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GOLD MINE ADVENTURE TOURS

Visit Commercial Placer Gold Mines located on Historic Cariboo Mine Claims

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WORKING PLACER MINE TOUR

$45/person plus gst. (children under 12 ½ price!, when accompanied by an adult). Depart Monday and Friday Mornings from The Frog On The Bog Gifts and Gold, on the Main Highway in Wells. Meeting time is 9 am, and tours last approximately 3 hours.

Gold nuggets and flakes fresh from wash-up!
Gold flakes, flour and large nuggets are still found on Historic Claims in the Cariboo Goldfields.Just a short distance from Barkerville and Wells lie some of the richest gold gravels in BC! Climb into our comfortable 15-passenger van and we will we transport you to a working gold mine on an historic gold rush mine claim.

Handle the gold nuggets recovered from ancient mine gravels. Watch miners moving the gravels with modern mechanical equipment and sort them with specially-designed industrial machinery. See the sluice "riffles", washed with clear mountain water, and specially designed to trap gold nuggets. When miners find sections of unworked gravels, as much as 100 ounces per day have been recovered! Come on a Whitegold Adventure and "Make History" with us! $45/person plus gst. (child and group rates available)

Early Miners prepare to descend below-ground for Gold

More Information:

The first lucky miners who came to the Cariboo, picked nuggets right out of the creeks, but it soon became apparent that the richest finds were hidden deep in the alluvial gravels. Underground mining came into fashion and miners dug up to 30 metres (100 feet) into the gravel, building shafts and tunnels out of logs and lumber. They created leaky, damp wooden rooms deep underground and were in constant danger from flooding and collapse.

Today, with modern equipment, miners open up these old mine sites, often uncovering buried tunnels, and old mining artifacts such as picks, shovels, and even clothing and candles. The goal of today's miners is to find places in the old pay-gravels which were not discovered by the underground and hydraulic methods of the turn of the century.

When we find sections of unworked, or virgin gravels, the sluice boxes can turn yellow with gold. Some days as much as 100 ounces of gold have been recovered!

Perfectly preserved Mine Tunnel Timbers, exposed after 150 years
However, Cariboo Placer Mining is more than an industrial process, it is a step back into a hidden time and place. Our partners are as committed to protecting and recording as much of this buried history, as they are they are in recovery the gold that motivated the seekers. Our mines follow the highest possible environmental standards. In addition to sharing these environmental, and historic wonders with guests, Whitegold and our partners are actively involved in documenting these discoveries, in film and print, and do extensive research on the historical significance of these claims.

Depending on current mining activity during your visit, we choose the mine site with the most action! Devlin's Bench, one of the richest claims of the 1860's, is being extensively reworked right on the edge of Barkerville Historic Park. On nearby Grouse Creek, we might visit the "Heron Claim" - perhaps the richest ground in British Columbia. In 1867 the rich Heron lead was the subject of the Cariboo's historic Grouse Creek War. It was once owned by Barkerville's John Bowron, Beech LaSalle and Joe Wendle. Today, miners are reaching to portions that have never been fully mined because of historic flooding problems and disputes.

Heavy equipment uncovers an old mine tunnel
Whitegold Adventures and our partners are committed to ensuring that our businesses support socially and environmentally responsible mining practices. Sign up for a Whitegold Adventure Tour, of a working gold mine and become a part of History!

Gold Mine Tours $45/person plus gst. (children under 12 ½ price!, when accompanied by an adult). Depart Monday and Friday Mornings from The Frog On The Bog Gifts and Gold, on the Main Highway in Wells. Meeting time is 9 am, and tours last approximately 3 hours.


GOLD BRICK POURING

$8/person (Children under 12 free, when accompanied by an adult) Sundays at 4 pm from June 29 to September 7. Custom or private demonstration available, contact us for details.

The first gold bar was poured in Wells, by Cariboo Gold Quartz, in 1933. It weighed 30 lbs and, at today's prices, it would be worth over $400,000! The owner, Fred Wells, packed it out to Stanley by snowshoe, on his own back! Over it's life span, CGQ alone produced the equivalent of almost 3,000 bars like this!

At the Frog On The Bog and Whitegold Adventures, we don't operate on the same grand scale as the Cariboo Gold Quartz. We buy local placer gold from Cariboo miners in its raw form as dust, flake or gold nuggets. The smaller pieces, we smelt in a furnace that operates at over 2000 Degrees Fahrenheit. When it is melted, we pour the gold into one to eight ounce brick moulds, depending on the stock on hand.

Visit us every Sunday afternoon at 4 pm for a gold processing demonstration, handle real gold nuggets, hear interesting history, and to take part in the pouring of a Cariboo Gold Bar. Ask us to embed a raw nugget in the bar! Take home a unique reminder of your trip to heart of British Columbia's Gold Rush! Make History with Whitegold Adventures.

Gold Brick Pouring - $8/person (Children under 12 free, when accompanied by an adult) Sundays at 4 pm from June 29 to September 7. Custom or private demonstration available, contact us for details.

Photo:
Almost 100 pounds (39 kg) of Gold!
Margaret Tregillus with Gold Brick at the Gold Commissioner's Office, May 26, 1933
with permission from Barkerville Archives 986.1302.22


GOLD MINING YESTERDAY AND TODAY

In 1862 Thomas Elwyn, Gold Commissioner at Richfield wrote to Governor Douglas:
The yield of gold on this creek [Williams] is something almost incredible......Steel & Co have been engaged for the last ten days in making a flume but during the previous three weeks their claims yielded two hundred ounces [~100 kgs] a day. These figures are so startling that I would be afraid to put them on paper, in a report for His Excellency's information were I not on the spot and know them to be the exact truth.
Akrigg and Akrigg, 1977, p. 240

Today, the Cariboo Gold Fields remain the largest and most productive gold bearing area in BC. It has been estimated that in just the first 20 years of the gold rush, (until 1880), 1.75 million ounces of gold nuggets left the Cariboo. Later, during its operating years from 1933 to 1967, the Cariboo Gold Quartz mine alone produced another 1.2 million ounces of gold. Exploration and recovery continue every summer from the hands of itinerant visitors to major gold mining companies.

A visit to Barkerville Park gives visitors a taste of a preserved moment in this rich and important time and region. However, the hills and creeks of the Cariboo Goldfields teem with many more, nearly-forgotten pieces to this amazing adventure. Join us for a description of the history of mining in Wells, Barkerville, and the Cariboos. Find out about the Grouse Creek War. Why a criminal was named a hero for his exploits? How much gold is there out there? Do people still find nuggets? What about the nuggets lying in the parking lot? Where can I see gold being harvested today?. These questions and more are discussed with lots of props, nuggets and stories, Thursday nights, in the comfort of the Bear's Paw Café with Whitegold Adventures.

For More information about Historic Devlin's Bench visit: Devlin's Bench Mining Company Ltd.

For more information about any Whitegold Adventure contact us at:

White Gold Adventures
Whitegold Adventures
Box 206
Wells    BC
V0K 2R0
Canada
adventure@whitegold.ca

Phone: 1 250 994-2345
Toll-free (N America): 1 866 994-2345
Fax: 1 250 994-2347


Member:
  • Wells & District Chamber of Commerce
  • Recreational Canoeing Association of BC
  • Cariboo Tourism Association


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