Mining IQ has published its 4th edition of the Weird and Wonderful World of Mining just in time for the festive season, providing a plethora of fascinating trivia for members and enthusiasts of the mining industry.
Some stand-out facts include the following:
- The world's oldest known mine is the "Lion Cave" in Swaziland, which based on radioactive dating is believed by scientists to have been active around 43,000 years ago. Paleolithic homo sapiens mined hematite at the site to make red pigment ochre.
- The world's oldest active copper mine, situated at Skouriotissa in Cyprus and currently operated by Hellenic Copper Mines, was first mined in the copper age and has produced over 50,000 tonnes of the red metal.
- Salt was once worth its weight in gold. In ancient China and the Mediterranean salt was traded ounce for ounce for gold, and fashioned into "coins" for use as currency. While salt has declined in status to the position of a ubiquitous condiment, gold, which was first recognized as fiat money in 1091 BC in China, still remains the only universally accepted medium of exchange.