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Facts About Gold Prospecting And Mining In Canada

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Canada is the fifth largest global producer of gold, with new explorations and mines being continuously discovered across the territories and provinces of the country. Canada has the world's 9th largest gold reserves, found in nine of its areas. The Riviere Chaudiere in the Eastern Townships of Quebec is where gold was first prospected in Canada. Many discoveries were made in the sands of B.C.s Fraser River, which led to the 1858 Cariboo Gold Rush. The Klondike Gold Rush is another legendary event in Canada's gold mining history. Here are some facts about gold prospecting in Ontario, Canada, that you should know before you start with it. 

Gold Mining Facts

Quebec and Ontario accounted for more than 75% of Canadian gold production. The Canadian Shield has the majority of Canada's known gold reserves. These mines produced an estimated 175 tonnes of gold and experts in 2019 alone. These numbers allow the country to account for around 5.3% of global gold production and come in the world's top five gold producers, including countries like China, the U.S., Russia, and Australia. Canada's largest operating gold mine is the Malartic Mine in Quebec.           

Where Is It Found In Canada?

Before you start gold prospecting in Ontario, Canada, it is better to know which areas in Canada have a high possibility of gold reserves. A vast majority of Canada's gold reserves are found in the Canadian Shield, the oldest and largest geological region in the country, formed between 570 million to 4 billion years ago. It covers more than 7.7 billion square kilometres of Canadian land, which includes several operating gold mines such as Thompson Mill and Rice Lake Gold in Manitoba; Eskay Creek Mine and Myra Falls in B.C; Mouska Mine and Sleeping Giant in Quebec; and Garson Mine and Stobie Mine in Ontario.     

Around 90% of gold production in Canada comes from hard-rocks underground and open-pit mines, and the remaining comes from the base-metal mines as well as placer mining. The gold reserves in Canada are mostly found in the eastern provinces of Quebec and Ontario. Other places include Nunavut and British Columbia, which account for over 16% of the country's gold reserves; Manitoba, Scotia, Nova, Newfoundland, the Yukon, and Labrador account for only 7% of them. As mentioned, most of the gold production comes from Ontario and Quebec. But a lack of exploration spending, mature mines, and reduced investment in development resulted in the decline of gold production. However, between 2002 and 2007, the expenditure on exploration again increased, resulting in increased reserves and resources related to old, new, and existing deposits.     

Sustainable Gold Mining In Canada

Many efforts are being made to improve methods of extraction and production to decrease the process's carbon footprint. The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) introduced the TSM, Towards Sustainable Mining, a globally recognized sustainability program that supports the management of key social and environmental risks. This initiative has brought global recognition to the mining industry in Canada as one of the most sustainable ones. 


The program aims at contributing to a global initiative to promote the production, use, and recycling of minerals and metals in a safe and environmentally responsible manner and minimise the impact of mining operations on the environment and biodiversity. It is a self-monitored program with criteria established by the MAC in energy management, crisis communication management, etc. 

History Of Gold Prospecting In Canada

Gold was first discovered in Canada in 1823 in the Eastern Townships of Quebec along Riviere Chaudiere. The Cariboo Gold Rush followed this in 1858 when gold was found in the sands of the Fraser River. Forty years later, there was a Klondike Gold Rush in the Yukon. In the early 1900s, several major gold-mining camps were established in northern Ontario, including Red Lake, Timmins, Porcupine, Kirkland Lake, and Larder Lake. Gold was also discovered at Val d'Or, Malartic, Bourlamaque, and Chibougamau. During WW2, the gold mining capacity was hugely expanded, and in the late 1900s, northern Ontario was found to have large Hemlo gold deposits. This was followed by other discoveries across Canada, thus resulting in increased production.

Rules For Gold Prospecting In Canada

The Canadian regulations on gold prospecting require the prospector to hold mineral rights to the area of interest, which can be obtained by staking a mineral claim, a permit or a licence. The permitted methods of gold prospecting may vary depending on the jurisdiction and involve physically staking a claim on the ground, through an online registration system, or a map. You are required to complete the staking and recordation process in some jurisdictions. You may also be required to notify or engage with the Aboriginal groups before conducting any exploration programs.

Bottom Line

Gold prospecting and mining in Canada have a long history. The best way to do it would be to hire a reliable gold prospecting company and go by the rule of the jurisdiction which runs your area of interest.                                                                                                                                                                               


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