Gold

This research revolves around the production and processing of gold as one of the most precious metals in the world. Gold was never actually formed and it is a natural element that can only be obtained through mining. In that case gold is itself a highly valuable mineral categorized among other precious metals such as platinum, silver, palladium, and uranium among others.

Gold is acquired as pure yellowish metallic element through mining. The nature of the primary locations from where gold is extracted is examined in this research. Other significant aspects such as the environmental concerns tied to the material as well as the infrastructure and labor involved in its production and distribution are also examined in this study.

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This research also tries to compare the cost of Gold relative to other similar commodities in the market such as silver, bronze and diamond among others. However, there is no way we can examine the overall production of gold without mentioning the environmental concerns associated with the overall usage of the material by humans.

Gold has always been regarded as the most valuable commodity in the human history owing to its obvious dazzling beauty as well as the relative scarcity commonly associated with it. Gold can be defined as a naturally occurring commodity of metallic element which is highly reputed for its great economic value and worthiness.

As the most precious metal on earth, the production, usage and distribution of gold is equally significant, and it involves a lot of concern from diverse population across the world (Jenkins 279). There are many societal issues associated with Gold in the various places where the commodity is produced.

Mining of gold, processing and its distribution is observed to have broad social as well as societal benefits for many people in the world. For one, apart from the economical value of the commodity to the global economy, the overall gold industry has continued to offer job opportunities for many people ranging from the work force in the mines to the category of personnel in the entire gold market sector.

Just like any other mineral, the production of gold is quite a complex and hazardous exercise that requires explicit human and machine effort to accomplish. Today, gold can primarily be found in very minimal concentrations of solvents and in this case, the only way of extracting the material existing in such small quantities is by establishing large open pits known as ‘mines’ through blasting where large amounts of ore would be excavated.

As we all know, mining processes have never been safe since pre-historic times and they would be observed to create a potential environmental threat both in the course of the mining exercise and even after the exercise has been accomplished. Some of the most common risks in gold production is the blasting exercise and the poor disposal of cyanide; a toxic solution used in dissolving and extraction of gold.

The biggest environmental concern in the production of the commodity would be the disposal of the overburden stuff removed from the mine zones or pits.

However, the current observation of the ‘Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act’ requires all gold miners to observe a number of measures in ensuring that humans, wildlife and the environment are protected from the exposure of hazardous components from gold mines. Various mining operations in the U.S. and other countries have taken extra precautions in accommodating cyanide solution in special pads that are lined with plastic membranes to avoid leaching (Kesler 67).

Cyanide waste is also treated through various processes such as photodegredation, oxidation and hydrolysis. These processes would facilitate the complete breakdown of the harmful chemical thus minimizing its hazardous effects to people and the general environment. More importantly, cyanide can also be recycled for reuse and this would greatly take care of the harmful toxics associated with it.

Apart from the various environmental issues mentioned in this research which may be associated with gold production, there are other major social issues as well attached to the overall practice of gold production. The exercise of extracting the commodity from the underground is observed to have caused inexplicable problems to masses all over the world.

Communities have been displaced and their traditional livelihoods spoiled as people are evacuated from their homes and lands to create space for more responsible mining fields. However, it is this severity of the social as well as the environmental issues associated with the production of the mineral that has generated a big concern from the global authorities leading to interventions of governments in the moneyed industry of gold.

This really explains the reason why governments are observed to own the largest gold mines in most of the largest global producers of the commodity such as China, Russian and Australia. This has resulted into exaggerated politics in the gold mining industry making it one of the most corrupt sectors in the world.

As I mentioned earlier in this essay, the production of this precious metal is a complex and costly exercise which involves many hazardous processes. Human labor, diesel fuel, machinery, electricity, and explosives, just to mention but a few are some of the necessities required to bring gold into our markets right from the soil where it is extracted.

This must be enough to explain the levels of extravagancy associated with the mineral’s production no wonder its great worthiness and value compared with other similar materials. Even though its market prices keeps on fluctuating constantly, gold is arguably one of the most expensive commodities on earth and for thus, its price has remained relatively high to that of most physical things based on a per weight basis.

According to Frank and Stengos, gold is extremely more expensive compared to other similar commodities in the market such as silver, diamond, and bronze (553). However, the high demand and the great value of gold in the commodity market has been as a result of not only its practical applications in various sectors of life but more as its significant role as a store of value and as an investment.

The overall production of gold however, has been surrounded by a big controversy regarding the cost of production labor compared to where and how the commodity is used in the contemporary world. Issues have been raised that cheap labor is used for the production of gold when compared to its final value and abundant usage in numerous ways.

Personally, I tend to agree with this observation; what the people in the gold mining industry, especially the miners get for their hazardous work is very dismal compared to what the commodity fetches out there in the markets. Gold, just like soil is observed to be everywhere and currently, there are many countries producing the commodity to cater for the global consumers.

Gold is not rare, but what makes it rare is its high value and worthiness compared with other minerals; the two qualities which make it a preserve only for the rich in the society. In this regard, there are no any concerns about limited supply of the commodity. All the same, no one can foretell an increase in its cost. In fact what we expect to see is further fluctuation of gold prices as a result of increased production and supply.

Gold is indeed among the few elements on earth known to be chemically stable. This makes it resistant to any chemical changes that might physically spoil its surface and for this reason, it has found use in diverse sectors of life. The only environment risk associated with gold production would be in the mining process where cyanide solution is applied to facilitate its extraction (Strelow 116).

Chemically, gold is less reactive than most similar elements of its nature. It also does possess high luster as well as higher melting points compared with other metals. Pure gold is observed to be non-toxic and would cause no irritations when ingested by humans. More significantly, gold is a noble metal and this explains its user-friendly nature to humans since it does not react with other substances and neither is it flammable.

Another notable advantage of gold is its recyclability nature and this would guarantee for an eco-friendly products of gold, all coming in exclusive high quality. It is also another way of giving the customers a value for their money out of the used products. owing to its outstanding economical value, gold would previously be used as a form of currency before it would be transformed into a common industrial as well as investment commodity of all times by many nations in the world.

As observed in the findings of this research, the production and distribution of gold has diverse societal and social benefits to people across the world. Big environmental concerns are constantly administered to ensure that human as well as animal health and safety is well-taken care of. Gold is widely used in our world owing to its nature and value and this would progressively serve as a form of employment for many people in the entire gold industry.

Out of this research, we have got to see the value of gold compared to other similar materials. Some of the social, economic and environmental issues associated with the gold industry have been given much concern in this study. More importantly, there is also a discussion about the broader range of problems that would be associated with the hazardous activity of extracting the commodity from the mines.

This research has also examined the politics and propaganda surrounding the gold mining industry as investors and governments take significant roles in the control of this moneyed sector. Finally, out of this study we get to learn the nature of gold as a recyclable non-toxic element. All these qualities are enough to make the commodity and its products user-friendly to humans. Finished products of gold are safe and healthy for our lives and for this reason everybody would like it.

Works Cited

Frank, Murray. & Stengos, Thanasis. “Measuring the strangeness of gold and silver rates of return.” The Review of Economic Studies 56. 4 (2009):553. Print.

Jenkins, Heledd. “Corporate social responsibility in the mining industry: Exploring trends in social and environmental disclosure.” Journal of Cleaner Production 14. 3-4 (2006): 271-284. Print.

Kesler, Stephen. Mineral resources, economics, and the environment. New York: Macmillan New York, 1994. Print.

Strelow, Feast. “Determination of Gold in Cyanide Waste Solutions by Solvent Extraction

and Atomic Absorption Spectrometry.” Analytical Chemistry 38. 1 (1996): 115 – 117. Print.

Gold

Introduction

Gold is among the most admired and popular minerals in the world. It is famous for its high value and extraordinary properties. Majority of ancient gold specimen underwent smelting for production. Fine gold specimen has a higher market value than ordinary gold specimen. Gold has stains of silver in its natural state after mining. It may a few times contain traces of iron and copper. A nugget is typically 71 to 90 percent of gold. The remaining percentage is always silver. South Africa was the largest producer of all the gold in the world from 1880 to 2007. In 2007, china emerged as the largest gold producer in the world (Corral & Earle, 2009).

Background Information

Origin of gold

In 1837, a number of squatters searched for a place with adequate water in the northern part of Geelong. Two of the squatters, Anderson and Yuille, settled at the shores of Lake Wendouree. The thirteen years that followed saw an increase in popularity of that area as shepherds used it for grazing their livestock. Peace and calmness of the area was ruined in 1851, soon after the discovery of gold. The first gold rush occurred in this region when miners from all nations came to look for the yellow stone (Corral & Earle, 2009).

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Gold is formed from magma, which is molten rock. This happens when molten rock is forced into a hard solid rock. After magma cools into the solid rock, water and other matter is removed from it at high pressure. Steam force pressure creates fissures in the solid rock that it uses to force its way out. The steam cools to form quartz. Because of its low melting temperature, gold is carried along in this hydrothermal solution and become solid in the veins of quartz (Grant, 2008). That is where gold is usually found.

Discussion

Reasons for popularity of gold

Gold is malleable. This means that it can easily be converted into any shape. This is due to its relatively low temperature. Jewelers find it easy to shape hence use it to make ornaments with high artistic value. This makes these jewels very expensive. The yellow color of gold is also very appealing to the eye. It is beautiful to look at. Gold is valuable and rare at the same time. This has contributed tremendously to its popularity. Unlike other minerals, gold is a resistant mineral. It does not change color, crush, tarnish or get affected by most chemicals.

Problems encountered in production of gold

In all the major gold rush occurrences, gold has been attributed to devastation and sometimes death of the locals at the delight of fortune seekers. The Native Americans of California were invaded by diseases brought by miners.

Rivers become polluted in gold mining areas and spread of diseases such as malaria dominates. Plant and fish life is threatened in all rivers associated with gold mining. Mining companies are also careless with the chemicals that they use in production of gold. Cyanide is one such chemical that is used in that process.

Organization that addresses the problem for gold

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is an agency of the US government endowed with the responsibility of protecting the environment and human health. EPA achieves this primary objective by writing and enforcing laws in regard to such activities.

The United States department of labor created Mine Safety and Health Administration arm (MSHA). MSHA investigates accidents at mining sites and complaints regarding hazardous working conditions (Corral & Earle, 2009). They develop and improve standards for health that are mandatory and strict.

Analysis of a gold advertisement

Source: http://www.ilaaka.com/mustafa-gold-mart-offers-savings-jewellery

Description of print advertisement

As far as gold is concerned, people are more interested with the finished product rather than the raw stone. Jewel producing firms thus advertise finished products of gold such as necklaces, earrings and bracelets. The advertisement above is by Mustafa gold mart. Mustafa gold mart is a company that makes ornaments out of gold. The first thing that one notices in this print ad is the New Year wish. At the top left corner, it says, “Wishing you a prosperous 2011”. There is an Asian lady, notably from India, in the picture. On the right of the picture is the logo and name of the advertising company, Mustafa gold mart. Below that, almost at the middle of the page are the words, “Come, and begin this New Year on a golden note”. Below that is an eye-catching statement, “Free Gold Coin”. This is followed by small writing, with a golden color. There is a golden bar at the bottom of the picture with many small writing.

Design, language and purpose analysis

This advertisement has a combination of golden and black colors. Golden colors are used with an objective of engaging the mind of the viewer to gold. There are writings, graphical patches and pictures of coins, all in this color. Black color is used to form a background for the golden touch. Actually, this emphasizes on the rich golden color. The use of these two distinctive colors draw attention to the creativity employed in ensuring that gold is engraved in the mind of the observer.

The picture in the advertisement draws attention to the target audience of the advertisement. It is of an Indian lady wearing ornaments made of gold. Her beauty is exceptional. She has posed in a way that not only signifies Indian culture but also strategically display all the ornaments she is wearing.

The golden ornaments in her forehead, neck, wrists, ears and waist are sparkling. Her kind of dressing says a lot about her class. She is of the wealthy class. This instantly puts the thought that the advertisement is for the wealthy, although the glamour attracts the eyes of both extremes.

Words are used with wisdom in this advertisement. The New Year wish gives a setting for the advertisement. It simply was printed at the beginning of 2011. It gives the impression of a New Year wish with a golden touch. After seeing that, one would definitely be curious as to who is responsible for the wish, and the reasons behind it.

After that revelation, they are attracted to the words, “Free gold coin”. This makes the choice of words more appealing because it is human nature to be drawn to free stuff. After further reading, the observer will realize that the free coin has a condition attached to it. By the time this is noticed, the advertisement has already served its purpose.

The superiority of the advertisement is excellent. The photo is just appropriate. Its general appearance is remarkable. It is an advertisement that cannot be ignored. It simply asks for the observer’s interest and forces his attention. The colors used, the photo of the lady and the choice of words all combine to secure the attention it is meant to generate.

Conclusion

For effective marketing of a product, it is crucial that an individual understands its background and all the necessary information about that product (Plessis, 2005). In analyzing the print ad above, the origin and characteristics of gold had to be understood first. As a matter of fact, it is almost impossible to clearly market a product that one knows little about.

Advertising agencies do thorough research on the products that they market. This is a very significant issue in marketing. The design and purpose of print adverts relate directly to the characteristic and nature of the products that they shed light upon.

References

Corral, M. D., & Earle, J. L. (2009). Gold Mining: Formation and Resource Estimation, Economics and Environmental Impact. New York: Nova Science Publishers.

Grant, N. (2008). Origin of gold. Ask a scientist. Retrieved from http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov /askasci/gen99/gen99242.htm

Plessis, E. (2005). Advertised Mind: Ground-Breaking Insights Into How Our Brains Respond To Advertising. New York: Kogan Page Ltd.

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