The Democratic Republic of Congo is estimated to have $24 trillion (equivalent to the combined Gross Domestic Product of Europe and the United States) worth of untapped deposits of raw mineral ores, including the world’s largest reserves of cobalt and significant quantities of the world’s diamonds, gold and copper. The major ores found throughout the DRC are:

  • Cobalt
  • Diamonds
  • Gold
  • Copper
  • Tantalite
Much of the resource extraction is done in small operations, known as "Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining" (ASM), which are unregulated in the DRC. Recently, more money is being invested into the extraction and refining of some of the ores found in the DRC, primarily copper and cobalt, which may help regulate the extraction and reduce environmental impacts. However, many ASM operations still exist for minerals such as coltan that can be mined with little capital investment; ASM operations employ a significant number of DRC's population, with estimates of up to one fifth of the country or 12.5 million people. Because artisenal mining operations require little capital they are unregulated and occur primarily within protected areas, around endangered or threatened species. Artisenal mining often occurs in riparian zones.
During periods of violence, resources have been looted from the original collectors by both Congolese and foreign soldiers, and civilians or they are extracted by soldiers, locals organized by military commanders (much of the time Rwandan and Ugandan commanders) and by foreign nationals. Problems stemming from mining practices include disruption of families, mining-related illnesses, environmental damage, child-labor, and abuse of women including prostitution and rape.
Gold can heal as Medicine
In medieval times, gold was often seen as beneficial for the health, in the belief that something that rare and beautiful could not be anything but healthy. Even some modern esotericists and forms of alternative medicine assign metallic gold a healing power. Some gold salts do have anti-inflammatory properties and are used as pharmaceuticals in the treatment of arthritis and other similar conditions. However, only salts and radioisotopes of gold are of pharmacological value, as elemental (metallic) gold is inert to all chemicals it encounters inside the body. In modern times, inject able gold has been proven to help to reduce the pain and swelling of rheumatoid arthritis and tuberculosis.
Gold alloys are used in restorative dentistry, especially in tooth restorations, such as crowns and permanent bridges. The gold alloys' slight malleability facilitates the creation of a superior molar mating surface with other teeth and produces results that are generally more satisfactory than those produced by the creation of porcelain crowns. The use of gold crowns in more prominent teeth such as incisors is favored in some cultures and discouraged in others.
Colloidal gold preparations (suspensions of gold nanoparticles) in water are intensely red-colored, and can be made with tightly controlled particle sizes up to a few tens of nanometers across by reduction of gold chloride with citrate or ascorbate ions. Colloidal gold is used in research applications in medicine, biology and materials science. The technique of immunogold labeling exploits the ability of the gold particles to adsorb protein molecules onto their surfaces. Colloidal gold particles coated with specific antibodies can be used as probes for the presence and position of antigens on the surfaces of cells.[16] In ultrathin sections of tissues viewed by electron microscopy, the immunogold labels appear as extremely dense round spots at the position of the antigen.[17] Colloidal gold is also the form of gold used as gold paint on ceramics prior to firing.
Gold, or alloys of gold and palladium, are applied as conductive coating to biological specimens and other non-conducting materials such as plastics and glass to be viewed in a scanning electron microscope. The coating, which is usually applied by sputtering with an argon plasma, has a triple role in this application. Gold's very high electrical conductivity drains electrical charge to earth, and its very high density provides stopping power for electrons in the electron beam, helping to limit the depth to which the electron beam penetrates the specimen. This improves definition of the position and topography of the specimen surface and increases the spatial resolution of the image. Gold also produces a high output of secondary electrons when irradiated by an electron beam, and these low-energy electrons are the most commonly used signal source used in the scanning electron microscope.
The isotope gold-198, (half-life 2.7 days) is used in some cancer treatments and for treating other diseases.
Many holders of gold store it in form of bullion coins or bars as a hedge against inflation or other economic disruptions. However, some economists do not believe gold serves as a hedge against inflation or currency depreciation.[11]
The ISO 4217 currency code of gold is XAU.
Modern bullion coins for investment or collector purposes do not require good mechanical wear properties; they are typically fine gold at 24k, although the American Gold Eagle, the British gold sovereign, and the South African Krugerrand continue to be minted in 22k metal in historical tradition. The special issue Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coin contains the highest purity gold of any bullion coin, at 99.999% or 0.99999, while the popular issue Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coin has a purity of 99.99%. Several other 99.99% pure gold coins are available. The Australian Gold Kangaroos was first coined in 1986 as the Australian Gold Nugget. Its kangaroo theme appeared in 1989. In addition, there are several coins of the Australian Lunar Calendar series, and the Austrian Philharmonic. In 2006, the United States Mint began production of the American Buffalo gold bullion coin with a purity of 99.99%.

Latest News

No news articles posted yet