Gold and Platinum in the Tulameen River



  • The Tulameen River is a rich gold-bearing river in British Columbia. Near the town of Princeton where it drains into the Similkameen River, gold can be found throughout the river gravels.


  • Much of the gold comes from ancient river gravels.


  • Platinum is also present within this river. In fact, in some areas the platinum recovery can considerable.


  • In the Grasshopper Mountains, the Tulameen river is rich in deep gravel being the floor of the valley as it stretches along Tulameen and Coalmont. The river transverses the Canyon Valley and at this point the deposits are scarce but five kilometers past Princeton towards the west, the river becomes broad with a gravel bed valley with beaches on both sides of the river.

    The high amount of both gold and platinum has been done on the two stretches; the upper stretch measuring two kilometers to the west of Tulameen to the mouth of Champion Creek.



     

    Gold Production Records and Historical Background

     

    The other rich part of the river which is the lower part or stretch starts at Coalmont from the onset of Granite Creek and goes southeastern to Princeton.

    The gold in the river exhibit angular nuggets that contain quartz they are rough and flattened while Platinum are round bits of almost the same size and are generally smaller than the gold nuggets. In some case, the large platinum pieces are coated with Chromites crystals and the ratio of gold to platinum that is recovered from the river is quite high, considering the general rarity of placer platinum.



     

    Placer Gold in the Tulameen River

     

    The placer gold in the Tulameen River was first discovered in the year 1877 but it was not actively mined to any large degree. The first active mining of gold in the creeks and the beaches was done in the year 1920 where platinum was produced followed by gold. The most mining of the gold was done in the lower and the upper sides of the river in the year 1924 where miners produced 48 tons of gold.

    Since its earliest discoveries, the Tulameen River has exhibited placer mines for gold and platinum.

    Most of the placer gold in the Tulameen River does have an origin from the mother rock bed as a result of the fracture and segmented mother rock. The prospectors are known to be of two kinds, this was evident in the nearby Princeton hotel accompanied by their whiskey bottles and when their pockets run dry, they would go back the river and shovel some sand for gold and platinum.

    Mining claims within the area or along the river are not easily acquired because most of the good gold-bearing stretches of the river are already heavily claimed.



     

    British Columbia Gold Panning

     

    The growth of Princeton can be credited to placer miners rushing in to make their fortunes. The gold rush lead to the existence of Tulameen and Similkameen as well.

    Today, the availability of the placer gold in the area led also to several outdoor activities including recreational prospecting at large, the growth of the old towns was also promoted by the presence of the miners in the area.

    At the moment there is technological advancement that has been employed to make attempts to get more placer gold from the gravel along the shores of the river, and it is estimated that the gold that has been recovered in total from the area west of Princeton is worth millions of dollars.

    More gold exists today, but gaining access to good gold-bearing ground is needed if you plan to find any of the gold or platinum that is present here.

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