Gold Quartz Mines (CGQ) and Island Mountain Mines were the first two
hard rock (lode) mines operating in Wells. Both mines had ore
bearing quartz veins containing gold and
both had veins that ran almost side by side along each other. However,
Cariboo Gold Quartz's veins were larger both in length and width; and
as a result, it's production rate was over twice the that of Island
Mountain Mines. The average gold content of the veins were about the
same in both mine areas, but the Cariboo Gold Quartz Mine held more
gold than the Island Mountain Mine.
Gold Quartz Mine
Gold Quartz Mine consisted of 15 mineral claims
amounting to over 750 acres, extending over a distance of a mile along
the rich mineral belt which fed the placers
of the Barkerville area. The company originated in late 1926 with Fred
Wells as one of the directors. The Rainbow Group consisted of 3
claims owned by Al W. Sanders that were located on Cow Mountain at 4650
feet elevation, west of Lowhee Creek. Al, an old Cariboo prospector
and friend of Fred Wells, formed the Sanders Group and the claims were
owned and controlled by the Cariboo Gold Quartz Mining Company when
Fred Wells purchased them from him.
drove the first adit into Cow Mountain in 1927 for further exploration
of the Sanders vein. The Cariboo Gold Quartz Mine began successful production
January 10, 1933; the first gold brick produced from this mine was in
April, 1933, shipped out of the Cariboo by Fred. The first "brick" actually
consisted of two bricks which together weighed 1410.62 troy
ounces. and totalled in value $22,116.7719.
Over the next seven years, $1,679,968.00 was returned to the shareholders
of this mining company.
problems began when profits slowed and shareholders and reporters criticized
the management of the Cariboo Gold Quartz Company. This led to investigations
into mining operations there. After a favourable report by engineer
J. Norman Wynne, R. R. Rose, general manager of Cariboo Gold Quartz,
was appointed managing director.
development almost tripled by 1935 and was to undergo construction to
increase its capacity to 200 tons of ore per day. Fred stayed on as
an advisor, but he was intent on exploring other prospects....
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