Finding Gold in Texas
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Finding Gold in Texas

Finding gold in Texas is possible in two places the Llano Uplift and the mountains of western Texas overlooking the Rio Grande River. There are many stories told about Texas gold that might be more or less credible, mostly less.

Gold in Texas goes back in history to 1756 when Spaniards discovered gold and silver on Riley Mountain. This discovery was made in the Central Mineral District around the llano Uplift. This is also the area where the lost San Saba goldmine is supposed to be that was worked by Mexican miners once they gained their independence from Spain in the early 1800s.

Although the Spaniards were the first to mine gold in the Llano Uplift they lacked any useful way of keeping their mines from being flooded by the inrush of groundwater. This caused the Spaniards to limit their mining to areas above the water table. Their mines mostly were surface mines like trenches that have long since eroded making their traces hard to find today. These deposits for the most part were placer desposits

The Llano Uplift is part of the exposed Grenville aged rocks that means it is more a part of the Appalachians rather than the Rockies. The gold deposits that are found in rocks of these rocks is approximately 1.2 billion years old. These deposits are small and numerous. The gold deposits in Texas are very similar to the gold deposits that were found in the Klondike. Most of the gold was small deposits in the rock that contained it originally. It eroded out of the rock and formed large placer deposits.

In several of the rivers and creeks draining the Llano Uplift you can find placer deposits of gold. There have been stories about gold and silver deposits that have flowed for the past 250 years that may be more or less credible, mostly less. Gold is found there at any rate even in small quantities. One thing that drives the prospecting business is tales of this sort besides you might get lucky and strike a Bonanza or even find El Dorado.

The Llano uplift itself is pre-Cambrian in age, but it is surrounded by rocks of Paleozoic age making it is very similar to the Gold Belt of the Southeastern United States. Most of The state is an ocean of sedimentary rocks having an occasional outcrop of older crystalline rocks. It is in these rocks that you are apt to find gold.

The rocks found in the hills overlooking Presidio in the Rio Grande Valley are probably closely related in age to the Central Texas Mineral Region. With sedimentary rocks you often find a situation where occasionally older rocks do get exposed at the surface. This was what is happening here as well in the southern gold belt (Piedmont) in the Appalachian Mountains.

On the southern flank of the Chinati Mountains overlooking Presidio is the Prasidio Mine that was active from 1880 until 1942 when the War Production Board closed all the gold mines in the United States to free the gold miners for other wartime production. This one mine produced 92% of the silver and 73% of the gold ever produced in Texas.

There is also gold associated with a sandstone of Eocene age located in the Gulf Coastal Plain. This is gold that probably eroded out of the Llano Uplift rocks.

For more information about gold mining go here!

If you like to read about gems go here


Gail Borden, Oral tradition in the author's family, mainly from the author's Grandmother who knew him.

Heylmun, Edgar B. PhD, Gold in Texas,

Kennedy, Ira, Panning for Gold in Texas,

Carter, John, The Goldbelt of the Southeastern States,

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