Gold Occurrences in Indiana

A glacier like this once covered Indiana to a depth of over two miles.
This glacier melted away only 12,000 years ago bringing with it gold and precious stones from Canada.

The entire state of Indiana is covered by a layer of glacial drift that was deposited during two episodes of glaciation that occurred in the last 300,000 years. These were the Illinoian and Wisconsinan glaciers that deposited gold bearing glacial deposits of sand and gravel across Indiana all the way from Lake Erie to the Ohio River. That wasn't all the glaciers brought with them to place your deposits of Indiana also carried diamonds, rubies, sapphires and zircons. 

It was reported by one writer does the gold in Indiana came from an unknown source, and covered most of the state. The gold is found throughout Indiana came from the Abitibi Gold Province of Canada that extends all the way from Wawa, Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior to the Val D’or, Qu├ębec the distance of over 500 km. The Abitibi is the second most rich gold producing area in the world after the Witwatersrand in South Africa. Since the initial discovery of gold in this region in the early days of the 20th century the gold mines of the Abitibi have produced over 160,000,000 ounces of gold. This is more gold than there is in Fort Knox!

Panning for gold
Photo by Alan Souter

It was from this region that the glaciers scraped off all the loose gold in deposited it in the states of the American Midwest. You can readily see this just by looking at a map of North America, Indiana is due South of Canada.

Rather than going through a long tiresome list of gold producing streams and rivers in Indiana is simpler to just say that gold can be found in any one of them, as wells as any sand and gravel deposits that are found in the state.

All the gold deposits that are found in Indiana are placer deposits with no lode deposits in the state at all. This is because the state is covered by a thick layer of sedimentary rock that was deposited during the Paleozoic era over 200 million years ago. The layer is several thousand feet thick, and any lode gold would be discovered in the crystalline rocks that underlay the state. These rocks are the same variety found in Canada, so they probably contain gold deposits that are out of reach at the present time.

A great deal of information concerning gold and other mineral deposits in Indiana are available from the USGS, and the Indiana Geological Survey.