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Copyright 2006-2012 Charles R. Lassiter
Upper Peninsula Hardrock Deposits and Mines
LEFT - Map shows the primary gold, copper and iron deposits found in Michigan’s bedrock. Over 5 million ounces of metallic copper have been mined from the green regions. Thousands of ounces of gold have also been mined from the bedrock, as well as lesser amounts of silver. RIGHT - Map shows all of the substantial hardrock mines in the area, including gold, copper, silver and iron ore. Using a metal detector in these areas could produce some nice finds, especially of native copper. Glacial action transported masses of copper weighing many pounds from a few to hundreds of miles from their sources. Chuck L.
I will be adding more as time permits. If you have any Michigan gold/copper locations or photos that you would like to add please send me an email
.Forest service officials report that just about every river system in Michigan shows some gold. Prospectors have found gold in the Manistee, Au Sable and other rivers. But rivers are not the only place that gold has been found in Michigan. People dry pan for gold in gravel pits. Many prospectors claim that gold can be found in just about any Michigan gravel pit. In prospecting for gold, the "49ers" of the California gold rush would wash gravel from stream beds in pans and sluices to extract the metal deposited there by erosion. As these "placer" deposits played out, the prospectors followed the rivers upstream, looking for the "mother lode," the gold-bearing bedrock from which the secondary deposits had been eroded.
....Mineral explorers in the Upper Peninsula also panned the many creeks and rivers and occasionally found some "colors," but no bedrock gold deposits were ever located in this way. You see, the geography of the UP differs from that of California. Michigan’s surface has been scoured and reshaped by the repeated advance and retreat of continental glaciers. The sand and gravel (and gold) in a stream bed here could have been eroded from bedrock nearby, or it could just as easily have come from hundreds of miles away, carried by an advancing glacier. Thus, gold in a river placer was no proof that a mother lode lay upstream. Nonetheless, gold placers are known to exist in Michigan, and mining them has often been proposed.
....In the Report of the State Board of Geological Survey of Michigan for the Year 1906, a mining engineer formerly associated with the Peninsular Gold Mining Company, listed the following placer gold finds:
Allegan County: Allegan.
Charlevoix County: Boyne River.
Emmet County: Little Traverse River.
Ionia County: Maple River, Grand River below Lyons.
Kalkaska County: Kalkaska, Rapid River, Walton.
Kent County: Lowell, Ada Creek.
Leelanau County: near Lake.
Marquette County: Ishpeming.
Manistee County: Little Sable River, Manistee River.
Montcalm County: Greenville, Howard City.
Newaygo County: County Line, Muskegon River.
Oakland County: Birmingham.
Oceana County: Elbridge, Hart, White River, Whitehall.
Ontonagon County: Flat River, Victoria Copper mine.
Ottawa County: Grand Haven.
St. Joseph County: Marcellus, Burr Oak.
Wexford County: Manistee River, West Summit.