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Mined in the mountains of Mahakam, gold is a precious, yellow metal. Its density is 19.3 times that of an equivalent volume of water. It is sought after because of malleability, high corrosion-resistance, its beauty and scarcity. Since it is one of the least chemically active metals, it is generally found in nuggets or pure veins and not polluted with other chemical compounds. Sometimes the pieces found are as small as or even smaller than grains of sand and wash up along riverbanks, streams and deltas.

Gold is mostly used in the fabrication of jewelery, coins and other decorative items. Nearly 85% of all the gold on the market is used for these purposes. The rest is typically bought by investors and speculators.