Gold Mining Operation: 10 - 30 years

The gold mining operation stage represents the productive life of a mine, during which ore is extracted and processed into gold.  Processing involves transforming rock and ore into a metallic alloy of substantial purity – known as doré – typically containing between 60-90% gold.

During its life, a number of factors – such as the price of gold or input costs – will affect which areas of an ore body are deemed profitable (economic) to mine. In times of higher prices, mining low-grade ore will become profitable as the higher price offsets the increased cost of extracting and milling greater volumes. When the price is lower or costs rise, it might only prove profitable to extract and process higher-grade ores. Mine plans are regularly re-assessed as market conditions change and new technical information comes to light.

Previous stage:

gold mine development

Next stage:

gold mine closure