Camerons Mountain

We were asked about rumours of an historical gold mine near Camerons Mountain, Inverness County. Most of its story has been lost to time but here is what we found:

An 1881 report by the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) says “a good deal of money was spent testing” an area around the “Glendale and River Denys Cross Roads” for gold. The site is shown on an 1884 GSC map, roughly in the middle of the section below, on Glendale Brook between Glendale and Dennistown, the latter being a name that is no longer used.

The GSC report does not say when exploration took place, but it had to have been prior to 1881 since the report was written that year.

We found no other mentions of the site in historical records until the late 1980s and 1990s when it was again explored.

In 1988, a company had the area staked to do exploration for gold. After researching for information about the historical mine, Day and Associates concluded that “No records of production appear to have been preserved” and no known exploration work had been done on the property in modern times.

Day and Associates also suggested that ore from the mine may have been processed near Melford, where a stamp mill is known to have existed in the late 1860s.

Stamp mills were large machines that crushed gold-bearing rock, the first step in the process of separating gold from the quartz in which it is usually found.

In 1990, Nova Scotia Department of Mines staff visited the site and found a 2X2 metre shaft. They believed it was an inclined shaft, but it was filled with water and debris to within one metre of the surface, so the shaft could not be explored beyond inserting a two-metre stick into the opening. The stick did not touch bottom.

A pitted area was found about 300 metres southeast of the shaft and examined during the search for the shaft. It was not clear whether the depressions were manmade excavations or sinkholes, but the government geologists felt sinkholes were the more likely cause because they were round, a characteristic shape of sinkholes, and were located near marble outcrops, a rock type which is easily dissolved in water, often leading to sinkholes.

Department of Mines staff were at the site again in 1994. They found the shaft’s rock dump (rock excavated from the shaft). It was relatively small, which suggests the shaft was not very deep, but they noted it is also possible that part of the dump could be buried under the adjacent woods road, or that significant amounts of mined material may have been shipped away for processing.

The old mine has not been a focus of exploration in recent decades.

South of the Camerons Mountain gold mine, the map notes the location of a “plumbago” mine, an old word for graphite. It was worked in the 1930s because of graphite’s use as filler in paint. Today, graphite is a critical mineral in rechargeable batteries, including those used in electric vehicles and cell phones.

See the story of the Glendale graphite mine at