Gold mining process
FINDING AND ASSESSING THE OREBODY
Prospective gold deposit targets are identified and exploration is undertaken. Worthwhile discoveries undergo intensive evaluation.
ACCESSING THE ORE BODY
- Open pit:
Vertical shafts and decline ramps are sunk into the ground to transport people and equipment to and from deep-level ore bodies (many are more than 1,000m below surface) and to bring the ore mined to surface.
Near-surface orebodies accessed by “stripping” overlying material.
EXTRACTING THE ORE
- Open pit:
Rock is drilled and blasted and the broken ore and waste rock brought to surface.
Drilling and blasting is done before ore is excavated.
TRANSPORTING THE ORE
- Open pit and surface stockpiles:
Ore is brought to surface both by horizontal and vertical transport systems and then transported by rail, truck or conveyor to processing facilities.
Ore is transported on haul trucks.
Gold ore is processed and smelted into doré (unrefined gold bars) at our operations and dispatched to various metal refineries, including our Queiroz refinery in Brazil and Rand Refinery in South Africa.
Surface Operations in South Africa retreat tailings, a waste product of processing, for residual gold and uranium
Gold is refined to a purity of at least 99.5%, in accordance with the accepted standards of ‘good delivery’.
“ During 2013, AngloGold Ashanti treated 97.1Mt of atttibutable ore to obtain 4.11Moz of gold. ”
Gold is sold to international bullion banks or to jewellery fabrication industries.
“ Overarching this business model is our sustainability strategy which has as its primary aim zero harm – to people and the environment. We endeavour to ensure that the communities with which we engage and society are better off for our presence. ”
REHABILITATION AND CLOSURE
This is integral to mine planning and development, from the start of exploration to the end of mining activity. Closure planning, which takes into account community livelihoods and land rehabilitation, continues throughout the life of an operation.