How A Gigantic Pile Of Rocks Gets Turned Into A Tiny Sliver Of Gold

world gold

Photo: World Gold Council

This week we told you how a Manhattan gold merchant found phony bars in his stash.But just how does the real stuff get made?

The World Gold Council has an awesome video showing the process.

We broke it down.

The process starts up to 2.5 miles below the surface

The rocks are technically ore compounds.

In this stage, the gold is microscopic — invisible to the naked eye

One ton of ore produces less than 10 grams of gold

Enormous drums crush and mill the ore

Its ground into sand and mixed with water to form a slurry pumped into huge tanks

Then small amounts of cyanide are added

Cyanide dissolves gold

Small amounts of carbon are also added, trapping the gold in the solution

Two electrodes are inserted

And the gold particles become attracted to the negative diode

That compound is collected and dried in an oven

Then it gets smelted to extract higher purities

It's poured out into pans

And settles in the top-most pan, as it's the heaviest element in the mix

Liquid money

It's cooled

And moulded. That block is worth more than $1 million

The bars are cleaned

And stamped with serial numbers

Finally, the finished product is shipped by helicopter

Now see the countries...

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.