Gold mining is a fascinating process. From panning in the rivers that rest peacefully below majestic mountaintops to the extraction of gold nuggets through the hard rock mining that has come to characterize the industry, the procurement of gold is required knowledge for environmentalists as United States-based investors engaged in commodities trading and the NYSE.
Why Is Gold Prized So Heavily?
Before delving into how gold is extracted from the Earth, it’s important to dig into why we want and need so much of this metal. Gold is brittle: It’s a strange, softer material than the average metal. As such, it isn’t useful in many of the environments in which metals are typically employed. Pure gold is malleable under the pressure that an average adult can exert with their bare hands.
However, the metal is a phenomenal conductor of electricity, making it a core component in the fabrication of high-end wiring for professional audio, video, or telecommunications and networking solutions. In addition to its use in professional-level equipment, gold is a precious metal that has made its way into coins as a signal of wealth for many centuries. Perhaps the most recognizable place you can find gold is jewelry, such as crowns, necklaces, wedding rings, British Gold Sovereigns (first produced in 1489), and other national mint coins.
Gold is often collected by investors looking to lock in a hedge against stock market volatility and remains a symbol of fidelity among married couples. Gold is a staple in our modern world, and the price per ounce of gold reflects its importance in our collective consciousness.
The Mining Process Is A Long One
Gold mining begins with the research procedures. Gold mining outfits, like Alamos Gold, must identify potential sources of the metal before any physical mining operations can commence. These processes are often time-consuming and require ground surveys, GIS analysis, sample collection, and much more to identify viable sites for mining.
Alamos is at the forefront of these efforts in North America and Turkey. The Mulatos Mine in Mexico and Young-Davidson and Island Gold Mines in Northern Ontario are perennial winners. Their new development projects are led by an exciting new location in Kirazli, which promises to yield one of the highest rates of return in the entire world.
Gold mines employ the hard rock mining process more often than not. While panning for gold is still a plausible way to find the metal in rivers all across North America and other rocky locales worldwide, this is more of a hobbyist pursuit. Hard rock mining is the standard in the industry and is undergoing many environmentally-friendly changes in the modern age.
Miners are working on sustainability drives to keep output at a steady rate while leaving as much of the landscape intact as possible (by targeting keyhole drilling and removing heavy chemicals from the rotation, to name a few changes). Social responsibility is a key feature of modern mining companies looking to account for their impact on the environment. They extract the ounces of gold that the market so desperately desires.
Gold Powers Industry As Well
Mined gold is crucial for developing many industrial processes that feed back into the mining operations themselves. For instance, CNC mill tools rely on gold components for highly efficient fabrication procedures. A CNC mill is often a central component in creating the very tools that gold mining operations need to conduct their extraction processes. A gold mining process is a cyclical event that benefits individuals from all walks of life.
The next time you fiddle with the ring on your finger, appreciate the effort that went into extracting the precious metal from the ground and manipulating its shape and contents to fit the symbolic importance that it brings to your body and person.