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 that teaches it’s visitors about rocks and minerals in the area, and also area mining.  It is put on by the Marmora Tourism Centre.

  1. Millside Park
  2. Hastings Trail
  3. Deloro Mine Site
  4. Marmoraton Mine Site

For more information please call 613-472-1515 or visit their website.

The Richardson Mine 
The Richardson Mine is the site of Ontario’s first gold mine.  Gold was first discovered here by Marcus Herbert Powell 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 in 1869, 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.  These mines, like the Richardson Mine, did not hold vast amounts of gold.

To commemorate the first gold mine in Ontario, the Archeological and Historical Sites Board of Ontario installed a historical plaque at the corner of Hwy 62 and John Street in the village of Eldorado. There are a few original buildings near by that serve as a reminder of a time long past.

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.  Please visit the Marmora History website for more information.

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.

Madawaska Mine (Faraday Mine)
This is a former uranium mine.  Underground development started in 1954 by Faraday Uranium Mines Ltd., and ended in 1964 when contracts to sell uranium expired.  The mine was reopened in 1975 by Madawaska Mines Ltd., and ended in 1982.

Bonnechere Museum & Geoheritage Trail
Attention hikers, geologists and fossil hunters!  The Bonnechere Museum offers a local trail for recreational geology and exploration.  Bonnechere Museum’s Geoheritage Trail is located on John Street in Eganville down the street from the Eganville Leader. The trail offers a selection of rocks and fossils as well as showcases a historical limestone quarry, now a beautiful pond, and the connecting trench.

Bonnechere Caves
The Bonnechere Caves are located in Eganville Ontario.  Welcoming people for over 55 years, the Bonnechere Caves provide a safe educational, fun, and informative tour for people of all ages.


(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. From 1927 to 1939, this unique deposit was worked for nepheline which is used in making ceramic and glass. The deposit was too small to be commercially successful and it contained too many impurities, so some of the last shipments were left beside the railroad tracks and today is a popular collecting site. Minerals you could find include biotite, calcite, cancrinite, scapolite, sodalite, natrolite, apatite and zircons.

The dump is very easy to access and is a great place for families to hunt for interesting finds.  You’ll find the CN Rock Pile directly across the road from the Town of Bancroft Municipal Office, on the Hastings Heritage Trail. It will be approximately 200 meters down the trail on your left.

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 / Aqua Rose
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.  More…

Cole Hill Gold
Located on Lower Faraday road, Coe Hill Gold features a fee-for fishing trout farm, a large rock shop, & multiple mineral occurrences open as a fee for collecting sites. You’ll find 7 mineral collecting sites, including a magnetite & garnet site.  Minerals occurring on the property have been identified by Minerals Associates Inc. and the property is open in the summer months.

Bear Lake Diggings
Prior to 2016 this was the first publicly protected collecting site in Ontario.  However, the site closed in 2016 when it was sold to new owners.

When you start exploring the area, you’ll find that there are some great caches hidden in old mines.  Ask at Agnew’s General Store in Wilberforce for all the details.

Graphite Roadcut
This is a road cut on the north side of Graphite Road in Hastings Highlands, Monteagle Township.  The outcrop is west of Musclow Road, on the north side.  Mineral Iist: Actinolite,  Albite, Diopside, Phlogopite, Quartz, Smoky Quartz, Titanite, Tremolite. *Please do not fill the ditch with rubble and be careful of traffic.


  • Dorothy Kenefick| August 17, 2022 at 3:08 pm Reply

    Looking for a reasonable place to stay in the Bancroft area for August 27-31. Please contact me text to 613-360-2733 Thank You

  • Eleen Ebert| August 15, 2022 at 12:57 pm Reply

    Me i just wish i could go ,same thing i’m alone hate to drive all the way there

    • Heather-Jean| November 28, 2022 at 8:01 pm Reply

      Love driving and used to live in Bancroft. Out in Welland ont currently. Can akways check with me and likley can corridinate going together. I have a Dodge Caravan minvan that can seat 7. I also used to do vollenteer driving for Haliburton. Completely clean driving record and also was a driving instructor for 28 years. You should be able to reach out to me on Facebook.Heather-Jean Vandenberg

  • Anthony| March 12, 2022 at 4:52 am Reply

    Hi , I live in Montreal, I’d like to visit some mining areas in Bancroft, I have never been there before, looking a companion to knows/familiar in those places to visit and buying some tough gemstones (Beryl….like Aquamarine, Emerald and other colors like red beryl, golden beryl, yellow beryl, orange beryl, pink Beryl), planning to spend a week or more… aarulvasam@yahoo.ca

    • Donna| July 27, 2022 at 11:27 am Reply

      Hello , I’m not sure if you have already gone to bancroft..but we have a cottage for rent 7 minutes from town…thanks Donna 226 388 7584

  • Janet L| October 13, 2021 at 3:36 pm Reply

    I live in Peterborough and am interested in driving up to Bancroft for the day to do some rockhounding. Looking for a companion since it’s safer than a woman wandering around alone in the bush.

    • John Howlett| May 9, 2022 at 4:53 am Reply

      Iam wanting to go again. And am willing to take or go with ppl

    • Amelia| April 10, 2022 at 5:44 am Reply

      Hello! I’d love to go if you still want to go there. I need someone to go with as well

    • Anne| January 26, 2022 at 5:05 am Reply

      I am in the same boat as you and would also like to go yet being alone doing this hobby is tough. Would gladly join you in the spring. I live in south western Ontario but wouldn’t mind the drive. Doing this has been on my bucket list for years.

      • Janet Louden| June 19, 2022 at 11:17 am Reply

        Hi I got super busy at work but still interested. Janetlouden3@gmail.com

      • Chris| January 28, 2022 at 11:18 am Reply

        Im headed up there july 16 yo the 23rd 2022 with my wife and 2 daughters. My good friend and his family are coming too. We do the beryl pit every year, its awesome. The kids love it too. I also go to some other pits and a mountain site that still jas open mine shafts!!
        Look me up if you wanna join us.

    • Heather W| January 16, 2022 at 10:12 pm Reply

      Did you go?? If not I’d be interested in the spring..I live in Bancroft

      • Janet Louden| June 19, 2022 at 11:19 am Reply

        No, I haven’t. Janetlouden3@gmail.com

      • Anthony| March 12, 2022 at 4:33 am Reply

        Hi , I live in Montreal, I’d like to visit some mining areas in Bancroft, I have never been there before, looking a companion to knows/familiar in those places to visit and buying some tough gemstones (Beryl….like Aquamarine, Emerald and other colors like red beryl, golden beryl, yellow beryl, orange beryl, pink Beryl), planning to spend a week or more… aarulvasam@yahoo.ca

    • Ruby| December 31, 2021 at 11:03 am Reply

      I’m down for the same and looking for companion

      • Janet Louden| June 19, 2022 at 11:20 am Reply

        Janetlouden3@gmail.com if you’re interested in going together some time.

      • Anthony| March 12, 2022 at 5:11 am Reply

        Hi.. I am also looking a companion to visit Bancroft and some other Gemstones mining locations…. if interested write me: taillon4766@gmail.com

    • Mikaela| November 11, 2021 at 12:43 pm Reply

      Hi Janet! I live roughly half an hour away and would be interested in joining you. I am a 28yo female from Australia. Look forward to hearing back from you.

      • Ruby| December 31, 2021 at 11:05 am Reply

        Can I join? I would like to go from Dominican Rep. I’m 24 years old and I’m really interested

      • Lucas McNea| December 28, 2021 at 6:03 pm Reply

        ill go with you, 32 male from chatham-kent farming region, about 4-5hrs away, but I come from a family of gemologist and goldminers and feel a connection to rockhounding. Also want to go to BC for placer goldmining.

  • Stephanie| September 30, 2021 at 4:51 pm Reply

    Can anyone share their experiences at the Beryl Pit?

    • Darren F| October 4, 2021 at 11:00 pm Reply

      I have been there several times. The general store in Quadsville is where you sign a waiver and pay $10. You can find a number of minerals there … And the walk from parking at the road to the site is easy. Worth a stop buy bring safety glasses and a hammer and chisel.

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