Abandoned Gold Mines

goldprospectingmineAbandoned gold mines have claimed more than 50 lives a year across the world (reported cases) and in the United States alone the death toll from disused mines average between 20 – 30 individuals.

Abandoned gold mines are without any doubt some of the most dangerous places to be in and to make matters worse, gold or silver mines are mostly on privately owned land and as a result these individuals would be committing a crime when they enter mines which voids any insurance that they have. Most of these untoward incidences can be easily prevented if these intruders paid attention to the warning signs that are placed around these former precious metal mines.

Some of these fatalities are also attributed to poor signage and the lack of property owners of securing these dangerous places that arouses the curiosity of most who like a little bit of adventure.  Despite the efforts of governments and private corporations who have stepped up safety protocols the accident ratios are still status quo. The problem with these places and why they become as hazardous as they become is due to the weakened structure of these gold, silver or copper mines.

Left un attended for long periods of time the structures rot (most of them are wooden beams) and the continuous pressure of the years weaken the so much that a misplaced ‘tap’ or knock on the these structures cause them to crumble and trap or kill those who are below them. Gold mines are unintentional booby traps that are anything, but a safe place to be in, especially abandoned gold mines. Weakened structures of these precious metal mines are not the only hazard that they have to offer uninvited visitors because other
dangers also await them.

These dangers may even include poison gas as well as water hazards. Disused gold and silver mines sometimes have cavities where poison gas such as carbon dioxide and methane collect and remain for long periods of time and these poisonous gases are scentless and thus most who are breathing them do not even realize that they are  inhaling these deadly gasses until it is far too late. Carbon Dioxide and methane cause muscles not to respond and may cause erratic behavior rendering the exposed individual unable to think logically and exit the mine.

Disused mines may also have pockets that contain very cold water that may be as deep as 20 meters. The reason for the water being there is that most precious metal mines extend further than the underground water levels and the mines are kept dry by pumps and when the pumps are disengaged the water starts seeping into the mines and form deep dark cold pools.

Regardless of how fascinating an abandoned gold mine may be, just remember that they are potential death traps. Each year many miners meet their makers in active mines that are managed and if they are able to collapse, imagine a mine that has not been maintained – do the math! Keep out of abandoned precious metal mines.

About this article: Cash For Old Gold is a Melbourne, Australia based gold buying firm dealing with gold prospectors and sales from the general public. For more information please visit their website at www.cashforoldgold.net.au

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