17 Where Gold Comes From

Where Gold Comes From

Posted on January 8, 2013 by team


This place is in the Akmola region, Kazakhstan. Here gold is mined. The history of the mine reflects the history of the country itself. It underwent declines and stagnation but finally it managed to revive.

There used to be a small pit here which for 33 years turned into a huge mine 135 meters deep and as wide as 1210 thousand square meters.

Victor,55, has been working at the mine for 33 years.

He is one of those who still remember how it all began. How a small pit was slowly growing. In the middle of the 90s there was even a period when gold was not mined at all because it became very cheap (260 dollars per ounce) and the work was not financed. People had to wait for work for months. But in the middle of the 2000s the mine seemed to start its second life. They got so needed investments at last. To revive the production they needed 700 million dollars.

For the last two years they managed to mine as much gold as they had been mining for 20 years – 11,5 tons!

Now they are working nonstop.

24/7 excavators bucket the ore and load huge Caterpillars with it which transport it for crushing. Then it will go via the conveyor to the factory where gold will be extracted.

The project output should be eight million tons of ore a year. However they mine only six tons yet. Two grams of gold is found in one ton of ore. All this colossal work is done for this tiny amount of gold.

One dumptruck “CAT-777″ weighs seventy tons but its lifting capacity is 90-100 tons. It’s like a huge ant that can lift a cargo heavier than the truck itself. Besides, drivers say that CATs are even easier to drive than cars.

When CATs appeared here each was given its own name: “Jaguar”, “Vanguard”, “Golden antelope”, “Orange”, etc.

Drivers say the work has become much cleaner with such vehicles.

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17 Responses to “Where Gold Comes From”

  1. cro says:

    Like Ferengi used to say : “Greed is eternal.”

    • Fred Johnson says:

      Can you even define “greed”?
      Wanting more, wanting to live nice, wanting to be rich, is NOT “greed”.

      • j pigden says:

        Actually, it is:
        Greed is the inordinate desire to possess wealth, goods, or objects of abstract value with the intention to keep it for one’s self, far beyond the dictates of basic survival and comfort. It is applied to a markedly high desire for and pursuit of wealth, status, and power.

        • Benjamin says:

          How is this “greed”? Simply because it involves gold? This is just a corporate mine employing people to produce an economically valuable product, like the components in the computer you wrote that ignorant statement on. The gold produced by this mine isn’t going into the bank vault of the mine owner where he can horde it away, stare at it, and play with it like some kind of greedy scrooge. It’s being sold on the open market to produce valuable products. The money from its sale pays for fuel, equipment, wages, and returns for investments. If this is greed, then so is any economically productive activity. If it wasn’t for “greed” motivating people to produce goods, we would all still be living in the stone age.

  2. Nobody says:

    I bet this was built with American-donated taxpayer dollars.

  3. Joe says:

    @Nobody
    yeah, and I bet it all flows back to those American and Canadian corporations and the multibillion bonusses.
    The report didnt even mention the environmental damage the company leaves behing by using “certain chemicals” to extract gold, which is a certainty. Like the locals get compensated for that; Thankk you America

  4. America says:

    Cool, i haven’t seen the name Bucyrus on a bucket shovel in a long time. Impressive looking machine!

  5. SilverLight says:

    “The project output should be eight million tons of ore a year. However they mine only six tons yet. Two grams of gold is found in one ton of ore. All this colossal work is done for this tiny amount of gold.”

    Riiiight….. so they’re only bringing in $850 per year before expenses. Pretty sure something in that paragraph is way off.

  6. Mummeli says:

    Actually Outotec is not the name of the ball-mill, but a Finnish company that built/delivered it, and is a major provider of mining technology in central asia. I bet most of the ‘new technologies’ mentioned above, is from them.

    And a funny detail: in the most big mines, that use those big Cat’s – even bigger ones thant those 777’s – most of their driver’s are women. Why? It’s said that they take better care of them than men.

  7. Jim Beam says:

    If aliens were examining human behavior, they would mostly puzzled by the fact that humans make huge efforts to produce a rare metal with little practical use and then they just store it in guarded safes!

    • and coke says:

      But it’s so shiny and you can make it into items of jewellery so women sleep with you.

    • Chris Smith says:

      Little practical use? Gold is the single best conductor of electricty we have. Why do you think the price spiked in the mid 2000’s? Demand for it on PC boards, cellphones, chips, etc…

      • Yank says:

        To add to that, it is also totally inert and the absolute best protection from radiation in space. Unless you think being stuck on Earth forever is a good idea, gold is required to make space exploration and travel practical.

  8. MC says:

    Actually gold is used in a lot of electronics. There are many uses for it, try looking it up and you might be surprised :)

  9. ChileMineMan2020 says:

    “This is a ball-mill “Outotec” specially made for the mine. There are no analogues of such size anywhere in the world.” Garbage. Take a look at some of the SAG mills at various copper mines in Chile. Easily bigger than those little things.

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