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Friday, December 24, 2010

Gold Occurrences in Maine

This article explains some of the gold occurrences found in Maine where gold can be had from three different sources as placer gold, lode gold where it occurs in quartz veins and as a trace element associated with metal sulfides especially pyrite where it occurs in thin films between individual pyrite crystals.

According to the Maine Geological Survey placer gold has been found in the following streams:

Swift River and its tributaries
Byron area
Oxford, Franklin
Sandy River
Madrid to New Sharon
South Branch-Penobscot River
Sandy Bay; Bald Mtn; Prentiss
Gold Brook
Gold Brook
Chain of Ponds; Kibby
Gold Brook
Chase Stream
Gold Brook
T5 R6; Appleton Township
Nile Brook
Dallas; Rangeley
Kibby Stream
St. Croix River

This is the kind of mountain stream where you can expect to find gold.
This list is by no means conclusive because virtually any other stream in the vicinity of those listed can also contain gold. The bed load of the streams eventually reaches the Atlantic Ocean where the litterol current carries in parallel to the coastline depositing its load of gold onto the sand and gravel beaches of Maine. As a teenager the author did some prospecting along these beaches discovering that the gold that was present was mainly flowered gold. The most gold was discovered near the mouths of the rivers running into the ocean. 

Ogunquit Beach, Maine where as a teenager we panned for gold.  Notice the small stream entering the ocean on the left side of the picture it was here where we had our most luck panning.

Because gold is 19 times denser than water another place that might be profitable to look is in the lower reaches of sand and gravel deposits where the deep deposits are at rest on bedrock or a bed of clay. Another factor that has to be taken into consideration is stream migration. Since the time of the glacier melting around 12,000 years ago the stream channel may have migrated several hundred feet to the West of its original position. To the practiced eye this can be readily seen by an area of flat terrain with the higher banks on the west side of the stream.  This is a situation that not only exists in Maine, but is a worldwide phenomenon where ever you have flowing water.

Gold on Quartz   Photo by Rob Lavinsky

Placer gold is that the only variety of gold found in the state of Maine.  Maine also has lode gold where gold is found in quartz veins. Even more complicated is gold deposits found as trace elements in base metal sulfides where gold is found as an impurity that must be recovered when the metal ore is smelted.  Finally gold is often associated with iron pyrite where it is a thin film between the crystal faces of pyrite.

You can purchase all kinds of supplies and equipment through our associate needed for operating a placer gold mining site.  By using the Amazon Searchbox you can access both new and used equipment. 


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