Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Gold Rush

Sutter Gold Mining Company's first pour


California is having another gold rush. After thirty years of trying to obtain the 40 environmental permits needed to open a gold mining operation in California, the Sutter Gold Mining Company is starting operations. The company has already spent around $20 million on construction of this mine located 50 miles southeast of Sacramento. That’s a lot of money, but with gold prices so high the company is sure they will be able to recoup their investment.

 

The company believes it can produce 2,000 ounces of gold each month once they get production into full swing. The company is also estimating that there is 682,000 ounces of gold in the mine just waiting for them. That gives them about $1 billion based on gold pricing today. That is a lot of money! I thought this mining operation would be using advanced technology to get the gold out of the earth but it appears that they’re still using good old fashioned manual labor.

 We put miners on our commemorative coins

The gold rests in narrow bans of quartz deep in the ground. It takes a dude with a drill and some explosives to break apart these bans of quartz only two and a half feet wide that contain the gold. The miners are still digging in the dirt old school. They follow the vein of gold through the earth underground. Drilling deeper and deeper until it poops out. Apparently there has always been gold in California the regulations have just made it harder to get at.

 

This is an interesting development in California. I’ve visited many of the gold country tourist attractions over the years. I’ve actually panned for gold, strictly for fun, in Columbia, California. I’ve read all the stories about miners and even took a hike once where a tour guide explained how the miner’s lived. Let’s face it; our football team is named after the miners. It should be interesting to see if the mine produces a bonanza. Good luck to those who have the dream and gold fever.
 
Gold can be made into a beautiful pocket watch

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