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Friday, October 16, 2009

Gold Mining in Ohio

Recreational gold prospecting is alive and well in Ohio. This pan of GOLD was found prospecting the Clearfork River in Richland County, Ohio. While gold is not plentiful, with a little paitence you to can find a little color in your pan. All gold that has been found in Ohio is of the secondary or placer type. It is a long-accepted theory that the placer gold in Ohio originated in the igneous rocks of Canada (Canadian Shield) and was transported to Ohio during one or more episodes of Pleistocene glaciation. This theory has support because Ohio gold is always found in association with glacial deposits formed by meltwater from the glaciers. In addition, gold-bearing areas of Canada lie north of Ohio, more or less in line with the projected paths of the southward flow of various ice sheets. Gold can be found in small quantities throughout the glaciated two-thirds of Ohio. Most reported occurrences are in the zone of Illinoian and Wisconsinan end moraines--areas which commonly mark the farthest advance of these ice sheets. The highest concentrations of gold appear to be associated with Illinoian deposits. Almost all gold recovered is in the form of tiny, flattened flakes only a millimeter or so in diameter. Less common are pieces the size of a wheat grain, and rare are those the size of a pea. At most productive locations, several hours of panning will produce only a few flakes. No locality has been demonstrated to have concentrations sufficient for commercial exploitation, although many attempts were made in the 1800's and early 1900's to mine gold in the state. Most of these ventures were in Clermont County, near Batavia, in southwestern Ohio and in Richland County, near Bellville, in north-central Ohio. All of them were financial failures. 


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