It is thought that the process of gold mining first began over 7000 years ago, and it is something that is still going strong today. OROGOLD takes a look at some of the different gold mining sites around the world.
Grasberg, Papua, Indonesia
Grasberg is believed to hold the largest concentration of gold and copper in the world, making it no surprise that it is not only the world’s largest gold mine, but also the third largest copper mine. It was established in the 70s by an American mining company, but has been the subject of global controversy since then, mostly due to the negative impact it has had on the environment. However, the Indonesian government has tightened its laws since then, and visitors are able to tour the mine to see the mining process for themselves. Papua in itself is absolutely stunning, making for a fantastic vacation destination. With lush jungles, snow-capped mountains, glacial lakes and scenic beaches, it is a region of natural diversity, and, other than visiting the mine, there is plenty else to see and do.
Cadia Valley Operations, New South Wales, Australia
The Cadia Valley Operations are a trio of mines about 250km west of Sydney. Gold was first discovered in this region in 1851, with this particular mine’s commercial production beginning in 1999. Since then, over 8 million ounces of gold has been mined at these three sites. This is another commercial mine that offers tours, and these are completely free of charge and usually last for about two hours. Visitors will be able to take a look around the mine’s surface operations, and gain a better understanding of the history of the mine, as well as of exactly what is involved in gold mining. The closest city to the Cadia Valley Operations is Orange, where you will find beautiful hotels, museums, a variety of shops and markets, and restaurants serving up the region’s freshest seasonal produce.
The Martha Mine, Waihi, New Zealand
Waihi is a town in the North Island of New Zealand, and is the Martha Mine is the richest gold mine in the country. The mine has been in operation since 1878, producing around a million dollars worth of gold and silver each week. The tours that are offered of the mine are something that OROGOLD would highly recommend, as they enable you to see every single stage of the mining process, from the ore extraction to the crushing to the final processing. This is a great opportunity for an in-depth look at a working mining operation, as the majority of them are usually off-limits to the public. The Gold Discovery Center is also well worth a visit if you are in the area, as it has a variety of interactive exhibits that allow you to get a first-hand experience of what it is like to mine for gold.
Spending some time exploring a working commercial gold mine, while learning more about where this gorgeous metal comes from, is something that OROGOLD would highly recommend. It is truly a fascinating experience, and is one that will make you appreciate gold even more!