Mineral Collecting


Mineral Collecting Bancroft Ontario

In Ontario, the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines recognizes two types of mineral collectors.  The hobby and the large scale / commercial collectors.  These two types of collectors are distinguished by their threshold limit.

Which type of collector are you?

Hobby Mineral Collecting

  • for personal pleasure or interest only
  • the amount you collect is below the threshold limit
  • minerals collected are for your personal collection
  • you have no intention of selling the minerals you have collected (swapping/trading of minerals collected is acceptable)

Large Scale Mineral Collecting (Commercial Collecting)

  • you are collecting / extracting minerals with the intention of selling them
  • the amount you collect is above the threshold limit
  • you collect  your samples through the use of mechanical equipment

Some places to explore…

The Miner’s Loop
The Miner’s Loop is located approx an hour south of Bancroft.   It is a self guided tour consisting of 4 sites, put on by the Marmora Tourism Centre.  For more information please call 613-472-1515.

The Richardson Mine 
The Richardson Mine is the site of Ontario’s first gold mine.  Gold was first discovered here in 1866 on the farm of John Richardson.  The mine went into production the next year, and the town of Eldorado was founded.  Although the Richardson mine ceased operation not long after it opened, it spurred a small gold rush to the area and a number of other small mines were established, including Deloro, Gilmour, Cordova, Feigle, Bannockburn and Golden Fleece.

The Marmoraton Mine
The Marmoraton Mine, possibly one of the most successful in the area of Marmora, was started when magnetite ore was discovered under 120 feet of limestone, in 1948.  The first of the iron ore was shipped in 1955, by owners Bethlehem Steel Mills of New York.  After blasting away the limestone, the open pit mine measured approx 1700 feet x 1200 feet, with a depth of 600 feet.

Deloro Mine
The Deloro Mine is part of the Madoc gold rush, which started with the discovery of gold at Ontario’s first gold mine, the Richardson Mine.  Unfortunately the Deloro mine is heavily polluted from the materials it mined, refined and produced.  The mine is contaminated with arsenic, cobalt, copper, nickel, and low-level radioactive waste and other materials.  Work is currently under-way to contain these wastes and make the area safe for the people.

Bancroft Mineral Museum
Discover the history of the mining in the area, learn about mineral collecting, or explore over 400 local specimens, all on display in the 1200 square-foot showroom of the Bancroft Mineral Museum.

Princess Sodalite Mine Rock Shop
The Princess Sodalite Mine Rock Shop offers a unique shopping experience offering a wide selection of minerals and fossil specimens.  The selection of minerals, which is always changing, ranges from beginner to museum quality of local and world-wide minerals.  The stores also carries a nice selection of gifts including candle holders, carvings, wood chimes and more.  And if you’re not there to shop, then you are surely there to visit the rock farm.  Here you can hunt through the plant tailings from the Princess Sodalite Mine, along with materials from other local mines and quarries.

Rock and Mineral Collecting Sites
(Please note some sites now prohibit collecting.  Make sure you have permission to be there, respect the area and do not trespass)

CN Rock Dump
This is that the site where the Golding-Keene Quarry material was brought to be kept and used in the construction of the rail road.  Collecting is allowed here, and is managed through the Chamber of Commerce.  The dump is very easy to access and is a great place for families to hunt for interesting finds.  To get to the dump,

Golding-Keene Quarry
Located in the Dungannon Township, this quarry was used by the New England Nepheline Company to mine nepheline from 1927 to 1939.  The quarry was cut into the side of a hill on the bank of the York River, and is now a part of the Egan Chutes Provincial Park.  Collecting is now prohibited at this site, but it is still allowed at the CN Dump in Bancroft, where material from this quarry was deposited.

Beryl Pit
Beryl Pit is located approx 2.1 km north of Quadeville.  The site is made up of two mines, Quadeville East Mine (Beryl Pit) and the Quadeville West Mine (Rose Quartz Quarry).  The Beryl Pit is currently owned by the company Aquarose, and there is a fee for collecting.  You can purchase mineral collecting permits for the Beryl Pit at Kauffeldt’s Corner Store, where they will also give you directions to the mine.


  • ROY LUMLEY| July 12, 2021 at 2:24 pm Reply


  • Brian Conley| July 8, 2021 at 4:41 pm Reply

    As a ‘former member’ of the Bancroft Mineral & Rock Club, Oshawa Mineral & Rock Club, and Sudbury Rock & Mineral Club, I have been involved in mineral collecting in South Eastern Ontario since the early 1950’s. I am looking for a responsible, mature individual, experienced in the natural world, to enjoy (share) brief periods of exploration of mineral sites in various locals with the purpose of studying and collecting. Practicality and ‘safety’ are paramount requisites, along with companionship and shared enjoyable experiences.
    Contact: electronautsys@hotmai.com

    • Jim| August 6, 2021 at 3:31 pm Reply

      Hello, Brian. I am going to the Bancroft area in Sept around the weekend of the 17th. Want to rock hound together?

      • Brian W. Conley| August 10, 2021 at 12:40 pm Reply

        Hello, Jim:
        In reply to Your posting for ‘rock hound’ venture to Bancroft area in September (17th or about, 2021. Please email me directly (Not through Bancroftontario.com website) through address … Electronautsys@hotmail.com … So we might make some arrangements to our liking!?
        Brian C.

  • Jeff| March 27, 2021 at 7:26 pm Reply

    When would these mines be open? Thanks In advanced

    • Deborah Lobban| July 27, 2021 at 12:47 am Reply

      If u google the Princess Sodalite Mine, The Beryl Pit and The Miner’s Loop, u will find the times they open.

    • Randy Renaud| June 8, 2021 at 8:59 pm Reply

      Hello Jeff my grandson is a big rock collector and I’m living in labrador city comin in town in the middle of July can you tell me the best places to go to look for some great looking rocks amethysts and other great pcs … I don’t care if it cost me money like I said it’s for my grandson so if you could send me in the right direction would be so great full !!!! Thanks..

  • Diana| March 21, 2021 at 12:32 pm Reply

    Is there anyone that still provides guided rock hounding tours. Looking to find a guide as a birthday gift for my grandsons.

  • Jenny McDonell| September 3, 2020 at 8:28 am Reply

    Hello! I was hoping to visit Dave, at the Rose Quartz mine… is he still the man to meet for that? Aquarose if I recall correctly, I’d love to visit the site but have lost his contact info. Can anyone help?
    Otherwise, is anyone offering a site to find some stones on Saturday September 12, 2020? Thank you in advance…

    • Deborah Lobban| July 27, 2021 at 12:45 am Reply

      If u google aquarose mine or the beryl pit, u will find the contact information. I’m making plans to visit soon.

    • makayla fallis| November 30, 2020 at 9:55 pm Reply

      you can find some on dinno road at bancroft i go there all the time it is so much fun and you get lots of rocks the rock you might find is the tiger eye me and my dad went it was so much fun and i got the best rocks i have ever gotten please type back to me.

      • Danielle Dowdall| August 1, 2021 at 10:53 pm Reply

        Yes could you share with me also? Looking to go August 6ths perhaps for my birthday. Trying to do a wild goose hunt for hubby and I and hoping to find stuff at no or very little cost. The adventure makes it more fun.
        Maybe email me at highlandsa1@hotmail.ca

      • Deborah Lobban| July 27, 2021 at 12:43 am Reply

        That sounds like fun. Can u possibly tell me where on Dinno Rd u find ur rocks? Especially the tiger eye? Thank u. Deborah

      • Carrie| July 12, 2021 at 8:52 pm Reply

        Can you please send more information? My daughter and I love to hunt for treasures and I would like to take her on a trip up that way for rock hunting. Any help is greatly appreciated.

      • Kyle| May 3, 2021 at 3:07 am Reply

        Where is that

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