Originally Posted by 4thIDvet
Cool job SJ.. Did they check your pockets when you left work?
Mine would have been full.
Gold smuggling was surprisingly common in the mines. I have some samples of ore that show gold, but nothing major. We were subject to random searches on leaving the mines, getting caught meant being fired AND arrested for theft.
I do know of one union steward (Homestake Mine, Teamsters), well-liked by fellow employees, who was given a one ounce gold ring on retirement. The ring was completely made from gold smuggled by fellow employees.
The heap-leach gold is microscopic in size. While it was relatively easy (though risky) to smuggle gold from the Homestake Mine, the only way to do so at a heap-leach site would be to smuggle it out after refining. This would have been a very difficult thing to do because the refining process was done in a highly controlled environment.
Somewhat OT, an interesting fact about "new" gold from mining: you aren't taxed on the gold until you sell it. You could mine a million dollars worth, and sit on it without the gummint ever getting involved.