The Cariboo Goldfield, like the California Goldfield, manifests two styles of mineralization: 1) primary lode gold deposits, and 2) secondary placer deposits.
In plan, the zone of lode deposits trends linearly about 6 km in a northwest–southeast direction, within an inverted boot-shaped cluster of placer deposits having a surface area of about 250 km.
Accepted as revised January, 2009 SUMMARY The discovery of placer gold deposits in the Cariboo in 1860, and the immediate realization of their importance, were directly responsible for the establishment of the Province of British Columbia, allowing Canada to expand from ‘Sea to Shining Sea.’ Later, in the early 1930s, the new lode gold mines helped rescue the province from bankruptcy during the Great Depression.
The Cariboo Goldfield is one of the longest continuously productive mining camps in Canada (nearly 150 years).
In spite of provincial government assistance by providing milling and roasting facilities to process the lode deposits, the technology of the day was inadequate to make the deposits economic.