Hard rock mining, placer mining, by-product mining and gold ore processing are some methods of gold mining. Each method has its unique process of accessing, extracting and processing gold.
Hard rock mining is a method that involves the creation of underground tunnels or open pit mines to access gold in a surrounding rock. Miners have extracted most of the gold in supply across the world through this method because it gives them access to the large areas that have gold.
Hobbyist gold hunters and amateurs are the ones who use the placer mining method most. They use it because it is simple and the equipment required is affordable. In this method, the miner uses a metal detector to detect gold. To separate the gold from the surrounding rocks, the miners use the cradling, panning and dredging processes.
The by-product mining method is similar to hard rock mining because it creates underground tunnels and open pit mines to access gold. However, the difference is that in this method the gold is a by-product of the primary material that miners mine at the site. In most cases, copper, sand and gravel are the primary materials and gold becomes a by-product when miners conclude that there is enough gold to justify mining.
The gold ore processing method is rarely in use because of its operational costs and the many negative impacts it has on the environment. Besides the gold mined using the method is of low quality. The method involves extracting trace quantities from crushed rocks.