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.