Golden Triangle in British Columbia, Canada

Infrastructure development (the power line, roads and new Hydro projects) in the Golden Triangle is underscores the regions revitalization.

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Unearthing the Golden Triangle

Some of the world’s most significant mineral potential lies in a hidden corner of North-Western Canada. The golden Triangle in British Columbia is home to some of the highest-grade ore qualities in the world. Billions of dollars of Gold, Copper and Silver sit within an uncharted area that was once remote. Recently, this area has witnessed a renewed interest by the metal explorer’s community. Safely tucked away between the Coast Mountain range and Alaska’s Pacific Coast, British Columbia’s Golden Triangle was always a hub for prospectors looking to become rich even before Canada was officially a country.

Let’s take a look at the history of gold discovery in this region. The Stikine Gold rush was kick-started by Alexander Choquette in the year 1861 after he stumbled upon Gold at the confluence of the Anuk and Stikine rivers. At the time, more than 800 prospectors marched towards Stikine from Victoria in search of Gold. However, that’s ancient history. A few short years later, an even greater Gold rush occurred. This Gold rush was termed as the Cassiar Gold rush. British Columbia’s biggest Gold nugget, weighing a whopping 73 ounces, was found just to the north of the Cassiar region. Thereafter, the Atlin Gold rush, which was an off-shoot of the Klondike Gold rush, also occurred just north of the Golden Triangle.

Several mines in and around the Golden Triangle shut down in the 90s owing to exceedingly high operating costs and weak precious metal and commodity prices. When the price of Gold booms, speculators rush in and they stand a chance to make huge profits. On the other hand, the lure of Gold can end up burning your pockets if metal prices head south and fixed costs do not. The companies that first worked in the Golden Triangle balanced their richness against the costs of the remote location.

The first big discovery in the Golden Triangle region was at the Premier Gold Mine which started operations in 1918. This mine was first owned by the Premier Gold Mining Company and the Christian Science Monitor called this mine ‘One of the greatest Silver and Gold mines in the world.’ Discovered in 1988, the Eskay Creek Mine is Canada’s highest-grade Gold mine in addition to being the world’s fifth largest producer of Silver. Even though the Gold in the Golden Triangle region was extremely high grade, low Gold prices in the late 90s made the economics challenging.

There have been two significant improvements to the infrastructure in the region of the Golden Triangle of British Columbia. One being that the Stewart-Cassiar highway north of Smithers has been renovated. Secondly, power came to this region in the year 2014 with the Northwest Transmission Line. This new line provides a steady supply of power to industrial developments in the region as well as a secure interconnection point for clean generation projects. The ocean ports have also opened and this facilitates export of concentrate in Stewart.

Seabridge Gold, a precious metals-focused project developer, has undertaken significant efforts to restore the historic mining activities in north-west British Columbia. They’ve spent a whopping 6 million Canadian dollars to ensure that the Iskut project is in compliance with the provincial regulations and authorisations. After acquiring the SnipGold properties in late 2016, Seabridge inherited a stable of active permits for the Iskut project. These permits are in good standing and they authorise mineral exploration, camp construction and further reclamation. The Association for Mineral exploration in British Columbia recently awarded Seabridge Gold the Robert R. Hedley Award for excellence in environmental responsibility.

Recently, the Golden Triangle has become the hot area for exploration once again. This has happened due to three major reasons – new infrastructure, modern discoveries and higher Gold prices. Even after adjusting inflation Gold prices are three times higher today than what they used to be. Combine this with the Golden Triangle’s high grades and the produce from the mines becomes even more attractive. The next big Gold rush at the Golden Triangle is already underway. And even though there are new discoveries and mines being built in this area, a report by the British Columbia government estimates that only 0.0006% of the Golden Triangle has been mined to date!