Rawdon Gold Mines

Mining at Rawdon Gold Mines (aka East Rawdon to differentiate it from the Centre Rawdon Gold District) began in 1884 when two individuals by the names of Sims and White opened a mine. A 10-stamp mill was built (eventually upgraded to 25 stamps) and 241 ounces of gold were extracted.

In 1885, the Sims (aka No.1) lead was opened over a length of 274.3 metres by a Robert McNaughton and 2,759 ounces of gold were recovered. This mine would prove to be the site with by far the most mining activity in East Rawdon. McNaughton was also involved in gold mining in places like in Lower Seal Harbour, Sherbrooke and Stormont.

Some additional development work on other veins in the district was carried out in 1885 by three men named Thompson, Anderson and Lantz.

In 1886, two mines were worked steadily, one in the western part of the district under the management of a Mr. Dissoway and the one in the east under Mr. McNaughton.

During 1887 both mines continued producing gold and the workings in the McNaughton Mine were carried to a depth of 121.9 metres on what was reported to be “a wide lead.” That year the East Rawdon district ranked first among the gold producers of the province with 3,507 ounces of gold recovered.

Both mines were sold to the Rawdon United Mining Company in 1887 and operations were continued under the management of a Captain Nicolls.

In 1888, a fire destroyed the entire settlement of East Rawdon, which consisted of 30 buildings, including all the buildings at both mines. (Some sources say the fire took place in 1887 but 1888 is referenced more often).

In 1890, McNaughton and Barres reported 275 ounces of gold, however, the following year only a small amount was reported. Mining dropped off after that.

In 1901, the McNaughton Mine was dewatered by the Gold Zone Mining Company whose intention was to refurbish the 25-stamp mill and initiate mining. However, no mining took place.

Records are incomplete but mining continued at Rawdon intermittently until 1932.

Total production from 1884-1932 was 13,494 ounces of gold. Two shafts exceeded 150 metres in depth but the average depth of the workings was about 70 metres. Most of these shafts were put down on the No. 1 Lead.

In 1981, a Richard Marchant staked 24 claims in the area and then negotiated an option agreement with Pan East Resources Inc. Pan East explored the property but opted not to exercise their agreement to purchase the rights as their exploration efforts proved not to be encouraging.

In 1992, Gold Bank Resources evaluated the economic potential of extracting gold from the tailings at Rawdon Mines. Historical mine tailings often contain significant quantities of metals because methods of processing ore in the 1800s and early 1900s were less efficient than modern methods – our ancestors did not have the science and technology we have today so significant amounts of valuable material ended up as waste. Modern science makes it possible to “mine” historical tailings, which allows us to recover valuable materials like gold, while also remediating historical tailings. For example, Nova Scotia mining company GoGold Resources has a highly-successful project in Mexico that is extracting silver from historical tailings.