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This is the "Gold" page of the "Government Resources: Environment, Energy and Nature " guide.
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Last Updated: Oct 24, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Gold has been treasured since ancient times for its beauty and permanence.   Most of the gold that is fabricated today goes into the manufacture of jewelry.   However, because of its superior electrical conductivity and resistance to corrosion and other desirable combinations of physical and chemical properties, gold also emerged in the late 20th century as an essential industrial metal.  Gold performs critical functions in computers, communications equipment, spacecraft, jet aircraft engines, and a host of other products.  Although gold is important to industry and the arts, it also retains a unique status among all commodities as a long-term store of value.  Until recent times, it was considered essentially a monetary metal, and most of the bullion produced each year went into the vaults of government treasuries or central banks. Source:  Gold Statistics and Information.

Is There Gold in the Ocean?

Ocean waters do hold gold – nearly 20 million tons of it. However, if you were hoping make your fortune mining the sea, consider this: Gold in the ocean is so dilute that its concentration is on the order of parts per trillion. Each liter of seawater contains, on average, about 13 billionths of a gram of gold. There is also (undissolved) gold in/on the seafloor. The ocean, however, is deep, meaning that gold deposits are a mile or two under water. And once you reach the ocean floor, you’ll find that gold deposits are also encased in rock that must be mined through. Not easy. Currently, there really isn’t a cost-effective way to mine or extract gold from the ocean to make a profit. Source: Ocean Facts, NOAA.



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