MINISTER OF MINES
YEAR ENDING 31st DECEMBER,
BEING AN ACCOUNT OF
MINING OPERATIONS FOR GOLD, COAL, ETC.,
PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA.
THE PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
Printed by authority of the Legislative Assembly.
VICTORIA, B.C. :
Printed by Richard Wolfenden, I.S.O., V.D., Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty
1904. 4 Ed. 7 Report of the Minister of Mines. H 3
MINISTER OF MINES,
To His Honour the Honourable Sir Henri Gustave Joly de Lotbiniere, K. C. M. G.,
Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of British Columbia.
May it please Your Honour :
The Annual Report of the Mining Industries of the Province for the year 1903 is
herewith respectfully submitted.
Minister of Mines.
Minister of Mines' Office,
March llth, 1904- a
tn 4 Er>. 7 Report of the Minister of Mines. H 5
WILLIAM FLEET ROBERTSON, PROVINCIAL MINERALOGIST.
To the Hon. Richard McBride,
Minister of Mines.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit herewith my Annual Report on the Mining Industry
of the Province for the year ending December 31st, 1903.
The following statistical tables give the total mineral output of the Province to date, and
show in considerable detail the actual mineral production of the past year, as based on smelter
or mill returns; also a summary of the production of each of the last four years, thus illustrating by comparison the progress made in productive mining during this period.
To facilitate comparison with information previously given, I have retained, as closely as
was possible, the general form already established for such tables and for the Report.
This Report is somewhat delayed owing to the difficulty experienced in getting the
Statistical Returns from some of the shipping mines, these returns having in certain instances
been withheld for over two months, and I must recommend that in future the penalties of the
Act be strictly enforced.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient servant,
William Fleet Robertson,
Victoria, B. C, March llth, 1904. 4 Ed. 7 Report of the Minister of Mines. H 7
MINERAL PRODUCTION OF BRITISH COLUMBIA.
METHOD OF COMPUTING PRODUCTION.
In assembling the output for the lode mines in the following tables, the established custom
of this Department has been adhered to, viz. : The output of a mine for the year is considered
that amount of ore for which the smelter or mill returns have been received during the year.
This system does not give the exact output of the mine for the year, but rather the amounts
credited to the mine on the company's books during such year.
For ore shipped in December the smelter returns are not likely to be received until
February in the new year, or later, and have, consequently, to be carried over to the credit of
such new year. This plan, however, will be found very approximate for each year, and
ultimately correct, as ore not credited to one year is included in the next.
In the Lode Mines tables, the amount of the shipments has been obtained from certified
returns received from the various mines, as provided for in the " Inspection of Metalliferous
Mines Act, 1897." In calculating the values of the products, the average price for the year
in the New York Metal Market has been used as a basis. For silver 95 per cent., and for lead
90 per cent., of such market price has been taken. Treatment and other charges have not
TABLE I.—Total Production for all Years- up to and including 1903.
Gold, placer $65,688,103
Gold, lode 26,862,348
Coal and Coke 63,321,869
Building stone, bricks, etc 3,325,000
Other metals 88,799
TABLE II.—Production for each Year from 1890 to 1903 (inclusive).
1852 to 1889 (inclusive) $71,981,634
1894 , 4,225,717
Total $207,224,492 H 8
Report of the Minister of Mines.
Table III. gives a statement in detail of the amount and value of the different mineral
products for the years 1901, 1902 and 1903. As it has been impossible as yet to collect
accurate statistics regarding building stone, lime, bricks, tiles, etc., these are estimated.
Amount and Value of Mineral Products for 1901, 1902 and 1903.
Production of Mineral by Districts and Divisions.
Cariboo Mining Division
Osoyoos, Grand Forks & Kettle
Coast Districts (Nanaimo, Alber-
$17,495,954 4 Ed. 7
Table V. contains the yearly production of placer gold to date, as determined by the
returns, sent in by the banks and express companies, of gold transmitted by them to the mints,
and from returns sent in by the Gold Commissioners and Mining Recorders. To these yearly
amounts one-third was added up to the year 1878, from then to 1895 and from 1898 to 1903,
one-fifth, which proportions are considered to represent, approximately, the amount of gold
sold of which there is no record. This placer gold contains from 10 to 25 per cent, silver, but
the silver value has not been separated from the totals, as it would be insignificant.
TABLE V.—Yield of Placer Gold per Year to Date.
1858 $ 705,000
1901 .. 970,100
TABLE VI.—Production of Lode Mines.*
*The information as to production in the earlier years is obtained from the "Mineral Statistics and Mines" for 1896, Geological
Survey ^of Canada. H 10
Report of the Minister of Mines.
TABLE VII.—Production in Detail of the
Quesnel m ....
All other Divisions ..
(Grand Forks, Green-
wood and Osoyoos
t.ricts (Nanaimo, Alberni, W. Coast V. I.,
X Iron Ore—2,290 tons (value included in Miscellaneous). * Estimated. 4 Ed. 7 Production of Metalliferous Mines. H 11
Metalliferous Mines for 1900, 1901, 1902 and 1903.
Totals for Divisions.
Totals for Districts.
1, in 1901, $4
67 ; in 1902,(
in Placer Gc
>ld). § Buildi
n-y Stone, Bri
ck, &c, $626,
300; 'iron Ore
, 86,870. H 12
Report of the Minister of Mines.
TABLE VIII.—Coal and Coke Production per Year to Date.
Yeaks. Tons (2,240Its.). Value.
1836-59 37,385 $ 149,548
1860 14,246 56,988
1861 13,774 55,096
1862 18,118 , 72,472
1863 21,345 85,380
1864 28,632 115,528
1865 32,819 131,276
1866 25,115 100,460
1867 31,239 124,956
1868 44,005 176,020
1869 35,802 143,208
1870 , 29,843 119,372
1871-2-3 148,549 493,836
1874 ,. 81,547 244,641
1875 110,145 330,435
1876 , 139,192 417,576
1877 154,052 462,156
1878 170,846 512,538
1879 241,301 723,903
1880 267,595 , 802,785
1881 228,357 685,071
1882 282,139 846,417
1883 213,299 639,897
1884 394,070 1,182,210
1885 265,596 796,788
1886 326,636 979,908
1887 413,360 1,240,080
1888 489,301 1,467,903
1889 579,830 1,739,490
1890 678,140 2,034,420
1891 1,029,097 3,087,291
1892 826,335 2,479,005
1893 978,294... 2,934,882
1894 1,012,953 3,038,859
1895 939,654 2,818,962
1896 896,222 2,688,666
1897 882,854 2,648,562
1898 1,135,865 3,407,595
1899 1,306,324.. 3,918,972
1900 1,439,595 , 4,318,785
1901 1,460,331 4,380,993
1902 1,397,394 4,192,182
1903 1,168,194 3,504,582
1898 (estimated) 35,000 .
2,972,175 4 Ed. 7
m 4 Ed. 7 Progress of Mining. H 15
PROGRESS OF MINING.
The statistics of the mineral production for the year 1903, when compared with those of
the previous year, do not show that increase of output which had been hoped for, and which
there was reason to expect.
The gross value of the mineral products of the Province for the year 1903 was $17,495,954,
an increase over the preceding year of $9,404 ; not a very great sum, but still an increase, and
including and overcoming the decrease occurring in both the placer gold and coal mining
branches of the industry, for which in both cases there are special and, fortunately, only
These statistics are only a record of the amount of mineral actually produced and marketed;
as such they are true, but it is felt they are not quite a just measure of the progress actually
made in the industry, as they take no cognizance of the improved methods of mining and treatment which have been or are being adopted, and which have so important a bearing on the chief
end and object of mining, viz. :—the earning of a profit.
It is generally conceded that mining in the Province is gradually assuming a better and
more secure position as a business than it formerly held, and is on a more stable basis than it
was a year ago.
This has been secured by the general recognition of the necessity for, and the adoption
by many companies of methods more .conducive to success, while others have passed through
that initial and expensive experimental stage which seems inherent to mining in a new district.
This viewing of mining from a more strictly business standpoint is gradually tending to
the elimination of enterprises which were not based upon substantial merit, and which, therefore, could never succeed, but, by their very existence, cast a shadow of doubt upon legitimate
The labour conditions too, formerly unsettled, appear now to be more stable, experience
having apparently taught both employer and employee that strikes and lockouts are expensive
luxuries not to be hastily indulged in, entailing not only a present but subsequent loss to both
The following is a brief review of the separate branches of the industry :—
With regard to coal mining, the collieries of the Province, taken collectively, did not
produce as much coal in 1903 as in the previous year. The Crow's Nest Collieries show a
substantial increase both in the production of coal and coke, while the Coast Collieries show a
more than equivalent decrease. The output in both these districts was greatly diminished by
strikes which occurred during the earlier part of the year, causing a loss of time which could
not be made up, while in the Coast district a change of ownership of one of the large properties
led to alteration of plans and plant, which temporarily interfered with, although they will
eventually increase, the output. There is also no doubt but that the Coast Collieries are
feeling the competition in California of the fuel oil found there, since in that market a lar°-e
percentage of the Vancouver Island coal has of late years been sold.
Placer gold mining has, on the whole, about held its own during the past year; there has
been a decrease, but only a slight one. The northern districts have made an increased output,
but the central districts show a diminished production. Of these latter districts, Cariboo
requires a heavy snow and rainfall to insure success, while the valley of the Lower Fraser H 16 Report of the Minister of Mines. 1904
requires low water in the rivers to expose the bars. Unfortunately, during this past season,
these conditions were exactly reversed and the output of gold accordingly diminished.
The tonnage of ore mined by the lode mines of the Province in 1903 was 1,286,176 tons,
an increase over the preceding j'ear of 287,177 tons, or about 29 "/. In certain districts, more
particularly those producing lead ores, there has been a decrease, but the Boundary, Rossland
and Coast districts all show large increases in tonnage of ore mined. In the Boundary district
the continually improving methods of smelting and mining have rendered further low grade
properties workable. These new methods are gradually widening the margin of profit in the
handling of the large but notoriously low grade ore bodies of that locality.
In the Rossland district the ore mined amounted to 360,786 tons, an increase over the
preceding year of 31,252 tons, or about 9|-%. The metallic contents of the output has
scarcely kept pace with the increased tonnage, as the average grade of the ore mined in the
camp was lower than ever before. This gradually decreasing assay value of the ore is
attributable to two causes, both of which are unquestionably true, although it is difficult to
know exactly the relative importance to assign to either. One of these causes is the undoubted
fact that the cheaper methods of mining and of treatment charges which have followed year
by year have rendered possible and advisable the handling of a lower grade ore than formerly,
admitting of the utilisation of much material as ore which previously was waste. On the
other hand, it is claimed that, as the ore is followed to a depth, it is actually of a lower grade,
or rather that there is a smaller percentage of high grade ore in the ore body. On this point
it might not be inappropriate to quote from the last annual report of the Manager of the
Centre Star and War Eagle mines (two of the largest mines in the camp), who has had ample
opportunity to observe the facts. He says :—
" Developments up to date show that the Centre Star Mine " (he says the same of the War
Eagle) "has experienced the same general change in the character of its ore deposits which has
occurred in all other productive mines in the Rossland District, and which is the general rule
throughout the mining districts of the world. This is the transition from the occurrence of
high grade bonanza ore bodies, capable of profit under the expensive process of smelting, to
masses of lower grade requiring a treatment by milling."
This Centre Star report goes on to say that for the Company's fiscal year ending September
30th, 1903, the ore sales amounted to 88,387 tons, with an average assay contents of gold,
.50 oz.; silver, 0.40 oz.; copper, 0.99 %, in which ore " the net profit in excess of all expenditures was $228,358.90."
The report of the War Eagle mine shows that for its fiscal year the ore sales have been
60,039 tons, the average assay contents of which were, gold, 0.418 oz.; silver, 1.02 oz.; copper,
1.45 %, having a smelter gross value of $9.87 per ton. The excess of revenue over expenditure
was $68,512.21, of which $38,171.74 was charged off to depreciation, leaving $30,340.47 as net
profit for the year.
These figures indicate that the ore has certainly not as yet reached a limit in grade so low
as to be unworkable by even the present methods, although the Manager is possibly right in
anticipating the transition to which he refers.
The Coast mines are rapidly assuming an importance as a factor in the production of the
Province which they never before occupied, there having been mined and treated some 103,524
tons of ore, nearly four times as much as formerly, an increase which is due almost entirely to
mines in the Mt. Sicker district of Vancouver Island. ■»v*
OTTER CREEK HYDRAULIC MINE, ATLIN—GENERAL. VIEW.
OTTER CREEK HYDRAULIC MINE-SHOWING PIT. 4 Ed. 7
Progress of Mining.
The following table shows the amount of ore mined in the Province during the past year,
together with the number of shipping mines, the ore shipped and the men employed in each
Table Showing Distribution of Shipping Mines in 1903.
Men Employed in these Mines.
East Kootenay :
West Kootenay :
It will be seen from this that the number of mines shipping over 100 tons is one less
than in 1902. Of the non-shipping mines the statistics are very incomplete, as few of them
report to the Department and most have no representatives who can be found to give details
as to the number of men employed, etc. Returns have, however, been secured from 40 non-
shipping mines, and these employed a total of 274 men; 143 above ground and 131 below
The statistics of the actual production of mineral are to be found in the preceding
tables, which may be summarised as follows :—
Table I. gives a summary of the total values of the mineral products of the Province to
the end of 1903. From this it will be seen that the mines produced a total valuation of
$207,224,492; of this total $92,550,451 was derived from gold, $63,321,869 was obtained
from coal, and $19,997,354 from silver, with copper and lead following next in order of
Table II. shows the value produced in each year and indicates a steadily increasing output year after year. In 1903 the value of the mineral production of the Province amounted
to $17,495,954, a not inconsiderable annual contribution to the material wealth of the world.
Table III. gives in detail the amount and values of the various mineral products which
go to make up the total production. As will be seen, gold still retains its place as the prime
factor in our output, with a valuation for 1903 of $5,873,036, and copper has the second place,
with a production valued at $4,547,535.
Table IV. shows the values of the mineral products of the several districts of British
Columbia. West Kootenay District is still the most important from the point of view of
production, but the table shows the gradually growing importance of the Boundary and the
Coast districts, the latter being largely assisted by the output of the coal mines therein and
by the mineral products which enter into tbe building construction of the two largest cities of
the Province. H 18 Report of the Minister of Mines. 1904
Table V. gives the production of the placer gold mining branch of the industry, and
shows that the yield of the placer gold mines of the Province for each year up to 1903
amounted in all to $65,688,103, of which there was produced during the year 1903 $1,060,420.
Table VI. deals exclusively with the production of the lode mines of the Province, which
have made an output of mineral to the total value of $74,800,721, of which there were
produced in 1903 some $11,571,367.
It will be noted that the total gross production of the lode mines of the Province now
exceeds the amount produced by the placer mines since and including the earliest Cariboo
times, when this country first entered the arena as a mineral-producing district.
Table VII. gives the details of production of all metalliferous mines (not including coal),
showing the amount and values of each metal produced and the districts from which it was
Table VIII. refers to the coal mines and their products, and gives the amount and values
of their output from the earliest days to date. The gross valuation of the production is
$63,321,869, of which $60,349,694 was sold as coal, and $2,972,175 as coke.
Tables IX. and X. are graphical comparisons of the values of the products of the British
Columbia mines for the years 1902 and 1903, as compared with those of all the other Provinces
of the Dominion of Canada, and substantiate the claim of British Columbia to be considered
the Mineral Province of Canada.
As regards production, the coal mines of the Province, as a whole, about held their own
during the past year. There were mined in 1903, 1,450,663 tons of coal, and of this total
output 1,168,194 tons were sold as coal, while 282,469 tons were converted into coke, of which
latter there were produced 165,543 tons. This represents, as compared with the production of
1902, a decrease of about 16 % in the quantity of coal sold, and an increase of about 29.3 %
in the amount of coke produced.
As has been pointed out in previous Reports, the conditions surrounding the coal mining
industry in the two extremes of the Province differ so materially that the districts must be
considered separately. The coal mines of Vancouver Island were, until within the last five
years, the only producers in the Province, and to-day make an output of slightly over half the
coal mined These collieries made a gross production in 1903 of 860,775 tons, of which there
were sold as coal 827,857 tons, while, from the remainder, 15,779 tons of coke were produced.
This represents a reduction in net production of coal of 346,036 tons, equivalent to about
29J %, and of coke a decrease of 4,399 tons or 22 %.
In 1902 there were 673,524 tons, or about 75 %, of the coal produced by the Vancouver
Island Collieries sold in California. As has been previously pointed out, the market of this
State has been invaded by local fuel in the form of oil, and this has, at least temporarily
lessened the demand for coal, so that in 1903 only 400,713 tons were shipped from Vancouver
Island, representing only 45.2 % of the total product from these collieries.
The local market has, however, been able to consume 42,400 tons more coal this year than
last, an indication of increasing home industries, which is further borne out by the fact that
in 1902 the Vancouver Island Collieries sold for consumption in British Columbia 4,000 tons
of coke and exported 12,000 tons, while this year the total production of 15,779 tons was
consumed at home, as well as 3,719 tons taken from the stock on hand.
The collieries at Nanaimo, formerly operated by the New Vancouver Coal Company (an
English Syndicate), have been taken over by the Western Fuel Company (a California Company), and this will probably stimulate the California trade. 4 Ed. 7
Progress of Mining.
The Crow's Nest Collieries, during the year 1903, mined 589,888 tons of coal, of which
340,337 tons were sold as such, and 249,511 tons were converted into coke, producing 149,764
tons of that commodity.
This gross output of coal is 195,927 tons in excess of the production of the previous year
and represents an increase of nearly 50 %. This increase was made despite the fact that the
Coal Creek mines had not recovered from the explosion of 1902 and that the equipments at
the other collieries are as yet incomplete or temporary. It is safe to predict, therefore, that
next year the output will show a like increase.
The market for this coal, which is entirely in the interior, both in Canada and the United
States, seems to be unlimited, as in quality the coal is the best to be had in this section of
The production of coke at the Crow's Nest Collieries is 41,927 tons in excess of last year's
product, a 38.8 % increase. The exports have been practically the same as last year, but the
consumption in British Columbia has been increased by 40,933 tons, or is 50 % greater than
Inasmuch as the consumption of coke is approximately a measure of the tonnage of ore
smelted, this increase in the home consumption of coke is an index of the increased amount of
ore so treated in the interior of the Province. That the coke exports have not increased is due
wholly to the fact that there was no further surplus to ship, the oven capacity being taxed to
the uttermost. Additional ovens have been constructed this past summer, which should
increase the capacity about 25 %.
The following table indicates the markets in which the coal and coke output of the
Province was sold :—
Sold for consumption in Canada (Tons—2,240 His.)
n w other countries »
The placer gold production of the Province for the year 1903 was
Placer Gold. $1,060,420, a decrease of about $12,720 or 1 % from the year 1902, but still
showing an increase over 1901 of $90,320. The Atlin and Liard Divisions
of Cassiar are the only districts which this year show an increased production of placer 'gold.
In the former Division the increase has been obtained chiefly from the working by improved
methods, and on a larger scale, of an old high channel found in the benches of Pine and Spruce
Creeks. The productive work in this district is still largely in the hands of individual miners
or small partnerships of such, as is indicated in the report of the Gold Commissioner of the
District, who says that about 75 % of the royalty has been paid by "individuals," and only 25
% by companies.
Such has been the condition thus far, but it will probably not remain so for another year, as
a large number of the smaller individual enterprises, which have successfully proved their H 20 Report of the Minister of Mines. 1904
ground, have been acquired by companies and consolidated; these properties are being
equipped with plants which should materially increase the output, while at the same time, by
reducing the cost of handling material, they should render available much ground now lying
dormant. Next year should see these companies in full operation, working on a larger scale
ground already tested, and it seems probable, therefore, that the increased production of the
past year will be followed by a much greater increase in 1904.
The increase in the Liard Division has been due to the operations of the Thibert Creek
Hydraulic Company, which have been comparatively successful; comparatively so, because the
Company is now only opening up its pits and water supplies, and should in future be able to
do much better. The operations of this Company seem to have stimulated other hydraulic
enterprises in the district, for at least two other companies have preparations well under way
and within two years should also be producing gold, despite the remoteness of the camp and
the difficulties of transportation.
Cariboo District, as a whole, shows a drop in production of about $65,000. In the
Cariboo Mining Division (Barkerville) the production has been slightly diminished as compared with 1902, but still shows a decided increase over other recent years. The output here
is almost entirely due to small hydraulic concerns held by individuals or partnerships. The
large companies, of which there are several, have not as yet arrived at a productive stage.
In the Quesnel Division there has also been a decreased output. Here the individual
miners have done well and have maintained their proportion of the output, but the hydraulic
mining companies have had a poor season, owing to the shortage of water caused by the light
snow fall during the winter of 1902-3.
In the section drained by the Lower Fraser river, where placer gold mining is carried on
on the bars and flats rendered available only at low water, there has been trouble this past
season owing to the heavy rains in the summer, which filled the streams again, so that there
was little or no "low water," and consequently a decreased output of gold.
Hydraulicing on a small scale in both Atlin and Cariboo has, as
Hydraulic Gold already stated, been fairly successful, but the few large companies operating
Mining. have had a rather disastrous year. Among these the Consolidated Cariboo
Company was so short of water that it could only run 53 days during the
season, and the output was only little more than half that of the previous year. Hydraulic
mining is so absolutely dependent on a supply of water available when required, that the
necessity of being independent of the season's weather conditions is becoming apparent, and the
prime requisite of a hydraulic plant is seen to be a storage capacity or drainage area sufficient
to be able to average the supply of one year with another, where an insufficient minimum
supply only is obtainable.
The auriferous black sand deposits of the Coast of Vancouver Island remain still
unworked, despite the promising returns therefrom during 1901.
Dredging for gold has not as yet, in British Columbia, proved a corn-
Dredging for Gold, mercial success; a number of serious attempts have been made with one or
another style of dredge, each with the idea of moving a greater quantity of
dirt rather than improving the methods for saving the gold dredged up. It was pointed out
in last year's Report that but a fraction of the gold dredged up was saved, to which fact, rather
than to the scarcity of gold, most of the failures are attributable. The continued efforts of
the dredging companies prove their confidence in the presence of the gold in the river beds,
and their belief that it can be raised and saved. 4 Ed. 7 Progress of Mining. H 21
A new dredge has been constructed in Atlin (cuts of which are given in this report), in
which the gold-saving appliances are on a separate scow and are much more complete than
anything yet attempted in the Province; the result of the working of this apparatus during
1904 may prove instructive.
In New Zealand particular attention has been directed during the past few years to the
saving of fine, flaky gold, such as we have to contend with in our own dredging propositions. The
last Report of the Department of Mines of that Colony (1902), recently received, contains
some valuable suggestions and cuts regarding the design and arrangement of gold-saving tables,
having more particular reference to the proper and even distribution of the sand upon such
tables, all of which might well be studied by our dredge masters, and could probably be applied
in connection with under-currents in many of our hydraulic mines. Some of these cuts will
be reproduced in this Report.
The production of gold from lode mines has this past year amounted to
Lode Gold Mining. $4,812,616, a decrease of 1J % as compared with that of 1902. There has
been a serious falling off in the production of the Rossland and Nelson
Districts, which has, however, been met by a corresponding increase in the Coast, Boundary
and the Trout Lake and Lardeau Districts.
In the Nelson District the tonnage of ore mined has been about the same, but the assay
yalue of the ore has been materially lower.
In the Rossland District the tonnage has increased about 9|- %, but the gold production
has decreased about 10 %.
In the Boundary District the tonnage of ore treated has increased about 34 %, and the
gold produced nearly 20 %, indicating that ores of a lower gold assay value have been treated,
a reduction which it is calculated, however, has been more than met by cheaper methods of
treatment and mining.
The Coast District has produced nearly three times as much gold as in the previous year,
chiefly due to the output of Mount Sicker properties.
The Trout Lake and Lardeau Districts have each made increases in lode gold output
which, while not as yet forming any great percentage of the total output of the Province, are
still very good beginnings, and there is a belief that these sections of the Province are only at
the commencement of their productiveness.
In the Rossland, the Boundary and the Coast Districts the gold is recovered chiefly by
smelting from ores associated with copper, while in the Nelson and Lillooet and the Trout
Lake and Lardeau Districts it is derived from stamp milling.
The lode gold has been derived approximately as follows :—
From direct smelting of copper gold ores $4,327,206
From combined amalgamation and concentration 485,410
SILVER AND LEAD.
In British Columbia these two metals must be considered together, for, even in the
present depressed condition of the market, about 70 % of our silver output is derived from
silver-lead ores. The total output of silver for the past year has amounted to 2,996,204
ounces, valued at $1,521,472. Of this amount about 2,103,000 ounces, valued at $1,067,903,
was found associated with lead.
In the Fort Steele Mining Division less than 1,000 tons of lead ore were mined in 1903,
as compared with 87,000 tons in 1900. H 22 Report of the Minister of Mines. 1904
In the Slocan Mining Division only about half the usual tonnage of ore was produced.
Ainsworth Mining Division mined much more ore than formerly and produced 30 % more
lead than usual, which was, however, the result of the concentration of a very low grade ore
of the Highland Mine.
Silver-lead mining in British Columbia, except for those ores carrying high silver values,
has been at a very low ebb for the past two years; in fact, most of the lead mines carrying
low silver values suspended operations, the owners claiming they could not be worked at a
profit under existing circumstances.
Strong representations were made to the Dominion Government of these facts, and application made for a bounty on lead mined in Canada. This application was granted at the last
session of the Dominion Parliament. The following is the bounty awarded :—
An Act to provide for the payment of Bounties on Lead contained in
Lead-bearing Ores mined in Canada.
\2fth October, 1903.]
1. The Governor in Council may authorise the payment of a bounty of 75 cents per 100
Dbs. of lead contained in lead-bearing ores mined in Canada, such bounty to be paid to the
producer or vendor of such ores: Provided that the sum to be paid as such bounty shall not
exceed $500,000 in any fiscal year : Provided, also, that when it appears, to the satisfaction
of the Minister charged with the administration of this Act, that the standard price of pig
lead in London, Eng., exceeds £12 10s. sterling per ton of 2,240 lbs., such bounty shall be
reduced by the amount of such excess.
2. (1.) Payment of the said bounty may be made from time to time to the extent of 60 %
upon smelter returns showing that the ore has been delivered for smelting at a smelter in
Canada. The remaining 40 % may be paid at the close of the fiscal year, upon evidence that
all such ore has been smelted in Canada.
(2.) If at the close of any year it appears that during the year the quantity of lead
produced, on which the bounty is authorised, exceeds 33,333 tons of 2,000 lbs., the rate of
bounty shall be reduced to such sum as will bring the payments for the year within the limit
mentioned in section 1.
3. If at any time it appears, to the satisfaction of the Governor in Council, that the
charges for transportation and treatment of lead ores in Canada are excessive, or that there is
any discrimination which prevents the smelting of such ores in Canada on fair and reasonable
terms, the Governor in Council may authorise the paj'ment of bounty, at such reduced rate as
he deems just, on the lead contained in such ores mined in Canada and exported for treatment
4. If at any time it appears, to the satisfaction of the Governor in Council, that products
of lead are manufactured in Canada direct from lead ores mined in Canada without the intervention of the smelting process, the Governor in Council may make such provisions as he
deems equitable to extend the benefits of this Act to the producers of such ores.
5- The said bounties shall cease and determine on the 30th June, 1908.
6- The Governor in Council may make regulations for carrying out the intention of this
7. Chapter 8 of the Statutes of 1901, intituled "An Act to provide for the payment of
bounties on lead refined in Canada," is repealed.
This means, on a 30 % ore, a direct bounty of $4.50 per ton of ore mined, a fairly good
profit in itself, which should revive any lead mine and enable it eventually to work unassisted
when the bounty expires.
The anticipation of such bounty retarded, for the time being, immediate production, for
the belief was prevalent that it would only apply to ores mined after the passing of the Act.
When the bounty became an assured fact, it was too late in the season to admit of opening up 4 Ed. 7 Progress of Mining. H 23
and developing the various properties in time to make any materially increased production in
1903. The effect this year was rather to stimulate development and equipment, the results of
which should be apparent next season.
The lead production of the Province for 1903 was 18,089,283 lbs., valued at $689,744, the
lowest it has been for seven years.
The copper ores being mined in British Columbia are very low grade in copper, but,
fortunately, contain values in gold or silver, without which they could not be profitably worked.
The total output for the year, and the highest yet made by British Columbia, was
34,359,921 lbs., valued at $4,547,535, which was produced in the following Districts :—
Boundary District 18,485,542 lbs.
Rossland n 8,652,127 n
Coast ii 6,861,171 n
Nelson „ 346,218 „
Various other .Districts 14,863 n
In the Rossland camp the ores average about 1.2% copper, and in the Boundary about
1.5%, while on the Coast they averaged 3J% copper.
Very little iron ore has been mined in the Province this past jea,r.
Iron Ore. The consumption of iron ore as flux was practically nothing, as the lead
smelters have required little, and this little they were able to obtain carrying copper or gold values sufficient to at least assist with the cost of mining.
Zinc has scarcely, as yet, become a factor in the mineral output of the
Zinc. Province. Some of the Slocan mines containing zinc as an impurity in
their galena have sorted out a certain amount of ore higher in the former
and sold it as zinc ore to certain smelters in the United States. Attempts are being made to
make a cleaner separation, which, when successful, will enable these zinc ores to be marketed
to better advantage.
There is no record of any platinum having been produced this last year
Platinum Group in the Similkameen District, where it has formerly been obtained as a by-
of Metals. product in placer mining. Reports are current that platinum in place has
been found in the Boundary District, but it has been impossible to get an}'
of the ore to confirm such occurrence by assay in the Government Assay Office. In the
Thibert Creek Hydraulic Mines platinum is known to be present, and its occurrence has been
mentioned in former issues of this Report. None has been saved this year, as undercurrents
were not employed.
It may be worthy of mention that a small sample of gold from near Dawson, Yukon
Territory, tested in the Provincial Government Assay Office, yielded 390 milligrams of osmir-
idium to one ounce of gold.
The finding of tin near Barkerville, mentioned in last year's Report,
Tin. has been further investigated and proves to have been misleading, the metal
having apparently been melted off cans by a fire.
The mineral products entering into building construction include brick
Building Materials. —both red and fire—cement, lime, stone, drainpipes, tile, etc. As yet
many of these materials are produced only in a small way in the localities H 24 Report of the Minister of Mines. 1904
where they are to be used, and difficulty has been found in obtaining reliable figures. Those
given are approximate estimates, as carefully made as has been possible.
Oil-bearing shales have been discovered in the vicinity of Harper's
Oil Shales. Camp, in the Cariboo District, and will, it is understood, be more thoroughly
investigated this coming season. From present indications there appears
to be a large deposit of these shales, and, as far as can be determined at present, they do not
appear to get their oil from any seepage from below. A sample of the shale tested in the
Government Assay Office at Victoria, yielded f^ of 1 % by weight of a dark, heavy oil, and
about 4.8 % water. The oil so obtained by retorting the shale appeared to begin to distil over
at from 130° to 140° Centigrade, or from 266° to 284° Fahrenheit, and had a specific gravity
of 0.95. It might be here noted that California crude oil has an average specific gravity of
about .94, while the oils from East Kootenay have a specific gravity of from .82 to .83. This
shale oil is inflammable and has a strong petroleum odour.
As was noted in last year's Report, coal has been discovered a few miles further up Horsefly
river, to the east of Harper's Camp, but, as far as can be learned, no further work has been
Well authenticated reports are received of the discovery of coal to the east of Quesnel
lake, which will be more thoroughly investigated during the coming season.
The occurrences of oil in the Fort Steele Mining Division were visited by the Provincial
Mineralogist during the year and are described in the body of this Report.
GENERAL DEVELOPMENTS OF THE YEAR.
Perhaps the most noteworthy feature of the development work of the past year, and the
one thing which promises more than any other to promote the well-being of the mining industry,
has been a general recognition of the fact that the margin of profit, as a rule, lies in the large
masses of low grade material which occur sometimes alone and sometimes associated with ore
which, by comparison, might be called "bonanza." As included in this term "low grade
material," might be taken certain by-products which heretofore have not been a source of
revenue. With the general recognition of this fact came rational attempts to remedy the
difficulties in the way of mining and treating these low grade ores at a profit. These attempts,
in many instances, have as yet only progressed as far as the experimental stage, but, in several
cases, with fair prospects of ultimate success.
In the Boundary District matters are most advanced in this respect. The smelting in
that vicinity of very low grade ores must be considered as merely a " concentration " by a
fusion method, which is considered the most applicable to such ores. This has been accomplished with most modern plants, the ore being taken from several mines and, by a judicious
admixture of other ores as fluxes, the latter carrying values but not sufficient to be treated
independently, concentration on a large scale has been possible, with a reduction in the costs
of smelting greater than had at first been hoped for.
With this cheaper cost of fire concentration, less discrimination had to be used in the
mining of the great bodies of ore, much of which latter was of an assay value very near the
line dividing profit from loss. As less discrimination had to be used in selecting the portions
of the ore bodies to be mined, cheaper mining resulted, and it became possible to use steam
shovels, together with power transportation in and about the mines and a number of other
economies. In these respects the Granby Co. has probably been in the lead, and has not by
any means reached its limit, but seems to have been so far successful, inasmuch as the company has this year declared a dividend. 4 Ed. 7 Progress of Mining. H 25
Other companies in the Boundary District owning mines the ores of which, from a smelting
point of view, may be described as complementary one of the other, have arranged an amalgamation which should convert two profitless companies into one profitable one.
In the Rossland Camp, while much has been done towards lessening the costs of smelting,
it has been recognised that certain of the constituents of the ore placed a limit upon the
economies to be made in that direction, and hence steps have been taken to eliminate these
constituents, so that not only might smelting be done more cheaply, but also on ore in more
concentrated form. Among the methods referred to are included a water concentration, or
separation of certain portions of the ore, and a separation by oil of certain values more effectually to be recovered with this medium. So far the experiments made—for the plants are only
so considered, although on a large scale—have given promise of satisfactory results. The
Rossland Power Co. has a mill practically completed, situated between Rossland and Trail, at
which it is expected to concentrate ores from the Centre Star and War Eagle mines.
A small mill has been erected near Nelson for experimentation with a " grease " process,
of which Messrs. H. E. T. Haultain and H. B. Stovel are the patentees. The details of the
process are not as yet made public, but it may be said that the ore pulp flows over an endless
belt covered with vaseline, which retains certain minerals, according to angle of adjustment,
flow of pulp, washwater, etc.
Experimental tests have been made which lead to the belief that much of the zinc, which
now is regarded as merely a contamination of the lead ores of the Slocan, may be separated by
a magnetic process and rendered available as an ore of zinc.
An experimental " Wetherell Separator " has been installed in the Province, with which
many ores have been tested, while other British Columbia ores have been sent East for experimentation. Magnetic concentration is as yet in its infancy, and from experiments which the
writer has had the pleasure of recently witnessing when in the East, he is convinced of the
wonderful possibilities of the process as applied to a number of British Columbia ores, the concentration of which by any water method was impossible.
That certain strongly magnetic minerals were separable by magnetic concentration is a
fact so well known as scarcely to need comment, but that many minerals which are not acted
upon by an ordinary magnet may be eliminated by higher magnetic powers is not so fully
realised and is worthy the serious consideration of mine owners. To quote from Ingall's
" Production and Properties of Zinc " (p. 268):—" It has been shown by Farady, Plucker,
Wiedeman and others that magnetism is an inherent property of all substances, which are either
attracted or repelled by the poles of a magnet, though in most substances the manifestation of
this property is exceedingly feeble."
At the works of the Wetherell Separator Co., at Newark, N. J., the writer saw certain
samples of zinc blende magnetically "picked up " out of a mixture of gangue, galena, pyrite,
etc., making a clean separation, while a similar separation of tetrahedrite (gray copper) was
made from gangue and pyrite.
Upon inquiry as to what minerals had been found separable by the process, it was said
that no rule could be laid down, but that each special ore required to be determined by experiment, since, for example, of two samples of zinc blende, one could be easily attracted by the
magnet of high power, while the other sample was so feebly attracted as to preclude any practical separation ; similarly with tetrahedrite, although the sample of this mineral experimented
upon, an ore from British Columbia, was strongly magnetic. This lack of uniformity is
accounted for by the fact that in few ores does the mineral conform strictly to its theoretic H 26 Report oe the Minister of Mines. 1904
composition, but contains usually associated minerals which materially affect the magnetic
action. Certain minerals which naturallv are practically non-magnetic may be rendered so by
a partial or complete roasting.
In the Atlin District the past year has been a very successful one, both as regards the
production of the season and the prospects of the future. The old higher channel on Pine
and Spruce creeks has been further worked with satisfactory results. This channel has been
drifted upon for some distance from either of the creeks mentioned and proved to extend well
under the gravel hill between them. It provides winter work at drifting for a number of men,
and is also the basis of a number of hydraulic operations now under way. Dredging enterprises
have also been started here and one very completely equipped dredging plant has been installed; it was, however, completed too late in the season to begin operations in 1903.
The Bennett and Chilkat Mining Divisions have been done away with and this territory
included in that of the Atlin Division. No new developments are recorded.
Samples of coal have been received from the Atlin District and, upon examination, proved
to be a good lignitic coal, such as might prove of value for steam or heating purposes.
No new developments have been recorded in the Teslin Division. There are reports of
successful prospecting, but no producing placer mines have as yet been heard of. The same
may be said of the Stikine Division.
In the Liard Division of Cassiar District the year has been successful for the one hydraulic
company as yet operating, while the certainty of other companies putting in plants is assured,
so that there is every prospect of the old Thibert Creek District, so well known as a placer
mining camp in the 60's, again becoming a producer of gold, though now by modern hydraulic
In the Skeena Division there has been the usual prospecting development going on, but
there is nothing of especial interest to record. On Lorne creek hydraulic operations were
carried on by one company, and it is said that two others are being organised and will shortly
commence work. The defining of the Alaska-Canada boundary line will help the district,
for there are a number of promising properties located near such line, and the uncertainty as
to which country they were in has had a retarding influence on their development.
On the Princess Royal island properties some 20 men have been employed and some small
shipments of rich copper-gold ore have been made.
Nothing has been heard this year of the operations on Bornite mountain on the Skeena
river, nor have any shipments been made from the sulphur properties on the Ecstall river.
There have been a great many inquiries as to coal lands on the Queen Charlotte islands,
and it is reported that there is a probability of boring operations being started there this
•coming summer to determine the position and character of the beds on the more undisturbed
lands at some distance from the outcrops. No attempt has been made to prove the extent or
value of the so-called " mineral tar deposits " on these islands, which have been already referred
to in previous Reports (1901).
Several copper prospects have been located on the southern portions of these islands, and
have a development sufficiently promising to have induced several engineers to go and examine
them, although no serious work has as yet been done.
On Texada island the smelter has not been in blast. The Cornell and Copper Queen
mines have been under bond to persons who are prospecting these properties but shipping
little. A surface tramway has been built from the mines to the dock, together with other
similar improvements. The Marble Bay mine has also built a surface tramway; this property 4 Ed. 7 Progress of Mining. H 27
has shipped ore both from the mine and from the second class dump, which latter was sold to
the Crofton smelter as flux at a flat rate per ton. The Loyal Group, a little to the north of
the last mentioned, has been further developed and has made small shipments.
On the West Coast of Vancouver Island there are no new developments to report on the
iron properties of Barkley Sound. The recent death by drowning on the SS. Clallam of Mr.
Homer Swaney, the most enthusiastic and energetic of the advocates of these occurrences of
iron ore, is a great loss to these properties and must retard their development.
The copper mines of this vicinity, the Nahmint and Monitor, have lain idle with only a
watchman in charge
On Quatsino sound the copper properties have not proved, on development, to be as high
grade as had been hoped, but, nevertheless, made shipments of between 2,000 and 3,000 tons
of ore to the Crofton smelter. Near the south arm of this inlet a very promising exposure of
nearly pure zinc blende has been discovered, which will be found described in the body of this
At Sidney inlet the Prince Group has been Crown-granted; good showings of copper ore
have been developed, but the property has lain dormant the past year. On the Indian Chief
Group, the Dewdney Syndicate's property, development work has been continued, it is reported,
with satisfactory results.
The most satisfactory developments of the year in the Coast District have been at Mount
Sicker, on Vancouver Island. Here the Tyee Mining Co., which started active operations
about the beginning of 1903, has, during the year, produced and sold mineral containing
values amounting to over half a million dollars. The Lenora mine, which has shipped for some
years, has been in litigation; this has retarded work somewhat, but the property has still
managed to make shipments about as usual. The Richard III., lying just above the Tyee, has
been most satisfactorily developed from a promising prospect into a producing mine. Extensions of the Tyee ore bodies have been proven in this property. Other properties in the
vicinity have been under development, with encouraging results, but as yet have not passed
out of the prospecting stage.
The importance of the Coast District as a copper producer is being realised, about 20 %
of the output of the Province for the past year having been derived from here.
Of the New Westminster Mining Division there is nothing special to report. The Howe
sound copper properties, previously described, have been dormant. Development has been
done on a number of claims and a find of very pure zinc blende is reported, from which fine
samples have been obtained, but, so far as can be learned, the extent of the deposit has not
In the East Kootenay District there has been a good deal of successful prospecting going
on in the Windermere Division, and considerable bodies of lead ore have been developed which
are described in the report on that section.
In the Fort Steele Division the lead mines have been practically all shut down, but,
stimulated by the "lead bounty," preparations are being made to renew operations, which
had, however, not been commenced at the close of the year. In this Division the coal mines
are the important factor in mining; of these the producing mines speak for themselves by
their actual output, which is noticed elsewhere.
As to development of new properties, the Crow's Nest Pass Coal Company has opened a
number of previously undeveloped seams of coal and has done a commensurate amount of
construction work, which has created very little comment, as the Company already had opened
up and was operating such extensive deposits; yet these new developments of this Company H 28 Report of the Minister of Mines. 1904
alone are sufficient to constitute a large coal mining centre. In this particular coal field the
Dominion Government has made its selection of the large area of coal lands which it had
reserved to be selected from the lands to be turned over to the B. C. Southern Railway.
Prospecting for coal lands further to the north has resulted in the discovery of a number
of important deposits of coal, both in and without the land granted to the B. C. Southern
Railway. Of these latter locations, important and probably valuable deposits have been
developed on the North Fork of Michel creek, and on the Upper Elk river and its tributary,
Fording river. The development has progressed so far as to prove that there are beds of
good workable coal, which have yet to be further proven as to extent^ and the many other
features which are essential to the commercial production of this commodity.
In the Nelson Division the most important mine, the Ymir, has maintained its usual
tonnage, but the values per ton have materially diminished, the workings at present being
apparently in a lower grade zone. Several other " free milling" properties in this vicinity
have been under development, but have not as yet been equipped or opened out.
The Silver King mine (Hall Mines Co.) is still being worked under lease, and is producing
on a comparatively small scale. As far as can be learned, no new extensive bodies of rich ore
have been developed.
One of the most interesting developments in this section is that of the Hunter V., the ore
from which is limestone carrying good gold and silver values.
In the Rossland camp the yearly increase in tonnage has again been made by the big
mines, and is noted elsewhere, as is also the fact that these properties are making serious and
apparently successful efforts tending to the utilisation of the ores too low grade to admit of
Other new properties have been opened up, encouraged by lower rates of treatment now
obtainable, and there is a strong probability that by next year this camp will have one or two
additional producing mines of importance.
In the Giant mine, molybdenum in considerable quantity has been found in the ore,
attempts to save which have been made, but with what practical results has not yet been
The Boundary has again been the centre of interest with its increasing tonnage of ore,
mined largely from open quarries, loaded by steam shovels and smelted on a very large scale
in equally large furnaces, and at a cost which will bear comparison with similar work
anywhere. The rise in the market price of copper during the year, approximately 1.62 cents
per pound, or equal to an increase of 14 %, has done much for this District, making probably
just the difference between a profit and a loss.
At Camp McKinney, the Cariboo McKinney Co. mined and milled about 15,000 tons of
ore, quartz carrying free gold, having a gross assay value of $5.50 per ton. The development
of this property, however, has not of late been such as to give encouragement; consequently,
at the last annual meeting of the company, on the report of the superintendent, dated December 31st, 1903, the directors gave instructions to clean up all ore and suspend operations
In the vicinity of Fairview, in the Osoyoos Mining Division, the very large quartz veins,
carrying low values in gold, which for some years have not been worked, have again been
opened up and some tons milled by the Stemwinder Company.
Near the town of Hedley, on the Similkameen river, very extensive and satisfactory
development has been made by the Nickel Plate Company on its property, the ore in which is 4 Ed. 7 Progress of Mining. H 29
chiefly iron sulphides carrying gold. Extensive preparations have been made for the treatment of the ores by the erection of a milling plant at Hedley, to be followed by a smelter
In the Lillooet District two companies have been treating free milling quartz, while
other promising prospects in that vicinity are under development.
A 10-stamp mill is being erected on Siwash creek, in the Yale Division, to work a large
deposit of gold-bearing material.
In the Slocan the " lead bounty " has stimulated the development of existing mines and
the more thorough investigation of properties which may, under such bounty, become producers,
but the full effect of this measure will not be seen before the coming season.
In the Trout Lake Division extensive plants for the transportation and treatment of the
ores have been erected but are not yet under way. In the southern end of this Division, gold-
bearing quartz ledges have attracted much attention, and it is expected that a stamp-mill will
be shortly erected there.
In the Lardeau Division two stamp mills have been erected near Camborne, and operations were started up near the close of the year. H 30 Report of the Minister of Mines. 1904
BUREAU OF MINES.
Work of the Year.
The routine office work of the Bureau is confined practically to technical matters, replying
to questions both verbal and written as to same, answering prospectors and others as to
markets and market values of minerals, examining reports of Inspectors, the collection of
statistics and information regarding the mineral deposits of the Province, and the supplying
of information to inquirers. In connection with this work, about 1,680 letters, etc., were
written and sent out, in reply to about a corresponding number of letters inward.
The Provincial Mineralogist left Victoria on June 23rd for East
Provincial Kootenay, where he was occupied in the vicinity of the Crow's Nest Pass
Mineralogist. coal mines until July llth. A trip was then made to Perry creek, the
recent developments there were inspected and afterwards the mines in the
vicinity of Kimberley were visited.
On returning to Cranbrook instructions were received to inspect the oil lands in the
south-east corner of the Province. Arrangements were consequently made for a pack train,
and while it was being prepared a trip was made to the Windermere District, and the producing mines of that section were examined.
Returning to Fort Steele, a start was made for the oil lands, travelling by pack-train and
taking in en route Bull river and the recent mining developments there.
Proceeding via Elko to Tobacco Plains, the Elk river had to be crossed. As the bridge
was out and the water still high, some delay was experienced, so that Tobacco Plains was only
reached on the 12th August.
From Tobacco Plains the trail usually taken to the Flathead river runs through the
State of Montana, but it was considered better to attempt to find a feasible trail through
Canadian territory, which was done, ihe Flathead river being reached on the 20th. There
being no maps of this section, some small amount of surveying had to be done, and the various
"oil springs" were then examined. Some difficulty was experienced in finding these, as the
information received concerning their location was very misleading. Delays from various
causes having consumed more time than was expected, food supplies gave out and a quick trip
had to be made into Alberta, the nearest supply point for these essentials. An examination
was made of the occurrence of oil at the points where boring was being done on the east side
of the Rocky mountains.
Returning to the main Flathead river, the latter was followed up to its headwatei s.
There being no trail, the bed of the stream had to be followed for a considerable portion of
the distance, the river valley and the beds of the tributary creeks being examined on the way.
The summit between the Flathead and the Lodgepole rivers was crossed in a blinding snowstorm on the evening of September 19th, and Morrissey and Elko were reached next day. On
the 25th all matters connected with the pack-train were disposed of at Fort Steele, and at
Cranbrook instructions were received to visit Poplar Creek, which point was reached on
September 28th, and the principal claims in the vicinity examined. Proceeding thence to
Trout Lake and Ferguson, which point was reached on October 1st, the producing mines of
that section were also examined. From here a trip was made to Camborne, in the Lardeau
Mining Division, to examine the properties about to begin producing in that vicinity. 4 Ed. 7 Bureau of Mines. H 31
Return was made to Victoria on the 10th October, where a week was lost through
sickness contracted in the field, after which a report on the Flathead District was prepared
and submitted to the Government.
On the 30th October, leave of absence of six weeks having been obtained, the first in five
years, a trip to certain Eastern points was made, much of the time being spent in examining
various Eastern smelters and investigating recent improvements in metallurgical operations,
return being made to Victoria on December 10th, when the work of collecting and preparing
the statistics for 1903 was begun, and occupied the remainder of the year.
In the collection of these statistics, it is found that willing and prompt compliance is
given with the Act calling for yearly returns of output, and that every assistance is afforded
by all but a few mines; these few, however, either through intent or negligence in making
returns, unduly delay the publication of the final figures. It is felt that it is not fair to make
the many wait for the few, and that in future, with whatever reluctance, decided steps will
have to be taken to enforce the penalties of the Act against delinquent mines.
The following is a summary of the work of the Assay Office, as reported by the Provincial
Assayer :—During the year some 720 assays or quantitative determinations were made; these
included a number for the Department of Mines, for which no fees are shown. The receipts
were as follows :—
Fee for ordinary assays $186 00
Fees for gold bullion assays 340 00
Fees from Assayers' Examination 270 00
Value of work done for other Departments and not charged for. . 250 00
Total $1,046 00
In addition to the above, a large number of qualitative determinations
Free were made of minerals and rocks sent into the Department for identification
Determinations, and classification. For this latter work no fees were charged, in accordance
with the established custom of the Department, such qualitative determinations being made free with the idea of assisting prospectors and others in the search for new
minerals or new mineral districts.
The value of gold melted, and for which Provincial Government Assay
Gold Melting Certificates were issued during the year 1903 was $152,675, representing
and Assaying. 164 lots. The Provincial Government at Victoria pays in cash the full
mint value of all gold dust brought in within 24 hours of its receipt, enabling
the miner to continue his journey, if he so desires, with very little delay, and, furthermore, men
arriving from the Yukon without ready money are enabled, by producing their receipt showing
that they have deposited a certain amount of gold dust with the Provincial Government for
assay, to obtain an immediate advance from any of the local banks. All gold bars are assayed
independently by two assayers who check one another, so that the depositor is assured that he
will obtain the highest possible value for his gold dust.
A considerable number of samples of water were analysed during the
Water Analyses, year ; some of these were found to be very bad indeed, particularly certain
well waters which were found to be entirely unfit for drinking purposes. H 32 Report of the Minister of Mines. 1904
Samples of black sand were analysed as usual for the platinum group
Platinum. of metals. This work led to the search for some better methods of separation
than those used hitherto for this group, and a series of experiments were
accordingly made with the object of separating gold, silver, platinum and osmiridium. As the
results of these experiments are of interest to the Assayers of the Province they are here given.
The separation of the osmiridium group from the noble metals does not
Osmiridium. present any special difficulty if little silver be present. The ore or black
sand is fluxed in a crucible in suitable manner and the lead button cupelled;
the resulting bead is rolled out and boiled with dilute sulphuric acid (1 to 10), letting the acid
gradually grow stronger; then, after washing, by boiling with nitric acid, again washing and
dissolving in aqua regia, the osmiridium group alone remains, with perhaps a trace of silver
chloride, which may be removed by solution in ammonia. The separation of gold, silver and
platinum presents some difficulty, as the following experiments will show :—
Alloys of the composition shown in Table I. were made by wrapping
Separation of the metals in sheet lead and cupelling. As the experiments gave negative
Platinum from Gold results as far as method of separation was concerned, a series of alloys were
made as shown in Table IL, gradually decreasing the proportion of platinum
to gold. A number of experiments were made with the alloy, with the same result as that
given. After finding that platinum would separate out with this low ratio of platinum to gold,
& number of experiments were conducted to ascertain how a higher ratio would separate. The
result of one of these experiments is given in Table III.
With 10 mgrms. to the same amount of gold some of the platinum was left in the cornet,
so that 7 per cent, of platinum to gold seems to be the highest ratio that can be successfully
400 mgrms. of added silver were found to part as successfully as 500 mgrms., and at the
same time to give a more compact cornet, not so liable to break up.
The action of mass seems to play a part in this separation, as 7 mgrms. of platinum, added
to 100 mgrms. of gold, parted successfully, but when double the quantity of both metals was
taken, as in the alloy of 14 mgrms. of platinum to 200 mgrms. of gold, the cornet did not part;
but by increasing the gold to 300 mgrms. it did part. A number of experiments were then
made with a view of separating the silver from alloys of gold, platinum and silver. The results
are given in Table V.
A series of alloys of silver and platinum without any gold were also parted, both in nitric
and sulphuric acids, but no satisfactory results could be obtained. A separation of platinum
from gold and silver alloy was also attempted by precipitation as potassium chloro-platinite.
This, however, presents many difficulties ; the alloy is for practical purposes insoluble in aqua
regia owing to silver chloride being precipitated on the cornet and preventing further action.
This difficulty may, to a certain extent, be overcome by first parting in sulphuric acid and then
taking out the last of the silver with nitric acid, washing and dissolving in aqua regia. To
precipitate platinum with potassium chloride requires that the solution be fairly concentrated;
in doing this it is difficult to prevent the gold chloride from decomposing and precipitating
metallic gold. Potassium chloride is to be preferred to ammonium chloride in precipitating
platinum, owing to its being slightly less soluble in alcohol. 4 Ed. 7
Bureau of Mines.
Gold .... 100
Cupelled, rolled, and boiled in strong HNO,,. Platinum did not part properly.
Cupelled, and parted in strong HNO., : resulting cornet weighed 113.5 mgrms.,
showing 13.5 mgrms. of platinum retained by cornet. Duplicate, same result.
| Cupelled, and parted in strong HN03: cornet weighed 113.5, showing 13.5 mgrms.,
f of platinum retained by cornet. Duplicate, same result.
I Cupelled, and parted in strong HN03: cornet weighed 112.5 mgrms., showing 12.5
f mgrms. of platinum retained by cornet. Duplicate, same result.
Cupelled, and parted in strong HN03 : cornet weighed 95 mgrms., showing that
a loss had occurred.
Note.—In the last experiment the platinum had not all parted out, giving a dull grey colour to the gold cornet; the cornet
was also partly broken up and the particles floated as a fine powder on the parting acid. A loss was occasioned in this manner, and
also perhaps by the amount of nitrous oxide evolved in the solution of the large amount of silver.
Platinum ...... 10
^Cupelled and parted first in 21° B. and then in 32° B. HNO., : resulting cornet
V weighed 102.7 mgrms., showing 2.7 mgrms. of platinum left in cornet. Dupli-
J eate, same result.
Cupelled, and parted twice in 32° B. HN03: resulting cornet weighed 101.2 mgrms.
Duplicate weighed 100.2 mgrms.
I Cupelled, and parted in first 21° B., second in 32° B. HNO.,: resulting cornet
f weighed 100.8 mgrms. Duplicate weighed 100.4 mgrms.
I Cupelled, and parted first in 21° B., second in 32° B., HNO. : resulting cornet
j weighed 100.2 mgrms. Duplicate, same result.
Cupelled, and parted in first 21° B., second in 32° B. HNO.: resulting cornet
weighed 100 mgrms., showing that the platinum had all been removed, except
perhaps an unweighable trace.
Platinum , .
[Cupelled, and parted in first 21° B., second in 32° B. HN03:
f weighed 100.2 mgrms.
resulting cornet H 34
Report of the Minister of Mines.
(Cupelled, and parted in 21° B. and 32° B. HN03: resulting cornet weighed 200.3
mgrms., showing 0.3 mgrm. of platinum retained; cornet broke up in parting.
Duplicate was parted in 21° B., still more diluted and did not break, and
weighed 200.3 mgrms.
1 Cupelled, and parted in 21° B. and 32° B. HN03: resulting cornet weighed 300
I mgrms. This would show that as a larger quantity of platinum has to be
J parted, gold must be added in increasing ratio.
Cupelled, and parted in 21° B. and 32° B. HNOa: resulting cornet weighed 200 mgrms.
[Cupelled, and parted in strong H2S04: resulting cornet weighed 204.7 mgrms.,
j showing 4.7 mgrms. of silver left behind. Duplicate, same result.
[Cupelled, and parted in strong H„S04: then in strong HN03: resulting cornet
f weighed 204 mgrms. Duplicate weighed 200.6 mgrms.
}Cupelled, and parted in dilute H„S04: resulting cornet weighed 105.5 mgrms.
Duplicate weighed 105.4 mgrms.
[Cupelled, and parted in dilute H„S04 : resulting cornet weighed 105.3 mgrms.
j Duplicate weighed 105.2 mgrms.
Cupelled, and parted in dilute H2S04, washed and parted in strong HNO.: resulting cornet weighed 55.3 mgrms. Duplicate weighed 55.2 mgrms.
[Cupelled, and parted in dilute H2S04, washed and parted in strong HN03: resulting cornet weighed 30.3 mgrms. Duplicate cornet weighed same.
Note.—This last experiment showed 0.3 mgrm. of silver retained or 0.1 per cent., which was the best result obtainable, while
it is not entirely satisfactory; a close assay could probably be made by running through a proof alloy under similar conditions and
deducting the surcharge of silver found from the regular assay.
Analyses of oil from springs in South-East Kootenay will be found in
Oil Analyses. the Provincial Mineralogist's report on that District. Shale from Ward's
Camp, Cariboo District, was examined and found to contain oil; special
mention of it will be found in the report on Cariboo District.
New signs were erected to better direct people to the Museum, with
Mineral Museum, the result that the number of visitors was at least double that of any
previous year. The cases are being gradually filled with specimens and
are kept up to date.
In addition to his usual duties, the Provincial Assayer visited all the principal properties
situated on or near Quatsino sound, at the north end of Vancouver Island. Z °
K 4 Ed. 7
Bureau of Mines.
Report op the Secretary of the Board op Examiners.
SiBj—I have the honour to submit my Annual Report as Secretary of the Board of
Examiners for Certificates of Competency and Licence to Practise Assaying in British
Columbia, as established under the "Bureau of Mines Act Amendment Act, 1899."
The Act referred to requires that at least two examinations shall be held in each year,
and these duly took place, one at Nelson on the 27th of April and following days in the
laboratory of the Hall Mines Smelter, and the other in the Government Laboratory at
Victoria on the 7th of December and following days. At the Nelson examination two candidates entered and two passed; at the Victoria examination seven candidates entered and six
The Board recommended the granting of three certificates under sub-section (2) during
List of Assayers holding Provincial Certificates of Efficiency under the "Bureau
op Mines Act Amendment Act, 1899," on January 1st, 1904.
Only the holders of such certificates may practise assaying in British Columbia.
Under section 2, sub-section (1)—
Austin, John W Vancouver.
Ayres, D. A Mexico.
Baker, C. S Victoria.
Barke, A Crofton.
Bishop, Walter Vancouver.
Campbell, Colin Nelson.
Carmichael, Norman Nelson.
Church, George B Nelson.
Clarke, Roy H Rossland.
Cobeldick, Wm. M
Comrie, Geo. H Vancouver.
Collinson, II Ladysmith.
Cruiekshank, G Rossland.
Davis, A. B. C. . Greenwood.
Day, Athelstan Vancouver.
Dedolph, Ed Kaslo.
Dockrill, Walter R Crofton.
Farquhar, J. B Vancouver.
Gooding, L. E
Haseltine, R. S Rossland.
Hawkins, Francis Nelson.
Hurter, Ch. S Ladysmith.
John, D Ferguson.
Kitto, G. B Victoria.
Lang, J. G Greenwood.
Ley, Rich. N Nelson.
Marsh, Richard Rossland.
Marshall, Wm. Stone Ladysmith.
Nicholson, Ch. F
O'Sullivan, John Vancouver.
Perkins, Walter G Grand Forks.
Pickard, T. D Fairview.
Robertson, Thomas R
Rombauer, A. B Crofton.
Segsworth, Walter . , Greenwood.
Sim, Charles John , Victoria.
Snyder, Blanchard M Spokane, Wash.
*Snyder, Wm. D
Sundberg, Gustave Greenwood.
Tally, Robert E Trail.
Thomas, Percival W Van Anda.
Tretheway, John H Vancouver.
Turner, H. A Kamloops.
Vance, John F. C. B Vancouver.
Vans Agnew, Frank London, Eng.
Wales, Roland T Trail.
Watson, Wm. J Ladysmith.
Welch, J. Cuthbert Northport.
Whittaker, Delbert E , Victoria.
Widdowson, E. Walter Trail.
Williams, W. A Grand Forks.
Wilson, CM Sandon. H 30 Report of the Minister of Mines. 1904
List op Assayers Holding Certificates of Efficiency.—Concluded.
Under section 2, sub-section (2)—
Archer, Allan Ymir. Merrit, Charles P Grand Forks.
Bryant, Cecil M Vancouver. McArthur, Reginald E Rossland.
Blaylock, Selwyn G Fernie. McFarlane, James Vancouver.
Clothier, Geo. A McLellan, John Rossland.
Cole, Arthur A Rossland. Maclennan, F. W Rossland.
Coulthard, R. W Fernie. McVicar, John Ymir.
Cowans, Fred Silverton. McNab, J. A Trail.
Dixon, Howard A Toronto, Ont. Musgrave, Wm. N Crofton.
Galbraith, M. T Greenwood. Mussen, Horace W
Gilman, Ellis Philip Vancouver. Noble, David T Trail.
Green, J. T. Raoul Nelson. Outhett, Christopher Kamloops.
Guess, Geo. A Greenwood. Shannon, S Ferguson.
Gwillim, J. C Kingston, Ont. Stevens, F. G Rossland.
Heal, John II Nelson. Thomson, H. Nellis Trail.
Hilliary, G. M . Phoenix. Turnbull, J. M Rossland.
Holdich, Augustus H Camborne. Watson, A. A Vernon.
Johnson, William Steele Slocan. Watson, Henry
Kaye, Alex Atlin. *West, Howard New Denver.
Lay, Douglas Wright, Rich. L Rossland.
Lewis, Francis B Grand Forks. Wynne, Llewellyn C Rossland.
Under section 2, sub-section (3)—
Carmichael, Herbert Victoria. McKillop, Alexander Nelson.
(Provincial Assayer.) Pellew-Harvey, Wm London, Eng.
Harris, Henry Nelson. Robertson, Wm. F Victoria.
Kiddie, T. (Supt. Smelter) . . .Ladysmith. (Provincial Mineralogist.)
Marshall, Dr. T. R London, Eng. Sutton, Wm. J Victoria.
Previously issued under the "Bureau of Mines Act, 1897," section 12.
Pinder, W. J. B Dawson, Y. T. Thompson, James B Vancouver.
EXAMINATION FOR COAL MINE MANAGERS.
Under the provisions of the " Coal Mines Regulation Act," the manager having control and
daily supervision over any coal mine in the Province of British Columbia, must hold a
certificate of competency issued under such Act.
At the meeting of the Board of Examiners duly held on October 31st, 1902, it was
unanimously decided to hold examinations simultaneously at Nanaimo and Fernie, on January
19th, 20th and 21st, 1904. As the results of these examinations are to hand before the
publication of this year's Report they are published herein, although, strictly speaking, they
appertain to the year 1904.
The papers were, as usual, prepared in advance, and identical examinations were held at
the two centres mentioned. The general scope and character of the examination have been
fully set out in previous Reports. Eleven candidates presented themselves for examination,
and the following seven were successful:—
Donald McLean, Ladysmith. R. W. Coulthard, Fernie.
Geo. Wilkinson, Nanaimo. J. Richardson Roaf, Fernie.
H. B. Wright, Fernie. John John, Fernie.
H. L. Manley, Fernie. 4 Ed. 7
Bureau of Mines.
Registered List of Colliery Managers' Service Certificates Issued Under Section-
39, "Coal Mines Regulation Act, 1897."
John Bryden, Victoria. *John Dick.
*James Gillispie. Archibald Dick, Government Inspector of Mines.
Edward G. Prior. James Dunsmuir, Victoria.
Thomas A. Buckley. James Cairns, Comox, farmer.
:Coal Mines Regulation Act, 1877," Registered List of Certificates of Competency
Shepherd, Francis H
Little, Francis D
*Dickinson, Urick Evan ...
*Jones, John Bunyan Louis
Norton, Richard Henry.. .
*Lindsay, William Alfred. .
Wall, William H
Smith, Frank B
Bradshaw, George B
Simpson, William G
Drinnan, Robert G
Stockett, Thomas, Jr
*Lamb, Robert B
Wilson, A. R
Richards, James A
Wright, H. B
Coulthard, R. W
Roaf, J. Richardson
Manle.y, H. L
not known .
Nanaimo . .
Inspector of Mines, Nelson.
Inspector of Mines, Nanaimo
Inspector of Mines, N. W. T., Calgary.
Crow's Nest, Fernie
Nanaimo . .
27 th October,
17th October, 1902.
21st January, ] 904.
Examinations of coal miners, &c, have been duly held in accordance with the
Mines Regulation Act Amendment Act, 1901."
:Coal H 38 Report of the Minister of Mines. 1904
Report op J. A. Fraser, Gold Commissioner.
I have the honour to enclose herewith my annual report on mining operations carried on
in the Atlin, Bennett and Chilkat Mining Divisions of Cassiar District during the year ending
31st December, 1903.
ATLIN MINING DIVISION.
The local conditions are continually changing here, but I might still reiterate some of the
observations of my last report as being applicable at the present time, particularly those as to
the necessity, or at least desirability, for some form of survey of holdings on the Creeks and
as to the difficulties arising from water (or scarcity of water) and the disposition of " tailings"
The cancellation of a large number of unworked leases has encouraged re-location and the
ground has in many cases passed into the possession of companies from which more active
development may be expected. The drifting operations of the last two winters have encouraged still further efforts of that nature, and with satisfactory returns to the operators.
From 800 to 900 men were actually employed in mining last season, and whilst a great
amount of "dead work" was being done, it will be noted that a considerable increase in
revenue has been obtained.
The abolition of the offices of Mining Recorder at Bennett and Wells will materially
lessen the gross expense of administering the District, without imposing any material increase
of labour upon the officials still remaining.
Individual operations on this creek were lighter this season than here-
Pine Creek. tofore, which was to be expected, for the reasons given in previous reports,
but the results obtained by those who did operate were fairly satisfactory.
The probabilities are, however, that much less will be done in the way of individual operation
upon this creek for the future, as the British-American Dredging Company, Limited, has
acquired by purchase (at a very fair figure) a large portion of what was being most successfully
operated by individual methods, and what with its holdings and those of the various hydraulic
companies, little room is left for individual operation.
Last winter a large number of men were drifting on both Pine creek and Gold Run,
but owing to the acquisition just mentioned of so much of the ground by the various
companies, very little is being done in this direction this winter. About 25 men are drifting
on Gold Run and about 20 on Pine creek.
The British-American Dredging Co., Limited.
O. T. Switzer, General Manager.
This company has acquired a large number of hydraulic leases, comprising a considerable
extent of alluvial ground, and is still acquiring more, so that already it controls a very large
aggregate area, some portions of which are known to be rich. Among other properties acquired
are the leases on Gold Run and Pine creeks known as the Ophir, Earth and Cosmopolitan
Groups. 4 Ed. 7 Cassiar District. H 39
The company brought in a Keystone drill, with which it operated for upwards of three
months, prospecting its various properties, at an aggregate expenditure of about $20,000, with
unqualified success and satisfaction. A Bucyrus dredge and an electrical power plant capable
of producing 500 h. p. were also brought in. The dredge was placed upon one of the Ophir
Group of leases on Gold Run creek and the power plant a short distance below the " Falls " on
Pine creek. In conjunction with the construction and installation of the dredge and power
plant, this company excavated over one and a half miles of ditch, laid 1,800 feet of 30-inch
steel pipe, built 400 feet of wooden flume, erected 6 miles of pole line equipped with 5 wires,
using over 25 miles of copper wire, built a transformer house near the dredge site, together
with dams, pressure box and the camp buildings, etc., necessary for the work and to
accommodate its employees, at an aggregate expenditure of about $300,000.
Notwithstanding that the utmost diligence was manifested and a large force of men
employed, the delays consequent upon the transportation of the heavy plant and timber,
upwards of 700 tons of which had to be imported, in addition to such local timber and lumber
as could be utilised, besides other causes, retarded the completion of the dredge and power
plant until about the close of the season, and the management had to reluctantly content
themselves with having everything ready for commencing operations with the opening of the
season of 1904. The progress of this work was watched with unusual interest and its
non-completion in time for operation this season was disappointing to more than the management, for if its operation proves as successful as similar plants have done elsewhere, it will
mark an epoch in the history of mining in this District and in British Columbia, and with the
values known to exist in some of the ground, will surely prove remunerative to the owners.
The company contemplates the construction of several dredges upon its various properties
in this District. As many as 100 men were employed by the company, the average during
the season being 60.
The Pine Creek Power Company, Limited.
The Pine Creek Power Company, Limited—F. T. Blunck, President; M. W. Loveridge,
hydraulic superintendent and foreman, L. H. Griffith, general manager—as anticipated in last
year's report, opened up new pits, installed hydraulic derricks, and with other improved
methods made a much better showing than during any previous season. The high benches on
the south side of Pine creek were attacked with excellent results, and the existence of an old
river channel away to the south of the present channel has apparently been proved. Piping
was in progress from June 23rd to October 17th, over 108,000 cubic yards of gravel being
moved, at a cost of nearly $21,000, and a very handsome profit realised over and above all
expenses. The best evidence of the confidence of the management in the property is that they
have spent over $27,000 in further equipment and disposition of plant, etc., employing an
average of 30 men during the season.
The Atlin and Willow Creek Gold Mining Company, Limited.
This company, not having succeeded in securing the settlement of its litigious and other
difficulties, did not do much work during the season but still had quite a number of men
employed on "lays" and otherwise. The Manager, Mr. Frank H. Brackett, went out without
responding to my request for a statement, and I cannot, therefore, give any more extended
notice of its operations.
The Eastern Hydraulic Mining Company.
John F. Deeks, Manager.
This company, operating on the south side of Pine creek above Discovery, built a considerable length of ditch and had, I understand, a successful season, but as the Manager also
failed to respond to my request for particulars, I cannot give details of operations. H 40 Report of the Minister of Mines. 1904
The North Columbia Gold Mining Co., Ltd.
J. M. Ruffner, Manager.
This is a new company which has been operating this season in both placer and quartz
mining, with, I believe, encouraging results. In placer mining it worked a number of claims
on Gold Run with very fair returns; but assuming that the methods in vogue were rather
crude and expensive, the management has decided to instal a plant with a view to more
economical operation, being well satisfied, apparently, with the values obtainable. The company has also bonded the property of the Stephendyke Hydraulic Mining Partnership, Limited,
and in order to prospect the same satisfactorily has constructed about 1J miles of flume, etc.
About $9,000 was expended in prospect and development work in connection with this property and demonstrated to the satisfaction of the management the presence thereupon of the
same rich pay streak or gravel found on Gold Run and down along Pine creek through the
Pine Creek Power Company's property. Good results are anticipated from next year's operations.
On this creek a large number of individual miners worked during the
Spruce Creek, season, with excellent results, and had it not been for the scarcity of water,
which increased the cost of operation and eventually compelled many to
cease sluicing earlier than heretofore, together with the damage done by the spring floods, the
showing per capita would have been very good indeed. This was the best creek this season
from the individual miner's standpoint. Last year I reported from one to two ozs. per diem
per man, but this year many realised better pay even than that. Nearly $100,000 was
reported for royalty by the individual miners on the creek this year, being nearly $35,000
better than last year. The lower portion of the creek, for perhaps two or three miles, is pretty
well worked out, as far as the creek bed and open work is concerned, but much of the upper
portion is practically virgin ground and is being opened up as the lower parts are being worked
out. The benches have been but little worked, but sufficiently so to show that there is very
good pay to be had by drifting, and from 100 to 150 men are so employed this winter. I
might say that the spring freshet in May and the early part of June did much damage in
tearing out wing-dams and sluice-boxes and filling up pits, and materially affected the output
as above mentioned.
The Consolidated Spruce Creek Placers, Limited.
C. B. Gaddis, Manager; H. Haslitt, Hydraulic Superintendent.
Of the hydraulic companies operating on Spruce Creek the Consolidated Spruce Creek
Placers, Limited, is located nearest the mouth, and a good deal of preliminary work has been
done this year in building ditches, flumes, &c, and installing plant preparatory to an early
start next season. An average of 27 men was employed from June 19th to October 10th, with
a maximum number of 43, and about $40,000 was expended.
The Gladstone Hydraulic Mining Partnership, S. O. Wheelock, manager, being hampered
for want of water and room to dispose of tailings, has been prospecting and putting in a ditch
line, on which work it had from 2 to 11 men employed, and expended nearly $3,000,000.
The Columbia Hydraulic Mining Company, under the management of Mr. E. F. Meisner,
had to repair much damage done to its flume and plant by the high water, and between this
and rebuilding retaining dams for the debris, &c, did very little piping. It built or rebuilt
nearly 1,000 feet of flume and two retaining dams. An average of 15 men was employed for
about three and one-half months, and about $7,500 expended. z
PQ 4 Ed. 7 Cassiar District. H 41
The property owned by the Camp Hammell Mining Partnership, although in lease form, was
operated by individual methods, with about such results as are usually so obtained. Four men
were employed during the season, and $2,500 is said to have been expended.
The Blue Canyon Partnership, R. A. Jackson, manager, John Letherdale, foreman, put on
a friction hoist and derrickj and with an average of five men expended about $4,000, with fair
Next season I expect to find other companies operating on Spruce creek on an extensive
scale, and much more work done than during any previous year. It should be added that several
outfits of individual miners have derricks and hoists, most of them run by water and a few by
steam, and these men have expended in certain instances far more than some of the companies;
as, however, I have no details of the work done I cannot report upon it.
The Atlin Lake Company, Limited.
The local management of this company again changed hands during
Birch Creek. the winter, and this season's operations were carried on under the management of A. Bryan Williams, with R. A. Lambert as foreman. The water
supply on this creek being limited at best, the company was peculiarly and unfortunately
embarrassed by the exceptional scarcity of water this season, and consequently did not accomplish as much as it otherwise might have done. However, the results of the season's
operations were fairly satisfactory.
Birch creek, although completely abandoned by the individual miners for the last two
years, has this season again attracted their attention, quite a number of claims have been
located upon the upper portion of the stream, and if sufficient water can be obtained no doubt
there will be much more activity exhibited next season than at any time since 1899.
On this creek the individual miners again made a very good showing,
Boulder Creek, although there were not quite so many as in 1902, besides which, the scarcity
of water in the autumn caused most of them to close down earlier than in
the year preceding; for these reasons, principally, the aggregate output was not quite as large as
in 1902. Quite a large number of men were drifting on this creek last winter, and this winter
(1903-04) from 75 to 100 men are drifting there, with very encouraging results. The ground
on the lower part of Boulder creek is very deep, one crew of individual operators having sunk
nearly 60 feet to reach bedrock, but once down they are finding exceptionally rich gravel, and the
indications are that they will be exceedingly well repaid for their outlay of time and money.
Steam hoists, &c, are used in this ground, the depth of which is beyond the capacity of
Of the companies operating on this creek " La Societe Miniere de la Colombie Britannique,"
of Paris, France, local manager, Mr. Henry Maluin, takes first place. Although this company
owns a number of hydraulic leases, it is still confining its operations to the working out of
individual claims which were acquired by purchase. Its ground is very rich, but owing to
damage to its flumes, etc., from freshets and the debris from the operators above, it has,
unfortunately, been subjected each year to a heavy loss of both money and time, which has
prevented it thus far from realising the profits which, barring these reasons, would have
undoubtedly been secured. This season with an average of 23 men and a maximum of 28,
piping was in progress for 60 da3'S, something over 20,000 cubic yards of gravel being moved
and about $19,000 in gold cleaned up. Last spring the manager rebuilt the bedrock flume,
at an expense of $5,000, making it 48" wide and 40" deep, and had it " riffled " with steel rails
(railroad), but the water fell away so that he had to put in a partition, reducing the width to H 42 Report of the Minister of Mines. 1904
30 inches. As the individual claims above become worked out the creek bottom grows wider
and the facilities for retaining or avoiding the debris will be improved, and I then confidently
expect to see this company realise good returns for all its dead work and lost time. I may
say here that as yet no effort has been made by any of the operators to conserve or store water
on this creek and this must be done by somebody before the best results and returns are
On the Non-Union Lease, above Discovery, a small hydraulic plant was being installed,
but the scarcity of water and other matters prevented the doing of much actual mining. It
is intended, however, to make an early start next season.
The Boulder Creek Hydraulic Mining Company also expects to instal a plant on its ground
and secure such returns as, from the development and prospecting already done, the management feel confident will be obtained.
As anticipated in last year's Report, there were active operations on
Ruby Creek. Ruby creek this year by a number of miners. Early in the year the leases
that were held on the creek were cancelled, and the ground being thrown
open for re-location quite a number of claims were immediately staked. One lot of about ten
claims was grouped and called the "Ruby Creek Mining Partnership." This company spent
about $3,000 putting in a bedrock flume and prospecting for bedrock. A depth of 30 feet was
reached without finding bedrock but a considerable depth of pay gravel was passed through
and the owners are well satisfied with their prospects, although they realised practically no
returns for their labour. Other syndicates spent some time and money in like manner, but it
remains for the coming season to demonstrate just what values, if any, are on the creek.
A small number of individual miners continue to operate on the upper
Wright Creek, portion of this creek, with fair success. The English Counties Hydraulic
Syndicate, C. Dubois Mason, Manager, operated its leases during the season
and installed a small hydraulic plant thereon, expending altogether about $7,000 with only
indifferent success. The management is, however, still sanguine of good returns next season,
when a better supply of water may be available.
On Otter creek, the Otter Creek Hydraulic Company, Limited, under the management of
Mr. J. H. Brownlee, P. L. S., installed a hydraulic plant and did considerable deadwork, but
owing to the supply of water failing early in the season no large returns were secured. I
regret to say that the manager neglected to supply me with data from which to give a more
extended notice of the property and operations.
Note by Provincial Mineralogist.—Since the receipt of the report of the Gold Commissioner, Mr. Brownlee has been seen and has kindly loaned his official report as Managing
Director, from which the following extracts have been made:—
Otter Creek Hydraulic Mining Company.
From Report of J. H. Brownlee, Managing Director.
" This company has acquired Messrs. Carmichael & Moran's lease on Otter creek, consisting
of three miles of the upper portion of the creek and the contiguous benches. The property has
been successfully prospected by the former owners with excellent results, No. 1 and 2 pits
being opened up. The plant installed by the present company during 1903 may be summarised
briefly as follows :—
"Five thousand five hundred feet of supply flume, carrying a maximum flow of 1,000
inches of water, the supply pipe consisting of 2,000 feet of 12, 14 and 16-inch double rivetted
No. 14 gauge; intake pipe, 28 inches, connecting with pressure box with sand tank, et