With South Africa at the top as the leading gold producer in Africa, RD Congo follows closely at their heels. Gold dissolves in alkaline solutions of cyanide and in mercury to form amalgam (techniques used in mining). The precious mineral weighs half a ton per cubic foot and here in RD Congo. The metal has proved useful for its malleable and shiny nature that makes it a great choice for metal working material. On-going research shows it can be used in electronic components; a single ounce can be stretched into very long wires (about 60 miles)! Gold also has dental and medical uses. Some have already realized a gold tooth while other research concludes that it is instrumental in the treatment of cancer and destroying tumours.
The precious mineral can, however, be said to be a lily in the valley; beautiful to behold yet poisonous in many ways. Extraction of gold poses many environmental and health hazards when it is poorly done and its beauty is short-lived when the bitterness of its consequences set in. This is a major source of concern to the government, environmentalists and individuals in mining areas.