Technology and science of gold mining is the science and business behind finding, removing and selling gold. Gold can be found in many different places. Even seawater can contain small amounts. It is easier to find gold in veins associated with igneous rocks like quartzite. These rocks are formed by heat. These pockets are areas where the gold is deep within the earth. These pockets can be filled with gold, heavy metals and quartz.
Large companies are often formed to raise funds to develop hard-rock mining operations. This contrasts with the small number of people or small groups involved in placer mining. To learn more about different mining methods, see “Lode Vs. Placer Mining”.
If the gold ore is very concentrated, it is financially uneconomical to mine for it. The fixed price of gold rose from $20.67 a $35 U.S. in 1934. One troy ounce. Through 1968, it remained at $35 US Dollars. Gold mining was lucrative in the 1930s. As inflation rose over the same period, gold’s fixed price fell to $35 USD per troy-ounce.
First, companies look for areas that might contain gold. Then they analyze the rock. When enough gold is discovered in the ore, the technological process of hardrock mines begins.
In the 1930s, mining was hazardous and labor-intensive. Tunnels were dug in solid rock by miners. This put miners at great risk as they had to dig tunnels in solid rock using picks and shovels. They also worked long hours in dark tunnels, often for dangerous periods.
Falling rocks, slips, and explosions are the most common causes of injury in underground mines. Workers had to inhale dust into their lungs even before safety regulations and better ventilation. The miners took risks to provide for their families.
The miners would take the ore to the mill on wheels that were pulled on rails.
For gold milling, there are three steps:
(1) Sorting the ore based on its size (2) Crushing of the rock
(3) Gold extraction
This post was written by Justin Tidd, Director at Becker Mining Communications! For over 15 years, Becker Communications has been the industry’s leader in radio communication in tunnels and electrical mining communication systems. As they expanded into surface mining, railroads, and tunneling they added wireless communication systems, handheld radios, tagging and tracking systems, as well as gas monitoring