How Gold Is Mined
The gold mining process starts off with geologists finding a deposit
If they find samples of gold in the area, drill rigs are used to obtain samples from below the surface.
If there is enough gold in the deposit to be produced economically, a mine is permitted and develope.
-Now if this was a surface mine, a pattern of holes would be drilled in the pit and filled with explosives.(no pic)
-Explosives are used to break up the ground so it can be loaded by front-end loaders into haul trucks.
-A tunnel called a shaft, is dug into the earth. Sort tunnels leading form the shat, called stopes, are dug to access the ore. The face of the surface is drilled and loaded with explosives. After that, the broken ore is loaded int trucks and taken to the surface. Once they have finished in a certain stope, it is backfilled with a cement compound
The haul trucks transport the ore to various areas for processing. Higher-grade ores are taken to a mill. Lower grade ores are taken to leach pads
-For the lower grade ores, the ore is crushed on lined leach pads where a weak cyanide solution is applied to the surface of the heap. The solution percolates down throuhg the ore, where it leaches the gold and flows to a central collection location. (no pic)
-For the higher-grade ores, the ore is fed into a seires of grinding mills where steel balls grind the ore to a slurry or powder.(no pic)
-The slurry is then pressured, oxidized in an autoclave before going to the leaching tanks
-That slurry is thickened and is ran through a series of leaching tanks. Gold in the slurry adheres to carbon in the tanks.
-The carbon is then moved into a stripping vessel were the gold is removed from the carbon by pumping a hot caustic souution through the carbon.
-The gold solution is pumped through electro-winning cells or through a zincprecipitation circuit where the gold is recovered from the solution
-The gold is melted in a furnace at around 2,100F and poured into molds, creating dore bars.
-Dore bars are unrefined gold bullion bars containing anywhere from 60% to 95% gold.
-They send the bars to a refinery for further processing into pure gold.
Now that is just too much for some damn gold.