Arizona has a history of mining extending back to the 18th century. The Spanish, who along with Mexico controlled much of what is today the southwestern United States, concentrated more on silver mining but traded with the regional indigenous peoples who brought them gold – something which the church was interested in.
Most gold mining occurred in the 20th century and was mostly placer gold with some lode deposits as well, and the recovered gold is more likely to be a byproduct from copper mining operations. Arizona is often called the Copper State because two-thirds of copper produced in the US comes from this area.
Unlike its neighboring state of Nevada, Arizona was never a significant destination for gold exploration. However, since the late 1700’s Arizona has mined approximately 17 million ounces of gold. What makes Arizona compelling is that gold has historically been found throughout the state, even if much of it has been a by-product of copper mining.
Until Northern Vertex Mining Corp. (TSXV: NEE) opened its Moss Mine in 2019, Arizona’s last operating mine was the Gold Road mine near Oatman which shut down in 1998.
With the recent rise in the price of gold approaching $2000 per ounce, a number of junior exploration companies are revisiting Arizona with an interest in reworking old abandoned mines and areas of previous gold operations.
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