Mining for minerals and rocks is a very common, often lucrative, business across the world. Find out what minerals and/or rocks are mined in your area and why. I AM IN CHICAGO, IL (If you choose a common element, like aluminum or lithium, be sure to identify what minerals or rocks these are found in to be mined.) Be sure to include the characteristics of the rocks or minerals, method of mining operation, what the minerals are used for, and the economics associated with their collection.Your paper should meet the following requirements:1-2pages in length (does not include title and reference page)1-2 outside sourcesFormatted according to the apa
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Running Header: GOLD
Gold is one very soft metal, when put on a hardness scale of 10 it measures around 2.3.
What this means is gold is extremely malleable thus it can be twisted, pounded, rolled into
different kinds of shapes without it having to break apart. When it is pounded so thin it can allow
a bit of light to go through. It is also a good conductor, it does not corrode easily and it is elastic
and this is why it is used in the electronics industry. Also, this mineral can reflect infrared rays
from the sun hence that is why it is used by astronauts on their helmets so as to prevent infrared
red rays from reaching an astronaut’s face (Uosaki, 1991).
Another characteristic of gold is that it is extremely dense that is to say that it is
extremely heavy. When compared to other metals, it can be classified as one of the heaviest
metals. Gold weighs 19.6 times when compared to an equal mass or volume of pure water, it is
about 8 times heavy when compared to the quartz rock. One cubic foot of this mineral will be
approximately 1187 pounds. This quality of having a greater weight than other resources found
along it is what is used during gold mining. Another quality of gold is that it is a very rich and
beautiful mineral when looked at in its natural form (Uosaki, 1991).
Gold can be extracted using different methods. One of these methods includes placer
mining. This method is commonly used by amateur gold miners. First, the gold is recovered
using metal detecting, panning, cradling, sluicing, and dredging. The gold is then separated from
other materials using water and gravity this is because gold is denser compared to the other
materials it is extracted with (Tarras-Wahlberg, 2001).
Another method of mining gold is hard rock mining. This process involves the use of
open pits or mining tunnels that are dug underground to get the gold from the rock. This is the
most common way of mining for gold since it is mostly used around the world (TarrasWahlberg, 2001).
Another way gold is mined is through byproduct mining. This method is related to hard
rock mining since an open pit or underground mining tunnels are used though in this method
gold usually is a secondary discovery. Usually, the main reason for the mining is usually to
search for copper among other products but substantial quantities of gold are usually got and this
makes the byproduct mining fruitful (Tarras-Wahlberg, 2001).
Another method of gold mining is the gold ore processing. This process involves the use
of chemicals to extract gold from finely crushed rock or earth. The chemical most commonly
used in this process is cyanide. The use of this process seems to be declining and this can be
pinned down to the fact that the gold usually recovered in this process is usually less when
compared to the cost used in its mining and this method has a great negative impact on the
environment (Tarras-Wahlberg, 2001).
The most common use of gold is jewelry. Around 80 percent of gold mined every year is
used to make jewelry. This is the most common way how gold reaches its consumers; also it has
been used to make jewelry since the ancient times as it has always been seen as a sign of wealth.
Due to it being beautiful and durable it is one mineral that is very much admired (Eustis, 2006).
Another use for gold is for financial and investment purposes. Since it is rare and very
valuable the metal can be used as a natural currency and this has been the case for the last 6000
years. The value of gold has been on the rise ever since especially in the stock market and this is
the reason the USA used to have all its monetary currency in gold form. In countries where the
economy seems to be unstable gold has been used to stabilize these economies. Some of the
common ways people invest in gold are through gold bars, gold coins among others (Eustis,
Another use for gold is in dentistry and medicine. Due to this metal being chemically
inert, easy to insert and does not cause allergic reactions, it has been used in fillings, bridges,
crowns and orthodontic materials. Since ancient times, gold has been used in dentistry and by the
look of how more people seem to be using gold it will continue to be the best option in dentistry.
In medicine, little amounts of gold isotopes are used in the treatment of some radiations and
analysis (Eustis, 2006).
Due to gold being very valuable, it, therefore, has a natural presence in awards, religious
statues, and crowns. Gold is usually among one of the highest statuses of wealth. When one takes
a look at major sporting events, winners are usually rewarded with medals made out of gold. In
the human eyes, it is admirable and will always hold a permanent place of value (Eustis, 2006).
Mining of gold is one of the most lucrative sectors for governments, employers and
employees in various ways. The gold mining industry is a major contributor to the United States
tax collector through various ways such as; employee income tax, payment of mineral royalties,
corporate tax among other levies. The mining of gold contributes a lot to the state income, and
also in the total corporate gains. When you look at the total royalty the gold industry paid to the
government over the years, it is in millions of dollars and it always appreciates over the years.
The gold mining sector has contributed a lot in the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
since it has a labor force of thousands of people (Abken, 1980).
The impact of gold mining goes beyond its extraction and processing. Gold mining is
connected to a lot of industries and sectors in this country’s economy. These include; equipment
manufacturing, construction, transportation, environmental management, education, research
among others. The gold mining industry provides a major boost to this country’s financial sector
Uosaki, K., Sato, Y., & Kita, H. (1991). Electrochemical characteristics of a gold electrode
modified with a self-assembled monolayer of ferrocenylalkanethiols. Langmuir, 7(7),
Tarras-Wahlberg, N. H., Flachier, A., Lane, S. N., & Sangfors, O. (2001). Environmental
impacts and metal exposure of aquatic ecosystems in rivers contaminated by small scale
gold mining: the Puyango River basin, southern Ecuador. Science of the Total
Environment, 278(1), 239-261.
Eustis, S., & El-Sayed, M. A. (2006). Why gold nanoparticles are more precious than pretty
gold: noble metal surface plasmon resonance and its enhancement of the radiative and
nonradiative properties of nanocrystals of different shapes. Chemical society
reviews, 35(3), 209-217.
Abken, P. A. (1980). The economics of gold price movements.
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