Thursday, March 29, 2012

Nevada's Modern Day Gold Rush Creates Jobs

ELKO -- "In almost every way Nevada is still reeling from the recession. It has the highest unemployment rate in the country at almost 13 percent, and one of the highest foreclosure rates. But in the northeast corner of the state, almost 500 miles from the Vegas strip, life is suddenly very good.

In Nevada's gold country the global boom that’s pushed gold prices to an all-time high – currently hovering around $1,700 per ounce -- brought an influx of jobs to mining towns like Elko, Nev., population 18,000."

MP:  Mining employment in Nevada has increased by 27% over the last two years and reached an all-time record high in January. The employment level in Elko also set a record in January and is now about 12% above the pre-recession level.

HT: Paul Cerni


At 3/29/2012 8:31 PM, Blogger Benjamin Cole said...

Milton Friedman would be aghast. He detested the gold standard, and thought that "men tunneling in holes like gophers" to find gold was a waste of resources.

But no more worries. Man can make gold, and it may become commercially feasible some day.


Chrysopoeia, the artificial production of gold is the symbolic goal of alchemists. Alchemists often understood this as a metaphor for a mystical, philosophical, psychological, medical, or religious transformation. Despite this, some alchemists interpreted this literally, and attempted to physically transmute base metals into gold. It is possible in particle accelerators or nuclear reactors, although the production cost is currently many times the market price of gold. Since there is only one stable gold isotope, 197Au, nuclear reactions must create this isotope in order to produce usable gold.
[edit]Gold synthesis in an accelerator
Gold synthesis in a particle accelerator is possible in many ways. The Spallation Neutron Source has a liquid mercury target that will be transmuted into gold, platinum, and iridium, which are lower in atomic number.[citation needed]
[edit]Gold synthesis in a nuclear reactor
Gold was first synthesized from mercury by neutron bombardment in 1941, but the isotopes of gold produced were all radioactive.[3]
Gold can currently be manufactured in a nuclear reactor by irradiation either of platinum or mercury.
Only the mercury isotope 196Hg, which occurs with a frequency of 0.15% in natural mercury, can be converted to gold by neutron capture, and following electron capture-decay into 197Au with slow neutrons. Other mercury isotopes are converted when irradiated with slow neutrons into one another or formed mercury isotopes, which beta decay into thallium.
Using fast neutrons, the mercury isotope 198Hg, which composes 9.97% of natural mercury, can be converted by splitting off a neutron and becoming 197Hg, which then disintegrates to stable gold. This reaction, however, possesses a smaller activation cross-section and is feasible only with un-moderated reactors.
It is also possible to eject several neutrons with very high energy into the other mercury isotopes in order to form 197Hg. However such high-energy neutrons can be produced only by particle accelerators.

At 3/30/2012 10:49 AM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

The #1 program on cable tv is the show Gold Rush. Gold Rush features prospecting in Alaska, but Nevada is where the great majority of U.S. gold is produced.

From the Elko Daily Free Press on Nevada gold production:

Nevada Division of Minerals Administrator Alan Coyner said the division is saying Nevada is in fifth place in worldwide production after China, Australia, South Africa and Peru, ..."


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