Gold. That shining metal that sparks human imagination since the dawn of civilization. What comes to mind when you think about it? It can often emerge as applied art, creating a sense of luxury and opulence. One can think about artistic jewelry. Or the stunning gold carving of exotic destinations or baroque art and architecture. One can even think of the luxurious scenes portrayed in Klimt’s paintings. But what is the form of gold that first comes to mind? Most often in contemporary times, one would think of gold bullion.
But gold comes a long way from being extracted from the ground until it takes the shape of a bullion. And today’s mining industry faces a new challenge: how to extract the shiny metal responsibly, without compromising the environment? The answer lies beneath the surface, hidden within the innovative practice of creating gold concentrates.
Gold concentrates? For those unfamiliar with the theme, it refers to the product of mining ore that has undergone processes to increase the proportion of gold relative to other non-valuable materials. And this powdery substance curries more than just gold – it carries the future of sustainable mining.
Even in an industry steeped in history as mining, there is nevertheless, a growing emphasis on sustainability and efficiency. The continuous quest to innovate and find better ways of extracting gold has led to the development and adoption of concentrates. Thus, gold concentrates become not just a technical adjustment, but an affirmation of the industry’s commitment to continuous progress and responsibility towards the environment.
The current alternative is to produce gold doré bars at the mine site. But this carries additional risks. Doré is a high-value product, thus requiring significant additional security costs for its storage and transportation. It also significantly increases the operational costs, not only due to security but also because of the additional processing compared to gold concentrates. And this additional processing requires industrial equipment and the extensive use of cyanide, a highly toxical chemical component. The additional operational costs, impacting security and the environment, make gold concentrates an increasingly appealing choice.
At the Colombian Mint, we have long adopted gold concentrates at the core of our operations. We have aligned our methods with a commitment to the environment and resource conservation, making us a versatile player in this golden era.
After all, gold is much more than just a precious metal. It’s a symbol of value and permanence – and there is nothing more precious or permanent than the preservation of our planet. As we continue our quest for gold, let’s make sure we are digging in the right direction, adopting sustainable practices and products to continue appreciating the eternal allure of golden wonders in the world, such as Klimt’s kisses, for centuries to come.
The Colombian Mint is an internationally renowned refinery and assayer of gold and silver. Based in Colombia, we are trusted by miners across Latin America and by dore and bullion bar buyers around the world. Established in 1997, but gold experts since the XIX century.