Gold Mining in Alabama (2024)? All You Need to Know

Gold mining in Alabama - facts
In Alabama gold was discovered in the 1830s; gold production in the state until the middle of the 1940s. There is currently no commercial gold mining in the state; read about these and other facts and figures about gold mining in AL.

Is there Gold in Alabama?

Yes, there is gold in Alabama, but no active commercial gold mining industry anymore:

  • Gold discovery in 1830; year of maximum production was in 1936 with 4,726 ounces (147 kg). Gold production last recorded in 1946.
  • 1946 was the last year, for which gold production numbers were published by the Bureau of Mines. In the 1940s the following output in ounce was recorded: 5 (1940), 30 (1941), 1 (1942), 5 (1945), 1 (1946); and zero for the other years of that decade.
  • From 1829 till the 1940s total gold output was 49,495 ounces (1.5 tonnes) which made it in the middle of the 1960s the 17th biggest gold producer in the United States, and the fifth biggest in the Southeastern United States (after North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina and Virginia). This in terms of total gold production.
  • Gold mines were in east central Alabama, along the gold bearing belt which extends to neighboring states (Georgia, South and North Carolina). Gold mines were located mostly in the Cleburne County (Arbacoochee district) and Tallapoosa county (Hog Mountain district).
  • Nearly 300 historic gold sites in Alabama are listed by the US geological Survey, this includes the Anna Howe mine, the Blue Hill mine and Gregory Hill mine. Most of the sites are already closed.
Tallapoosa gold mine in the Goldville mining district in Alabama (1907 or earlier).
Tallapoosa gold mine in the Goldville mining district in Alabama (1907 or earlier).

Key Takeaways:

Fact Explanation
Remember Production of only 1.5 tonnes, gold mining until the 1940s
Gold Deposits Yes
Discovery Year 1830s
Discoverer Not recorded
Mining Industry Not active
Last Gold Mine The last gold mines where closed in the 1940s
Panning Locations Coosa river, Blue and Crooked creek, Alabama gold camp

Check out the video Alabama’s recent gold rush:


Where is Gold in Alabama?

Gold in Alabama was mined mostly in the east center of the state, along the Belt. See the map below of gold bearing in Alabama and neighboring states.

Map of gold bearing regions of Alabama (Geological Survey of Alabama, 1892).
Map of gold bearing regions of Alabama (Geological Survey of Alabama, 1892).

Figure 2: Map of gold bearing regions of Alabama (Geological Survey of Alabama, 1892).

Significant gold production only in two counties:

  • Cleburne County (Arbacoochee district)
  • Tallapoosa County (Hog Mountain district)

Source: USGS

What is the History of Gold Mining in Alabama?

Gold mining in Alabama has a rich history that dates back to the 1830s, when the first gold was discovered in this state.

See also the following chart that shows the annual gold output for Alabama and other states (Georgia, Virginia and the Carolinas).

Annual gold production in Alabama and other states of the southeast (Gold producing districts of the United States, Geological Survey Professional Paper 610).
Annual gold production in Alabama and other states of the southeast (Gold producing districts of the United States, Geological Survey Professional Paper 610).

Who discovered gold in Alabama?

Gold in this state was found in the 1830s. The name of the discoverer is not recorded.

When was the gold rush in Alabama?

The Alabama Gold Rush began in earnest in the early 1830s, with the peak period of mining activities occurring in the mid-nineteenth century. Notably, the rush saw a significant boom around 1836, with towns like Arbacoochee growing rapidly due to the influx of miners and associated businesses

When gold was discovered in California in 1848, it attracted many gold prospectors from Alabama, leading to reduced gold mining activities in this state.

What was the nature of gold mining in Alabama?

Gold mining in Alabama was concentrated in the east central part of the state, primarily within the Goldville, Hog Mountain, and Chulafinnee Districts. Initially, miners used simple techniques like panning and sluicing. Over time, more advanced methods such as hydraulic mining and stamp mills were introduced to extract gold from the ore.

  • Gold mining continued till the 1860s. During which time it came to a halt because of the civil war.
  • After the war, it continued. Even at an increased rate when it came to a “copper rush” in the state in 1874
  • The introduction of cyanide in 1904 gave mining another boost
  • In 1934 the gold price was increased by the government. This spurred further mining activity.

Only the Arbacoochee district and the Hog Mountain districts have produced more than 10,000 ounce of gold (311 kg).

What were famous gold mines in Alabama?

Notable gold mines in Alabama included the Hog Mountain mine in Tallapoosa County, which was discovered in the late 1830s and produced over $1 million in gold. Arbacoochee was another significant mining community, becoming the largest in Alabama during the gold rush.

When did gold mining end in Alabama?

The last recorded gold output was in 1946. This was 1 ounce of gold.

Source: USGS

How much Gold has been Mined Alabama?

  • The official gold statistic for the state, published by the US Geological Survey, shows that Alabama produced 49,496 ounces (1.5 tonnes) of this precious material in its entire gold mining history.
  • The year with the highest gold production was in 1936. Here, 4,726 ounces were mined. This is 147 kg.

Source: USGS

What is the Current State of Gold Mining in Alabama?

  • Gold production was recorded by the Bureau of Mines until 1946.
  • Total production in the last decade stood at only 42 ounces (1.3kg).

In the 1940s production was as follows:

Year Troy Ounce Kg
1940 5 0.31
1941 30 0.93
1942 1 0.03
1945 5 0.16
1946 1 0.03

How many Gold Reserves are in Alabama?

There is no estimate about the gold reserves in Alabama.

What Companies Mine Gold in Alabama?

There are currently no active commercial gold mines in Alabama. Current gold mining activities in Alabama are amateur and hobby prospecting, primarily consisting of individual or small-scale placer operations.

Where are New Gold Mines Explored or Developed in Alabama?

There are no gold projects in Alabama.

Is it Legal to Mine Gold in Alabama?

In Alabama, gold mining is legal, and recreational gold panning is open to everyone as long as they abide by the Laws of Gold Panning in Alabama

  • Major and heavy mining equipment are not allowed for panning without a permit from Forest Rangers, but individuals can use lightweight tools like a pan and their hands for recreational prospecting
  • The state’s public lands, including state parks, offer opportunities for gold panning without the need for a permit, making it accessible to both residents and tourists
  • Additionally, there are still gold deposits in creeks and streams in Alabama, providing opportunities for prospectors to find gold in placer deposits and near old mines and prospects

Source: digital alabama

Where Can I Pan for Gold in Alabama?

Check out a video about gold panning in Alabama:


There are several notable locations for gold prospecting in Alabama, such as:

  • Chilton County along the Coosa River
  • Cleburne County around Chulafinnee Creek and the Potato Patch
  • Randolph County along the Little Tallapoosa River

Source: vacations alabama

Is There Gold in Other US States?

Check out gold production in neighboring states of Alabama: Tennessee, Georgia, Florida and Mississippi.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGC), there are 11 states that mine gold and contribute towards the gold mining statistic: Nevada is responsible for the majority of gold output, around 72%, followed by Alaska (13%). 9 other contribute in sum to the remaining 15% of gold production: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, New Mexico, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah.