Tom Ashworths Prospectors Cache


After gold was discovered in Georgia prospectors began working in Alabama and had a "Gold Rush" following the discovery of gold in 1830 in Chilton County along tributaries of Blue and Chestnut Creeks. Around 1830 discoveries were made and for a decade there were thousands of miners working. Then the California gold rush took the miners to the mother lode and the mines were abandoned during the Civil War. After the Civil War, work took place until World War II. In the 1930's, with the rise in the price of gold, there was another boom which lasted until 1942. Since then Alabama's gold fields have been almost completely idle. From 1830 to 1990 Alabama produced nearly 80,000 ounces of gold. The most important deposits were found in Cleburne, Tallapoosa, Clay and Randolph Counties. Only Cleburne and Tallapoosa Counties produced more than 20,000 ounces of gold. Gold found in Alabama comes from lode and placer sources.

Much of Alabama's gold has been produced at Hog Mountain and the Hillabee mine. Both hardrock areas, they are credited with more than 25,000 ounces. Gold is found in lode form and most is recovered by the cyanide heap leaching. The operation of the mines has been sparse and they have been closed since 1950. Active mining in the lode mines continued until the years of World War II, but little has been done since. Large scale dredge mining for placer gold went on almost continuously. Alabama's gold fields occur in a northeast trending belt about 100 miles long and 60 miles wide, in a region known as the Piedmont Uplift. The Piedmont Uplift covers about 3,500 square miles in Chilton, Clay, Cleburne, Coosa, Elmore, Randolph, Talladega and Tallapoosa Counties.

For further information, write: State Geologist, Geological Survey of Alabama, P.O. Drawer O. University, Alabama 35486.


© Tom Ashworth's Prospectors Cache / Tom Ashworth / Revised