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Home > Mineral Resources > Metallic Minerals
Metallic Minerals 
A metallic mineral has a distinctive, shiny, metallic luster.  Metallic minerals such as gold and silver are also economic minerals. These are valued as beautifully collectible pieces and also for their potential industrial use.

The early history of the State of Colorado runs parallel to the history of metal mining and is directly tied to the first significant and documented discovery of gold in the summer of 1858.  A party of prospectors discovered placer gold in stream gravels at what is now downtown Denver, near the confluence of the Cherry Creek and South Platte Rivers (Auraria).  This discovery led to the first Colorado gold rush.  "Pike's Peak or Bust" was emblazoned on many of the ox-drawn wagons carrying optimistic prospectors. 

At various times throughout its history, Colorado has been the leading U.S. producer of gold, silver, molybdenum, lead, zinc, uranium, and tungsten.  Other metals that have been mined in Colorado include copper, time, vanadium, iron, beryllium, lithium, rare earth elements, thorium, tantalum, and manganese.

Total Metallic Mineral Production through 1953

Gold       1858-1953

Silver      1858-1953

Copper    1868-1953

Lead       1869-1953

Zinc        1895-1953


39,937,129 fine ounces

750,098,322 fine ounces

640,702,430  pounds

5,303,666,583  pounds

3,326,405,985  pounds
Last Updated: 9/6/2012 12:08 PM 
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