Gold is one of the first minerals used by prehistoric cultures. The Latin name for this mineral was aurum and J ns Jakob Berzelius used Au to represent the element when he established the current system of chemical symbols. The Old English word gold first appeared in written form about 725 and may further have been derived from gehl or.16.3 Mineral Resources. Gold-bearing quartz vein from California. Mineral resources, while principally nonrenewable, are generally placed in two main categories metallic (containing metals) or nonmetallic (containing other useful materials). Most mining is focused on metallic minerals.A significant part of the advancement of human society has been developing the knowledge and technologies.