The gold served as the primary medium of exchange within the empire, and was an important motive in the Roman invasion of Britain by Claudius in the first century AD, although there is only one known Roman gold mine at Dolaucothi in west Wales.Gold was a prime motivation for the campaign in Dacia when the Romans invaded Transylvania in what is now modern Romania in the second century AD.
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Romans used hydraulic mining methods, such as hushing and ground sluicing on a large scale to extract gold from extensive alluvial (loose sediment) deposits, such as those at Las Medulas.
Mining was under the control of the state but the mines may have been leased to civilian contractors some time later.
Before large production methods are used, a new source must be identified and panning is useful to identify placer gold deposits to be evaluated for commercial viability.
Using a sluice box to extract gold from placer deposits has long been a very common practice in prospecting and small-scale mining.
Larger commercial placer mining operations employ screening plants, or trommels, to remove the larger alluvial materials such as boulders and gravel, before concentrating the remainder in a sluice box or jig plant.
These operations typically include diesel powered, earth moving equipment, including excavators, bulldozers, wheel loaders, and rock trucks.
Placer deposits are composed of relatively loose material that makes tunneling difficult, and so most means of extracting it involve the use of water or dredging.
Gold panning is mostly a manual technique of separating gold from other materials.
The metal continued to be mined by the eleventh century kings of South India, the Vijayanagara Empire from 1336 to 1560, and later by Tipu Sultan, the king of Mysore state and the British.