Discovery of Gold sparks mini Gold Rush in southeast United States

Crystalline gold   USGS

According to a report from Reuters recently a Canadian Mining Company along with a tiny town in South Carolina are leading the charge to what could become a modern gold rush in the southeastern United States.  The company from Canada is Romarco Minerals Inc. that has reopened the old gold mine at Kershaw, S.C. and by 2014 should be pouring its first gold bar.  The name of the mine is the Haile Mine.  The author originally became aware of this exploration project at the PDAC Show in Toronto in 2008.    

The Haile mine once environmental studies and the permitting process is completed will be the first modern gold mine is the Mississippi River since the Kennecott Minerals Mine that was in Ridgeway, South Carolina in 1999. Based on proven gold reserves that were found in the samples it is estimated that 3.1 million ounces of gold still remains in the ground at Haile. It is estimated this gold mine will produce an average of 150,000 ounces of gold for the next five years.

The slate belt that winds its way through the southern Appalachians from Maryland to Alabama was the site of the first gold rush in America before gold was discovered in California in 1848. It is interesting to note that this Slate belt north all the way to Quebec. Gold is been reported that sparked a gold rush in Columbia County and adjoining parts of Saratoga County, New York, and western Vermont in the northern extension of the slate belt. It's one of the most significant gold belts in the United States and sparked one of our first gold rushes in the early 1800s.

This is the first time that the southern gold belt has been explored using modern methods, an area that many people have forgotten how significant gold production was in the past. Most gold mines in the area were discovered by following placer deposits to their source. The glacier that destroyed the placer deposits in the northern United States and Canada has acted to prevent the discovery of gold deposits in the northern extension of the Slate belt.

Finding the gold left it daily has sparked renewed interest throughout the Slate belt in the southeastern United States. The gold found here is embedded in microscopic flecks in the volcanic rock in the so-called Carolina Slate Belt that extends from Alabama through northern Georgia, the Carolinas, Virginia and Maryland. In early October another Canadian mining company from Vancouver, Revolution Resources started investigating other old gold mines in the slate belt including the first mine, the Reed Mine in North Carolina.

During the period after the discovery of gold in North Carolina and the Civil War there were hundreds of gold mines scattered throughout the piedmont region of the southern states. Many of these gold mines were destroyed by the Union forces during the Civil War, others remained in production until 1942 when the federal government closed all the gold mines in the United States. There was even the working gold mine at the Great Falls of the Potomac River just upstream from Washington DC that was included in the shutdown of all the mines. Very few of these mines ever reopened and for the most part have been forgotten.