What Is the Process for Extracting Gold?

There are four different ways to mine gold. Various methods of gold mining, including hard rock and byproduct mining, as well as gold ore processing.

Mining For Gold In The Form Of Placers

The process of obtaining gold from a placer deposit by means of placer mining. Water or dredging are the most common extraction methods for placer deposits, which are made up of loose matter that makes tunnelling difficult.


To separate gold from other materials, gold panners use a manual process known as gold panning. Gold-bearing sand and gravel are poured into large, shallow pans. In order to separate the gold from the gravel, a pan is submerged & shaken in water. Gold is so much denser than rock, so it falls to a bottom of pan much more quickly.

A type of gold deposit known as a placer deposit can be found in streambeds where the density of the gold allows it to be concentrated, including at the internal turn with in stream or on the stream’s bedrock shelf. See Here to Know about The Gold History.


Using such a sluice box to extract gold from placer deposits has long been standard procedure for prospecting and small-scale mining. It is a man-made channel, with riffles just at bottom, that is used to sift through material. Dead zones are created by the riffles in order to enable gold to fall out of suspension.

The box is positioned in the stream in order to direct water. Gold-bearing material is positioned at the center of the box. Gold or other dense material settle behind the riffles as the current moves through the volt. Tailings flow out of the box as if it were less dense material.


Small-scale miners continue to use suction dredges despite the widespread adoption of modern methods. 1 or 2 two people are usually all that is needed to operate small water-based machines. An underwater miner controls a suction hose attached to a pontoon-supported sluice box.

Several gold dredging areas in the United States have seasonal time periods and area closures specified in their state permits in order to avoid dredger-fish population conflicts during spawning season. A comprehensive licencing process is required in some states, such as Montana. The Montana Environment Protection Department and the local water quality boards of the various counties in the state.

Rocker box

A cradle, also known as a sluice box, uses riffles to catch gold like a high-walled box’s sluice box. For locations with minimal water, a rocker box is preferable to a sluice box. The water flow required to remove gold from placer material by gravity is provided by a rocking motion.

The Extraction Of Minerals From Hard Rock

The majority of the world’s gold is mined from hard rock deposits rather than sand or gravel. The Fort Knox Mine in central Alaska employs open-pit mining techniques. The Goldstrike mine estate in north-eastern Nevada is home to one of North America’s largest open-pit gold mines, operated by Barrick Gold Corporation.

Other gold mines extract the ore from the ground via tunnels or shafts. The innermost heavy rock gold mine with in world is located in South Africa at 3,900 metres (12,800 ft). An air conditioning system is essential for workers’ safety at these depths because the heat is unbearable.

Mining Gold As A Byproduct

Gold can also be mined, but this is not the primary product. Bingham Canyon, a large copper mine in Utah, recovers gold and other precious metals along with copper. A small amount of gold can be recovered from washing operations at some sand  & gravel pits in the Denver, Colorado area.

The Grasberg mine in Indonesia, Papua, which is the world’s largest gold producer, is mainly a copper mine.

Processing Gold Ore

Process By Which Cyanide Is Produced

Using cyanide to extract gold from fine gold-bearing rocks is possible. Gold and silver cyanide solutions are made by dissolving sodium cyanide solution in finely ground rock which has been demonstrated to contain silver or gold. Zinc is used to precipitate remaining zinc, silver, and gold metals. Silver and gold sludge is usually melted down to form an ingot, which is then transported to a metal processing plant where it is further processed into 99.99999% pure metals.

The alkaline cyanide dissolving technique has been greatly improved in recent years. Gold ore with less than 5 parts per million (ppm) gold, for example, is particularly well-suited to this method of processing. Due to the acute toxicity of the cyanide compounds involved in this extraction method, there are many environmental hazards associated with this process.


A mercury-gold amalgam to smaller gold particles has traditionally been in placer gold mining to accelerate the amount of gold recovery. In the 1960s, the use of large amounts of mercury was phased out. Gold prospecting in small-scale artisanal & small-scale gold mining (ASGM) still involves the use of mercury. Placer mining in California is thought to have used 45,000 metric tonnes of mercury, much of which has not been recovered.

Companies All Over The World Are Taking Advantage Of Rich Materials Found In Mines.

The mining world’s history and gold production make these mines an appealing place to explore & extract resources.

Except for Antarctica, every continent has gold mines. While some mines are only for business, others are open to the public for recreation. Gold mines are active all year round in some form or another.

So, Gold Mining?

Mine-to-refinery transport of gold includes the following steps of exploration and drilling; geological study; financing; extraction; and extraction.

Because mining materials are in high demand, businesses use technology to speed up the process & increase output & profit. Gold and other precious metals can be mined in several ways, from open pit to water dredging.

The primary process is to discover as much useful stuff as possible. The gold price in 2021 started at around $1,866/oz, highlighting the potential profit. To give an idea of the industry’s size, roughly 2,500-3,000 tonnes of gold are mined each year.

Which Gold Mines Are The World’s Biggest?

Because gold mining is so big, there are many famous mines. Here are some of the world’s largest and richest gold mines, with some of the world’s largest gold deposits!

1. Muruntau

The Muruntau mining company in Uzbekistan is the world’s largest gold producer. Muruntau generates over 2M ounces of gold per year. The world’s largest open pit mine, it is located in Qizilqum Desert of Uzbekistan.

In the desert, the mine is massive at 3.3 km long, 2.5 km wide & 600 m deep. This massive gold mine is believed to contain over 150M ounces of gold, making it the world’s largest gold mine. Visit here to know Gold IRA in Own Home.

2. Carlin

The Carlin trend mines in Nevada are unique for several reasons. First, it is a collection of mines along a 56 km long & 8 km wide belt in Nevada, encompassing an impressive distance.

The mine’s gold is recognised as invisible gold, creating it a unique mine. Due to its microscopic nature, invisible gold can only be discovered by chemical analysis. Despite the fact that there appears to be no gold, the mine generates around 1,665 koz per year.

3. Olimpiada

Olimpiada, in Russia, is the world’s third largest gold mine. Polyus mines this open-pit mine. Polyus is Russia’s largest gold producer, so you can imagine how much gold it produces.

The gold recovered from Olimipada accts for nearly half of Polyus’ gold production. The mine has an estimated 30M ounces of gold and produces around 1,200 koz per year.

4. Pueblo Viejo (DR)

The Pueblo Viejo mine is operated by Pueblo Viejo Dominicana Corporation, a 60-40 joint venture between Barrick Gold and Newmont. This open-pit mining company produced 903 koz gold in 2020.

5. Grasberg

Grasberg’s underground mining operation employs around 30,000 people in Papua, Indonesia. While gold production has decreased over the last two decades, from 3,500 koz in 2001 to 848 koz throughout 2021, it still ranks fifth on this list.

6. Cadia East

Despite being Australia’s largest gold mine, Cadia East ranks 6th globally. This mine system includes the Cadia East Tunnel Panel Cave Mine and the Ridgeway Underground Mine, & produces around 823 koz annually.

7. Kibali, DRC

AngloGold Ashanti owns 45% of the Kibali gold mine, Barrick Gold Corporation owns 45%, & Société Minière de Kilo-Moto owns 10%. The mine is about 220 km from Isro and produced 808 koz gold in 2020.

8. Cortez

North America’s Cortez is in Nevada. It has large open-pit & underground mines. Barrick Gold Company owns 61.5 percent and Newmont Corporation 38.5 percent. The Cortez Hills have been mined since 1862. Bis 1940, silver was the main product. The Cortez mine now produces 799 koz per year.

9. Lihir, PNG

Lihir is a 900 km from Port Moresby mine controlled by Newcrest Mining Limited. Lihir Island is unique due to its location on the volcanic crater. The open pit mine generated 772 koz in 2020.

10. Loulo Gounkoto

Loulo Gounkoto in Mali is the tenth largest gold mine in the world. The open-pit mine is owned 80% by Barrick and 20% by the Mali government. The mine manufactured 544,000 ounces of gold in 2020, and 510,000-560,000 ounces of gold in 2021.