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South Africa is the world’s largest producer of gold and is estimated to have half of these gold resources. The United States and Brazil each have significant amounts of the world’s gold resources. Gold has various Uses 10% is used in coinage or in the financial stores of governments. The remaining 12% is consumed in a wide range of other uses which include electronics, medicine, dentistry, computers, awards, pigments, gilding, and optics. Typically gold is found in veins of quartz called reefs.

These reefs are formed as a result of gamma being intruded into solid rock. As the magma solidifies water and other substances separate from the magma as a result of pressure, this pressure causes fissures in the surrounding rock and allows mineral deposits to settle and form and they create veins of quartz and this allows the gold to travel though these fissures and solidify inside the quartz. Gold has an isometric crystal system and has a specific gravity of 15. 5 to 19. Miners usually search for gold deposits in and near quartz veins. While on the lab trip we visited the Consolidated Mine in Daylong, GA and looked at some of the early and modern methods of discovering gold. One of these methods was panning. During the early days of the gold rush prospectors would take pans to the rivers around gold rich areas and use the weight (specific gravity) of gold to separate it from the water, sand and other mineral deposits in the rivers they were looking in.

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Also while at the consolidated mines we were able to go down into the mines and look at the ethos and working conditions that miners during the 19th century worked into find the illusive mineral. Methods of finding gold include placer mining (hydraulic mining and dredging), open pit mining (using stamp mills as well as gold mills to smelt the gold and remove impurities), and hightailing (a pump that propels water through a hopper box. Large quantities of gravel are fed into the machine and propelled through a filter that separates the gold. )

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