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GOLD MINING    •    GOLD IN NATURE    •    GOLD IN SOCIETY    •    GOLD IN ART

A Bright Future

Workers on a drill rig collect soil and rock samples in the woods.

There’s still plenty of gold in them there hills! Despite the fact that gold has been mined in Nova Scotia since the mid-1800s, there is still ample gold left to be dug.

Most of the mining done in the past only went to very shallow depths. This was noted by E.R. Faribault of the Geological Survey of Canada, 1899 who wrote:

"No operation has ever been carried to any depth, through the crown of the folds in Nova Scotia, but important developments … should be sufficient to convince the most skeptical, that quartz-saddled reefs and legs may be found underneath one another, to even a greater depth than in Bendigo (Australia)."
E.R. Faribault, Geological Survey of Canada, 1899

Since then, geologists have continued to agree with Faribault’s belief that the gold deposits in Nova Scotia are a lot like those in Australia – and actually go down to depths of more than a kilometre. If the similarities persist as we dig deeper, we should find much more gold. As long as the price of gold remains high, it will be worthwhile to pursue Nova Scotia’s gold deposits.

Diagram showing the unrealized gold potential in Nova Scotia compared to Australia.

The Bendigo Mine in Australia has been mined to a depth of 1,200 m (equivalent to 2.26 times the height of the CN Tower, 109 school buses end-to-end, and 28,014 Oreo cookies) and has produced 1,025,000 troy ounces of gold. The first 200 m of this mine produced 203,000 oz t. In comparison, the Caribou Gold District has been mined to a depth of 305 m, Forest Hills to 230 m, Tangier to 191 m, Beaver Dam to 70 m and Goldenville to 182 m. Goldenville produced 209,383 oz t from that depth. If the similarities persist between Australia and Nova Scotia gold deposits, as we dig deeper, we should find much more gold.

Prospectors

There have been prospectors in Nova Scotia at least from the time of the first gold rush of the 1860s.

Black and white photograph of prospector Deacon Gay 'washing' gold.

Deacon Gay goldwashing at Gay’s River.

Department of Natural Resources Historical Mine Photo Collection

Since those frenzied days, prospectors learned to rely on more than rumours of the latest gold finds, becoming well-versed in Nova Scotia’s geology and terrain and its gold mining past.

Prospector Gizelle Erdei examines gold-bearing quartz at a Nova Scotia gold district.

Prospector Gizelle Erdei examines gold-bearing quartz at a Nova Scotia gold district.

Department of Natural Resources Historical Mine Photo Collection

Most of the world’s mineral deposits have been discovered by prospectors, making them essential to the industry.