Mining gold today often becomes monumental undertakings, truly some of man’s greatest engineering is bitcoin mining profitable 2013 nissan. Imagine gold mining shafts nearly two and a half miles below the surface and it taking two hours for miners to get to their work stations. Imagine a pit so large that it can be seen from outer space.
The World’s 10 Most Prolific Gold Fields. The head frame of the Tau Tona Mine is the lone entrance to over 500 miles of tunnels. Located in South Africa, the Witwatersrand Basin represents the richest gold field ever discovered. Mining in the Witwatersrand Basin is accomplished by creating deep underground tunnels that are necessary to reach the plentiful reserves.
The Tau Tona Mine features the deepest tunnel in the world extending a full 2. 4 miles below the earth’s surface. A massive ventilation and air conditioning system is required to overcome the extreme working conditions throughout the over 500 miles of tunnels. At its deepest levels, the air temperature reaches 131 F and the rock face itself 140 F.
The discovery of gold in the Basin in 1886 by Australian miner George Walker set off one of the largest gold rushes in history. The surrounding area became the city of Johannesburg, and within ten years Johannesburg was the largest city in South Africa. National Geographic documentary Megastructures: Tau Tona City of Gold. A large open pit excavation at the Twin Creeks Mine in the Carlin Trend.
Historically, most gold fields were discovered by the presence of gold veins or deposits visible to the naked eye. Not so in the Carlin Trend located in northeast Nevada. In 1961, John Livermore, a geologist for Newmont Mining, set out in search of this invisible gold based on some ideas in a paper published a year before by noted geologist Ralph Roberts. It didn’t take long before Livermore found what he was looking for in an area that is now known as the Carlin Trend.
The deposit was the first major one of its kind discovered. Subsequent discoveries of similar type areas in China and Macedonia are referred to as Carlin Trend type deposits. Open pit mining dominates the Carlin Trend over its five by 40 mile area although some underground operations have been formed in higher grade areas. 4 in the world in terms of total gold production. The Grasberg Mine’s opening is 1 mile in diameter. In one of the most inaccessible spots on the planet lie the single largest gold ore body and third largest copper ore body ever discovered.
Located in the mountains of Irian Jaya, Indonesia, at an elevation of 14,010 ft, is the Grasberg Mine. Two miles away lies its predecessor, the Ertsberg Mine. Work on the original Ertsberg Mine began in 1967 with the construction of a dock and a 25 mile road through the surrounding jungle. Chain saw wielding workers were lowered from helicopters to cut their way clear to the jungle floor.