practice for prospecting and small-scale mining to use a sluice box to extract gold from placer deposits. Essentially, a sluice box is a man-made channel with riffles at the bottom. In order to allow gold to drop out of suspension, the riffles are designed to create dead zones.
In order to channel water flow, the box is placed in the stream. At the top of the box is placed gold-bearing material. The material is transported by the current through the volt where behind the riffles settles gold and other dense material. Less dense material flows like tailings out of the box.
While this method has been largely replaced by modern methods, small-scale miners use suction dredges to make some dredging. Small machines that float on the water are typically operated by one or two people. A suction dredge consists of a pontoon-supported sluice box attached to a suction hose controlled by an underwater miner.
State dredging permits specify a seasonal time period and area closures in many of the U.S. gold dredging areas to avoid conflicts between dredgers and fish populations spawning time. Some states, like Montana, need a comprehensive licensing procedure, including U.S. permits. Engineering corps, Montana Environmental Quality Department and local county water quality boards.
Also called a cradle, it uses riffles to trap gold similarly to the sluice box in a high-walled box. A rocker box uses less water than a sluice box and is suitable for areas with limited water. A rocking motion provides the movement of water needed to separate gold in placer material from gravity.
Hard rock gold mining extracts gold in rock instead of fragments in loose sediment, producing most of the gold in the world. Open-pit mining is sometimes used, for example in central Alaskas Fort Knox Mine. Barrick Gold Corporation has one of the largest open-pit gold mines in North America located on its Goldstrike mine property in north eastern Nevada.
Other gold mines use underground mining where tunnels or shafts extract the ore. South Africa has up to 3,900 meters (12,800 ft) underground deepest hard rock gold mine in the world. The heat is unbearable for humans at such depths, and air conditioning is necessary for workers safety.
Gold is also produced through mining, where it is not the main product. Large copper mines, such as the Bingham Canyon mine in Utah, often recover together with copper considerable amounts of gold and other metals. Some sand and gravel pits, such as those around Denver, Colorado, in their washing operations may recover small amounts of gold.
Cyanide extraction of gold may be used in areas where fine gold-bearing rocks are found. Sodium cyanide solution is mixed with finely ground rock that has been proven to contain gold or silver and is then separated as a gold cyanide or silver cyanide solution from ground rock. To precipitate residual zinc and silver and gold metals, zinc is added. Zinc is removed with sulfuric acid, leaving a silver or gold sludge that is generally smelted into an ingot and then shipped to a metal refinery for final processing into pure metals of 99,9999 percent.
In recent years, the technique of alkaline cyanide dissolution has been highly developed. It is especially suitable for processing low-grade gold and silver ore (e.g. less than 5 ppm gold), but its use is not limited to such ores. This extraction method involves many environmental hazards, largely due to the high acute toxicity of the involved cyanide compounds.
Historically, mercury has been widely used in placer gold mining to form mercury-gold amalgam with smaller gold particles, thereby increasing the rate of gold recovery. In the 1960s, large-scale mercury use stopped. In artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM), however, mercury is still used, often clandestine, gold prospecting. It is estimated that 45,000 metric tons of mercury used in California for placer mining have not been recovered.
6 stages of the mining process | boss magazine
The mining process is responsible for much of the energy we use and products we consume. Mining has been a vital part of American economy and the stages of the mining process have had little fluctuation. However, the process of mining for ore is intricate and requires meticulous work procedures to be efficient and effective. This is why we have broken down the mining process into six comprehensive steps.
The first stage in the mining process calls for skilled workers or AI to apply their geological knowledge in identifying areas where a particular ore can be found. There are two methods workers and machines can employ during this stage:
The digging of tunnels and sink shafts when the oreor mineral depositis below the surface. Hand tools such as chisels, hammers, and wedges are used to break up waste rock, Sometimes, areas must even be blasted in order to loosen rock so workers can more easily separate the ore from the waste rockwhich are mined separately.
The next step, once the ore is excavated, is to separate the waste rock and ore using primary crushers, located at the open pit mine site. At this point, larger rocks are broken down to a size better suited for the conveyor belt to transport.
Once the ore has been processed and shipped away for sale, the final step of the mining process begins. The land which was used to obtain these resources must be rehabilitated as much as possible. The objectives of this process include:
Profile About Us Contact Us View This Article in BOSS Magazine From seeds planted in the energy industry, Stallion has grown into an impressive multi-industry service provider Born and bred... Read More
Drought, wildfires will worsen situation The heat dome that has settled over the Western U.S. is bringing record temperatures and stressing the energy grids in several states. Already, California ... Read More
Vehicle manufacture puts new number on dedication to electric General Motors is committing to electric, again. The vehicle manufacturer announced on June 16 that it is increasing its planned spending... Read More
Supercomputer that makes 8 million-billion calculations per second takes on highway congestion Of all the aspects of pre-pandemic life people missed, sitting in traffic was not one. If youve returned... Read More
Pipeline project spent years in limbo After more than a decade of battles, the Keystone XL Pipeline is officially dead. In a move celebrated by environmentalists and Indigenousactivists and... Read More
Sustainable aviation company takes steps to reduce industrys carbon footprint ZeroAvia, the worlds leading company for sustainable aviation, recently joined a global coalition of like-minded organizations committed to reducing emissions... Read More
Marine energy can be harnessed to cleanly power electrical grids Construction is set to begin on an offshore testing site for harnessing energy from ocean waves. Researchers at Oregon State... Read More