More on Midwestern Glacial Gold (Part 3)

 (Iowa River near Eldora.)

“Exceptional” Gold Values May Exist

Most experts, including mining geologists, dismiss the idea of Midwestern glacial gold deposits containing commercially exploitable gold values. However, some of these experts do say that pockets of “exceptional” gold values may exist in areas where modern-day streams have cut their way through areas of extensive glacial gold drifts.

The problem is that many of these larger or more extensive (i.e., “richer”) glacial drifts are covered by overburden consisting of many layers of sediment, rock, and gravel…sometimes to great depth. This fact makes the likelihood of discovery of one of these locations of rich glacial gold values problematic for most small-scale gold prospectors and miners.

Iowa's Best Gold Potential

That said, here are selected locations in the state of Iowa that may hold the best glacial gold potential:

Most of the glacial gold in Iowa was probably carried southward from rich gold vein material in western Ontario and southeastern Manitoba. It’s also believed that isolated but very rich gold veins in Minnesota could have contributed to glacial gold deposition in the “Hawkeye” state.
Compared to some of the other Midwestern states, glacial gold locations in Iowa are fairly numerous. Some of the better known gold-bearing locales include:
  • Iowa River near Eldora in the central part of the state.
  • Turkey River near Eldorado in north-eastearn Iowa.   
Based on what I’ve been able to glean, these two areas may hold the greatest potential for small-scale miners in terms of hitting gold values that the geologists term “exceptional. Another possible location that may fall in this category is:
  •  Big Sioux River not far from Klondike in western Iowa.
There’s more to come on this topic so stay tuned. In the interim, good luck to you.

If you liked this post, you may want to read: “NuggetShooting (Historical Perspective)”

©  Jim Rocha (J.R.)  2011

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