Gold Mineralization in Northeastern Minnesota

Increased Interest in the Lake Vermillion Region

Although not noted as a gold-producing state, there is both placer and lode gold in Minnesota. At one time gold placers were worked in the Zumbro River area and today there's increased interest in lode gold prospects in the northeastern part of the state just east of Lake Vermillion.

Gold Pans
Gold Panning Kits
Mining Equipment

One reason for this increased interest is, of course, the record high spot prices for gold today. However, there was interest in the Lake Vermillion region of Minnesota as far back as the early 1900s when gold was running about $20.00 per troy ounce.

Enough Gold to be Commercially Viable

Both large and mid-sized companies and corporations including Kerr-McGee revisited the region in the 1980s and 1990s and did large amounts of sampling in lode gold prospects along County Road 38, also known as Mud Creek Road in northern St. Louis County. What this tells me is that, at one point in time, these companies determined that there was enough gold in the area to be potentially commercially viable.

The gold mineralization in the Lake Vermillion region has been described as "abundant" and "occurring in numerous prospects along Mud Creek Road." This mineralized zone is bounded to the south by what's called the "Mud Creek Shear Zone"  and to the north by the Vermillion Fault.

Good Potential for Small-Scale Miners and Prospectors?

During the sampling that took place in the Mud Creek area in the 1980s and 1990s, over 5,000 outcrops were identified and sampled for their gold values. No mention is made of placer gold in the region, but I suspect that extremely limited elluvial or alluvial gold placers may exist below any prospects or lodes containing moderate amounts of free-milling gold.

Carhartt Wear
Wolverine Boots

The Lake Vermillion-Mud Creek area may hold good potential for you small-scale gold miners and prospectors in Minnesota or in adjoining states. This is especially true if you have a good understanding of basic gold geology, mineralization, and weathering and erosional factors. The potential fly in the ointment here, however, is access into the area since I have no idea as to property rights in the region.

Either way, good luck to one all.

If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Placer Gold in Minnesota's Zumbro River?"

(c)  Jim Rocha (J.R.)  2011

Questions? E-mail me at