Gold prices have tumbled since their $1,900 peak in 2011. The yellow metal slumped into a bear market in April, and now prices are just above $1,200.
Investors have warned that the correction in gold prices has meant that miners are producing gold at cost or are losing money.
Last year, CNBC’s Bob Pisani traveled to South Africa to show us how gold goes from particles to gold bars.
He followed AngloGold Ashanti’s gold mining process from start to finish. Workers there pull up 5000 metric tons of earth per day, which yields as much as 1,700 ounces in gold.
Pisani also visited the Rand Refinery, which has refined nearly a third of the gold mined since 1920.
In light of the recent sell-off in gold, we decided to revisit Pisani’s tour of the gold mine and see just how complicated and dangerous the process is.
Note: Simone Foxman wrote the original version of this feature.
This story was originally published by CNBC.
Carletonville, South Africa, is home to the world's deepest mine. Called TuaTona, it stretches 2.4 mi into the earth.
Workers have to ride two elevators to get down to the bottom. The first elevator stretches 8,400 feet, making it one of the longest elevators in the world.
Without its cooling system, the mine would reach more than 150 degrees Fahrenheit (65.5 degrees Celsius).
Rough bars from mines all over the world end up at places like the Rand Refinery, which has refined 50,000 tons of gold—or nearly one third of the gold mined globally—since 1920/
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