Finding Gold in Wisconsin

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Placer gold is found in every county in Wisconsin. This article is mainly about that gold, and finding placer diamonds.

Gold in Wisconsin can be found in the form of placer deposits in any county in the state brought here in the many glaciers that have come down from the gold bearing areas found in Canada. That being said it should be remembered that geologically Wisconsin is divided into two parts that are nearly equal. In the southern part of the state the basement rocks are buried under a thick layer of sediments that can be miles deep in places. The northern part of the state is composed of basement rock without any sediments making it a southern extension of the Canadian Shield.

The gold found in this area comes from small lode deposits as well as placer gold in just about any stream or river. To date the lode gold deposits that have been found are not economically viable. There have been several mines producing both iron and other base metals. There is no geological reason why gold is not associated with these deposits as there is a working gold mine just across the border in Upper Michigan that produced gold for many years. Of especial interest are the copper mines in northern Wisconsin that well have gold associated with the copper. It might be that the operators of these mines were aware of the presence of gold, but just didn’t raise the issue for economic reasons.

Throughout Wisconsin there are glacial deposits that may contain Canadian gold that has been brought into the state forming placer deposits. These are capable of being found in just about any county in the state. These deposits in places have been concentrated by stream action reworking some of the glacial deposits. Many of the gold miners of the state are worked by recreational gold prospectors as week-end gold panning can be both a fun activity as long as you are not expecting to get rich panning for placer gold.

The drift gold (placer gold) that is found here is usually in fine grains in what is termed “flour gold” forcing the prospector very skillful with much practice to become an effective gold panner. To add to the fun that can be had from panning for gold, rarely you can find diamonds that have also been carried into the state from diamond bearing kimberlite deposits in Canada. These are associated with placer gold because they are concentrated in streams by the same natural processes. Diamonds have been found along Plum Creek in Pierce County.

Anyone in Wisconsin can do recreational gold panning without having a license as long as stream banks and bottoms are not harmed or large amounts are released into the waters of the state. Remember if you find any gold it belongs to the person holding any mineral rights on the property where it was found. For that reason you must get permission before you do any panning by working out some sort of agreement with the holder of any mineral rights before you start.

For more information about gold mining go here!


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