JOHN MEAD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN MEAD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Gold mine. A head frame and conveyor belts over the shaft of a gold mine. Gold has been one of the most sought after metals since antiquity, much of its value stemming from its inert chemical nature (it is highly resistant to corrosion by acid, alkali and air). Its rarity and colour make it a valuable raw material for jewellery. The metal ore is found in quartz veins and sedimentary deposits of river sand, sometimes occurring as a natural alloy of silver. Photographed in Australia.
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