Darrell Davis has been mining at Trout Lake for as long as he can remember, but he’s never struck pay dirt like this before.
Last month he made the find of a lifetime when gold was discovered in one of his claims. Normally, if gold is found on the mountain, the largest amount is somewhere between half an ounce to an ounce per ton. Not this time.
Davis found gold in amounts around 6.2 ounces, or 200 grams, per ton.
The only way to find out for sure if the quantities were as high as they were thought to be was to get them properly assayed, so he sent samples to Activation Laboratories in Kamloops. Because the sample numbers were so high, tests had to be run twice to ensure they were correct.
“When I hit it, I was just super happy,” Davis said. “At first I had to look a few times, to make sure I knew what I was seeing. We knew right away. We didn’t know how rich it was, but we knew right away.”
The gold Davis found was actually a type of gold hidden in rusty quartz.
“We (he and his wife Jennifer) dug from the portal, which is where the vein was, 100 feet to the left, and we started running into this stuff (the quartz) and we got glasses and started looking at it, we could tell instantly that there was gold in there.”
The Davis’ recently went back to measure exactly how long the seam really was, and got quite a shock. Originally, the seam was thought to be around two and a half metres long, but after taking their time and measuring again, the seam turned out to be around 25 metres long, ten times the originally speculated length.
“We could see gold visible every time we took a chunk out, so we just kept going until we couldn’t see any more gold,” said Davis.
While there are several big mining companies in the area, Davis is one of the few prospectors still funding his own work.
His find comes from one of six Crown grants he purchased about a year and a half ago.
A Crown grant is a title to land, formerly Crown land, which is granted by the Queen to a person, company, statutory body, or an incorporated association. Before he purchased them, the grants belonged to an oil company in Alberta who didn’t do anything with them. Davis theorizes this is why nothing was found in that piece of land for about 69 years.
“They’re very hard to find,” he said. “I don’t know how many are left in the province, but they’re pretty rare, and most people who have them would never sell them.”
Davis has been approached by three companies so far in regard to his find, two local, and one in Vancouver. Now that the seam is larger than originally thought, the level of interest is bound to go up, though Davis is unsure of whether or not he’s going to go with what the companies have offered, or even fund the digging himself.
“I’m just thinking about it and making sure I do the right thing, because it’s a huge discovery, one of the richest in the last 100 years that I know of.”