Atlin is the richest gold mining region in British Columbia. Located just a short distance from the Yukon border, million in gold has been mined in the region.
The early miners to the area primarily worked the rich placer deposits in the many creeks around Lake Atlin and Lake Surprise. After the placers were exhausted, hard rock mining increased in the region.
Historic Mines in Altin
Pine Creek was perhaps the richest gold producing creek in Atlin during the Atlin gold rush. The Creek flows from Lake Surprise for 12 miles before draining into Lake Atlin. Gold was discovered on the creek in 1898 by Kenneth McLaren and Fritz Miller. The creek has produced quite a significant amount of gold over the years with the largest nugget found weighing over 48 ounces.
The McKee Creek is an important gold area in the Atlin region. The creek which is about 7 miles long drains into the east side of the Atlin Lake. Gold was first discovered in the creek in 1898 and since then both hydraulic and dredge mining has been done along the creek. During the early days the creek attracted large scale mining companies such as the Atlin Mining Company which mined the creek through the 1930s.
Boulder Creek is another important gold source in the Atlin region. It is located west of Ruby Creek, yet another rich gold creek in the region and drains into the Lake Surprise. Gold was discovered for the first time in the creek in 1898 and it is the third largest producer of placer gold among all creeks in Atlin.
Quite a number of gold mining companies have worked on the creek using both hydraulic and dredging methods. Today parts of the creek are open for public prospecting with many visitors recording gold nuggets and flakes discovered.
Spruce Creek feeds into the gold rich Pine Creek and the presence gold on this creek helps explain the source of gold in the Pine Creek. The creek is located on the southern end of a paleo channel. The gold in the creek was discovered by Fred Marius in 1898 and since then about 300,000 ounces of gold with a street value of about $7,000,000 have been mined in the creek. The creek has recorded about 262,603 ounces of placer gold which makes it the largest producer of placer gold Atlin.
Gold was discovered on the Birch Creek in 1898 with the most active years of the creek being between 1902 and 1914. In the 1930s the Dominion Trust Company conducted hydraulic mining along the creek, producing considerable amount of placer gold.
Also Read: Gold Mining in the Yukon Territory
Active Mines in Altin
There are also quite a number of active gold mines in the Atlin, British Columbia that are still in operation today. These include the Engineer mine which is located on the shores Lake Tagish (Taku Arm) in the Atlin Mining district at about 32km to the west of Atlin. The Mine and the surrounding claims are managed by BCGold Corp since 2007. The company is conducting exploration focused on resource development. The mine was first established in 1899 when Swedish prospectors first discovered gold on the shores of Lake Tagish. The mine has since then changed hands several times to date.
As it turned out gold wasn’t the only thing mined in the Atlin area. Silver has been mined around Mt. Vougn and at the Ruffer Silver Mine since the early 1900s. Copper and other minerals are also found in a number of places within the Atlin area.
There are many other active mining operations in Atlin today. The increased gold prices of the past decade have considerably increased interest from major mining companies and Atlin has proven to still contain considerable reserves. Further exploration throughout this remote part of British Columbia will undoubtedly result in many more gold discoveries in the future.