Open pit vs. Underground
–Open Pit: Excavation from top soil to bedrock, extracting all material possible. The gold is spread out in many layers of soil and not concentrated.
–Underground: Tunneling under the top soil to the area known to contain gold flakes. Much more dangerous but can be better financially because the mine is more focused.
Private vs. Corporate mining
–Private: An individual owns land that he rents out to individual operations (based on square footage), for a percentage of the gold found. Since the operations are smaller; the mines are shallower, involve less people but can still harm the environment
–Corporate: Large companies own the land and do not subsidize the land but are capable of mining the whole thing by themselves. These are much larger operations and have greater impact on the surrounding environment
Social Impact to Mining
- The social impact of having a mine is very economical. The creation of jobs and within the region is an attraction to workers because mines are normally located in remote areas where the standard of living is normally lower.
- Wages are low which benefits the owners of the mines because they keep more of the profits from gold.
- Owning an operation is very expensive and involves many different pieces of equipment
- Gold mining has been around for thousands of years but the same practices are still in use to retrieve gold from the earth. Every aspect of mining comes with its own risk and much of the worlds gold reserves are in areas where physical labor is low.