HOW GOLD IS MINED AND PROCESSED
AND HOW YOU CAN MINE GOLD YOUR SELF!
BY SETH A SEARS
Gold mining has changed dramatically in the last 150 years. In the 1850s gold rush days, a person could pan or sluice in a stream for small nuggets or even find fist size nuggets of gold. Today fine gold is more abundant than large or even small nuggets. The majority of the fine gold is found in various ores and minerals such as granite, sulfides, schist, limonite, mariposite, iron pyrite, cooprite, chalcopyrite, quartz, slate, iron rich soil ( red soil), basalt and more.
Fine gold can be a large-scale government funded activity that involves a lot of geological research, sampling, tests, and educated men and women. Gold mining can also be as simple as a few garden tools, knowledge, and a gold pan of kitchen pans. Magnification loupe is necessary to see the fine particles of gold traped in the rocks
To get fine gold out of rock, the rocks are crushed into fine powder.
Chemical processes to dissolve and separate the gold using hydrogen cyanide, acquaragia ( hydrochloric acid and nitric acid), or liquid mercury are used. Using mercury to form an amagum ( dissolve gold in mercury) then heat the mercury to extract the gold by vaporizing the mercury. What is left is the gold. The gold is then melted using a crucible and flux ( boric acid aka borax ). The bead of gold is then dunked in water to cool. Using aquaragia to separate gold involves dissolving, then adding salt and urea. Foam containing silver and other metals is formed and skimmed off the surface. The solution is boiled down and fine gold powder is left. The gold powder is melted using flux in a crucible.
Pure 24k gold is really soft and is usually alloyed with silver, copper, and zinc to make it more durable for use in jewelry. Gold is great for Jewelry, because it does not tarnish or rust. There are few chemicals and substances that can damage gold.
Yes, getting gold is hard work and involves dangerous chemicals and substances. But the end result pays for itself.