Bralorne – the mine that keeps on giving
Two days ago I had to chance to visit Bralorne, one of the most prolific gold mines in British Columbia. It was quite a challenge to venture along the Hurley River Forest Service road (it has its own devoted website ), apparently a famous tire killer, to get to Gold Bridge and later to Bralorne itself. It is all well worth it since the landscapes and remote feel well compensate for it, especially when a massive storm cut the power off the area.
Bralorne is one of the great gold mines that started in the 1930s, when gold was a safe bet during the great depression. It worked until the early 1970s and more intermittently as of late. It is on care-and-maintenance since 2014, but works are under way to comply with tailings dam safety guidelines imposed after the Mount Polley dam failure.
It seems that later this year Bralorne will operate once again and make its Avino shareholders happy again. Two brand new Sandvik LHDs wait gift wrapped on the side to put to work eagerly as well.
However, it won’t be a major operation. Maybe 50 to 60 people will be working in it, mining more of the precious gold that is sitting there for millennia. It is one of the numerous epithermal gold deposits that line the mountain chains along the Pacific and were also ultimately responsible for many of the gold rushs in North America. More on that in a later blog. I however leave the area with a strong reminder on what lovely people one can meet in such places and that allow our society to thrive.
HansAugust 13, 2016 at 4:07 am
Great post Jan! Could you also sometimes add short definitions of mining terms like LHD andan epithermal (hot skin?) ? I would enjoy learning some mining basics that way. — Hans
Jan PfeiferAugust 13, 2016 at 9:47 pm
Hi Hans, thx for the feedback! Yes I will try to make it easier going fwd. my later posts already have some links and that might be good there too! LHD – load-haul-dump basically an articulate loader in underground mines. Epithermal is a specific deposit type that involves superheated water.