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Finding Gold in Oklahoma

Finding gold in Oklahoma is found on opposite ends of the State. These gold finds are in the Ouachita and Wichita Mountains.

Oklahoma is noted for the amount of oil that used to be produced there, but to the Spaniard Conquistadors it was the home of the Seven Cities of Cibola. These were the legendary places that launched the voyage of DeSoto the to discover the Mississippi River. According to the legend these cities were made of gold. Part of this legend is true since there are two areas on opposite ends of the state that do produce gold to this day.

The first of these areas is found in the southeastern part of the state in the Ouachita Mountains that geologically are a continuation of the Appalachian Mountains that emerge from the surrounding sediments. Gold has been found in several localities in these mountains even sparking some gold rushes in the past. This part of Oklahoma is a continuation of the southern Appalachian Gold Belt. A similar exposure of these mountains is the Boston Mountains that also have associated gold deposits.

The area around Picher in Northeast Oklahoma for over a half century was the largest lead and zinc mining district in the United States. The mines finally closed down around 1970 and left behind them a large environmental mess that includes not only soil pollution but groundwater pollution as well.

The western side of the state has more gold in the Wichita Mountains. These mountains were made of sandstone deposited during the late Precambrian to Early Cambrian ages. Then they became involved in the mid-continental rift the same rift that formed the copper-silver deposits in the Keneewah Peninsula of Upper Michigan. This rifting caused the sandstone to be intruded with mafic rocks such as gabbro. Later in their history they were intruded with granite, and even later they were intruded with still more volcanic rocks.

A similar situation can be found in Portugal where Triassic sandstone is heavily intruded by gabbro associated with the break-up of the super continent known as Pangaea. There are gold mines operating in Portugal operating today that were producing gold and other metals since the days of the Roman Empire.

Rocks associated with the mid-continent rift are especially rich in metal deposits as seen by the copper-silver deposits of the Keweenah Peninsula. The peninsula was the site of the first mining rush in the US that started in the early 1840s and continued until the mid 1940s it lasted more then a century. Exploration still goes on in rocks of the mid-continental rift. The most notable is occurring in the Arrowhead of Minnesota where they have uncovered massive amounts of copper, silver, gold and platinum group metals in the vicinity of Ely, MN in the Duluth Gabbro. It is more then probable that further exploration of the Wichita Mountains using modern methods of exploration is apt to discover considerable amounts of various metals including gold.

Although there is some gold to be found in the Wichitas there is not much according to reports, but even though there was a gold rush in the late 1800s. This gold rush was stoked by some unscrupulous assayers that kept pumping up the value of the ore that was found. All that is left today are some ghost towns like the Town of Wildman.

If you prospect in either of these districts the best place to look for gold is in the placer deposits of the rivers and creeks that drain down out of the highlands. Modern exploration techniques are apt to discover buried deposits here.

For more information about gold mining go here!

If you like to read about gems go here

References:

Oklahoma Prospecting, http://www.goldfeverprospecting.com/okgoprpatr.html

Wichita Mountains, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wichita_Mountains

Ouachita Mountains, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ouachita_Mountains

Carter, John, The Duluth Complex and Copper Deposits, http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1822723/the_duluth_complex_and_copper_deposits.html?cat=58

John Carter, Prospecting for gold in Portugal, http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2290961/prospecting_for_gold_in_portugal.html?cat=15

Carter, John, Prospecting for Gold in Michigan, http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2041495/prospecting_for_gold_in_michigan.html?cat=8

Mississippi Valley Type lead & Zinc Deposits, Springer, http://www.springerlink.com/content/fg2y00dd395e5d81/

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