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 General
  • Modern South African history records that gold was first discovered on the Witw atersrand in 1834 w hen Carel Kruger apparently discovered gold during a hunting expedition to the interior, and took samples back to Cape Tow n. A more  reliable account is the discovery of gold in 1852 on the farm Paardekraal (now Krugersdorp), by English mineralogist John Henry Davis. Many believe that the subsequent discovery of gold in 1886 by the Australian digger, George Harrison, that  opened up the Witw atersrand gold fields as w e know them today, w as from the very same ground prospected by Davis.

  • The first gold w as found in the form of nuggets or veins and w as recovered fairly easily by hand. The discovery of larger- cale alluvial deposits w ith fine gold grains required concentration of the material before handling. Where gold occured in conglomerates, some form of milling w as necessary to separate the gold prior to concentration using strakes and vanners.

Process

  • Amalgamation had declined steadily and attempts to improve recovery using chlorination proved costly and ineffective. When the first commercial cyanidation plant w as established in 1890, 75% of the gold contained in amalgamation tailings w as recovered, resulting in an overall recovery (by amalgamation and cyanidation) of nearly 90%.

  •  crude amalgamation had recovered   less than 60% of gold from the sulphide ores encountered underground. The introduction of frue vanners and corduroy strakes produced a concentrate from which gold w as recovered by roasting and chlorinating. This process achieved an  overall recovery rate of 74%.

Market

  • Global demand for gold exceeds supply by over 1,000 tons per year. Central banks have made up the shortfall and have helped suppress the price of gold by selling or loaning thousands of tons of their gold reserves.

  • a shortage of gold coins is already developing. U.S. $20 double eagles are in very short supply. Sophisticated investors are quietly acquiring millions of dollars worth of non-reportable gold coins. When the crowd comes rushing in, supplies of these coins will evaporate and prices will skyrocket.

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