From Frank Talk:
Gold mining is one of the very oldest human occupations. The earliest known underground gold mine, in what is now the country of Georgia, dates back at least 5,000 years, when people were just starting to develop written language.
Over the centuries, a number of innovations have emerged that disrupted and forever changed how we explore and mine for gold and other metals. Think dynamite, or the steam engine.
Lately, however, innovation has slowed. Mining companies are in cost-cutting mode, and many producers have favored generating short-term cash flow, often to the detriment of longer-term value. In last year's "Tracking the Trends" report, Deloitte analysts observed that "miners from 50 years ago would find little has changed if they entered today's mines, a situation that certainly doesn't hold true in other industries."
Consider the earth-shattering change that's taken place in oil and gas over the past two decades. Fracking and horizontal drilling have completely revolutionized how we extract resources from the ground, making hard-to-reach oil and natural gas accessible for the first time.