Gold Prospecting in Newfoundland and Labrador
Prospecting for gold in Newfoundland and Labrador began in the late 1800s and tapered off again around 1940. In the 1980s renewed interest in mining occurred due to the increase in the price of gold. In 1983, a geological map showed there were only a very few gold discoveries in the Baie Verta area of Newfoundland – some small quartz veins with gold on the Rambler property, and the Goldenville deposit near Ming’s Bight, discovered in the late 1800s. But today there have been over 100 occurrences of gold.
Near Ming’s Bight, Pine Cove is an active gold mine, and two other areas in the Baie Verte Peninsula – Hammerdown near King’s Point and Nugget Pond near Snook’s Arm were producing gold from 1997 to 1999 and 2001 to 2004. There have been just two gold showings of any significance in Labrador – south of Voisey’s Bay Ni-Cu-Co Mine and the Aucoin Showing in the north central area. One would expect that a fair amount of gold could be located in Labrador as a large part of it is part of the Canadian Shield.
Since gold accumulates in the gravel beds and the sand in the rivers, panning is a good way to evaluate the area you are in. Pan up the stream until there is no more color in the pan, then head back down to the closest tributaries and pan. With persistance, you can locate the stream that is the source of the gold, and then continue upstream. With luck, you will be able to locate a gold bearing outcropping of rock. Be observant for rock that appears to be rusty, as this may indicate the presence of gold. So get yourself a hammer and a gold pan, and get going.
Each year a two week prospecting class is held in June and July in Happy Valley-Goose Bay and Stephenville. You must make application to the Department of Natural Resources, but it could be well worth the cost and time. As always, familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations that apply to the area you want to work, and be respectful of any private property that you obtain permission to prospect on.