How Gold is Made
Gold is one of the oldest metals used by humans. Initially, people collected it from stream beds and gold mines. Almost 65% of the gold is used in the arts industry specifically to make jewelry. Besides jewelry, ceramics and electronic industries use gold extensively.
Gold is a ductile and malleable metal that is also a conductor of heat and electricity. It is found in a pure state but can also be extracted from zinc, copper, and silver. Here are some basic steps explaining how gold is made.
Generally, gold is found in two different deposits: vein or placer deposits. The mechanism of extracting gold from lode deposits includes drilling or blasting. These deposits are often found deep underground for which miners have to dig shafts. They then separate the gold ore from the surrounding rock using small explosives.
On the other hand, the mining process used for placer deposits includes hydraulic mining, power-sharing, and dragging. There are large pieces of gold ore in a placer deposit washed down the stream from a lode deposit.
A hydraulic joint is used to knock off the gold ore with high stream pressure. While shoveling and dredging involve huge shovels that scoop up an amount of gold-bearing gravel from the stream.Once collected the gold ore is taken to a mill for further refinery process.
Once mined, machinery washes and filters the gold ore. It is then taken to the mills where it is ground into smaller chunks by combining it with water. Next, the resulting mixture is drudged in a ball mill – a revolving cylindrical vessel that uses steel to crush the ore.
Separating the Gold
Several methods can be used to separate gold from its ore. Floatation and cyanidation are two of the most commonly used processes.
Floatation separates gold from its ore using chemicals and air, while the cyanidations process removes contaminants from gold. Once the gold is separated, it is checked for purity. If not still pure, it is further smelted to remove the remaining contaminants. The gold is allowed to cool and harden in the molds.
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