Business Science

How is Gold mined? Complete Mining Process

Gold Mined

The gold mining process includes mining resources that bring out Gold. Many people ask about the mining process; how is Gold mined? There are three methods for mining gold, and we will discuss them all with complete details!

1.Placer mining

The placer mining technique involves extracting accumulated Gold from a placer deposit. Placer deposits make tunneling difficult as they contain very loose material. You need to do panning, sluicing, and dredging to extract the Gold from placer deposits.


In the Gold panning technique, Gold is separated manually from soil or gravels. We take large panels filled with gravel and sand with Gold. After that, we submerge the pan in water and shake it to sort the gravel gold, sand, and other material.


If you want to do small-scale mining, then sluicing has been a common method. In this process, a sluice box is used to extract Gold from placer deposits. The sluice box has riffles on the bottom side that create dead zones to separate Gold from the suspension. A sluice box is mostly a human-made channel.  

The first step is to place the box in the stream to make the water flow. Gold-bearing material is placed on the top of the box. After that, riffles settle all the high denser material, including Gold, and removes less dense material from the box.


Dredging uses the same concept as washing the material including sand, gold, and other particles. While washing, gold, and other heavy material stay behind and the rest of things removed! Dredging is the most modern and widely used method for small-scale mining. In this process, suction dredges are used to make dredging. Small-scale mining uses small machines that can float on water, and two persons can efficiently operate this machine. A suction dredge has a sluice box supported by a pontoon, this box is further attached with a suction hose, and an underwater miner handles the entire process.

State dredging declares area closures and seasonal timing periods in many dredging areas of the US. In some states, companies have to go through a licensing procedure in order to start dredging.

Rocker box

Rocker box work in a similar way as a sluice box. It has riffles in the bottom that captures the Gold in a high-walled box. Water availability differs between rocker box and sluice box. If you are mining on the surface with limited water, then the rocker box does the job well, and the sluice box works well on the watered surface.

2.Hard rock mining

Hard rock mining extracts the most amount Gold in the world. This process involves extracting Gold from rocks instead of mining the fragments in loose sediments. However, sometimes we use open-pit mining when we find Gold or other minerals close to the earth. Open-pit mining does not require any extractive tool or tunnel. Barrick Gold Corporation is one of the largest open-pit mining companies located in North America.

Many other gold mines company are famous for underground mining for extracting the ore. South Africa has almost 3900 meters deep hard rock gold mine. Humans can’t bear heat at such depth, and air conditioners are very necessary for worker’s safety.

3.Gold ore processing

Cyanide process

The cyanide process for extracting Gold is used where gold-bearing rocks are found. In this process, fine ground rocks that have silver or gold metals are mixed with a sodium cyanide solution, and we get silver cyanide or gold cyanide solution as a result. In order to get silver or gold metal, zinc is added to the solution that precipitates these metals. Zinc is removed by adding sulfuric acid, and Gold or silver sludge is shipped to metal refineries for testing purposes.

The method of alkaline cyanide dissolution has been developed for the last few years. This technique is used for processing low-grade metals. Cyanide components are highly toxic that makes this extraction method more dangerous!

Mercury process

Placer gold mining involves using mercury to form mercury-gold amalgam having small gold elements. Mercury process is sopped in large-scale mining processes, but it is used in small-scale mining processes. Recent studies estimated that, in California, 45000 metric tons of mercury are used for placer mining.

Where Is Gold Found?

The process of gold mining occurs in different countries such as the US, Australia, China, Pakistan, and Canada. Aurora Gold Mine is one of the largest gold mine company that is located in South Africa.


Gold mining contains processes and techniques to extract Gold. How is Gold mined? Many people were asking this question. In this article, we figured out different methods for extracting Gold. You can apply these methods to different surfaces. For example, if you will extract Gold from rocks, then rocks mining would be preferred. For extracting gold from placer deposits, sluicing or panning can be used. We have discussed everything about these mining processes.

See Also
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Why US Dollar is the world currency?