Gold Prospecting In Alabama

After gold was discovered in Georgia prospectors began working in Alabama and had a "Gold Rush" following the discovery of gold in 1830 in Chilton County and The first major strike occurred in 1830 at Blue and Chestnut Creeks. From 1830 until about 1990, Gold in Alabama produced nearly 80,000 ounces of gold. The gold prospecting in alabama most important found at Cleburne, Tallapoosa, Clay and Randolph Counties. Only Cleburne and Tallapoosa Counties produced more than 20,000 ounces of gold. Gold has been found in both lode and placer deposits, with the majority coming from area in the east central part of the state up next to the Georgia border.

Gold in Alabama has been found throughout Talladega, Tallapoosa, Chambers, Coosa, Clay, Chilton, Elmore, Cleburne, and Randolph Counties. In Talladega County, the Riddle and Story Mines both produced lode gold, with placers found in Talladega Creek.

Much of Alabama's gold has been produced, Tallapoosa County contains a lot of gold, one of which is located in the district Hog Mountain, which is one of the largest gold producers in the state. The largest ore body varies from 8 to 12 feet in width and can be traced for over 100 feet. No primary minerals are present, but the ore is similar to the oxidation product of manganese garnet in Calaveras County. The metachert (quartzite) is very pure with few limonite and sericite particles. Rocks on this part of Hog Mountain are quartz schist, quartz-mica schist, and quartzite of the Calaveras Formation.

At Hog Mountain and the Hillabee mine. Both hardrock areas, they are produce with more than 25,000 ounces. Much of the gold here was recovered through the cyanide leaching process, but creeks nearby produce placer gold. The Talladega National Forest has many creeks that contain placer gold as well. The operation of the mines has been sparse and they have been closed since 1950.

Coosa County has extensive placer gold prospect areas with a significant history of mining during the early gold rush days in Alabama. Rich placer gold occurred along Weogufka Creek and Hatchet Creek.

In Clay County, placer gold can be found at Crooked Creek, Tallapoosa River, Wesobulga Creek, and many other streams throughout the county.

The southwestern portion of the Alabama gold belt included parts of Chilton County. Gold nuggets were reported to have been recovered in Clanton, particularly from Blue Creek, a short tributary of the Coosa River in the southeastern part of Chilton County. Chilton county sourced its gold from several streams and tributaries that flowed towards Coosa River in Clanton City and the small town of Verbena. Mulberry Creek and its tributaries, and Rocky Creek. Numerous unnamed drainages will also produce placer gold for a hard working prospector.

In Talladega County, the Riddle Mine and the Woodward Tract in the southeastern part of the county, and the Story Mine south of the county on the eastern flank of the Talladega Creek, have all produced lode gold in quartz veins from decomposed rocks and slates, with placer gold found in area branches and benches along the Talladega Creek. The Talladega National Forest contained several creeks, where placer gold also occurs. Of course many of the richest mining areas are located on private ground, but the National Forest lands do provide opportunities for the public.

Some of the most valuable placers in Alabama are found in Cleburne County. Waters in the Chulafinnee Mining District will all produce gold. Lode Mines are scattered throughout the county, with both copper and gold being the predominant metals. Rich gravels can be found throughout these areas.

In Cleburne County, the Anna Howe Mines are thought to have produced the first gold-bearing quartz in Alabama. It made the county one of the most prolific producers of gold in the state. Other gold bearing streams can be found around Arbacoochee and Chulafinnee. Parts of Hillabee Creek will also produce gold within Cleburne County.

The mining district around Arbacoochee, roughly ten miles south of Heflin is composed of the rich placer gold-producing properties of Anna Howe, Marion White, Sutherland, Eckles, Pritchet, Crown Point and Middlebrook; the Golden Eagle (Prince) Mines; and many additional lode gold deposits as well.

In the western part of the county is the Idaho district. The Eley, Haraldson, Shinker, Alabama Gold and Mica Company, Prospect Tunnel and Harall Gold Mines all operated in this area, which contained lode gold. Placers can be found in Hillabee Creek and many of the smaller drainages in this area.

The area around the town of Dadeville had several mines such as the Holly Prospect, Gregory Hill Mine, Blue Hill and Bonner Terrell Properties, which produced lode gold from the surface debris of the area’s tributaries and in quartz seams from graphite schists.

The town of Goldville is located northeast of Alexander City just south of the border with Clay County. The Goldville Mining District had a number of productive mines, pits, and prospects that produced free-milling gold from rich lode deposits in this area. Many placer mines were established in the area streams and branches of the Hillabee Creek.

The Eagle Creek gold mining area in the central part of the county was the site of numerous gold mining operations that began in the late 1830’s. Among them were the Tapley Mine, Griffin Prospect, Morgan Placer, and the Jennings, Greer, Johnson and Hammock Properties, where a stamp mill was operated on a creek flowing through the property. Placer gold existed along the area streams and tributaries of Eagle Creek.

Alabama has produced fine gold as well as sizable gold nuggets. Gold is also found in ore, although often it is low grade and must be extracted by cyanide leaching. Gold In Alabama can also be found in the igneous and metamorphic rocks of Alabama's Piedmont physiographic section. The Wedowee Schist, a metamorphic rock found in northeastern Alabama that formed at the same time as the Appalachian Mountains, is known to contain gold. Recorded gold-mining districts in the state tend to follow a general southwest-northeast trend roughly lining up with the Appalachian Mountain range.