Original paper

Survey of gold-bearing deposits of the Eastern and East-Central United States

Heyl, Allen V.

Global Tectonics and Metallogeny Volume 5 Number 3-4 (1996), p. 165 - 166

5 references

published: Jan 1, 1996

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ArtNo. ESP136000503003, Price: 19.00 €

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Abstract

Verified small-scale gold mining was carried on by Indians and Spaniards in New Mexico, Arizona, southern Colorado, and possibly in the southeastern United States. However, gold was first discovered with certainty in the southeastern states in the Virginia Piedmont as first reported and described by Thomas Jefferson in 1782 along the Rappabannock River northwest of Fredricksburg, VA. In 1799 the first very large gold nugget (the Reid nugget) was found near Georgeville, N.C. From that time on gold placers, saprolite ore, and the gold quartz-lode mining expanded rapidly from northern Virginia southwestward into eastern Alabama, in the gold belt of the southeastern Piedmont. Gold mining was an important industry, and two mints were established at Charlotte, N.C. and Dahlonega, Georgia by the U.S. Government. All mining ceased and the mints were closed during the American Civil War (1861-1865). The Piedmont gold belt, which geologically resemble the Mother Lode gold belt in California, had a small revival of lode and placer gold mining after the war into the early 20th century. An important revival took place in the 1930's, but it was stopped in 1942 by the U.S. Government's closing of the gold mines. Another revival began in the 1970's, 1980's and 1990's with prospecting in the belt away from cities, and three large open pit gold mines opened in South Carolina, which are still in operation in 1995. Massive sulfide deposits of copper, copper-zinc, and copper-zinc-lead in the southeast and east and large skarn deposits of magnetite-copper ores in Pennsylvania have produced byproduct gold and silver. The potential of gold is in almost every Appalachian state, and in Wisconsin, and Michigan. With the closure of the Cornwall and Morgantown skarn deposits in Pennsylvania, the massive sulfide deposits of Ducktown, Tennessee and in north-central Wisconsin are the main sources of byproduct gold. Many massive sulfide deposits are known in the southern Piedmont interspaced between the lode gold deposits, but none are producing at present (Production of deposits of all types has been prevented in the eastern states due to coastal growth of cities). Many deposits are in small rich veins or lodes and are of no interest to the large major companies producing gold in the latter part of the 20th century. The central and south-central states of the nation contain very little known gold. North of the Pleistocene glacial front a little quantities of gold were produced by small placer mining in the 19th century in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota. In the north-central states in the 1970's and 1980's large volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits were found in north-central and north-eastern Wisconsin in a belt of poorly exposed intermediate to felsic metavolcanic Precambrian rocks of about 1900 m.y. in age, originally mapped and defined by Carl E. Dutton. One of these deposits is now in production. A lode gold deposit (Rope gold mine) northwest of Marquette, Michigan was mined in 1989 into the early 1990's. Other massive sulfide deposits with copper, or copper and zinc, and with byproduct gold are known in the central Adirondacks, near Peekshill, N.Y., western Massachusetts, eastern Vermont, northern New Hampshire, and in Maine but none are in production at present. Lode gold deposits are rare or absent in the same region. The total recorded gold production into the 1980's in the eastern and central states has been more than 2600000 troy ounces valued at about $ 51000000 at the time of production.

Keywords

gold-bearing depositEast-Central United StatesNew MexicoRappabannock RiverReid nuggetGold mining