You see that lovely gold necklace, or that mesmerizing gold coin and you can’t help but buying it. But, have you ever thought about where gold come from? We know it is not easy, but have you ever really thought about how hard it could be?
Today, we will talk about the first and main step in the gold industry: mining.Mining is the process of extracting gold from earth.The history of mining goes a long way back. It is dated back to the first golden items that were found in a tomb, in Varna Necropolis in Bulgaria, which were built somewhere between 4700 – 4200 BC, that indicates that gold mining started
7000 years ago.Back in the day, gold was mined manually. One of the oldest methods was panning. Wide pans were filled with sand and gravel that might contain gold. It was then shaken under water in order for the gold to sink deep in the pan, as it is heavier than sand and gravel. Then, workers removed the sand and gravel and kept the gold. It was then sent to the refineries, where other more complicated separating processes were carried out to make sure that all the impurities were
removed from the gold. After that, the gold was melted and poured into rectangular molds.Such method that depended on water got more advanced by time, and it evolved to become the placer mining method. It is the method of extracting gold from sediments and rocks that are found on the surface of the earth. It uses many methods. The most popular are sluicing and the rocker box. Both methods share the same instrument. Which is a large box with riffles at its bottom. The riffles are
used to create dead zones in the current where gold can fall into. They then run water through the sluice box and use this way to separate gold from other minerals. The rocker box is the same, except it uses less water and it is shaken like
the panning method. It is useful in places with less water.By the progress of time, the process got more advanced. Pit mining became the most popular way to mine for gold. First, they would carry out a process called prospecting, where scientists carried out some examinations to discover load deposits, these are the places that has a lot of gold. Sometimes, prospecting is carried out through panning. Then, after they find the deposits, they dig holes around the deposits, burry explosives in the holes and boom…they use loaders and other machinery to remove big rocks then start digging for gold.
Another method that uses explosives is the underground mining, or hard rock mining. First, they dig shafts into the ground, shafts are long vertical openings that allow them to get deeper into the ground. They then drop explosives down those shafts, and then use them as tunnels to mine underground. It is used to extract gold out of hard rocks instead of floating sediments. Underground mining or hard rock mining requires air conditioning services, as the temperature down under is very high, and workers get tired if not aired in a good way. The first to use air conditioning services in hard rock mining was the Robinson Deep mine, it was considered as the deepest mine ever.