Finding Gold in Quebec
The author has seen placer gold that has come from the Chaudiere River that runs runs alongside the Rue de John Kennedy. That comes down from the Border Mountains near Jackman, Maine to the St. Lawrence River. This is gold that is associated with a high angle thrust fault at the contact between continental sediments characterized by sandstone and limestone, and deepsea sediments from the long vanished Iapetus Ocean. It has been known that this river has carried gold down from the Border Mountains. Everything in the Iapetus Terrane lying to the east of the fault is likely to have gold deposits. However there are plenty of other places in Quebec across the St. Lawrence River where gold mining is carried on a large scale.
One of the great gold provinces of the world is in Quebec shared with Ontario the Abitibi Gold Province. You can find this gold bearing area in Val D'or, west to Rouyn-Noranda. The gold is associated with the greenstone belts that are metamorphosed basalt sandwiched in between belts of intruded granite. These formations are of Archean age over 2 billion years old. It is believed by geologists that the gold was leached out of the greenstone by the action of hot water. This is personified in Quebec by the Abitibi.
Besides having many gold deposits Quebec also holds many deposits of base metals. One of these is copper another metal that is found in quantity in Quebec in the Archean rock of the Canadian Shield but in the Northern Appalachian Iapetus Terrane of the Gaspe Peninsula.
One of the more famous deposits is that found in the vicinity of Rouyn-Noranda. This is a gigantic deposit of volcanogenic massive sulfides that contains several different kinds of metal sulfides. When it was discovered it virtually made one of the great mining companies of Canada overnight. That mining company was Noranda for many years one of the largest mining companies of Canada.
The Abitibi Gold Province continues across Quebec in an East to West direction with its center at Val D'Or. There are several working gold mines on the approaches to the town, and just as you are entering the town there is a large open pit mine to your right virtually on the edge of town operated by Noranda.
On the road from Val D'Or to Rouyn-Noranda when the author drove through there in the summer of 2008 there was a diamond drilling crew working right in the center of Malarctic. With so much gold present in the hardrock mines of the area there is probably gold present in the stream gravels in the area as well. Matter of fact the very name Val D'Or means Valley of Gold if it is translated into English.
In any of the gold bearing areas there should be placer gold found in the rivers and streams. The entire province was glaciated as little as 10,000 years ago. The glaciers ground there way across the bedrock and removed gold from the surface of the rock like a giant bulldozer.
A great deal of information about where to go prospecting is available from the Geological Survey of Canada as well as the Geological Survey of Quebec.
For more information about gold mining go here!
If you like to read about gems go here
Part of the material for this article comes from the author’s personal experience in his travels through the mining districts of Quebec in the Summer of 2008. These travels took him further north then Chibougmau, and east to Sept Iles. With special emphasis to the gold mining districts of Quebec.
Prospecting, The Canadian Encyclopedia
Alluvial Exploration and Mining, http://www.kanada.net/alluvial/gold_map_2.html
Geological Survey of Canada, http://www.universadecouvrir.gc.ca/page/index.php?p=76&l=e
Association Miniere du Quebec (Mining Association of Quebec), http://www.amq-inc.com/