How are gold mined?

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How are gold mined?

People have learned to extract gold from time immemorialtimes. The first mention of this precious metal refers to the V millennium BC. Mass production of gold, according to archaeologists, began in the Middle East about 4,500 years ago.

Gold in the earth's crust is contained in enoughminor amounts. However, gold-bearing deposits and areas where gold is mined are quite numerous. According to the assessment made in 2011, for the entire period of human history, about 160,000 tons of gold were mined. Today, the world's leaders in gold mining are China, Australia and the United States.

Gold mining in Russia

Russia ranks fourth in the world ranking of gold mining countries. It accounts for about 7% of the world's gold production.

To extract gold in Russia by industrial meansbegan in May 1745. Then the Ural peasant Yerofei Markov announced that he discovered ore gold near his village. Thus, the first gold mine of Russia was discovered, which later became known as Berezovsky.

Today in Russia there are 16 largegold mining companies. Leading position among them is the company "Polyus Gold", whose share is 1/5 of the entire industry market. The main places where gold is mined in Russia are in Chukotka, Khabarovsk Territory, Amur and Magadan Regions, as well as in the Krasnoyarsk Territory and the Irkutsk Region.

Gold mining is rather complicated and time-consumingprocess, moreover, very expensive. How are gold mined, while reducing costs? Reduce the costs of mining precious metal can be through the closure of unprofitable and low-profit mines. Effective measures also include a reduction in the total volume of preliminary geological exploration and the introduction of new capital-saving technologies.

The process of gold mining

For many centuries and even millennia, the process of extractiongold has changed significantly. In the olden days, for example, miners used gold sand, using very primitive adaptations. Shaking the gold-bearing suspension in a stream of water made it possible to wash off the lighter river sand, while the heavier gold grains remained at the bottom of the pan. This method is often used in our days.

If the process of developing precious metals is interesting, then one can even personally see how gold is mined; Videos on this subject can be found on YouTube.

Previously, gold nuggets were often foundalong the banks of rivers, which, eroding the gold-bearing rocks, threw out on the land more or less large gold placers. By the beginning of the 20th century, there were practically no such rich gold placers and gold was extracted from ores.

Currently, the extraction of ore gold -mechanized process. However, it remains quite complex and time-consuming, often deep underground. Economically profitable is the deposit, a ton of ore that contains only 3 g of gold. If a ton of rock contains more than 10 g. Of valuable metal, then such a deposit of gold is considered rich.

There are several ways to extract gold from ore.

  • Previously, amalgamation was used. It is based on the mercury property of wetting, but not dissolving gold. In barrels, on the bottom of which mercury was placed, shaken finely ground gold-bearing rock. The finest gold particles adhered to mercury, covering themselves with liquid metal from all sides. Then, the mercury separated from the waste rock was strongly heated, which made it possible to separate gold from the volatile metal. The disadvantage of this method is its high toxicity and incomplete gold recovery, since very small particles of gold are poorly wetted by mercury.
  • A more modern method of extracting gold from oresis leaching with sodium cyanide. It allows even the smallest grains of gold to be converted into water-soluble cyanide compounds, after which gold is extracted from them with the help of certain reagents (for example, zinc powder). This method allows you to re-extract the remains of gold from abandoned developments, which actually turns them into new deposits where you can extract gold.

Can I get gold at home?

In order to obtain real gold, it is not at all necessary to wash the sand of the river to exhaustion or to work hard in the gold fields. You can get gold at home.

We are surrounded by a huge number of objects,containing gold. For example, very few people know that the wrist watches produced in the Soviet times in the yellow buildings are gilded with real gold! Some thrifty citizens still store such watches. And if you think of how to arrange buying such old wristwatches in large numbers, consider that half of the matter has already been done.

Next, you need to prepare a simple paraphernalia: plastic basin and bucket, electric hot plate, razor blades, heat-resistant glass pan, cotton filter cloth, brush, laboratory scales, water spray and rubber gloves. You will also need chemicals: hydrochloric and nitric acid.

Recycling is better to start if there is at least300 pieces of cases. The process itself is uncomplicated, it will take approximately 4 hours. The consumption of acid is 3-4 liters. To recycle did not cause difficulties, it is enough to recall school chemistry lessons or look through the necessary textbook. The result can get stunning! With 300 cases it is possible to get up to 75 grams of high-grade gold! The economic benefit from such processing can easily be calculated by multiplying the received amount of gold by its price for 1 gram (about $ 10) and subtracting the cost of production from the received amount.

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