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Gold mining involves the processes used in the removal of gold from the ground. Some of the methods are listed below.
Generally, a special shallow pan with several ridges along the top is filled with sedimate and rocks containing gold and water. The pan is then shaken allowing for the gold to be separated from the other material. Since gold is denser than rock, it quickly settles to the bottom of the pan and the panner can easily recover the gold.
Panning for gold is a simple technique, but is not commercially viable in most cases; however, finding gold while panning can be a good indication of where gold deposits are located and may lead to more industrial methods of mining.
Using a metal detector will allow someone to find gold that is either on the surface of the ground or just a few inches below. There are many models of metal detectors some of which will clearly indicate if a metalic object is gold. However, like panning for gold, using a metal detector is not commercially viable in most cases; however, finding gold near the surface can be a good indication of where gold deposits are located and may lead to more industrial methods of mining.
Dredging for gold is achived using suction machines floating on water called suction dredges. Obviously, this is a much faster and commercially viable means for both mining for gold and for looking for areas that are more likely to be gold rich.
Sluice boxes are used so that gravel and sand containing gold can be processed far quicker than panning. Sluice boxes can be lined with raised obstructions that are placed in a vertical position to the flow of water current from a river or stream current. These obstructions are referred to as riffles. When material is dumped into one end of the sluice, the flow of water carries the material down the length of the sluice. Gold and black sand, since they are heavier, quickly drop to the bottom of the box, where they becomes trapped by the riffles. Once the riffles collected a large quantity of more concentrated black sand and gold. This remaining material was then panned.
Hydraulic Gold Mining
Hydraulic gold mining is a type of mining used where gravel, sand, and soil are loosely packed allowing a water cannons shooting a heavy stream of water to wash the material away. The material is then run through a sluice.
Hard Rock Gold Mining
Hard rock gold mining produces most of the gold in the world. This style of mining is done when gold is trapped in rock, opposed to being in loose sediments. These gold mines can be underground or open pits. If underground, the ore is collected by digging tunnels.