Gold mining is a tough business. It has been said that more people became wealthy during the California Gold Rush of 1848-49 by setting up supply shops and hotels to serve prospectors than by actually mining for gold. Indeed in the modern era, there are over a thousand companies involved in the production and exploration of gold ore throughout the world — yet a significant percentage will wind up bankrupt, either unable to find sufficient gold in the first place or even more frustrating, unable to bring their known gold to the surface for a profit.
So why bother with the gold mining business at all? Because for those few who do succeed in this business, the gains can be phenomenal. Companies that find a significant deposit of gold and then successfully mine it can see gains in excess of 1,000% over the course of a few years.