Themes

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

Vein Gold

Black and white image of quartz veins running underground at the Caribou Gold District.

About 500 million years ago, gold settled out of sea water into the sand on the ocean floor off the coast of ancient Africa. In time, the gold-rich sand turned to rock. Nova Scotia later collided with Africa, causing layers of rocks to fold, creating a lot of heat.

Diagram showing red lines where quartz veins form between and within folded layers of rock.

This diagram shows layers of rock forming anticlines (arches) and synclines (troughs). Quartz veins, indicated by the red lines, formed between and within the layers of rock.

This heat caused hot, quartz-rich fluids to ooze through the folding rocks, dissolving and concentrating gold. As the hot quartz-rich fluids cooled, gold was precipitated out into quartz veins. 

Image of a gold vein in a quartz specimen from Moose River, NS.

Gold in quartz vein. Moose River, 3.13 troy ounces of gold.

NSM: 982GE0001.006

The majority of gold in Nova Scotia occurs as quartz vein deposits. The ore in these deposits is mined and the gold extracted using technology like stamp mills.