As gold becomes more popular, so do reports of gold-related activities. One of them, the annual International Intercollegiate Mining Competition, rated a New York Times slide show.
The techniques the competitors had to show mastery of, tend to hail from the older days of mining. There was a gold-panning competition, with flattened BB pellets used as a substitute for gold. There were track laydowns, ore hucking into carts, and pushing said full carts down a 50 metre track. One event tested the competitors' ability to use a Swede saw to cut through a 6 X 6 beam. Another tested skill with a hand drill and the ballpeen hammer used on it. Not shown in the sideshow, because it doesn't make for a good picture, was a surveying event.
The mining companies take the results of the competition seriously. As a companion NYT article explains, winners have an edge in the hiring market. Despite the he-man ethos lingering arund the competition, some of the contestants were women.