The history of the Engineer Mine dates back to 1899 when a couple of Swedish prospectors located a yellow metal on the shores of Tagish Lake. C.A. Anderson, an engineer from the Yukon & White Pass Railway followed up on the Swedes’ information and discovered visible gold in quartz/calcite veins on the shore of Tagish Lake, below Engineer Mountain. He returned with associates, in July, 1899, and staked the Engineer group of claims. After a small amount of development work, the Engineer Mining Company allowed the claims to lapse in 1906.
The early history of the Engineer Mine is closely associated with Captain James Alexander. James Alexander immigrated to Canada, from England, in 1899, drawn by the romantic wilderness life of British Columbia. He was on the survey crew that surveyed the original Engineer Claim Group, in 1905, and was very familiar with the location.
Alexander gained control of the Engineer Group, with partners in 1906. There were contentious issues for a while during this period with litigation, subterfuge, curses and surreptitious claim staking but work continued on the property so that by 1910, Captain Alexander had a two stamp mill working at the Level 1 of the property.
By 1912, Alexander had sole ownership of the Engineer Mine and systematically explored and mined the property. He developed the upper levels of the underground workings and processed over 2,000 ounces of gold over several seasons. In 1918, Captain Alexander had arranged for a possible sale of the Engineer Mine to Mining Corporation, a prominent Canadian Mining Company of the time, and traveled back to the mine with representatives of Mining Corporation. During that trek, Captain Alexander, along with 353 other passengers, including his “wife” and two of the Mining Corporation men, died aboard the Steamship Princess Sophia when it sank near Juneau on October 25, 1918. After Captain Alexander’s death, several claimants (including another wife in England) appeared with interests in the property, and many years of litigation followed.
The property was finally taken over in 1923 by a New York group and production from Engineer Gold Mines Ltd. began in 1924. Advances at this time were the most significant that the property had seen yet. They included the development of a town site, installation of a power plant on the Wann River with transmission lines to the mine, construction of a concentrator and mill on the lakeshore and development of the underground tunnels. Over 140 people were employed at the site.
Reserves were exhausted by 1927, but development continued with drifting and limited mining until 1933. Reginald Brook, an associate of Captain Alexander, stayed on as caretaker of the property and selectively hand-mined the Shaft Vein. In 1944 a group of miners leased the property and high-graded the veins on the underground workings until 1952.
Documented ore production between 1910 and 1952 at Engineer Mine is recorded as approximately 14,263 tonnes at 39.4 g/t Au and 19.5 g/t Ag (18,000 oz Au and 8,950 oz Ag). Underground workings consist of about 5,500 metres of drifts, shafts, raises and stopes on eight levels.Several exploration companies worked on the property from the 1960s to 1980s, to varying degrees, including Tagish Gold Mines; Nu-Energy Resources Ltd., which sampled the hydrothermal breccia zone along Shear Zone “A” on 5 Level; and Nu-Lady Gold Mines Ltd. In 1987, Total Erickson Resources Ltd. conducted the most comprehensive modern exploration of the property yet completed, including an aeromagnetic survey, detailed geology, and drilling.
Gentry Resources Ltd. optioned the property from Total Erickson in 1989, and acquired title to the property in 1990 with Winslow Gold Corp. Ampex Mining acquired an interest in the property from Winslow in 1993, and through further transactions the property interest was passed to Old Engineer Mining Corp. (now Engineer Mining Corp.) in 1997. Mining and development activities occurred throughout this time and are detailed in Davidson (1998).
Engineer Gold Mines Ltd. was incorporated on January 18, 2018 and commenced trading on the TSX.V under the symbol EAU on June 26th, 2018.
The Engineer Gold Mine has never been properly assessed by a modern day, deliberate and well-funded exploration program focussed on extending known mineralized veins and shear zones, and making new discoveries. Recent exploration has defined numerous high-grade vein and shear-hosted bulk-tonnage gold exploration targets and a high-grade gold bulk sampling opportunity.
The Engineer Gold Mine produced 18,000 ounces gold and 9,000 ounces silver averaging 39 g/t Au and 18 g/t Ag, respectively, primarily from 2 veins between 1912 and 1927 from 8 mine levels.