Placer mining is the process in which gold is separated from gravel and sand deposits using gravity and water. Even though this method of gold mining is cheaper and simpler than hardrock gold mining, there are still a number of challenges that mining companies and miners must overcome in order to succeed.
- Availability of Water: During placer mining, in order to separate gold from the sediment alot of water is needed. It isn’t feasible or even possible to conduct placer mining in areas with a low water table or limited access to water.
- Issues with Environment: In areas where there are delicate ecosystems or endangered species, gold placer mining can potentially cuase significant harm to the environment. Gold mining has the potential to change waterways, or destroy habitats along with the natural landscape.
- Regulatory Requirements: Placer mining companies are normally subjected to stringent regulatory requirements, especially in areas with ecosystems which are delicate, enedagered species, or significant cultural heritage. Miners who operate on a smaller scale may find it more difficult to operate because compliance with these regulations and getting permits can be a time consuming and expensive process.
- Equipment Costs: Sluice boxes, dredges, and shaker tables are just a few examples of the specialized equipment that are required for placer gold mining. Especially for small-scale mining companies that may not have access to the same resources as a larger gold mining companies, the extensive list of equipment can get very expensive to run, maintain, and buy.
- Costs of Labour: Gold placer mining can be a very labour intensive job, especially in the early stages of excavation and exploration. Skilled labourers who have an understanding of the local geology and hydrology are needed for both the extraction and discovery of gold.
- Seasonal restriction: Seasonal elements like snowmelt and rainfall are one the main obstacles that gold placer miners face on a regular basis. The amount of gold that can be extracted in certain areas is restricted as gold mining can only be done during certain seasons of the year. For example, Yukon gold mining is only conducted for 7-8 months of the year while the remaining months are much too cold with the ground freezing, making it nearly impossible to workers to be mining for gold.
- Access to land: Acces to land with larger gold deposits is necessary for any successful placer mining operation. Finding such pieces of suitable land can be very challenging
- Land Access: Gaining access to land with abundant gold deposits that is open to placer gold mining can be very difficult, especially in areas that have already been heavily mined or have restrictions on mining.
Overall, placer gold mining is a difficult and complex process that requires specialized skills and equipment. Gold miners must face and overcome a number of challenges to be successful and reap the potential high rewards.
Here at Instant Gold Refining, we buy and refine Placer Gold and Gold nuggets from Miners in the Yukon. Give us a call today at +1 (604) 498 5001 to open an account. We buy and sell gold in Surrey, British Columbia, close to Vancouver, British Columbia.