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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Gold Occurrences in Alabama:

The history of mining in Alabama goes back to the early 1800s when they actually had a Goldrush that occurred 20 years before the California Goldrush. Many of the Alabama gold miners went to California because there was more gold although at one time the state had thousands of miners that were searching for gold.

The gold in Alabama is found in the Southern Gold belt that enters the state from Georgia in an area in central Alabama but is about 60 miles wide and 100 miles long. This Gold belt has the appearance of looking like an old sock, but it is a scenario where both placer and lode gold deposits are located.

Panning for gold

There are many creeks and rivers in Alabama where you can pan for gold, but many of these places are populated with water moccasins so be extremely careful where you put your hands when you are panning for gold. A bite from one of these critters may not kill you, but it hurts like the blue blazes and will cause you to be very sick. If you have misfortune to be bitten by one of these critters don't panic and get yourself immediately to a hospital or doctor. Don't try to treat the bite yourself let the doctors deal with it they know what they're doing.

This is a cottonmouth water moccasin a highly poisonous snake found in Alabama.
The reason thay are called cottonmouths is because of the white color of the inside of their moutns.
This one is coiled and ready for action. 

Nowadays most of the mining in Alabama is being practiced by amateur prospectors that are either using a gold pan or a sluice box. Although in the past there was a considerable amount of hard rock mining that occurred at the state but now for the most part any gold production in Alabama is in the hands of hobbyists, and small-scale miners.

Gold Ore

The gold deposits in Alabama occur as part of the Southern Gold belt that reaches all away from Maryland to Alabama. The western end of the gold bearing rocks in Alabama plunge under the sediments of the Mississippi River where they reappear again in Arkansas located in the Ouachita Mountains that had its own Goldrush in the 1800s.

In addition to look regular river and creek deposits there is another type of placer gold that is mined in Alabama that occurs in what is called a saprolite this is rock that has undergone deep weathering that at times can exceed 100 feet in depth. The gold in one of these deposits can be found loose in the red clay associated with the remnants of quartz veins.

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