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RedDirtDigger

Gold From Every State?.... USA ..... Australia

6 posts in this topic


Principal Gold-Producing Districts of the United States

The text above has the details but here are a couple charts from the report to get you started. I have found gold in Alaska, Arizona, California, and Nevada but that's not unusual. In addition to the states listed detectable gold could be found in Georgia plus possibly in any northern state where glacial age deposits are found. Also, the ranking is only through 1965 and includes hard rock mining so is not directly indicative of the chances of finding nugget gold. Again, refer to the text for details.

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Although the US has a few large states, as a whole, most of the states of the US are much smaller than the states of Australia. The US states include a number with very unfavorable geology - just as parts of Australia are unfavorable for gold. If one updated the chart that Steve posted to include the last 50 years, Nevada would be the leading producer - the Carlin district alone has produced roughly 100 million ounces - an amount about equal to the entire state of California up to 1965. Unfortunately, the great majority of Nevada production is microscopic in size. It processes great with cyanide, but you can't even pan out visible dust that can be seen with the eye, let alone nuggets large enough to detect. Some places in Nevada do produce coarse gold and nuggets, its just the majority is this microscopic stuff - and that is why the old timers missed it for the most part.

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I have found natural gold in Ca, Az, NM, Co, Mt, Id and Or.  None in SD, Wa or Wy yet.

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I am from Colorado originally. There's nuggets here but they are rare. I think there's a lot more here but the country is remote. The season is short, so it stays hidden. I am sure this is the scenario in many places around the world.

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I have found gold in Alaska, Wyoming, Georgia, South Dakota, Montana, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, and New Mexico. 

With a detector I found nuggets in only Alaska, Wyoming and most recently New Mexico.  I did find nuggets in Montana and Georgia that are big enough to detect but I found them either dredging or highbanking. 

I tried extremely hard to detect a nugget when I lived in Georgia but they eluded me.  

 

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    • By NuggetBob
      I noted this on another forum but want to do so here too so here goes. How many of you have experience with pocket gold? I've pocket hunted a few places hopping around with a little luck, mostly CA Mother lode country and AZ. Here are some good reads for ya if'n you're not familiar with it. Anyone from the east do this, like Georgia or Virginia? I'l be visiting Virginia for a few weeks this year, would love to hear some local voices. 

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      Another question via email, with personal references removed. I prefer to answer these on the forum so everyone gets the benefit of the answer plus others can offer their opinions also.
      "I am new to metal detecting and, your site here has really helped me out. I have a couple questions that maybe you can help me out with. What are some of the geologic indicators that you look for to determining where to prospect for nuggets? I try to study some of the geology maps but I could use some further pinpointing. I have also been looking at the National map of Surficial Mineralogy. Using the aster and minsat7 maps what are some of the indicators that may point you to higher gold bearing ground? Any help would be deeply appreciated.
         
      Could you point me to some old places where you have found gold? I'm not asking to be shown active patches. Just areas that you feel are worked out. I just want to see what gold bearing ground looks like. This would help me to start to learn the commonalities and characteristics of gold bearing grounds.
      Still looking for that first nugget! Thanks again for any info you can provide."
      My method is much simpler than that. I basically look for gold where gold has been found before. Think of it like fishing. If you want to go catch salmon you have two options. You can go to where people have caught salmon before - pretty good odds here. Or you can go where nobody has ever caught a salmon before. Very poor odds!
      So call it prospecting using history to determine where gold has been found before, and then getting as close as I can to those places. History and proximity. Finally, I may then employ geology to narrow that search in a given area if it turns out the gold is confined to certain rock types.
      The first place I normally turn as a rough guide to any new location in the U.S. is:
      Principal Gold Producing Districts Of The United States USGS Professional Paper 610 by A. H. Koschmann and M. H. Bergendahl - A description of the geology, mining history, and production of the major gold-mining districts in 21 states. This 1968 publication obviously lacks the latest production figures but it still is a great overview to where an individual prospector can look for gold in the United States. It is a 283 page pdf download so be patient. Pay particular attention to the listed references in the extensive bibliography for doing further research.
       
      You can download this at http://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/0610/report.pdf and find many more useful free books on this website at the Metal Detecting & Prospecting Library


      So just for fun let's say I want to go look for gold in New Mexico. The section on New Mexico starts on page 200 and here is a quick summary of the opening paragraphs:
      "The gold-producing districts of New Mexico are distributed in a northeastward-trending mineral belt of variable width that extends diagonally across the State, from Hidalgo County in the southwest corner to Colfax County along the north-central border. From 1848 through 1965 New Mexico is credited with a gold production of about 2,267,000 ounces; however, several million dollars worth of placer gold was mined prior to 1848. Mining in New Mexico began long before discoveries were made in any of the other Western States (Lindgren and others, 1910, p. 17-19; Jones, 1904, p. 8-20). The copper deposits at Santa Rita were known and mined late in the 18th century, and placer gold mining began as early as 1828 in the Ortiz Mountains south of Santa Fe. In 1839 placer deposits were discovered farther south along the foot of the San Pedro Mountains. The earliest lode mining, except the work at Santa Rita, dates back to 1833 when a gold-quartz vein was worked in the Ortiz Mountains. In 1865 placers and, soon afterward, quartz lodes were found in the White Mountains in Lincoln County; in 1866 placer deposits were discovered at Elizabethtown in Colfax County, and silver-lead deposits were discovered in the Magdalena Range in Socorro County. In 1877 placers and gold-quartz veins were found at Hillsboro, and in 1878 phenomenally rich silver ore was found at Lake Valley in Sierra County.
      The mineral belt of New Mexico is in mountainous terrain that lies between the Colorado Plateau on the northwest and the Great Plains on the east. It is a zone of crustal disturbance in which the rocks were folded and faulted and intruded by stocks, dikes, and laccoliths of monzonitic rocks. Deposits of copper, lead, zinc, gold, and silver occur locally throughout this belt. Some deposits of copper and gold are Precambrian in age, but most of the ore deposits are associated with Upper Cretaceous or Tertiary intrusive rocks. The gold placers were probably derived from the weathering of these deposits. In later Tertiary time lavas spread out over wide areas of the State, and fissures within these rocks were later mineralized. These fissure veins are rich in gold and silver, but in most places they are relatively poor in base metals. In New Mexico, 17 districts in 13 counties yielded more than 10,000 ounces of gold each through 1957 (fig.19).
      Figure 19 is a handy map showing us where you want to look in New Mexico and also where looking is probably a waste of time. Click for larger version.

      The map shows what the text said "The mineral belt of New Mexico is in mountainous terrain that lies between the Colorado Plateau on the northwest and the Great Plains on the east." Sticking to this area is going to be your best bet. Based just on this map I see two areas of general interest - the central northern area, and the southwestern corner of the state.
      The text mentions that placer deposits were discovered at Elizabethtown in Colfax County, and the map shows that as the Elizabethtown-Baldy mining district. Following along in the text we find this:
      "The placer deposits along Grouse and Humbug Gulches, tributaries of Moreno Creek, each yielded more than $1 million in placer gold and silver. Another $2 million worth of placer gold and silver was recovered from the valleys of Moreno and Willow Creeks (Anderson, 1957, p. 38-39), and some gold also came from the gravels along Ute Creek. Graton (in Lindgren and others, 1910, p. 93) estimated the placer production of the Elizabethtown-Baldy district prior to 1904 at $2.5 million, and C. W. Henderson (in U. S. Bureau of Mines, 1929, pt. 1, p. 7 40) estimated the production through 1929 at about $3 million (145,138 ounces). The total placer production through 1959 was about 146,980 ounces."
      The reference material from the passage above is in the back of the book and is where we can get real details. Google is our friend. This stuff used to take me lots of visits to libraries!
      Anderson, E. C., 1957, The metal resources of New Mexico and their economic features through 1954: New Mexico Bur. Mines and Mineral Resources Bull. 39, 183 p.
      Lindgren, Waldemar, Graton, L. C., and Gordon, C. H., 1910, The ore deposits of New Mexico: U.S. Geol. Survey Prof. Paper 68, 361 p.
      Henderson, C. W., 1932, Gold, silver, copper, lead, and zinc in New Mexico: U.S. Bur. Mines, Mineral Resources U.S., 1929, pt. 1, p. 729-759.
      That is more than enough, but let's also Google placer gold new mexico
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      Placer Gold Deposits in New Mexico by Virginia T. McLemore, New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources May 1994
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      That last one is a real gem and contains this passage:
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