Root of the large gold mine industry in Colorado

Junior (College 3rd year) ・Business ・Chicago ・8 Sources

The purpose of this research is to be able to find out the root of the large gold mine industry in Colorado. The research will try and figure out how gold was first discovered in Colorado in the early times and who were the people who did all the investigations till they found the place where gold was at. Gold is a very important product in Colorado. The gold has been able to affect the lives of the people of Colorado both positively and negatively. The goal has also been able to help the government and the economy of the people of Colorado as a whole. In this case therefore, it requires more investigations in order to figure out on the history of the gold and knowing the history; anyone may carry out further investigations and discover more sites at the place.

On the reasons why the history of the goldmines is important to this research is that the gold has been able to affect the country as a whole. It is said that the history of Colorado as a state was brought by the gold mining that took place in the place. The gold brought in the different political ways of the place and the different economical breakthroughs that the country is going through. It would therefore be inevitable to talk about the history of Colorado without talking about the gold in the place.

Among the political effects of gold in Colorado is that during the gold rush which took place in the years 1858 and 1859, Colorado was able to become a territory in the year 1861 and the areas that had gold including the Colorado plains were taken power from them. The power was taken from the Cheyenne and Arapaho and moved to the United States. This was also a significant mark on the beginning of the tremendous decline of the Ute Indians who lived in Colorado. This was because the Americans tried all way possible to protect their mining interests and therefore needed to first appropriate the Ute territory by carrying out a large series of treaties to the people and by 1880, the Ute had already ceded their homeland of Rockies and Western Colorado to the people of the United States.

The number of immigrants from the US began increasing in Colorado and they started occupying in the plains and the mountains of Colorado. They had come to help in the extraction of gold. The people of Colorado who lived in the pains included the Sioux, Arapaho and the Kiowa and the Ute and the Arapaho live in the Front Range of the mountains. They started interacting with the Americans and this is why there is a large number of Anglo Americans in Colorado. The gold therefore explains on the different places and the people who inhabit these places in Colorado. It also explains on how the Anglo Americans came to exist in Colorado.

On the environmental effects of gold in Colorado, the miners during this time used extremely dangerous chemicals such as cyanide in order to extract the gold which was embedded in the quartz deposits. In most cases, the cyanide used to leak into the streams where the people and also the animals used to obtain their water from. This posed a very great danger to the lives of the people and the lives of the animals. This came to happen and the effects of the cyanide started becoming noticeable and were first noticed by taxidermist Edwin Carter who was able to see pollution induced abnormalities in wild animals. There were also instances of deforestation in order to be able to reach the gold deposits. Also, there required to be built railways, mining camps, cabins which required space that was obtained from the deforestation. During the mining operations, the methods resulted in removal of large amounts of rock on the subsurface weakening the stable hillsides. In this case, the dislodged sediments were carried away by water or wind and were deposited in the streams and this led to clogging and drying up of very many streams.

During the mining, there was exposure of million tons of buried rock to oxygen. This resulted to the initiation of the process of acid mine drainage that sulphidised the metal that was found inside the rock to form sulphuric acid and later on drains into the local water sources. This continues to affect the colonials up to the current day which gives an instance which occurred during the summer of 2015 where the people who work for the US Environmental protection agency released a large amount of water accidentally which was contaminated with liquefied metals and was drained into the Animas River. This brought adverse effects to the people including instances of gold rush. The extraction of gold in Colorado has therefore negatively affected the environment.

Gold has also had a great impact on the economy of the people of Colorado which is one of the reasons I chose to figure out on the history of the gold in Colorado. The gold sites have been sources of employment to the people of Colorado. Many families have been able to get their revenue from working at the gold sites. The gold is also being exported and sold to other country which allows the government to earn foreign exchange from the exports. On another hand, the government taxes the gold miners which are one of the sources of income to the government.

This research will be conducted systematically using books that describe the gold mining industries and on how they came to exist in Colorado. Also, articles that describe on the revolution of Colorado history through the walks of time will be of great help. This is because gold has been able to be part of the revolution in Colorado. A research on the discovery of the goldmines in Colorado will be discussed.


Abbott, Carl, Stephen J. Leonard, and Thomas J. Noel. Colorado: a history of the centennial state. University Press of Colorado, 2013.

Anderson, Calvin J., and John Rakovan. "Connoisseur's Choice: Wire Silver, Kongsberg, Norway & Wire Gold, Ground Hog Mine, Gilman, Colorado." Rocks & Minerals 92, no. 4 (2017): 344-357.

Carr, Jonathan, Claire Kempa, and Traci Wieland. The History of Las Colonias Park: Historic Crossroads Along the Riverfront Of Grand Junction, Colorado. 2015.

Diringer, Sarah E., Beth J. Feingold, Ernesto J. Ortiz, John A. Gallis, Julio M. Araújo-Flores, Axel Berky, William KY Pan, and Heileen Hsu-Kim. "River transport of mercury from artisanal and small-scale gold mining and risks for dietary mercury exposure in Madre de Dios, Peru." Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts 17, no. 2 (2015): 478-487.

Johnston, Allison, Robert L. Runkel, Alexis Navarre-Sitchler, and Kamini Singha. "Exploration of Diffuse and Discrete Sources of Acid Mine Drainage to a Headwater Mountain Stream in Colorado, USA." Mine Water and the Environment (2017): 1-16.

Martin, Taylor. "The Fight for Industrial Democracy and Domestic Prosperity: Working Class and Prominent Women's Participation in the Colorado Coal Field Strike, 1913-15." (2015).

Wyckoff, William. "Colorado: a historical atlas." (2016): 329-331.

Yager, Douglas B., David L. Fey, Thomas P. Chapin, and Raymond H. Johnson. "New perspectives on a 140-year legacy of mining and abandoned mine cleanup in the San Juan Mountains, Colorado." Field Guides 44 (2016): 377-419.

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