NC Geology - Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
This page provides answers to frequently asked questions on diverse topics. It includes links to general questions from the state's rock and mineral, mineral production, permits, professional licensing and other information. While some of the questions are answered directly on this page, many links point to other locations on our Internet site, or elsewhere for additional information.
- Where can I find information on Gold in North Carolina?
- How do I get rocks and minerals identified?
- What is the 'state rock'?
- What is the 'state mineral'?
- What is the 'state fossil'?
- Where can I find information on landslide hazards in North Carolina?
- Links to partial listing of North Carolina Gem Mines, Mineral Museums, and Mineral Clubs
- Where can I find out about summer intern positions?
- Whom do I contact to become a licensed geologist in NC?
- What is the highest point (elevation) in North Carolina?
- What minerals have been found in North Carolina?
- Where can I find information about mineral production from North Carolina?
- Whom do I contact about getting a mining permit?
- Whom do I contact about getting an oil or gas drilling permit?
- How can I purchase topographic maps and geological publications?
- Where can I find information about aerial photographs?
- Where can I find information about the geology and minerals of other states?
- How do I obtain a list of active and inactive permitted mines?
- Where can I obtain 'background' geochemical information?
- Where can I obtain county or state highway maps?
- Where can I get information about earth science educational materials?
- Geology license information
Where can I find out about summer intern positions?
The North Carolina State Government Internship Programs provides a unique combination of learning, working, theory and practice. The programs enable college students to assert initiative and creativity through hands-on involvement and problem solving.
Please refer to these sites for more information on timing, availability and more:
- NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources's (NC DENR) REACH Program
- NC Department of Administration's (NC DOA) Youth Advocacy and Involvement Office Internships (YAIO)
How do I get rocks and minerals identified by North Carolina Geological Survey?
The North Carolina Geological Survey staff will provide rock and mineral identification for samples sent to its offices without charge. Samples should be securely packaged with a brief cover note, including the location from which the rock or mineral sample was collected, requesting this service. The NCGS does not provide assays or chemical analyses. You should provide your complete name, address, e-mail address, and telephone number to facilitate a response. Please contact Dr. Kenneth B. Taylor for more information.
- E-mail:Dr. Kenneth B. Taylor
- 1612 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27669-1612
The General Assembly of 1979 designated granite as the official State rock. North Carolina is blessed with an abundance of granite. When granite is crushed, it is used as an aggregate for road and building construction. If granite has the right physical properties, it can be cut into blocks and used for monuments, curb stone and stone for building facings. One of the largest open face granite quarries in the world is located in Mount Airy, North Carolina.
The General Assembly of 1973 designated the emerald as the official State precious stone. Emerald is found in North Carolina near Hiddenite in Alexander County and southwest of Spruce Pine in Mitchell County.
The General Assembly of 2013 designated the fossilized teeth of the megalodon shark to be the state fossil of North Carolina. Megalodon (which means "big tooth") was an enormous species of shark that dominated Earth’s oceans for twenty million years before going extinct 3.6 million years ago, likely due to the disruption of the food web that supported it.
Whom do I contact about getting a mining permit?
In order to comply with the Mining Act of 1971, interested parties should contact the NC Division of Energy, Mineral, and Land Resources, Mining Program The address is: Division of Energy, Mineral, and Land Resources, 1612 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1612. The telephone number is 919.707.9228.
The Mining Act covers all persons or firms involved in any activity or process that:
- results in the breaking of the surface soil in order to remove minerals or removal of minerals, soils and other solid matter from its original location; or,
- involves preparation, washing, cleaning or other treatment of minerals or other solid matter to make them suitable for commercial, industrial or construction use. Such operations can range from large stone quarries to borrow pits.
There are specific exemptions from the Act. Further information is available from the Division of Land Resources NC Division of Energy, Mineral, and Land Resources, Mining Program.
Where can I find information about aerial photographs?
The North Carolina Geological Survey has an extensive collection of aerial photographs in the NCGS' Archdale office at 512 N. Salisbury Street, Raleigh, NC 27604-1148. The collection is black and white aerial stereo pair photographs taken in the 1950's and early 1960's of many of North Carolina's counties. These are 9-inch prints, with a nominal scale of 1:20,000.
Selected Gem Mines, Mineral Museums, and Mineral Clubs in North Carolina
GEM and GOLD MINES IN NORTH CAROLINA
The following partial listings of North Carolina Gem and Gold mines, Mineral Museums, and Mineral Clubs does not constitute an endorsement by the North Carolina Geological Survey of any of these facilities. This list is intended as a guide only, and is included as a potential starting point for individuals interested in North Carolina minerals. This compilation does not, nor is it intended to, list all gem and gold mines, mineral museums, and mineral clubs in North Carolina. This listing is not maintained on a regular basis and therefore may contain errors. Please contact the appropriate facility or group for up-to-date information.
Interested individuals are encouraged to perform their own Internet searches for North Carolina gem and gold mines, mineral museums, and mineral clubs, as these more current searches may reveal additional information.
Partial Listing of North Carolina Gem and Gold Mines
|Emerald Hollow Mine, Hiddenite, NC||Gems||Alexander|
|Reed Gold Mine, Midland, NC||Gold||Cabarrus|
|Old Pressley Sapphire Mine, Canton, NC||Gems||Haywood|
|Cherokee Ruby Mine, Franklin||Gems||Macon|
|Cowee Mountain Ruby Mine, Franklin, NC||Gems||Macon|
|Gold City Mine, Franklin||Gold and Gems||Macon|
|Jackson Hole Mine, Franklin||Gems||Macon and Jackson|
|Moonstone Gem Mine, Franklin||Gems||Macon|
|Rose Creek Mine, Franklin||Gems||Macon|
|The Old Cardinal Mine, Franklin||Gems||Macon|
|Blue Ridge Gemstone Mine, Little Switzerland||Gems||Mitchell|
|Emerald Village, Little Switzerland||Gems||Mitchell|
|Gem Mountain, Spruce Pine||Gems||Mitchell|
|Rio Doce Mine, Spruce Pine||Gems||Mitchell|
|Spruce Pine Gem and Gold Mine, Spruce Pine||Gems||Mitchell|
|Cotton Patch Gold Mine, New London||Gold||Stanly|
|Greater Foscoe Gem Mining Company, Foscoe||Gems||Watauga|
|Magic Mountain Mini Golf and Gem Mine, Boone||Gems||Watauga|
- Colburn Gem and Mineral Museum, Asheville
- Franklin Gem and Mineral Museum, Franklin
- Mineral Lapidary Museum of Henderson County, Hendersonville
- Museum of North Carolina Minerals, Spruce Pine
Partial Listing of North Carolina Mineral Clubs