Why Are The Rockies Richer Than The Apallachins (Mineral Wealth)?

I read a lot about the “Old Weast”-and I am struck by how much wealth the mountains of the West (Rockies, Sierra Nevada) contained-the old time prospectors were always finding deposits of gold, silver, copper, coal, etc., in these regions.
Meanwhile, the eastern mountains (Appalachians) are pretty poor as far as this goes-these montains do contain some deposits, but they seem to be small and widely scattered. Mining them has been attempted, bt nobody seems to have gotten rich off of them.
Why is this? The Apallachians are mch older montains, and have been greatly eroded-wouldn’t this make mineral deposits easier to find?
Why the big disparity?

I don’t know about the mineral wealth of the Rockies, but there are plenty of coal mines in the Appalachians.

Such a theory only results from your ignorance of mining and of mining history. Gold and silver rushes were always the big thing, and gold and silver rushes occurred in the Appalachians as well as in the Rockies, and in California, and in the Yukon, and diamond rushes in Arkansas, etc. The Appalachians certainly made people rich, and are still making people rich.

The two mountain ranges are also very different geologically. The Rockies are relatively new, arising 55-80 million years ago; the Appalachians, OTOH, are the oldest mountains on earth, and much reduced from their original state - at their peak 460 million years ago, they were higher than the Himalayas.

“At over 1 billion years of age, the Blue Ridge mountains are among the oldest mountains in the United States and sometimes mistaken to be the oldest mountains in the world (in fact they are only about one third of the age of South Africa’s 3.6 billion year old Barberton greenstone belt.”

I stand corrected.

Still, for a mountain range that long, that’s still pretty damn old, especially compared to such upstart ranges like the Rockies, Himalayas or Alps.

The La Cloche mountains of Killarney, Ontario, are about 3.5 billion years old.