Just scratching the surface: Gold exploration

Exploration yields gold veins on Valentine Mountain.

Bill Glasier inspects some core samples taken off Valentine Mountain.

Bill Glasier inspects some core samples taken off Valentine Mountain.

Gold and the lure of it has sent countless men and women into the wilderness in search of the elusive precious metal. It has always been a boom and bust industry and with the prices creeping towards the $2,000 mark per ounce, even small strikes are becoming more profitable.

About 25 miles north of Shirley is Valentine Mountain and it is the site of the operations of modern day gold prospectors. These miners don’t pan for gold or even dredge for it, they are at the formative stages of searching and exploring for it — scratching the surface if you will.

Mill Bay Ventures Inc. has struck gold and the future is looking promising for the company. The property hosts an inferred mineral resource, known as the Discovery Zone, with an estimated 55,105 tonnes grading 16.3 grams (0.52 ounces) of gold per tonne.

President Bill Glasier said they have found gold-bearing veins on their mineral claim in a 7 x 0.5 km. area after drilling core samples. The property hosts an inferred mineral resource, known as the Discovery Zone, with an estimated 55,105 tonnes grading 16.3 grams (0.52 ounces) of gold per tonne.

“We are planning to go back and do more drilling. We have had recommendations from the engineer of where to drill.” said Glasier. “We’ve increased the resource from $20 million to $40 million. We don’t know how big it is, we need to do more drilling.”

The company announced a program of trenching, excavating and milling of 3,000 tonnes of quart-sulphide vein material for it 100 per cent owned Valentine Mountain Gold Project. The plan has been approved by the Ministry of Energy and Mines.

“We will have to run it through some type of recovery unit, we should get $3 million of gold from it,” he stated. “Who knows how big it is — it will take a lot of work.”

So far the drilling and excavating has been shallow and Glasier figures they will drill deeper to find what they hope is there. Full-scale drilling will take place if it is justified after the  3,000 tonne sampling.

He thinks the company will need more than $40 million to continue drilling and blocking out.

“The zone is big enough,” said Glasier, it could become something major.”

If it is major, a large mining company would likely take it over.

Will this create some employment in the Sooke area? Glasier said they do use locals and hire their equipment as much as possible and they do eat at Mom’s Cafe whenever they are in Sooke.

Robert Beaupre actually discovered the gold-laden site in 1976, and retains a position as consultant for Mill Bay Ventures. He said the property has been in the hands of a number of mining companies in the past but a lot of the big companies left when the NDP came into power. He said the business is more streamlined now.

“I know every inch of ground,” he said. “We’ve found some fine specimens of gold, even the Sooke Museum has samples.”

He said several million dollars has been spent up there and it is “starting to look promising,” although it is not a cheap business to be in.

“This could be a good splash for the Sooke area,” said Beaupre.

The company has been drilling and exploring on Valentine Mountain since 2008.

William Glasier retired from his role as a stockbroker back in 1987. He didn’t know what to do upon retirement, so he formed Mill Bay Ventures and started purchasing properties. As a broker he pursued money for junior companies and, in a sense, he is doing the same now. Mill Bay Ventures has claims in Bralorne and Valentine Mountain in British Columbia, as well as claims in Nevada and government coal leases in Saskatchewan.

The Valentine Mountain area was first mined in the 1860s, when placer gold was discovered in its numerous stream drainages. According to historical accounts, nuggets up to one ounce and a total production of 10,000-20,000 ounces of gold may have been sluiced from gravel/bedrock contacts along gravel bars of the Leech River

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ron Sivorot, business director at Kennametal’s Langford site, the Greater Victoria facility that made a component being used on NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars. (Jake Romphf, Black Press Media)
NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover using piece made at Kennametal’s Langford site

The Greater Victoria plant’s tooth blank is helping the rover’s drill collect rock cores

June Saxe, 2, enjoys the sunny shoreline at Whiffin Spit with her dad on March 5. The family had come out from Victoria for a day in the sunshine. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Warm weather brings Sooke’s Whiffin Spit to life

Visitors, locals enjoy warm weather at coastal viewpoint

Funding requests for the 2021 budget year, submitted by the Administration and Finance Committee, was approved by Langford council at the Feb. 16 meeting. (Black Press Media file photo)
Food awareness, seniors among Langford’s approved 2021 funding requests

New and returning community organizations to receive financial boost

Underground utility installations are underway on Latoria Boulevard at Latoria Road near Royal Bay Secondary and on Metchosin Road south of Latoria Boulevard. (City of Colwood image)
Road work hinders Colwood drivers in Royal Bay

Underground utility installation could run most of March

A rockfall closed Finlayson Arm Road and West Shore Parkway on Friday (March 5) afternoon. (Twitter/BC Transportation)
UPDATED: Malahat reopens following rockfall

Section of Trans-Canada Highway was scheduled for intermittent closures today for rock scaling work

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C. on the COVID-19 situation. (B.C. government)
Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

‘Extending this second dose provides very high real-world protection to more people, sooner’

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

A lawyer wears a face mask and gloves to curb the spread of COVID-19 while waiting to enter B.C. Supreme Court, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. British Columbia’s highest court has sided with the land owner in a dispute over public access to public land. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. high court finds in favour of large landowner in fight over access to pair of lakes

The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club launched legal action after the cattle company blocked road and trail access

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Friday, March 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau holds firm on premiers’ health-care funding demands, COVID-19 aid comes first

Premiers argue that the current amount doesn’t keep pace with yearly cost increases of about five per cent

Free Reformed Church is seen as people attend service, in Chilliwack, B.C., on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021. Lawyers for the British Columbia government and the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms are back in B.C. Supreme Court today, squaring off over the legality of COVID-19 rules that prohibit in-person religious services. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. top doctor has power to restrict access to a place during health hazard: lawyer

Under B.C.’s Public Health Act, Jacqueline Hughes says, Henry can restrict or prevent entry to a place

Most Read