Ladner Gold Project

The Ladner Gold Property comprises mineral claims over an area of approximately 28 by 5 km covering the northern part of the Coquihalla Gold Belt. The middle of the property is accessed by the Coquihalla Highway (Hwy #5). The property, which is approximately 150 km east of Vancouver, BC, follows the Hozameen fault structure for approximately 28 km. The former Carolin gold mine itself is about 6 km from the Coquihalla Highway, on a well-developed gravel road.

The Coquihalla Gold Belt is situated in the northern Cascade Mountains of British Columbia. Early exploration was limited by the rugged topography and dense vegetation characteristic of the entire region. Elevations range from 300 metres to 2,000 metres.

Chronological History

Interest in the area began with discovery of placer gold in the Fraser River in the 1850’s. In 1868 the first Crown-granted claim in mainland British Columbia was awarded — this covered silver discoveries located south of Hope. The rough terrain made prospecting difficult but by about 1891 or 1892 placer miners washing placer gravel on Siwash Creek near the Fraser River found lode gold deposits about 4 miles up Siwash Creek.

By 1900 several fold-bearing quartz veins had been discovered adjacent to the eastern edge of what was later called the Coquihalla serpentine belt.

Prospecting in the region was given a boost when the Kettle Valley railway was constructed along the Coquihalla River between 1910 and 1916. This opened up access to the south basin area.

The Ward Mine, the first hard rock mine that exploited a deposit of gold hosted in rock adjacent to the faulted eastern margin of the Coquihalla serpentine belt, was operated in 1905 and produced about 135 ounces of gold. Larger-scale operations were developed prior to World War II on the current property, including the Pipestem, Aurum and Emancipation Mines, which collectively produced another 3,700 ounces of gold. The Emancipation Mine produced 90.1 kg (2,897 ounces) of gold and 18.8 kg (605 ounces) of silver between 1916 and 1941.

The Emancipation Mine was located in 1913 by Mike Merrick. He discovered lode gold in a large quartz vein near the contact of sediments and serpentinite. Between 1916 and 1919, mining took place with shipments totaling approximately 118 tons of high-grade gold ore. In the 1920’s a mill was constructed near the Kettle Valley railway and connected to the mine via aerial tram. The mine was shuttered prior to WW2.

The Pipestem Mine, located approximately 2.5 km north of the Carolin Mine, was developed by J. Fagan and Associates in 1922 and produced on a small scale until 1937.

Approximately 11 gold showings are also found within 2 km north of the Carolin Mine. Exploration in the area north of the Ladner Creek drainage basin is not well documented, however, a number of gold occurrences have been located. The Montana showing was located in 1915 by Alex McLean and produced approximately 30 oz gold from two tons in 1925. This showing was re-discovered in September 2011. Minor gold production totaling 30 oz gold was reported from the Georgia No. 2 showing in 1925. This showing was located by Green Hicks in 1919.

The Idaho claim was located August 9, 1915 by Tony DeAngelis adjacent to the existing Pittsburg claim (located by Jack O’Connell). He worked the claim with Jack O’Connell and Alex McLean and later sold the claim to Henry Hockin.

In 1926, a silicified zone was found by trenching along the serpentinite contact. As this trenching was extended in 1928, astonishing values (?) in free gold in a talcose shear zone were revealed. Aurum Mines Limited was formed to handle operations.

The Idaho group was under option from December 1945 to October 1946, during which time the first diamond drilling and geophysical surveys were conducted. No. 2 Zone was encountered in nine drill holes, which gave an overall average of mineralized intersections of 0.171 oz/ton gold. In 1945 and 1946, eight shallow holes were diamond drilled in the Idaho Zone averaging 5.4 grams per tonne gold over 5.4 meters.

Local residents of Hope became interested in the area during the early 1960s. The claims were consolidated under one owner. A road was excavated along the hillside to expose rock and provide access to the Idaho Zone.

The Idaho surface exposure, discovered in the summer of 1915, and which was adjacent to the Aurum Mine was explored in 1966 by Summit Mining Ltd. extending the strike length of surface showings to 75 meters. This was further developed starting in the 1970s by Aquarius Resources, followed by Carolin Gold Mines Ltd. in 1973.

Exploration interest was renewed in the area in 1973 when the government-controlled price of gold was allowed to rise. Ensuing exploration led to the discovery of the Carolin gold mine located approximately 2 km north of the Emancipation Mine. Under the management of Carolin Gold Mines, the Carolin Mine was opened to exploit this deposit and produced over 43,500 ounces of gold during 27 months of operation. The mill with a design capacity of 1,360 tonnes per day was commissioned in early 1982. Construction coincided with the high gold prices in 1980, but typically of the era, the first gold was produced in 1982 when gold had retreated back to near US$300 per ounce. The Carolin Mine operated from 1982 to 1984 and closed at the end of 1984 due to poor gold recoveries, low grades due primarily to dilution, and low gold prices.

Since the mine closing there was limited exploration on the property from 1984 until 1990 when Anglo Swiss Mining Corporation conducted surface exploration and drilling on the McMaster Zone. In 1994, Athabaska Gold Resources acquired claims that covered the Carolin Mine and surrounding ground under an option agreement with Ladner Creek Gold Mining Corporation and a prospector group. Then from 1995 through to 1997, Athabaska conducted underground exploration drifting and drilling coupled with bulk sampling for metallurgical work, which was conducted at Lakefield. In addition, part of the tailings impoundment was drilled as well as exploration drilling on the McMaster Zone. Athabaska Gold Resources eventually went into receivership and filed for bankruptcy in 2001. The property and claims were purchased in October 2002 from the receiver by Tamerlane Ventures Inc. In 2004, Century Mining Corporation optioned the claims from Tamerlane and subsequently optioned the property and claims to Module Resources Inc. through a letter of intent in 2007 followed by a formal option agreement in 2008. Century and Module subsequently signed a purchase and sale agreement on June 20, 2011. Century Mining Corporation did not carry out any exploration or development on the property. Module conducted limited surface exploration work predominantly at the McMaster Zone consisting of 1,600 metres of drilling in 2009 and 2010. Module changed its name to New Carolin Gold Corp. on October 11, 2011. Underground work has consisted of re-opening and inspecting the underground workings and re-building the 900 portal. A small diamond drill program totaling 1400 metres was completed in November, 2012 at the Idaho Zone to confirm earlier mineralization via trenching conducted in 1996. Limited vibracore drilling from a floatable drill platform was carried out in 2009 on the tailings impoundment in order to collect material for metallurgical test work. Reclamation work was completed on cleaning up the tailings impoundment, which also included geotechnical inspection.

Shearer, Joe, Hardrock Mining in the Hope Area 1858 — 1948, Forging a New Hope, book published by Hope and District Historical Society, 1984, pp 73 — 79.

Property Map

  • 150 kms east of Vancouver, BC
  • 18 km from Hope BC and major rail line
  • Infrastructure already in place
  • 6 km from existing power lines
  • Existing road access from the Coquihalla Highway
  • Elevation of 800 metres
  • Politically mining-friendly jurisdiction
  • Positive response from local community