How to Identify a Gold Bearing Area

By Chiara Sakuwa
Gold-bearing locations can be found through the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Bureau of Mines.
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Gold prospecting and identifying gold-bearing areas have become increasingly more feasible, due to research developments on the geological process of gold formation. (See References 1.) Gold bearing areas, mostly throughout the western United States, have drawn and sprouted entire communities based on prospecting. (See Reference 1.) Various hypotheses exist on how gold is formed as it surfaces in numerous types of volcanic and sedimentary rocks. Gold is mainly found in two types of deposits: lode (hard rock veins) and placer (surface). Locating the richest gold bearing areas primarily involves research, planning, dedication and funds. In other words, those who study geological surveys, land formations, rock structures and gold prospecting history prior to prospecting may have a better chance of finding desired amounts of gold. (See References 1 and 3.)

Research the geological properties of a particular gold-bearing area of interest. These properties include the rock formations, structure, fault lines and the primary mineral content of the area. Also, study the mineralization process of gold in general to determine which segment of a particular area may yield gold. (See Reference 1.)

Assess whether the area of interest is a lode deposit or placer deposit to determine proper equipment and prospecting methods. A lode deposit, consisting of hard rock usually found in a mine, mine dump or quartz vein will require a pick axe, hammer and chisel. Prospecting in a placer deposit, usually a stream, gravel lot or beach, requires a pan or dredging equipment. (See Reference 3.)

Plan your prospecting excursion according to your research. Gather the appropriate equipment. Map out the area and pinpoint the exact location you plan on prospecting for gold. Also, check state and local government regulations on gold prospecting respective to that particular region. (See Reference 2.)

About the Author

Chiara Sakuwa has been a writer since 2005. Her work has appeared in publications such as the "Liberty Champion" newspaper and "The New World Encyclopedia" project. She is also the author of the novel "The Lady Leathernecks." She holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences from Campbell University and a Master of Criminal Justice from Boston University.