What are Gold Nuggets and How Do They Become Precious?
A “gold nugget” is a chunk of native gold that is found naturally. Molten gold is a liquid that seeps through fissures and crevices in host rocks and forms gold nuggets. This procedure is like how many other gemstones are made. Due to their scarcity, aesthetics, and intrinsic value, they are highly sought after by investors and collectors. The largest gold nugget in the world is reputed to have been found in Australia. The ‘Welcome Stranger’ weighs about 158 pounds, or about 2316 ounces of gold.
How Much Pure Gold is in Nuggets?
Most nuggets consist of 70% to 95% pure gold; they never become entirely pure because they are typically combined with other minerals and metals that are present in their natural state. The typical impurities detected in a recently discovered nugget include copper, silver, nickel, quartz, etc.
Understanding the Mining Process for Obtaining Gold Nuggets
- There tend to be multiple steps involved in mining for gold nuggets:
- Typically, this entails gathering samples of the soil and rocks, conducting geophysical surveys, and applying other methods to find potential gold deposits.
- After finding gold reserves, mining companies must determine how to extract the gold. This involves figuring out the deposit’s size and shape, the kind of mining tools and techniques that will be applied, and the logistics of getting the gold to the processing facility.
- To get to the gold-bearing ore, the topsoil along with other underlying layers of rock must be removed during the real mining procedure for gold nuggets. Heavy equipment like excavators, bulldozing machines, and drilling rigs are frequently used for this. After that, the ore is brought to its outermost layer for processing.
- Using chemicals like cyanide removes the gold from the ore, which is crushed into tiny bits after being extracted.
- In most cases, heat and chemicals are used to purify gold.