Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal is the daily newspaper of Northwestern Ontario.
This is the ninth instalment of a multi-part series looking at the mining sector in Northwestern Ontario and the Ring of Fire development.
“For more than 2,000 years, the natural properties of gold have made it man’s universal medium of exchange. In contrast to political money, gold is honest money that survived the ages . . .’’
Although not everyone might agree with this rather dramatic statement, it is difficult to deny the timeless allure of the yellow metal and its association with wealth, strength and excellence.
References to gold permeate our culture, hence terms like “gold seal of approval,’’ “good as gold” and the awarding of first-place gold medals to the best of the best.
Despite its vulnerability to interest rates and market fluctuation, German-born economist, Hans F. Sennnhotz (1922-2007) demonstrated his complete faith in gold as a universally enduring commodity when he made this statement. Gold remains a powerful economic driver and is still a monetary reference in many of the world’s economies, where the value of a bill still guarantees or is “backed up” by a certain amount of gold.
And what are the “natural properties” that Sennhotz refers to that explain the continuing appeal and staying power of the most precious of all metals?
Quite simply, gold, as an element as described in the Properties of Gold document on the Science and Engineering for Sustainability website, is not only shiny, beautiful and extremely malleable, but it doesn’t oxidize and is the most corrosive-resistant of all metals. And perhaps even more significant, it is relatively scarce: the website estimates that all of the gold on the planet would amount to about 168,180 tonnes.
All of this amounts to good news for residents of Northwestern Ontario because we have gold and a lot of it.
(For the full story, please see the Monday, Sept. 16, 2013 print edition of The Chronicle-Journal, or our new Digital Epaper. You may subscribe to the electronic version by clicking at the icon at the top right corner of this page.)