Placer production from the Cariboo District is estimated at 2.65 million ounces of gold (Kocsis, 2001) with significant production from creeks draining the Golden Cariboo land package. The placer gold production from eight creeks (Grouse, Wolfe, Antler, Cunningham, Beggs Gulch, Stevens Gulch, California Gulch and Nugget Gulch) draining Antler and Nugget Mountain is estimated at 413,140 ounces (Kocsis, 1991).
The Cariboo gold rush began in 1858 with the discovery of nugget gold in Keithley Creek. In the following years prospectors explored watersheds to the north, and found placer gold in many creeks, including Cunningham Creek and Antler Creeks and their tributaries. The Cunningham Creek area (including tributaries Peter’s Gulch and Pearce Gulch) was worked extensively from1879 to 1897 and again from 1919 to 1943, and produced almost 130,000 ounces of gold before 1950 (Holland, 1954).
About 35,000 ounces of gold were produced from Antler Creek, 4,200 ounces from Beggs Gulch, 135,000 ounces from Conklin Gulch, and 64,000 ounces from Grouse Creek (Kocsis, 1991). Approximately 5,000 ounces were produced from placer operations on French, Canadian, and Maude Creeks.
A large placer pit at Conklin Gulch, that historically contained 4 to 7 ounces Au/yard, produced 135,000 ounces of gold.
Before the 1930s bedrock mining activities were mainly restricted to some staking and sampling of quartz veins as prospectors searched for the bedrock source of the placer gold. Some of the ground on Mt. Proserpine was staked at the time of the First World War, and some small adits were driven to explore veins.
Bedrock exploration on a larger scale got underway in the 1930s. Gold mining activity in the region was spurred by an increase in the price of gold in 1932; the Cariboo Gold Quartz mine at Wells went into production in 1933. Production began in 1937 at the Cariboo Hudson mine (Holland, 1954), located at the southern end of the Golden Cariboo land package on Pearce Gulch. About 8,000 feet of underground workings were driven on five levels over the following ten years. The Cariboo Hudson Mine produced 12,240 tonnes grading 13.2 grams of gold per ton from one ore shoot on the Hudson Vein between 1938 and 1939 (Minfile, 2001).
After production ended at the Cariboo Hudson mine, the mine structures were dismantled and sold in 1948. During the 1950s an extensive network of bulldozer trenching was done over the entire hilltop southeast of Pearce Gulch, exposing parts of the Shasta and 605 veins. Several companies conducted soil sample surveys over the area (some overlapping) through the 1970s. In the late 1970s some drilling was done to outline the veins (Shasta, 605, and Hudson) on the east part of the property. In the 1980s and 1990s Imperial Metals and Cathedral Gold further explored and drilled the known veins to define the mineral resource there (MINFILE 093A 071).