How Gold Bullion Bars Are Made: The Complete Manufacturing Process

Gold Bullion bars are certainly among the top choices of investment in today’s time and they are constantly preferred by smart investors. But to understand what makes them so special, it is important to understand how they are produced and manufactured. If you are looking for some smart investment options in gold, you should buy gold bars by to create an impressive investment portfolio.    

The manufacturing of gold bullion bars might be a tedious and complex process but they are still easier to produce than coins. Gold bullion is generally produced in quantities like 10 grams, 100 grams, 1 kg, and so on. 

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In this article, we are going to outline the whole process of gold bullion manufacturing and it will help you gain a greater appreciation for them as an investment option.

Step 1: Mining and Extraction

Before the main manufacturing process can get started, the metal needs to be located and extracted. Earlier, this process was done by hydraulic mining, and the gold was separated from the other metals with high water pressure jets. Today, explosives and other techniques are typically used to mine gold from the ground.

Below are the four common ways used for mining gold and other precious metals from the earth:

  1. Hard Rock: Hard rock is a traditional technique used by most mines worldwide. In this method, Gold is extracted by using open wells or underground tunnels from rocks.  
  2. Placer: This technique is completed with the help of cradling, sluicing,  panning, dredging, and metal detection. Placer includes both gravity and water pressure for extracting gold and the process is generally used by amateurs.
  3. One Processing: One Processing is rarely used for mining and extraction of gold or any other precious metals because it yields a very little amount of metal in extraction and the process is also very expensive to carry on. 
  4. By-product: This method is similar to hard rock mining, the only difference is, this process is not targeted at the extraction of precious metals. The principal motive of this process is the extraction of copper or sand or gravel. However, in the process, a significant amount of gold and silver also gets produced. 

After getting gold extracted, the gold has to go through various processes to become bullion. 

Step 2: Refining and Pouring

Refining is an important part of gold production. It ensures the purity of gold and it is generally carried out with the help of chemicals, pressure, high temperature in a large furnace. 

With the advancement in technology, now the industry is equipped with advanced methods to produce premium quality gold such as electro-refining. 

Generally, these two methods are used to refine the  gold:

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  1. Electrolysis: Electrolysis can be also called the “Wohlwill Process”. This process involves the use of anodes in an electrolyte that contains either gold chloride or hydrochloric acid or both. After the electric current is passed through gold, 99.99% purity of gold gets deposited at the cathode. The collected deposits then get poured into bars after being washed, dried, and melted.
  2. Pyrometallurgical chlorination: This process is also known as the “Miller Process”. In this process, chlorine gas is pumped into molten bullion. This chlorine reacts with the base metals to form chlorides, in this case, now either the chlorides will rise to the surface to form a slag or either it will evaporate. The appearance of purple fumes of chloride will indicate that the metal is 99.5 to 99.7% pure.

After the purification, samples are brought to the laboratory for testing to check the quality. The gold must be 99.9% pure. Later the metals are cut into pieces and melted before they are poured. The melting point of 24-karat gold is around 1945 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 3: Pressing and Striking

The high-quality poured gold bars are then converted into pressed gold bars as the last part of the process. Only expensive metals are used to produce the pressed bars. It helps the refiners control the quality of the bars. To carry out this process, first, the refined liquid is poured into the casting machine. The machine then converts the casting into long thin bars. These bars are then pressed in a rolling mill several times until they reach the right amount of thickness. 

Next, the gauging mill is used to form the strips into the exact thickness required. The strips are then punched in the heated furnace until they are soft. The gold then gets weighed and tested and the blanks will be polished, struck, and cleaned. Those blanks that fell to pass the quality test get recycled. 

Investing in gold is always a good idea, as it comes with many benefits including short-term as well as long-term. Investors are often advised to buy gold bars by as they are the leading dealers in the industry and trusted and reliable partners for decades.