Gold is one of the most awe-inspiring elements of our planet, as well as the universe. We know there’s an abundance of it, but how much does the average person really know about its value to the world?
The price of gold fluctuates constantly and its trend with jewelry and electronics is on the rise. Not only do people enjoy looking at its shine and beautiful color, but gold is a great conductor that is easily shaped and less easily corroded. Gold mining is still a huge business today, even as we approach two centuries past the Gold Rush of 1848 that brought people from all over the country to the west coast.
Companies like Alamos Gold continue to bring in a steady cash flow to stakeholders, which is good for the economy as well as the workforce. Mining companies today are actually thriving in the United States, as well as other parts of North America. As gold accumulation continues, so do the profits generated from the industry. New mining technology, such as accumulation conveyors, makes the process today more efficient and timely than it was a couple of centuries ago. Let’s dive into some basic facts about gold mining you’ve probably never heard before.
1. The deepest gold mine in North America is in Quebec.
Mining experts consider this area to be an exceptional region in terms of mineral wealth. The mineral resources in this region create a continuous operation for mining, which creates jobs and the constant influx of gold accumulation. A large percentage of the mining done in Canada happens in Quebec.
In 2017 alone, mining investments in Quebec increased by 8.7 percent with the province offering miners competitive tax incentives and a perfect jurisdiction set up for gold producers. Quebec and Ontario made up 75 percent of the gold production in Canada in 2017, with an output of about 1.8 million ounces of gold from Quebec.
2. Gold is a pretty rare atom in existence on Earth.
In the grand scheme, it’s not even close to being the rarest naturally occurring element in existence. However, only one out of every one billion atoms in the earth’s crust is a gold atom. Because gold tends to accumulate in larger deposits in relatively close proximity, we’re able to see it more easily, as well as extract it and use it as a form of currency.
Specific geological activity causes the accumulation of larger deposits of gold, which means we have a familiarity with the regions that tend to have more gold than others. Gold is most commonly found in areas near plate tectonic activity and mountains that were once volcanoes. Although there is one part of the world that is known to have the largest gold deposits — the ocean.
The ocean is estimated to contain up to eight times more gold than we will be able to mine on land. At this point, the cost of mining gold from the ocean floor would be more expensive than the element is worth today because it’s so scattered and deep. There are also several unknown risks involved with mining under the ocean if the industry ever approaches that in the future.
3. Most gold is turned into jewelry.
About 78 percent of mined gold is turned into jewelry and another 12 percent is made into our electronics in today’s day and age. It’s true — we have gold in our phones, computers, and televisions. However, the amount of gold in our electronics isn’t worth as much as the devices themselves, so don’t go mining in your laptop for gold. The other 10 percent of gold is used in finance and professional investors are usually advised to have no more than five to 10 percent of their portfolio made up of gold.