Mineral Collecting

BANCROFT ONTARIO 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.

9 Comments

  • Elizabeth Barte| July 22, 2019 at 4:31 pm Reply

    Hello my name is Elizabeth I’ve experienced picking up amethyst in Sudbury when we first went to Alberta and drop by for site seeing from one of the mining site. Since then I love to collect gemstone from buying gemstone show in Toronto. And I love to experience picking up gemstone in any self guided tour site. Watching on YouTube how wonderful feeling it might be picking up one or two kinds of gemstone in Bancroft area is what I’m looking forward to experience. My email [email protected] asking for information on how to join the tour and experience collecting stones.Thank you.

  • PHILIP| July 10, 2019 at 2:16 pm Reply

    anyone know the name of mine at picture on the top? thanks

    • BP| August 2, 2019 at 10:05 am Reply

      The mine shown is the MacDonald mine near Bancroft. The photo was taken some years ago, as the site has now been rehabilitated.

  • Jim| May 25, 2019 at 9:37 pm Reply

    Anyone interested in going as a group together in early September for some rockhounding adventures? Email me at [email protected] and let me know which week. I dont want to go alone into the woods, lol.

    • Tracy Hawkins| June 17, 2019 at 11:34 pm Reply

      Hi Jim, my name is Tracy, and I live in the village of Hastings on the Trent River. I would love to go rock collecting with you! I’m on Facebook under Hawkins Tracy (with no comma between), or email me at [email protected]

  • Yana Mill| March 30, 2019 at 11:32 am Reply

    Hello,
    Would anyone know whether Beryl Pit is still open for digging as of 2019?
    Thanks,

    • Paula| July 17, 2019 at 10:23 pm Reply

      Which mine is good for gems and do you need your own supplies to dig

    • Chris| May 7, 2019 at 9:35 pm Reply

      Yes, of course. Pay the fee at Kauffeldt’s store in Quadeville, ($12 for adults, $10 for youth) and you will have to sign a waiver, and will get a map and a list of minerals you can find there, plus directions for parking.

    • Scott| April 8, 2019 at 6:53 pm Reply

      Would like to know myself…

  • Debbie| August 25, 2018 at 2:13 pm Reply

    Who can teach me how to pan my dirt? I watched the YouTube videos but I need confirmation of what I’m doing and seeing. Thanks

    • Kenny| December 23, 2018 at 5:00 pm Reply

      Hi Debbie my name is Kenny. I have been panning in Ontario couple years now. I’m not quick but I catch it. My email is [email protected]. give a email I’ll get back to ya with my phone number.

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