Precious Metals

How is Gold Mined? 3 Ways to Find Gold

What do you imagine when you think of how gold is mined? Maybe you see a prospector panning for gold in a river or a miner with a pickaxe during the California gold rush. Or perhaps you think of current TV shows following the companies that are open-pit mining in the wilderness of Alaska, who are probably excavating, hauling, crushing, and processing gold ore as you read this. 

1. Placer Mining

Placer mining is done in areas where the soil or rock is loose. These areas called placer deposits are often found on beaches and riverbeds. The most common and effective gold mining methods in placer deposits use tools and machines to move and sift through the sediment. The much denser gold settles and remains as the lighter sand, soil, and rocks separate and get washed away.

Dredging

Sometimes the gold deposits sit in deeper water, inaccessible by simply wading into the river. Dredging uses machines to remove sediment and soil from a live riverbed. Sometimes this process involves digging with a machine from above the water’s surface. Occasionally, large hoses are used to suck both water and soil away from the riverbed, depositing it into a machine for processing. 

Suction dredging usually requires a miner to dive down to the riverbed and operate a suction hose that carries sediment up to a sluice box on a floating platform. Gold dredging has been practiced since the early 1900s, when steam and electricity made it possible to build machines capable of handling large amounts of material. In the United States, using a gold dredge requires a license and is heavily regulated in areas where this method is common, including states like Alaska, Montana, and California. Suction dredging for gold remains a common practice in South America, Asia, and Africa.

Panning 

Probably one of the oldest methods associated with gold mining is panning. Panning is widely recognized as one of the simplest and cleanest ways to extract gold from a placer deposit. In this gold mining process, the miner uses a large pan to scoop up soil and then slowly swirls or shakes the pan underwater to sweep away loose and light sediment, leaving the heavier gold material in the pan. Due to the simplicity and effectiveness,  it remains a favorite method among those prospectors who don’t need to move metric tons of earth to strike gold. 

Sluicing

Water is an incredibly useful tool for separating gold from waste rock. Sluicing takes advantage of water’s power to move a large amount of material efficiently. This is especially useful when separating gold from soil and gravel. Ultimately, sluicing uses a channel-like box to recreate the effect of a river. The sluice is placed in the river to keep water moving through it, pushing sediment along and separating materials as it goes. The bottom of the channel has fins or ridges that trap the heavier gold material that settles as the moving water carries the unwanted sediment tailings away. 

A method similar to the sluice box is the rocker box. Using a rocker box is preferable in areas with less water available. It uses the same effect of separating soil and sand from gold and capturing gold fragments in the ripples at the bottom of the box. Instead of using the river’s natural movement, a rocker box (also called a cradle) is rocked back and forth to create the movement needed to separate the good stuff from all the rest.

2. Hard Rock Mining

Sometimes the ground is too hard to scoop up with a pan, a shovel, or even a digging machine with steel carbide teeth. In this instance, you need tools that can process thousands of tons of rock to get to the gold. Typically, larger gold mining operations have the resources to extract gold that would otherwise be impossible for smaller outfits to reach. But before they begin mining, they have to do some exploration to find lode deposits.

This kind of gold mining exploration, known as hard rock mining, requires the expertise of teams that often include geologists, geographers, chemists, engineers, and more. Among these disciplines, core samples are drilled, local geography is surveyed, and many other factors are taken into account when deciding the viability of developing a gold mine in a particular place. 

How scarce and disbursed is the gold likely to be in an area under consideration for hard rock mining? Less than 0.1% of potential mining sites ever develop into fully functional and productive mines. However, if a mining operation has the tools available to get to the gold, a smaller amount of gold per ton is worthwhile to extract. 

Open Pit and Underground Mining

Open pit mining is what most people picture when they think of gold mining. Huge digging machines, earth movers, massive motorized sluicers, and enormous pits carved into the earth give you a good idea of what open pit mining is all about. 

When the ground happens to be exceptionally hard, dense rock like granite, miners drill holes and place explosives in them to break apart the rock for hauling and processing. This is used with underground mining as well. When the lode deposits are far enough below the earth’s surface, mine shafts are created to give miners access to the veins of gold. The material is sent to the surface for processing and the tailings and the waste rock are placed out of the way. 

3. Byproduct Mining

It’s not often you hear about gold being the secondary metal sought out by a mining operation. But, as the name suggests, byproduct mining means that gold happens to have come along with another material that is mined, such as copper and other metals, and sometimes even gravel. Gold is mined as a byproduct from mines in Utah as well as the mine in Papua, Indonesia, which primarily mines copper. 

Processing Gold Ore

With a greater understanding of chemistry came alternative methods for extracting gold from gold ore. Rather than dredging, sluicing, blasting, crushing, and separating the gold manually and mechanically, it can be done chemically. The two most common methods of chemically processing gold ore have used a sodium cyanide solution or an older, now-obsolete method involving mercury. However, traditional mechanical methods remain the most commonly used.

The good news is that many precious metals are increasingly used in sustainable energy solutions, so the benefits of mining and processing gold go beyond their aesthetic appeal to more practical applications to improve both environment and economy.

Knowing more about the ways that gold is mined has hopefully grown your appreciation for what goes into getting this precious metal out of the earth and into the gorgeous gold coins and bullion bars we all enjoy.

Learn how to buy gold with Rosland Capital at BuyGold101.com.

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Precious Metals and Sustainable Energy

What Is the Connection Between Precious Metals and Sustainable Energy?

Many of us have heard about sustainable energy, from solar energy to hydrogen fuel to renewable resources. But did you know that alternative energy sources and precious metals are deeply intertwined? In fact, the demand for renewable energy sources plays a prominent role in the demand for precious metals.

So, what does gold have to do with solar power? How does silver drive the electric vehicle industry? What does platinum have to do with hydrogen fuel cells? In this article, I’ll explain the many ways that gold, silver, platinum, and palladium are playing an important role in green energy research.

Gold, Silver, and Sustainable Energy

Gold and silver have been used for millennia in nearly every culture in the world. Besides their most common uses — such as jewelry or medical devices — gold and silver also have enjoyed a variety of “magical” applications throughout history, particularly for ancient and medieval alchemy. 

Although spinning gold into something else might seem like the stuff of fairy tales, researchers have been able to use gold as a catalyst to turn solar energy into methane and methanol. Well-known for its high conductivity, silver, too, has emerged as a key ingredient in the development of solar technologies. When used in the form of a paste in solar cells, silver helps conduct electrons from sunlight and the resulting electrical energy that can be used immediately or stored in batteries. 

Additionally, silver plays a vital role in the electric vehicle (EV) industry, which is growing rapidly. According to McKinsey, 143 new EVs were launched in 2019 and automakers plan on launching 450 additional models by 2022. From the electric engine to the battery pack to the batter management system, silver is necessary for EVs to operate. Gold, too, is used for the circuit boards of EVs. 

A global authority on precious metals, the London Bullion Market Association predicts that the demand for silver in the auto industry will increase 246% by 2040 — from a little more than 1,300 metric tons in 2015 to more than 4,500 metric tons in 2040. Although the amount of silver and gold may be small from car to car, the aggregate total is notable and will only expand the importance and value of these precious metals. 

Platinum, Palladium, and Renewable Energy

Discovered in 1735, platinum is known for its brilliant shine and durability and is used in everything from dental tools to jewelry.

Platinum’s cousin palladium isn’t known as widely for its white luster as it is for its use in the automotive industry where it’s used to turn toxic pollutants into water vapor and less-harmful carbon dioxide. In recent years, the demand for palladium has grown thanks to research into its applications in alternative energy. In fact, although palladium isn’t used in electric car production, the demand for palladium in hybrid cars is on the rise.

Groundbreaking uses for both of these metals are emerging as scientists investigate how to shift from a fossil fuel-based economy to a hydrogen-based economy. Both metals are excellent candidates for use as catalysts in hydrogen fuel cells, because of their excellent conductivity. Platinum and palladium make it possible to turn hydrogen into an efficient, powerful, and sustainable fuel source. This potential makes platinum and palladium the standouts among the precious metals for green technologies.

Driven by Precious Metals, the Future Is Green

Although we can’t be sure what the future holds, all signs point toward more industries “going green” at a rapid clip. As interest in sustainability grows, innovative uses for precious metals will only drive demand. If you’re interested in learning more about precious metals, including gold and silver, visit RoslandCapital.com.

How to Research Gold Spot Prices

If you’re considering buying gold or other precious metals, it’s important to understand what “spot prices” are. Unfortunately, this term, along with other industry terms like “bid/ask spread,” “good delivery,” and “troy ounces” can confuse buyers. Don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it seems! 

Rosland Capital has published a new blog article that breaks down these concepts. Ready to get started? Read the “How to Research Gold Spot Prices” blog article to learn more.

Top Gifts From Rosland Capital This Holiday Season

It can be hard to know where to begin with holiday shopping for your family and friends. It’s natural to want to get them something they’ll love that will last them a long time, but it isn’t always easy to decide on a present that fits that criteria.

Fortunately, exclusive collector’s coins from Rosland Capital make for a perfect holiday gift! Not only do they serve as beautiful mementos that honor some of the greatest events and individuals in sports history, but they can also act as new precious metals assets to help enhance and protect your loved ones’ future wealth.

For the coin collector and sports enthusiast in your life, here are three specialty coins created this year by Rosland in collaboration with some of our wonderful partners.

PGA Tour 2019 Players Championship ¼ oz Gold Coin

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This beautiful, limited edition gold coin was produced to commemorate the PGA Tour’s annual tournament, the Players Championship. It features the iconic 17th green and hole on the front and a portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse.

Formula 1 2019 Gold Kilo Coin

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This coin was developed (among others in our F1 collection) in celebration of Formula 1’s 2019 Grand Prix racing season. On the front, it features a list of all the race locations from this year’s season in calendar order around the dramatic official F1 logo, shown in the center of the coin. On the back of the coin is Ian Rank-Broadley’s portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.

Davis Cup 2019 ¼ oz Gold Coin

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This collector’s item honors the largest annual international team competition in men’s tennis, the Davis Cup. The front of the coin features the Davis Cup itself, and the obverse side bears the portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

 

Happy Holidays from all of us at Rosland Capital!

Palladium: What Is It, and Why Does It Have Such High Market Value Right Now?

In the precious metals industry, heavy focus is frequently placed on gold and silver as two of the more valuable metals available for purchase. While it’s undeniable that these metals are held in high regard by many industry experts, there are also other, more obscure metals that are rising in demand and value among consumers. Palladium, for example, is a precious metal that has experienced a prodigious ascent through the market within the last several years. If you’re unfamiliar with palladium, it may be worthwhile to learn a little more about it so you can assess how including it in your asset portfolio might be beneficial to your long-term finances.

What Is Palladium?

Palladium is a lustrous silvery-white metal that is most often used in industrial settings, but it can also be found in electronics, jewelry, and some methods of dentistry. In recent years, it has gained popularity among automakers as a means of reducing the amount of harmful pollutants released by vehicle exhaust systems. With stricter environmental regulations being put in place, this precious metal has become a crucial component in the creation of new cars, leading to nearly 80 percent of palladium consumption being accounted for by auto manufacturers.

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Source: Rosland Capital

Why Is Palladium So Valuable?

Even though the demand for palladium has increased significantly due to these new regulatory measures, there has been a shortage in supply. In fact, many precious metals specialists have speculated that the amount of palladium supplied to consumers in 2019 will likely fall short of demand for the eighth year in a row. Because of this, prices have reached record-breaking levels, and the market value is expected by some analysts to continue increasing in the coming months.

PALLADIUM GRAPHIC PRICE

Source: Reuters

What Value Does It Hold for Non-Commercial Consumers?

In addition to reducing your exposure to toxic emissions from your car, palladium could be a valuable addition to your asset portfolio. When diversifying your wealth, the inclusion of a variety of precious metals amid other types of financial holdings may aid in safeguarding your retirement savings against the volatility of the stock market. 

Although market prices for metals like palladium are subject to fluctuation, precious metals are often seen as attractive because of their enduring, inherent value, in contrast with paper-based assets that may be less secure in times of economic uncertainty. The purchase of palladium in physical forms like bullion bars may be of significant benefit to the overall stability of your portfolio, thereby improving the stability of the future you’re building for yourself.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to add palladium in addition to other precious metals to your holdings, contact one of our precious metals specialists at Rosland Capital.

Future of Gold Looks Bright

Late last month, gold and silver prices saw new highs. On February 23, anxiety of the new U.S. president and his administration’s new policies caused prices to hit a 3.5-month high.

The momentum continued over the next few days, pushing gold and silver slightly higher in anticipation of President Trump’s speech to the U.S. Congress about his plans for growing the country’s economy.

Managing director of American Precious Metals Advisors and senior economic advisor to Rosland Capital, Jeffrey Nichols, was interviewed about his insight on the recent jump in prices and outlook of precious metals. Here are a few quotes from him:

Scrap Register

In recent weeks, with gold trading in a narrow range and good technical support apparent to all, perceptions of momentum have also shifted and today traders just didn’t want to lose out — or bet against —  a rising market.

Additionally, there has also been a positive shift in inflation and inflation expectations offsetting the expected rise in interest rates. In other words, real ‘inflation-adjusted’ interest rates are falling, and this is — and will continue to be— a big plus for the yellow metal.

Kitco

Gold has a bullish posture considering the metal has been able to rise despite a bearish factor — expectations for higher U.S. interest rates this year.

Benzinga

In my view, an accelerating U.S. consumer-price inflation rate will outpace any increase in nominal rates brought about by the Fed – a trend that will contribute to record high gold prices in the next few years.

Stay up-to-date on precious metal prices with Rosland Capital’s gold and silver price historical charts. You can also head over to Rosland Capital’s products page to view gold and silver coins.

MTB Features Rosland Capital Liberty Coin Series

Last month, the Lady Liberty series available from Rosland Capital was featured in a piece on MTB. Minted by Swiss-based PAMP, the gold coins are available in three different designs that display the iconic views of the Statue of Liberty. The obverse shows the Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank­-Broadley.

Head over to the MTB website for more information on the Rosland Capital collection.

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Rosland Capital to Distribute Official Formula 1® Coin Collection

Rosland Capital recently announced global distribution of an Official Formula 1® gold and silver coin collection, in celebration of the the FIA Formula One World Championship as well as the British, Italy, the United States and Brazil Grand Prix races. Available in the United States and in the United Kingdom, the front of each of these limited series coins includes a Formula 1® car, the name of the event and the Formula 1® logo. Gold coins celebrating the British Grand Prix™, which will be held July 8-10, 2016, became available on June 15.

The collection also features limited single gold and silver coins with all 21 Formula 1 circuit names printed on the front and includes a certificate number, statement of metal fineness, weight, proof of quality statement, and signature of the PAMP assayer.

The back of each coin in the collection features Ian Rank-Broadley’s portrait of Queen Elizabeth II along with the legal tender value of the coin.

“We are honored to be working with our friends at Stunt & Co. on this endeavor,” said Marin Aleksov, Chief Executive Officer of LA-based Rosland Capital LLC. “The coins are not only a way to celebrate the races, but also a unique keepsake for coin collectors and Formula One fans alike. The history of the races are truly brought to life in the coin series.”

The collection is minted by Swiss-based PAMP and is in association with the global license-holders, Stunt & Co. Ltd. Go to https://www.roslandcapital.com/f1 for more information about the collection or check out more about the Formula 1® Collection from Rosland Capital on Coin Week and on Coin World.

Rosland Capital Expands Internationally With Opening of United Kingdom Office

Rosland Capital has expanded overseas, with the opening of their first international office on July 7.

Based in London, Rosland UK will debut with a staff of 12 professionals and serve as a beachhead for wider expansion later in the European Union.

Marin Aleksov said of the expansion, “We plan to follow the same successful approach pioneered in the U.S., providing people with experience-backed knowledge that inspires confidence in their purchases, broadening their options and providing exemplary customer service.’’

Aleksov also noted that Rosland Capital continues to create jobs in the United States and now in the United Kingdom.

Rosland UK will leverage television advertising with a strong online presence to grow its customer base.