The scriptures make it clear that the Jaredites were heavily involved in the exploitation of precious metals, such as copper, gold, silver and lead, all of which can be found in abundance around the Great Lakes. Iron ore was also found throughout the area, including New York, the proposed lands of the Book of Mormon (See The Lost Lands of the Book of Mormon, CFI). In fact, even in more modern times iron ore has been one of New York and Michigan’s most lucrative export items.
And they did work in all manner of ore, and they did make gold, and silver, and iron, and brass, and all manner of metals; and they did dig it out of the earth; wherefore they did cast up mighty heaps of earth to get ore, of gold, and of silver, and of iron, and of copper. And they did work all manner of fine work (Ether 10:23).
Metal relics were found all across New York during the early years of European colonization, some no doubt of Jaredite origins, others of Nephite. Those made of iron disintegrated upon being excavated, leaving nothing but traces of rust behind. But some found in the mounds, which date to the Nephite era, survived a little better, with one mound investigated by a Mr. Atwater containing not only instruments made of stone, but “very well manufactured swords and knives of iron, and possibly steel.” Even an understanding of how to make brass was known by the ancients. In Josiah Priest’s American Antiquities we learn that a Mr. Halsted plowed up seven or eight hundred pounds of brass of both husbandry and war on his farm on Salmon Creek in Scipio, Cayuga County, New York.
Gold, Copper & Silver
Gold was also sought out by the ancients. While gold can be found around Lake Superior, and all across the state of Michigan, the Hemlo Gold mine of western Ontario just to the north of New York is one of the most important gold producers in North America today. As a mineral source today it contains 22 million ounces of gold. Other lucrative gold mines can be found in neighboring Quebec. Silver can also be found in Ontario, and also in Michigan. Michigan’s native silver was a byproduct of most copper mines which were often rich in silver. The mine in Silver Islet, three-quarters of a mile offshore in Lake Superior, was the world’s richest silver mine between 1879-1884. Tales of lost silver bonanzas still circulate in the area. It is no wonder traders from far and wide braved the great Atlantic to take advantage of such a rich source of precious metals for their on-going building projects.
The following Video explains it all.