Wyoming’s first gold discovery was in 1842 and the first gold rush started in 1867. Currently no commercial gold mining, read more about the history of gold mining in Wyoming and other facts and figures about gold mining in WY.
- Is there Gold in Wyoming?
- Where is Gold in Wyoming?
- What is the History of Gold Mining in Wyoming?
- How much Gold has been Mined in Wyoming?
- What is the Current State of Gold Mining in Wyoming?
- How many Gold Reserves are in Wyoming?
- What Companies Mine Gold in Wyoming?
- Where are New Gold Mines Explored or Developed in Wyoming?
- Where Can I Pan for Gold in Wyoming?
- Is There Gold in Other US States?
Is there Gold in Wyoming?
Yes, there is gold in Wyoming, but no active commercial gold mining industry anymore:
- Commercial mining since the middle of the 19th century for nearly 100 years, with South Pass-Atlantic City and Douglas Creek districts most productive areas
- Contributed to US gold production till the first half of the 20th century
- 290 historic gold sites in the state, this includes the Ferris-Haggarty Mine, Kirwin and the Archer Placer Claim. (for comparison: California has more than 20.000 gold sites)
- Several gold projects in Wyoming that might develop into gold mines
|Only modest historic gold production compared to other states
|A Geogrian, no name recorded
|Major Active Gold Mines
|No active gold mine in the state
|No gold mining company in the state
|South Pass City and Atlantic City, known for historic gold rushes,
Check out the video about the history of gold mining in Wyoming:
Where is Gold in Wyoming?
Gold in Wyoming is found in several areas, primarily in the mountainous regions where geological conditions have been favorable for gold deposits.
Key locations include:
- South Pass City and Atlantic City: Located in the Wind River Mountains, this area is known for its historical gold rush in the 1860s. The Carissa Mine in South Pass City is particularly famous.
- Douglas Creek: Situated in the Medicine Bow Mountains, this area is known for placer gold, and it’s a popular spot for recreational gold panning.
- Snake River: The Snake River and its tributaries have fine placer gold deposits, derived from the erosion of the Yellowstone area.
- Centennial Ridge: This area in the Medicine Bow Mountains has a history of gold mining, with both lode and placer deposits.
- Laramie Mountains: The Laramie Mountains, particularly around the Copper Mountain area, have been explored for gold.
- The Seminoe Mountains: Known for the Seminoe and Pedro Mountains, this area has both lode and placer gold deposits.
Wyoming’s gold mining history is less prominent than that of other states, but there has been a consistent interest in gold prospecting and mining, particularly in the areas mentioned above. Recreational gold panning is a popular activity in some of these areas, and there are still opportunities for finding gold, especially for those who do their research and respect the land and property rights.
What is the History of Gold Mining in Wyoming?
Gold mining has a rich history in Wyoming, with the state being home to several significant discoveries and mining districts.
The first gold discovery in Wyoming was in 1842 along the Sweetwater River, leading to the development of the Atlantic City-South Pass district, which became one of the most important gold-producing areas in the state.
However, only the South Pass-Atlantic City and Douglas Creek districts yielded more than 10,000 ounces each during this period.
Gold mining in Wyoming took place nearly every year from 1867 to 1938; this at a small scale compared to other states. However, from 1938 to 1959, Wyoming’s gold mining industry experienced a steady decline. This was due to various factors, including the depletion of easily accessible placer deposits and the impact of World War I and the Great Depression. The Carissa Mine in South Pass City produced gold until 1949.
Despite the historical gold discoveries, Wyoming is more commonly associated with cattle ranching, natural gas, and oil due to its low population density and harsh winter climate, which are not conducive to steady mining activity.
Who Discovered Gold in Wyoming?
The person who first discovered gold in Wyoming in 1842 was a Georgian. He was killed by an indigenous before he could sell the gold find There is no record about his name.
When was the Gold Rush in Wyoming?
The state experienced a brief gold rush period from 1867 west of the Lewiston district, what became the Carissa lode
How much Gold has been Mined in Wyoming?
Until 1959, 82,000 ounces of gold has been mined in Wyoming. Another report from 1993 writes that the state has produced 385,000 ounces of gold. However, available production statistics are far from accurate, states the report.
What is the Current State of Gold Mining in Wyoming?
The state of gold mining in Wyoming is largely limited to recreational prospecting and small-scale operations. However, with surging gold prices, several exploration projects have began in the state.
What is the major gold mine in Wyoming?
There are no active gold mines in Wyoming.
How many Gold Reserves are in Wyoming?
In Wyoming there is still gold in rivers and streams, which is panned as a recreational activity. On a grander scale, several gold exploration projects explore the gold potential of different areas of Wyoming.
The most advanced exploration project, the CK Gold Project states in its prefeasibility study 1.58 million gold equivalent ounces of measured and indicated Resources plus 0.357 of inferred resources and 1.44 million ounces of probable and proven reserves.
However, there is no overall estimation about the gold reserves in Wyoming.
Source: U.S. Gold Corp
What Companies Mine Gold in Wyoming?
There are currently no active commercial gold mines in Wyoming. The operating gold mining activities in Wyoming are amateur and hobby prospecting, primarily consisting of individual or small-scale placer operations.
However, there are several mining companies that develoop gold mines in the state; see next section.
Where are New Gold Mines Explored or Developed in Wyoming?
There several companies in Wyoming with gold explorations projects. The most significant one is known as CK Gold Project. There is also the Rattlesnake Hills Gold Project, other gold explorations: Lake Owen Project, Visionary Gold Corp’s Project and the Relevant Gold Corporation’s Project.
CK Gold Project: This project is being led by US Gold Corp and is located in the Silver Crown mining district, approximately 20 miles west of Cheyenne, on the southeastern margin of the Laramie Range.
- Permitting Progress: US Gold Corp has achieved notable milestones in the permitting stage of the CK Gold mining project in Wyoming, indicating a positive trajectory towards operational commencement
- Project Scale and Timeline: The CK Gold Project involves a proposed gold mine in Laramie County with an estimated cost of $220 million. Construction was anticipated to begin in late 2023, pending state approval
- Operational Timeframe: U.S. Gold Corp plans to complete a feasibility study, submit permit applications, and, following authorization in 2023, aims to begin operations by early 2025
- Mine Life: 10-year mine life with 100,000 ounces annual gold equivalent production
The Rattlesnake Hills Gold Project in Wyoming is a significant gold exploration project owned and managed by GFG Resources Inc:
- Location: Situated in central Wyoming, approximately 100 kilometers southwest of Casper, the project is located within a roughly 1,500-kilometer-long belt of alkalic intrusive complexes that stretch along the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains from Montana to New Mexico. This central location in a gold-rich belt underscores its potential for significant gold exploration.
- Land Holdings: The project includes unpatented lode mining claims and state fee land leases totaling 33,500 acres in the Rattlesnake Hills District, Natrona County, Wyoming. Such a large land holding provides a substantial area for exploration and potential development.
Visionary Gold Corp’s Project: This Vancouver-based company is performing exploratory drills to assess the economic potential of its 35 mining claims and 640 leased acres near Jeffrey City in southeast Fremont County.
Relevant Gold Corporation’s Project: Relevant Gold Corporation has over 40,000 acres of mineral rights in two sites in Wyoming. The company is conducting drilling operations at a site called Golden Buffalo, located southeast of the Wind River Mountain Range and approximately 37 miles southeast of Lander, Wyoming in Fremont County.
Lake Owen Project: Managed by Troy Minerals Inc., this project has seen the addition of new claims after initial geological mapping.
Is it Legal to Mine Gold in Wyoming?
Yes, it is legal to mine gold in Wyoming, subject to certain regulations and guidelines.
- On most federal public lands, gold panning is allowed, and the use of hand tools, pans, and sluices is permitted. Some areas have specific rules. Such as having of a copy of the “Letter of Intent” when panning in the Medicine Bow National Forest.
- However, there are specific regulations that must be followed to ensure the safety of miners and the protection of the environment. For example, the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality regulates minerals exploration and requires a License to Explore for certain activities.
- Additionally, the use of motorized equipment or suction dredges may require permits and bonds, and there are restrictions on certain streams due to water quality concerns.
- Depending on the scale and location of your mining operation, you may need to obtain permits from state and federal agencies. This could include the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
For recreational gold panning, the rules are generally more relaxed. This activity is allowed in many public areas, but it’s always best to check the specific regulations for the area where you plan to pan.
Where Can I Pan for Gold in Wyoming?
Check out the video about where to find gold in Wyoming:
In Wyoming, there are several areas where you can pan for gold, especially in the state’s western and central regions. Here are some notable locations:
- South Pass City: This historic mining town is located in the southwestern part of the state. The area around South Pass City and the nearby Atlantic City has been known for gold since the 19th century. It’s a popular spot for recreational gold panning.
- Douglas Creek: Situated in the Medicine Bow Mountains, Douglas Creek is another area known for its gold deposits. It’s a popular place for recreational prospectors.
- The Wind River Range: The streams draining the eastern side of the Wind River Range, especially around the Lander area, have been known to contain gold.
- The Snake River: The Snake River and its tributaries near Jackson Hole have some gold deposits, although the gold here is very fine and can be challenging to recover.
- The Green River: In the Bridger-Teton National Forest, the Green River has some areas where gold panning is allowed.
- The Bighorn Mountains: Some streams in the Bighorn Mountains have been known to yield gold.
- Public Lands: Many of the gold-panning locations in Wyoming are on public lands, like national forests. Always check local regulations and obtain any necessary permits before panning for gold.
When planning to pan for gold in Wyoming, check with the Wyoming State Geological Survey or the Bureau of Land Management for the most up-to-date information and guidelines.
Is There Gold in Other US States?
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.