A Second Look at Canada's Yukon: Great Potential for Small-Scale Miners (Part 1)

 (The Yukon.)

Gold in the Yukon Territory

I hope my Canadian mining friends will forgive me because it's been a while since I last wrote about gold prospecting and mining in the land of the maple leaf. So this series of posts is meant to rectify things a bit.

Gold Concentrators
Metal Detectors

I've written about gold in the Yukon Territory before in "Bedrock Dreams," but not in any great depth. Interestingly enough, despite its fame as the host region of one of the world's last great gold rushes (the Klondike Rush of 1898-1899), Canada's Yukon still holds great potential for small-scale miners. I hope to prove this to you by taking a second look at the Yukon and analyzing its gold potential from a number of perspectives.

10 Main Placer Areas

Historically speaking, there are 10 main gold placer mining areas in the Yukon:

1.   Klondike
2.   Sixtymile
3.   Fortymile
4.   Clear Creek
5.   Moosehorn Range
6.   Stewart River
7.   Whitehorse South
8.   Mayo
9.   Dawson Range
10. Livingstone Creek

Quaternary Period Glacial Activity

Research by Canadian geologists has led them to believe that many of the placer gold deposits in these main areas (as well as lesser known areas in the Yukon Territory) are directly linked to Quaternary Period glacial advances. This makes Yukon gold deposits much more recent in geologic time than those of the American West and Southwest, most of which are rooted in Tertiary Period metamorphic geology.

 (Enough to make your mouth water...Yukon Territory placer gold.)

These Quaternary Period glacial gold deposits are further subdivided under three main glacial events or episodes; pre-Reid; Reid; and McConnell, with the latter episode as the most recent from a geologic standpoint.

Un-Glaciated Gold Deposits

Hang in there with me, because parts of the Yukon gold region are UN-glaciated as well. Each type of gold area (glaciated or un-glaciated) in the Yukon Territory has its own unique characteristics and knowing these differences can hold the key to finding and getting that gold.

Wolverine Boots

For example, un-glaciated placer gold deposits in Fortymile, Klondike, Moosehorn Range, and Sixtymile stream drainages typically occur in gulch gravels, benches, alluvial fans, valley bottoms, and high-level terraces.

I'm just scratching the surface here, so if you're interested in Yukon Territory placer gold, stay tuned.

If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Gold Rushes of British Columbia (Part 1)"

(c)  Jim Rocha (J.R.)  2011

Questions? E-mail me at jr872vt90@yahoo.com