What is Gold Mining

Gold mining consists of the processes and techniques employed in the removal of gold from the ground. Earlier gold was mined using different methods like Panning, cradling, dry blowing, shaft mining, Puddling and dredging. Nowadays open cut mining and underground methods are used for gold mining.

Mining for gold is only worthwhile financially where there is a significant concentration of it found in ore. The fixed price of gold in 1934 increased from $20.67 U.S. to $35 U.S. per troy ounce. This price remained fixed until 1968 which discouraged hard rock mining for gold because increased inflation (which raised the cost of mining production) prevented the mining companies from making a profit.

Panning is one of the oldest techniques of separating gold from rock. Gold panning technique was introduced by Isaac Humphrey at Coloma in 1848. Also Mexicans developed panning technique in their country, using a flat dish called a batea. Gold panning was slow even for most skillful miner. In a single day, one miner was able to wash only 50 pans in 12 hour workday and obtain only a small amount of gold dust. This method was the most common method of mining on the goldfields. Rocky material was loosened with pick and shovel. After it had been broken down, this rocky material was taken by wheelbarrow to a creek where it was carefully washed and swished around a shallow metal pan. As the water separated the particles of dirt, rock and pebbles, small deposits of gold sank to the bottom of the pan. This was successful for yielding small nuggets. A persistent prospector could find a considerable amount of gold over time.

History of gold mining

Romans used hydraulic mining methods on a large scale to extract gold from extensive alluvial deposits, such as those at Las Medulas. Mining was under the control of the state but the mines may have been leased to civilian contractors some time later. The gold helped finance the growth of the empire, and was an important motive in the Roman invasion of Britain by Claudius in the first century AD, although there is only one known Roman gold mine at Dolaucothi in west Wales. Gold was a prime motivation for the campaign in Dacia when the Romans invaded Transylvania in what is now modern Romania in the second century AD. The legions were led by the emperor Trajan, and their exploits are shown on the grand column in City Hall.