The entire amount of gold ever extracted is estimated to be 152,000 metric tons, enough to load 60 truck trailers. In comparison, 907 million metric tons of iron are produced worldwide. This is 6,000 times the entire amount of gold created throughout history.
All of the gold that has ever been purified could fit into a cube measuring 65.5 feet (20 meters) on each side. Read on to learn more amazing facts about gold and gold exploration in Canada and other parts of the world.
History of Gold
More than 90% of all gold has been mined since 1848, when gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill, California, igniting the world’s greatest gold rush.
Only one out of every billion rock atoms in the Earth’s crust is gold. (It is five parts per billion in weight abundance, but one atom of gold per billion in terms of atoms.)
The oceans are the world’s largest single gold resource, containing around eight times the entire amount of gold produced to date. However, the current cost of extraction exceeds the value of the gold.
Gold nuggets are solid gold lumps. Nuggets are extremely rare, accounting for less than 2% of all native gold.
Characteristics of Gold
Gold is so flexible that a single ounce (about the size of a quarter) may be beaten into a 100-square-foot thin continuous sheet. That means 576 ounces (or 36 pounds) of gold would be required to cover a football field entirely, or 367,211 ounces (or nearly 11 tons) of gold would be required to cover Central Park.
One ounce of gold may be stretched into a thin wire measuring only five microns thick, or five-millionths of a meter, long enough to span from midtown Manhattan to Bridgeport, Connecticut, 80 kilometers or 50 miles.
Gold In All Parts of the Globe
South African rocks have produced over 40% of all gold ever mined. A single sheet of gold leaf might be as thin as 0.18 microns (seven-millionths of an inch), making a stack of 7,055 sheets no thicker than a cent.
The visors of astronauts’ space helmets have a slightly transparent gold coating (0.00005 millimeters, or 0.000002 inches). Even though the astronauts can see through it, it minimizes glare and heat from sunlight.
Most gold is used in jewelry (78 percent of the annual gold supply). Other industries, primarily electronics, medical, and dental, use around 12% of the workforce. Financial transactions account for the remaining 10% of the annual gold supply.
The Gold Culture
The oldest worked-gold items, which dated back to 4000 BC and were unearthed at a burial site in Varna, Bulgaria, were created by the ancient Thracian civilization.
Teocuitlatl, which means “excrement of the gods” in Aztec, is the word for gold. Gold was the “sweat of the sun” for the Inka and other peoples of the Andean area of South America, and it was the most revered of all deities.
The original narrative of El Dorado—”the gilded one”—described a ritual in which the Andean Muisca nation’s chief made gold gifts into a mountain lake while covered in gold dust. The story captivated Spanish conquistadors in the 1530s, and it eventually became a legend about a lost city of gold.
Almost all of the Incas’ riches were melted down, initially in a futile attempt to reclaim their kidnapped monarch. Then, following his execution, more gold was seized to replenish the Spanish treasury’s coffers. In 1869, the “Welcome Stranger,” the world’s largest gold nugget, was discovered in Victoria, Australia. It was 78 kilos in weight (about 172 pounds).
It yielded 71 kilos (156 pounds) of pure gold when melted down. The “Hand of Faith,” a 60-pound specimen unearthed in Victoria, Australia, in October 1980, is the world’s largest gold nugget.
It is currently on display at the Golden Nugget casino in Las Vegas. India has surpassed China as the world’s largest gold consumer. With 22 karats compared to 14 karats, South Asian jewelry has a higher purity level than western jewelry.
Gold in Canada
Gold is Canada’s most valuable mined metal, with $12.3 billion in 2020.
Gold is mined in nine Canadian provinces and territories, with Ontario and Quebec accounting for most mined gold production in 2020, accounting for 71% of total gold production in Canada.
In 2020, Canadian gold mining produced 182 tonnes of gold, making it the fifth-greatest producer.
Gold is a valuable metal frequently utilized in investments and jewelry (rings, necklaces, watches, etc.). However, gold’s multiple desirable qualities, such as better electric conductivity and corrosion resistance, have made it a vital component in many electrical and technological applications. Mining in Canada is a vital element of the economy, as the Canadian gold sector provides jobs to hundreds of thousands of people.
Newfoundland.Gold is a group of firms working to progress mineral exploration and mining projects in Newfoundland, Canada. Learn more about gold exploration in Newfoundland by browsing our website.