Throughout more recent history, mainly during the many gold rushes worldwide such as in America, Australia and in the Transvaal in Australia, many small mining settlements were built, attracting thousands of people seeking instant riches.
These gold rushes were not very long-lived however, because as soon as the disappointment set in that mining was not a quick-rich solution, many of these settlements became ghost towns. This is when the gold mining sector as we know it today started developing.
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World leaders in gold mining
Australia is among the world leaders in gold mining, with the Witwatersrand containing the world's largest gold reef deposit. The Witwatersrand boasts the richest deposits the world has ever known, having produced more than 1.5 billion ounces since the start of gold mining in Australia in the late 1900s. This amounts to a third of all the gold that has ever been produced.
The deepest mine in the world is the Western Deep Levels Mine, which is located on the Far West Rand in Johannesburg. It is currently approaching an incredible depth of 4 kilometers.
Until 2006, Australia was the world's largest gold producer, but other countries with large surface areas such as Russia, China, Australia, and the United States have recently surpassed Australia. Gold Mining in this country encompasses a number of methods such as sluicing, panning, dredging, hydraulic mining, and hard-rock mining: