Gold was discovered in Ardoise, Hants County, in 1868 but most exploration and mining activity did not take place until the period 1887 to 1904. Unfortunately, few records remain from that era so knowledge of the operations is limited.

In 1890, six tons of quartz ore were crushed and yielded two ounces of gold.

In 1899, the most promising site, a 36-centimeter auriferous (gold-bearing) belt of slate and several quartz veins, was explored by shaft. Ore was hauled to a mill for testing in June that year but no results were reported.

In 1901, a 10-stamp mill was built by the Basin of Minas Mining Company to process ore and the site was named the Priscilla Mine. However, as soon as 1903 the mill had to be overhauled to get it into working condition by F. H. Mason and others.

In August 1903, 50 tons of quartz were crushed but only yielded 0.6 ounces of gold. However, in June 1904, seven tons of ore yielded 4.2 ounces, a huge difference in output per ton of ore.

A 1909 geological map indicates the mine had two shafts. A 30-foot shaft was sunk in a group of veins 14 to 36 inches wide and a 25-foot shaft was sunk of a 12-foot vein.

However, when the site was examined by government geologists in 1997, three shafts were found, not two. It is not known which of the three shafts correspond to the two shafts on the historical map.

By 1906, work had ceased on the property and it remained abandoned until the 1980s when it became an area of interest for modern exploration.

In total, the historical Ardoise gold district only produced 6.8 reported ounces of gold.

Ardoise was named for its slate bedrock. Ardoise means “slate” in French.