About River Gold
Long before any gold can be extracted, significant exploration and development needs to take place, both to determine, as accurately as possible, the size of the deposit as well as how to extract and process the ore efficiently, safely and responsibly. Gold mining is a global business with operations on every continent, except Antarctica, and mines of widely varying types and scale. The vast majority of the world's gold was mined in the modern, post-war era and as the industry has evolved it has also diversified. Explore our interactive gold mining map to learn more about global mine production.
When it comes to gold mining, most of us will get our yellow metal by sifting through sands and gravels along rivers and streams. This is called placer mining. It is due to the geological age of the earth that this is even possible. All gold deposits started as hardrock formations...and stayed that way until there were earthquakes, rivers, glaciers, tidal waves and a lot of earth movement which eroded mountains and ground down the rock into it's smallest form; dust. Trapped in all this rock were veins of gold, typically in quartz. These veins were also pulverized down into small pieces in nugget, flake and flour size. Because gold is so heavy, it settles to the bottom of our rivers, streams and any deep depression or crevice. This is where placer mining comes in. When we sift through all this sand and gravel to separate the gold, we are actually looking back at the earth's history. I know, I know, that's nice; now show us a faster way to get at this gold.