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How is Gold Mined?

Learn How Gold is Mined and How Mines are Operated

In contemporary Gold mining, it typically takes between 10 and 20 years before a new mine is able to produce the ore extracts that make up the large Gold and Silver alloy “doré bars” that carry the raw Precious Metals to the refinery.

Searching for new, undiscovered Gold deposits requires vast quantities of time and money, as well as the expertise of geologists, geographers, engineers and chemists. Geologists estimate that about 10% of Gold deposit discoveries worldwide contain enough Gold to mine profitably. Of course, the geology and ore body of a potential Gold deposit must be studied extensively to determine its feasibility as a profitable mine.

Complex planning and construction are necessary to begin a Gold mining operation. Every nation in the world requires Gold mining companies to apply for many various permits and local licenses before they even break ground. Depending on several factors such as location, local regulations, and ore body processing needs, the development process can take many years. Construction is not limited to the Gold mine site, either. Frequently, mine owners need to construct local infrastructure and services to facilitate the Gold mine’s logistical and operational needs.

Operation refers to the actual physical extraction of Gold ore from the newly developed Gold mine. The hope is that the ore will be rich in Gold. Unrefined rock extracted from the Gold mine requires rough processing at the site and then specialized processing at a refinery in order to fully recover the Gold that may lie within the deposit, as well as other valuable minerals such as Silver or Copper. Gold mining companies adhere to exacting health and safety standards, including those designed to minimize the environmental impact of the mine’s overall operation.

Closing a Gold mine is a complicated affair. Responsible Gold mining companies generally monitor and upkeep the non-productive Gold mine site to ensure that the rehabilitation of the land is successful. This process is a lengthy and costly process.

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