Turning Back the Pages: Mining was an important part of Golden’s history

By Colleen Palumbo

There has been a real interest this summer by groups of locals who have been visiting old mines in the area.

Some of those interested are right from my own family. Some of the local mines didn’t operate long and certainly none of them have operated on an ongoing basis over the years.

Many of the mines played out pretty quickly but there were some that opened and closed a number of times over the last 130 years. This information is taken directly from the Mining Report to the minister of mines for 1899. The following year, in 1900, they reported tunnelling around 800 to 900 feet.

Keep in mind when you read this that there was a time when 15 Mile Creek was called 12 Mile Creek. We have a prospectors map at the museum that shows the mines in the area and their locations in 1897, drop by to view.

Golden Mining Division Report from 1899 – Golden Mining Division

The Certainty, Porphyry, and Iron Hill Groups are owned by the Certainty Golden and Mining Company of Quebec. The following information was kindly provided by the manager of the company:

“The property consists of five claims. Development work was started in July last, the number of men employed varying from seven to 10. With the assistance of the government, a trail was built for a distance of two and a half miles, and the work was continued by the company, which built another two and a half miles.

The property is located on 15 Mile Creek and is distant from Golden about 15 miles, access to where the trail branches off being provided by the navigable waters of the Columbia River, or by wagon road from Golden.

The formation consists of quartzite and slate, traversed by porphyry dykes, and it is in the fissures in the quartzite, at the contact with the porphyry, that the ore deposits occur.

The altitude of the property is about 8,000 feet above sea level.

Work continued steadily all summer, and as winter came on, supplies were put in to enable development to be prosecuted during the winter months, full provisions being made to carry the camp on until July next.

Comfortable quarters for the company’s workmen have been erected, consisting of a cook house and dining room, a bunk house to accommodate 12 men, a root house, and store-room.

The development consists of three tunnels. First, the low level tunnel which has been driven 240 feet and has developed a ledge in the contact between the porphyry and the quartzite, showing a body of ore assaying fairly well in copper and gold. It is in this tunnel that work is to be continued during the winter.

Sixty feet in vertical height above this tunnel, a second tunnel has been run on the same ledge a distance of 75 feet, and shows an average of two feet of ore running from $4 to $9 per ton in gold and from 1.5 to 17.5 per cent of copper ore per ton.

At a point 280 feet higher up the mountain, the third tunnel has been run for a distance of 147 feet, exposing three ledges all carrying ore. One of these ledges is 19 feet in thickness, another about four feet, and the third about six feet, with out-crop on the face of the mountain from 12 to 14 feet across. At the point of intersection by the tunnel, this latter ledge was found to carry a pay streak of two feet of shipping ore.

Work will continue during the winter by the aid of a system of hot air ventilation, and if the results of the winter’s development work is satisfactory, it is the intention of the owners to put in an electric plant, operated by a water-power with over 300 feet head, the right to 350 inches of water having been secured for such a purpose. By means of this it is intended to operate air compressors and power drill and so push development work much more extensively.”

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