Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14

Thread: Well we seen the deep oil drilling but what about mining.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Posts
    12,251

    Well we seen the deep oil drilling but what about mining.

    Thought some might like to know about where that gold you wear comes from.

    Just for interest sake seeing as how i come from the city of gold as it is sometimes called and I married a mine engineers daughter.

    South Africa has the deepest Gold mine in the world.

    This is a new mine relatively speaking and bottomed out (which ever way you wish to look at it) the previous one by an additional few meters.

    Place is called Tau Tona Mine depth 3.8KM approx 2.36 miles down

    Previous Mine that was famous and still going is ERPM ( East Rand Mine btw i grew up in their backyard just about) its depth max depth is 3.5km or 2.18 miles down.

    Deepest i been in my time.....220m (chicken man).

    More interesting is the tonnage they have to mine to get a gram of gold and the cost of production of that gram

    Note we typically refer to an ounce of gold. Its normally troy ounces and there are 31 grams roughly to one ounce

    So Tau Tona harvests around 7 to 8 grams per ton of rock taken to the surface and processed today with modern processing methods.

    ERPM today yields around 1.1 grams a ton and declining.

    Cost to produce the $559 per ounce. at Tau Tona and sold for average of $974 during the period of 2009 yet due to the financial hedging these guys do only ended up being $751.

    At ERPM its a mess though. At that low yield its a joke to mine and it was closed down in 2008/9 Their cost to produce grew so high their was no net gain.


    Factor in todays gold price for spot is around $1163 per ounce. Now who is making money?
    Last edited by Rob Keeble; 07-29-2010 at 04:45 PM.
    cheers

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Posts
    13,440
    Interesting info Rob. I remember watching a discovery show about the mines. Due to the geothermal conditions around those mines, the temperatures of the mines have to be cooled for the workers otherwise they'd be an average of 55C (131F) or warmer.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word boo. Robert Brault

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Posts
    12,251
    Yeah Darren you want to see what they put the poor guys through who work down there before they get to go under.
    cheers

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,014
    Before I moved out to California, I was part owner (along with my sister, her husband, and another couple of good friends) of about 440 acres of old gold mine claims on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land in the mountains about an hour from Albuquerque. (Google Bland, NM. We didn't own the ghost town, but a lot of land around it.) These were old claims from the turn of the 20th century, and they were given to us by a retired couple who were no longer able to handle the upkeep. The BLM allowed us exclusive access to the land (meaning we could lock the gates and keep others out), but back then claimholders were required to do $100 worth of mining or maintenance to each of the 44 claims or else it would revert back to BLM control. Although the area had been productive in the late 1800s, by the time we owned it in the mid '80s, assays indicated that gold would need to be above $400 per ounce before it would be profitable to mine any more. (It was somewhere around $300 at the time, as I recall.) We had no intentions of mining up there. Our main interest was the old log cabin that was on one of the claims. We did all the maintenance work just to have access to the cabin, and it was worth it. Still, if gold prices would have gone up, we would have considered leasing the rights to a mining company and making some money on the side. There were a number of old mines on our claims, but none were nearly as deep as the ones you grew up around, Rob.

    A few years after I moved west, the Hanta virus outbreak hit that area hard. My fellow co-owners went up to the cabin that spring after the snows melted and saw that the winter mouse invasion had been particularly strong that year. (Hanta can be spread via rodent droppings.) They decided that year that it wasn't worth the risk to themselves or their kids, so they abandoned the claims and let the BLM take the land back. I sometimes wonder if it would be profitable these days to mine in that area, or if the costs to do so have risen in step with gold prices.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    810
    .,.,.,
    Last edited by John Bartley; 11-29-2010 at 02:00 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Posts
    12,251
    You a brave man John. What was the price of gold back then?
    cheers

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Posts
    12,251
    Vaughn my guess is someone is making a killing on that land today. But it aint certain when you think about costs in the USA.

    Dont forget the rate of exchange between the Rand to the US dollar provides the same kind of labor differential to that of cheap labor in similar parts of the world. What affects them in SA is the cost of capital goods which weighs in heavy in mining and the cost of money which is practically free in the USA but goes for a steep price in SA. Example in a non related industry but indicative is the mortgage rate there right now is around 13% at a time when long term fix rates here in Canada are around 5.5%. Thats the reason there is a substantial mining equipment manufacturing industry in the country something i was reminded of frequently when i went in search of money for the tech sector.

    You ever checked up whats happened to the land Vaughn?
    cheers

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,014
    That's a great picture, John.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    Vaughn my guess is someone is making a killing on that land today...
    In this case, no. Those were unpatented mining claims, so we didn't own title to the land, just the mining rights. When we gave them up, the land became BLM/Forest Service land for public use. In that same canyon, though, were a number of patented claims, and in those cases, the claim holders also hold title to the land, and can sell it. According to this page, those plots are selling for $3000 to $5000 per acre. (Man, I would have loved for our 440 acres to have been patented claims.)

    Seeing the pics on that page bring back a lot of memories. This is the Jones' cabin. Mr. amd Mrs. Jones are the folks who gave us the unpatented claims. (They kept the patented claims, and now that they've both passed away, apparently their sons are selling them)



    First time I visited Bland Canyon, I stayed in that cabin with my brother-in-law. (The Joneses weren't there.) I nearly burned the place down using Coleman fuel to start the woodstove. Shot a ball of fire nearly all the way across the living room.

    This is one of the old mills, also on one of the Jones' patented claims:



    This mill was a leach mill, where they soaked the crushed ore in cyanide to leach the gold out of it. Inside the mill were a couple of very large wooden vats that the leaching was done in. Back in the late '80s, the Joneses had the fence put up around the mill to keep trespassers out. The building was in danger of collapsing, and they didn't want the liability of someone getting hurt in there. There was also an old ball mill in the canyon (no pics) that was built a bit before WWII.

    This is Effie's cabin. I never had a chance to meet her, but she apparently lived in the canyon for much of her life, including the snowed-in winters.



    Another landmark of the area was the old hotel. I can't find any pics of it, but by the time we were going up there, the hotel was occupied by a grizzly old biker/firewood cutter named Lucky Ball. Anyone who made it past the three locked gates into the canyon also had to make it past Lucky and his guns. We got to be friends with him, and he'd just wave as us as we'd drive past his place. We made big points with him one spring by taking him a chocolate cake. He'd been snowed in all winter, and was real glad to have some company and some goodies to eat.

    I don't have any pics of our cabin. It was a simple two-room affair with an attic above that could sleep a dozen people. Both the kitchen and living room had woodstoves for heat. The outside walls were hand-hewn square cut logs. I don't know when the cabin was built, but we had graffiti carved on the front door dated 1917. When we took it over it was in pretty bad shape, but we did a lot of cleanup and fix-up, and turned it into a great (albeit rustic) weekend getaway. Good times, indeed.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Amherst, New Hampshire
    Posts
    10,604
    I remember reading not that long ago that if you took all the gold that has ever been mined wouldn't fill a 50 foot square box.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Amherst, New Hampshire
    Posts
    10,604
    Quote Originally Posted by John Bartley View Post
    Here's where some of the other gold comes from::



    This was 2506 stope in the Dome Mine, Timmins, Ontario, April 1980. It's about 3750 feet down. I'm the young fella' in the red hat.

    cheers

    John
    Holy cow John You gold miners sure have brass ones
    Faith, Hope & Charity

Similar Threads

  1. Hollowing Deep and wide
    By Dan Mosley in forum Turning Tool Questions and Show & Tell
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 12-15-2010, 12:42 AM
  2. hollowing deep
    By Stephen Bellinger in forum General Woodturning Q&A
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 06-16-2010, 01:22 AM
  3. Hello from the deep South . . .
    By Kevin Jaynes in forum Welcome and Introductions
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 02-13-2009, 09:24 AM
  4. Deep Boring
    By Tom Storey in forum General Woodturning Q&A
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 01-19-2009, 04:14 PM
  5. Deep Throat Clamp
    By Dave Richards in forum Jigs and Fixtures
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 04-19-2007, 11:59 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •