Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Carolina Slate Belt

The Carolina Slate Belt is perhaps the most prolific mineral belt in the Eastern United States which runs from north in Virginia to the south west into Georgia.You may be saying so what. I will tell you. If you are in search of gold, or looking for places to prospect this is a good region to research because it contains gold. Many of the rivers and streams that drain this region may contain gold. Just remember to make sure you have permission before you go on any private property and if you go on any public land in this region make certain that prospecting is permitted.

With that being said I would just like to touch on some of the gold mining history of this region. I am sure many of you have heard the story of young Conrad Reed who was fishing in Little Meadow Creek, Cabarrus County, North Carolina on his families farm back in 1799 when he discovered a curious looking rock that was unusually heavy. He took it home and they had used this rock as a door stop for several years. His father must have suspected that it was gold because he took it to a jeweler in 1805 and it turned out to be a 17 pound gold nugget, he sold it for $3.50 which word got out and soon sparked the first gold rush in the United States. The Carolina Slate Belt in North Carolina.

Hernando De Soto had visited North Georgia in the early 1540's and found that Native Americans along the Chattahoochee River north of what is now Atlanta had been turning up significant amounts of gold. Spanish miners had joined them forming minor settlements that operated until the early 1700's. Later in Georgia in 1828 came the 2nd major gold rush in us history. The area was named Lumkin County, which had belonged to the Cherokees. The us government had forced the Cherokees off their generational home lands and moved them to a reservation in Oklahoma on what was known as the trail of tears. This land was then dived up and raffled off to prospective miners. There was a good deal of gold in this region of Georgia so much so that between the years 1830 and 1837 that the Philadelphia mint received $1.7 million in gold from here. Not only that but the dome of the Capitol Building in Atlanta is covered with gold from this same region, the Carolina Slate Belt. If you are ever in Dahlonega Georgia check out the Dahlonega Gold Museum, it is a wealth of information on this subject.

South Carolina and Virginia both had some very productive mines in the past. At one time there were over 300 prospects and mines in the state of Virginia and it was once the third largest gold producing state in the US. Commercial gold mining in Virginia had ended by 1948. South Carolina has also had a history of gold mining. These are just a few footnotes in history that show the significant amount of gold contained in the Carolina Slate Belt.

The good news is that our forefathers didn't get all the gold there is some left, so much so that it has caught the eye of several gold and mineral exploration companies from Canada and they are serious. Revolution Resources Corp. of Vancouver Canada have been drilling locations in North Carolina. Strongbow Exploration also of Vancouver drilled on the site of historic Parker Gold Mine in North Carolina with disappointing results, but they did find gold. Erin Ventures Inc. also a Canadian company have been drilling core samples at Deep River, North Carolina. Once again another Canadian exploration company Romarco Minerals Inc. have been drilling a little farther south with significant results with estimates of over 4 million ounces of gold. In 2007 they bought the historic Haile Gold Mine near Kershaw, South Carolina. Haile Gold Mine is now a subsidiary of Romarco Minerals Inc. By 2013 they plan on having 250 full time employees. By the time they pour their first gold bar Romarco will have invested over $600 million dollars and this seems like a very positive impact on the local community, the county and the state of South Carolina.This will be the largest gold operation east of the Mississippi.

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