MacLean Brook

The first written reference to a mysterious gold mine in MacLean Brook, Cape Breton County, was in a Geological Survey of Canada report in 1876. There do not appear to be any other written references to the mine until the early 1990s.

In 1993-94, the Department of Natural Resources investigated the site, finding blocks of mineralized quartz in the brook’s bed which they followed upstream to its source in a trench located along the east bank of the brook (325 metres southeast of Highway 223). The trench is not part of the original mine – it’s about 10 metres south of the mined vein – and it’s not known who dug the trench, or when.

DNR also found a pile of quartz waste rock from the trench. Samples revealed a bunch of metals in the rock, including gold, silver, lead, copper and zinc.

Panning of streams in the area also has shown there to be free gold in two streams.

Unfortunately, there is little additional information available about the historical mine or the other occurrences of metals in the area. The area is overgrown and the mine was likely very small and generated few records. However, it is an interesting – and somewhat mysterious! – site that may deserve further exploration.