Arizona Geological Survey: Gold Prospecting

Over the past century, Arizona geologists documented gold lode and placer mining deposits throughout the State.

That information first appeared in print as early as 1910 with updates and revisions continuing through the late 1980s.  Once easy to get, those bulletins are now out-of-print, but the information is just as valid today as when it was first published.

In the table below, we’ve compiled several significant gold publications. These manuscripts represent decades of work by teams of geologists. Gold Placers and Placering in Arizona was  revised in 1961 by E.D. Wilson — who had more than 40 years geologic experience in Arizona – and reprinted in 1988.

While the publications listed below focus on gold prospecting, our online AZGS Document Repository hosts numerous documents on a broad array of mineral resources, including: copper, silver, manganese, molybdenum, industrial minerals, and radioactive minerals, as well as texts on mineral identification in the field, developing small mines, and the geology and ore deposits of historic mining districts, e.g.,  Tombstone.

The AZGS Mining Data website launched in 2014 hosts more than 20,000 unpublished mine files, more than 6,800 geologic and mine maps, and ~ 6,000 images. Those mine files and geologic maps are freely available to all.

Links to Related Resources

Gold Deposits in Arizona


USGS Mineral Commodities – Gold

USGS Mineral Resources On-Line Spatial Data

AZGS Mining Data


NOTE: Please respect public and private lands and confine your prospecting to those lands so designated. Treat the land gently – you are neither the first nor will you be the last person to enjoy the Arizona outdoors. Walk carefully; let others know where you are going and when you shall return.

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