The Kootenays region in British Columbia, Canada has a rich history of gold discoveries dating back to the late 1800s. The region, located in the southeastern part of the province, is known for its rugged terrain and scenic beauty, attracting miners and prospectors from all over the world. One of the most significant gold discoveries in the Kootenays is the Kenville Gold Mine, which operated intermittently for over 50 years and produced more than 2.5 million ounces of gold.
The discovery of gold in the Kootenays can be traced back to the 1860s when prospectors began exploring the region. The first major gold discovery was made in the Wild Horse Creek area in 1863, which sparked a gold rush and brought thousands of prospectors to the region. The Wild Horse Creek gold rush lasted for several years and led to the discovery of other rich gold deposits throughout the Kootenays.
One of these gold deposits was the Kenville Gold Mine, which was discovered in 1888 by a prospector named Tom Creighton. Creighton was exploring the area around Kootenay Lake when he discovered a rich vein of gold-bearing quartz. He staked a claim and began mining the ore, which he sold to local smelters for a profit.
Kenville Gold Mine Property, Nelson, British Columbia, Canada
Image source: @XimenMiningCorp (Instagram)
Creighton’s discovery sparked a mini gold rush in the area, and soon other prospectors began staking claims and exploring the surrounding hills for gold. The Kenville Mine was initially operated as an underground mine, with miners using hand tools and explosives to extract the ore. The mine produced high-grade gold ore, which was transported by horse-drawn wagons to the nearby town of Nelson for processing.
In the early 1900s, the Kenville Mine was sold to a group of investors who formed the Kenville Gold Mines Company. The company invested heavily in the mine, building a large mill and infrastructure to extract and process the ore. The Kenville Mine became one of the largest gold producers in the Kootenays, employing hundreds of workers and producing thousands of ounces of gold each year.
The Kenville Mine operated intermittently throughout the early 1900s, with production declining during World War I due to labor shortages and declining gold prices. The mine was briefly re-opened in the 1930s, but production was again curtailed due to the Great Depression and declining gold prices.
In the 1940s, the Kenville Mine was sold to the Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company (COMINCO), which operated the mine until the 1950s. COMINCO invested heavily in the mine, building a new mill and infrastructure to support increased production. The Kenville Mine produced over 2.5 million ounces of gold during this period, making it one of the most significant gold producers in the Kootenays.
After several decades of operation, the Kenville Mine was finally closed in the 1950s due to declining gold prices and the high cost of production. The mine was eventually sold to a series of smaller mining companies, who conducted exploration and drilling programs to assess the remaining gold deposits.
Upper Bonnington Falls Dam (hydro electric power source for the Kenville Mine, Kootenay River, Nelson, BC
Image source: City of Nelson – Nelson.ca
In the 1980s, the Kenville Mine was sold to a group of investors who formed the Kenville Gold Mines Ltd. The company conducted further exploration and drilling programs, which revealed significant gold deposits in the area. The company began developing plans to re-open the mine, investing in new infrastructure and equipment to support modern mining methods.
Now in the hands of Ximen Mining xim.v the Kenville Gold Mine is on the verg of opening again, potentially this year … exciting time ahead.
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