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Carolina slate belt gold deposits in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia

January 1, 1998

The Southeastern United States, in particular, the Carolina slate belt of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, has been an important region of mineral production (fig. 1). This region is thought to have major potential for containing large undiscovered deposits of gold and silver, as well as copper, lead, zinc, molybdenum, and tin. Gold production from the major mines (Haile, Brewer, Ridgeway, and Barite Hill) in South Carolina ranked sixth in the Nation in 1992. Despite the closing of all but one mine in 1997, the region continues to attract intense scrutiny by the mining industry.

Current U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) efforts in the slate belt are led by a multidisciplinary team focused on an integrated, multistate, and multiyear project that has the potential to result in a fundamental reinterpretation of the economic geology of the region. The slate belt is considered a scientific frontier because of the rapid pace of data acquisition by the USGS, academia, and private sector geologists and because emerging concepts of its geologic evolution are controversial. Establishing the origin of the gold deposits is important, not only in guiding exploration, but for more accurate assessment of the potential for the occurrence of new deposits throughout the southern Appalachians. These efforts may result in further industry exploration that may lead to discovery of new economically viable mineral deposits, which would have a broad economic impact on the region. Another goal is to find ways to prevent human activities related to gold extraction from remobilizing toxic metals found in these deposits, which could have potential harmful effects on the environment.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1998
Title Carolina slate belt gold deposits in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia
DOI 10.3133/70220356
Authors Robert A. Ayuso
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Unnumbered Series
Series Title Information Handout
Index ID 70220356
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse