New Hampshire Gold
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New Hampshire Gold

This is where to prospect for gold in the state of New Hampshire.

They have been finding gold in New Hampshire ever since the state was first settled in the 1600s. Because of that the state has had a long history of mining both gold and other minerals. Some of them are more valuable then gold itself.

Most of the gold is found in New Hampshire comes from the western counties particularly Grafton County in a belt of volcanic rocks that extends across the Connecticut River into Vermont. For the most part the rocks in this area are volcanic rocks of one type or another. Rocks of this nature are known to hold gold in fact gold can be found in just about any of the streams you can find in New Hampshire.

A particularly rich area to prospect in the Ammonoosuc Formation found in the western part of the state. Most of this formation is found in Grafton County and apparently is a northern extension of the Bronson Hill Anticlinorium found east of the Connecticut River in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Grafton County is also home of many large pegmatite mining operations that have produced over the years extensive amounts of feldspar, mica and quartz as well as a host of rare mineral species. Many of these mines are world-famous for the rare minerals they have produced. These are found in a belt running from the town of Gilsum northwards. Some of the more famous of these mines are Ruggles mine and the Palermo mine.

An especially interesting area is a metamorphose conglomerate known as the Clough formation. This is The kind of rock that is found in South Africa, known as the Witwatersrand that is the world's largest producer of gold. This is also known as the Wits Basin Formation the gold occurs as disseminated specks found throughout the formation.

Although gold has never been found in great quantities in New Hampshire there have been at least two mills that were set up there to refine gold. Some of the big mining companies have done exploration in New Hampshire looking for gold that might be disseminated through some of the rock formations of the state. This would be similar to the gold deposits of the Carlin trend in northern Nevada that is producing large quantities of gold even though the ore being mined is low in gold. The gold found in the Carlin Trend is so fine that it can be only seen with an electron microscope.

Recreational Gold panning is allowed in the White Mountains National Forest, but you can't use any other mining equipment than a gold pan. New Hampshire is much friendlier to miners and prospectors that some of the other New England states, but you should check with the Department of Environmental Conservation in Concord to get the complete story on New Hampshire gold and the kind of permits you're going to need if you go gold hunting in New Hampshire.

For more information about gold mining go here!

References:

Boudette, E. L., retired state geologist, http://des.nh.gov/organization/commissioner/pip/factsheets/geo/documents/geo-1.pdf

Bedrock Geological Map of New Hampshire, About Geology.com, http://geology.about.com/library/bl/maps/blnewhampshiremap.htm

Treasure Hunting in NH, http://www.treasurefish.com/new%20hampshire%20metal%20detecting.htm

Carlin Trend Gold Mine NV, http://www.mining-technology.com/projects/carlin/

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