Traditional methods of gold mining are simple and incredibly persistent: in developing countries of Africa and Latin America, the local population perfectly knows and still uses “the ancient” methods of gold mining.
Following heavy summer (or winter) rains come floods that wash gold-containing solid into streams and rivers. A gold miner knows how and where to look for it. However, after a couple of weeks, this can be covered with a thin layer of silt and seaweed, then gold mining becomes difficult.
So it is the hottest time for miners, not to lose time in vain. Main goal: to get more volume of rocks from the river and washed it out almost 24 hours a day, while you can. The goal is to get a small bag of gold dust, which settles to the bottom, as the heavy part of the solid. The work in cold water requires great effort, but miners are hot with great expectations.
Nowadays, technology has advanced significantly forward.
Gold mining is done by heap leaching. This technology allows to produce from poor ores, from small deposits, develop off-balance ores.
To implement a new technology you need only a year, which is a great investment, very good for a private gold prospecting. Only in a year, you will have the gold bars.
And you’ll spend less money per kilogram of gold than on traditional manufacturing technology.
The technology of heap leaching involves the following stages of the production process:
- preparation of ore material: it is crushed in mills, pass through a sieve, and the ore is pelletized not to ball up in large fractions;
- formation of ore piles;
- heap leaching ore by cyanide solution (very hazardous process);
- extraction of heavy metals (mostly gold) from the ore by sorption using activated carbon or ion-exchange resins, another option is using a metallic zinc by cementation;
- gathering of gold deposits on the cathode or extraction of zinc deposits with gold content in galvanic bath;
- receipt of ligature alloy after melting residues;
- leaching residues of ore (so-called tails) and reclamation of land where the solid has been taken.
However, the new technology of gold mining, virtually eliminating manual labor, wheelbarrows and shovels, has other drawbacks: the high cost of electricity. To get one kilogram of gold, for example, on you will need 130 million kWh of electricity. With the current growth of electricity bills every year steadily, it means declining profitability of gold prospecting.
However, the newtechnology allows to mine almost a kilogram of pure gold per employee per year, which is much larger than with using old technologies on the same mines, with increasing the depletion of local gold-bearing ores.
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