Those with this objective should also inquire about the purchase of physical gold which is now very common, given that in recent years buying physical gold has become very simple and accessible to everyone.
Gold mining – The concentration of the ore
Gold is extremely rare. According to geologists, gold is found exclusively in low concentrations in the rock.
Gold is even rarer than platinum, although as platinum disperses more regularly into the earth’s crust it is actually more difficult to find platinum deposits worth digging for.
Gold, on the other hand, is frequently deposited in concentrations that make gold mining profitable.
Mining technologies are expensive first of all because the process always requires mining companies to process large amounts of land to have results that are limited anyway. The energy required to treat the rock is very expensive, as are the chemicals used in the process, and consequently the concentration of gold in the territory must be such as to justify the entrepreneurial effort attached to the extraction.
In some places on the earth’s crust the concentration of the mineral varies from the norm. These variations constitute workable territory for gold mining. The gold concentration process occurs both above and below the earth’s surface. On the surface there is alluvial gold concentrated in rivers due to the flow of water. Under the earth’s surface there are veins, often in combination with deposits of other metals, including sulphites and pyrites. The gold concentration can occur while the other minerals are filtered out over a longer period. It is very rare to find a territory that yields sufficient gold.
Gold mining – Extraction and purification
Due to the inertia of gold around 80% of gold is in an elemental state. Several processes are used to extract and purify gold.
Amalgamation uses mercury, through which gold dissolves. Mercury is applied to the rock, holds the gold, and the resulting amalgam is distilled to remove the mercury. Mercury is a highly toxic element so the extraction plants that have to manage this type of operation are very expensive.
The most important part of the extraction process is cyanidation. A sodium cyanide solution in the presence of air causes the gold to go into solution. Good quality rocks release gold during cyanination in a process called tank filtration. Lower quality rocks require pile filtration, which requires the rock to be subjected to the cyanide solution multiple times over a longer period of time.