August 02, 2013
The 1849 gold rush, sparked by the discovery of a large gold nugg...
Have you ever heard the colloquialism “a heart of gold?” Thanks to modern medicine and the unique physical properties of gold, this phrase can be taken much more literally. Gold is a life-saving material that has become essential to medicine, especially heart treatments and technologies.
Doctors began using gold to improve circulation and prevent infection during the late 1800s. Now, it is even used in cancer studies by hundreds of researchers around the world. Gold has proven to be essential to the medical industry and is used to make many state-of-the-art medical technologies. In fact, it plays an important part in cardiac health by giving those in need a new lease on life.
What is it about gold that makes it such a valuable mineral for heart treatment technologies? Because of its unique molecular makeup, gold is virtually immune to corrosion, acid and bacterial growth. Gold is also malleable while being nearly indestructible, which makes it an ideal coating for instruments such as pacemakers and heart stents. In some cases, gold-plated pacemakers have saved the lives of patients after pacemakers constructed of other materials caused allergic reactions or infections.
And while its use in the medical industry is arguably one of its most critical roles in our modern world, gold has numerous applications that make it an invaluable resource—a resource that can be found right here in the U.S. Unfortunately, the nation’s rich supply of gold may not be fully accessible because of protracted delays caused by the U.S. mine permitting process. In his recent op-ed in the Duluth News Tribune, Kevin L. Kearns, president of the U.S Business and Industry Council, notes that, “If America’s manufacturers are to remain competitive, they’ll need more timely access to reliable mineral sources.” He explains that these delays—which can last up to 10 years—have significant ramifications for the value of future mining projects and the nation’s ability to “enjoy any newfound gold wealth.”
The U.S. needs a modernized mine permitting process that allows for industries to more effectively tap the wealth of mineral resources, including gold, that are contained within our borders. Take action to tell your policymakers that it’s time to unlock our mineral resource supply here. If you would like to learn more about gold’s versatility and applications, see our infographic here.