The Queen Charlotte group of islands lies in the Pacific Ocean, the southern point being 140 miles north-west of Vancouver Island and the north-eastern point is 60 miles west of Prince Rupert. The east and north shore of Graham Island is low-lying and has beaches which extend for miles. The western shore is bold, with few beaches, and the southern islands are practically devoid of the low-level shores seen on Graham Island.
The black-sand deposits are much more extensive than any found on Vancouver Island. It is probable that they cover all that part of Graham Island on which glacial drift has been deposited to any extent, approximately 800 square miles.
The black sands carry both gold and platinum. This has been proved by many assays done in the area. The origin of this gold and platinum is still a matter for speculation. It has been suggested that it came from quartz veins that existed on Graham Island and that had been eroded. It seems more likely however, that the gold and platinum were eroded from south-eastern Alaska which was known to carry many quartz veins with these two metals. Literally millions of tons were carried down by glacial action and deposited on Graham Island.
The upper layers of sand near Martell Creek are concentrated containing 50 percent black sand, and gold can be found at any point by panning.
Some of the black sand deposits of Graham Island could be paying ventures if one had the finances and proper equipment. There may be places where the sands might be so concentrated that they will pay, depending on the size of the undertaking and the area of sands that will be remunerative for such a venture. There are places where the sands have been so concentrated by present-day streams that they have paid fairly decent wages with sluice boxes and shovelling by hand.