Aug 13, 2011

Visting a Gold Mine

On the Streets of Victor, Colorado
Victor, Colorado was unique from any other town we have visited. It was hard to believe we were still in the United States of America. The buildings dating back to 1800's ,antique sign boards and street lights, commercials written on the walls reminded us of the by gone era. Life was set at a slow motion, people were laid back, there seemed absolutely no hurry to pave the roads or build new building. It was almost like everything was in a trance - looking through the dust we had created driving to town.

Cripple Creek & Victor museum gave us a warm welcome - or so I would like to say - there was hardly anyone except the clerk when we arrived. Then one by one people started to come - all serious kind - no smiling faces or friendly gestures and absolutely no kids. So what? Here we are with three lovely kids all eager and excited about the trip. After some formalities like signing the release forms, watching a short instructional video and fitting us with a safety helmet and glasses, we were on the tour! A tour to one of the working Gold mines in the States.

Inside the gold mine
We normally think of mines going deep underground, but this was a mine going deep above ground! Let me clarify. What they are doing is breaking the HUGE mountains from top and making the holes wider and wider and wider to make roads inside, and leave the uncut portions as high walls and clearing the trees and everything on the way thus forming a 800 feet mine measuring from the mountain top from where the drilling first started! Trust me, this was news to us and a huge relief to me as I was a little nervous about taking the kids into underground tunnels.

The bus driver also acted as the tour guide. As we drove deeper and deeper into the mine she showed us different size trucks each called by a model # (like 521, 537 etc.), way too bigger than the normal ones we have seen on the roads. These were monster machines with monster "arms" and "fingers" capable of loading themselves with tons of gold ore, overkill or other rocks. When I say tons I mean tons - 300 tons! 400 tons! etc depending on the model. What struck me most was that in one truck load on the average they would get 3 to 4 oz of gold! "Is that all?!" we asked.

Monster machines!

The trucks take the ore to the crusher where they are broken into 3/4 inch pieces. At the end of the crusher there are other huge trucks lined up to carry the broken down ore to pile as mountains elsewhere, where a .035% cyanide solution is poured through the pile thus separating the gold from the rock and collecting it into an underground pool.

The liquid gold is then purified through flames made of coconut shells from Srilanka to finally become solid gold. In this particular mine they do a pour every Thursday and their per day gold is approximately 800 oz!! We were convinced their hard work thus pays off.



14 comments:

Mangala said...

Interesting post, NRIGirl...btw did u find any gold urself?

IRFANUDDIN said...

informative post....really surprising that from tonnes of load they get only few oz of Gold....

A said...

Very very informative post. I would have never known about it.

Balachandran V said...

Am enjoying each of your Colorado posts tremendously!

NRIGirl said...

Thank you all. Nice to hear from you all. Appreciate you taking the time to comment.

kavita said...

I have never ever seen such a huge truck before.Thanks for giving interesting details ,the most interesting that i found was about the flames made of coconut shells from Srilanka .Loved the post H :)

YL said...

One oz of gold is worth about 79,000/ INR. Their target is 800 oz of gold per day. So the mining is worth all the expenses involved.

raji said...

nice tour through the gold mine Hephzibah.The facts about the gold purification was intersting!nice post

deeps said...

stuff never seen before, thanks for sharing...

happy independence day... :)

Rachna said...

Amazing information and look at that truck, it is huge. Also, so much of effort gives out such little output. I am sure it was an informative visit for you guys and very enjoyable as well.

baili said...

how nicely you beefed,glad to see you enjoying visiting interesting places,

the price of gold is touch sky,dear,did you bring few kilo from there,must be cheep then marcket, just joking,god bless

....Petty Witter said...

How wonderful, a great post both interesting and informative.

Bikramjit said...

wow.. did they let youfill pockets with all the gold dust :) he he hehe


Bikram's

R. Ramesh said...

haha nri girl..thanks ya...the anti-corruption movement in india is a hugely welcome development i think...many may throw mud on protesters saying they r not clean..but the issue sure is clean..corruption is a dirty issue..and whoever fights against it is welcome..right?

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