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Gold Districts of California


Although gold is found in many areas in California, the most productive districts are in the northern and central portions of the Sierra Nevada. The primary deposits usually consist of gold-quartz veins in metamorphic rocks and are associated with the intrusion of the Sierra Nevada batholith. 

In the Klamath Mountains, the second most-productive province, the largest sources of gold have been the streams of the Klamath-Trinity River system. The older terrace deposits along the sides of the present stream channels also have yielded much gold and were mined by hydraulicking. 

The Basin Ranges and Mojave Desert provinces of eastern and southern California have yielded substantial amounts of gold. The gold occurs either in epithermal deposits in brecciated silicified zones of Tertiary volcanic rocks or in mesothermal quartz veins of older metamorphic and granitic rocks. Gold also has been recovered from dry placers in several districts. 

Moderate amounts of gold have been mined in the Transverse and Peninsular Ranges in southern California. The mineral also has been recovered from the Modoc Plateau province in northeastern California. Small amounts of gold have been produced in a number of places in the Coast Ranges. 

Edited from: Gold Districts of California, by: W.B. Clark, California Department of Conservation, Division of Mines and Geology, Bulletin 193, 1970.

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