The Golden Triangle is a remote and mountainous region of northwestern British Columbia, straddling the border of Alaska’s panhandle. The area lies on top of a geography that has created a very high concentration of precious mineral deposits.
The Golden Triangle has been known since the 19th-century as a plentiful source for precious minerals. Gold, silver, and other mineral mines have been operated from the region since 1918.
In the 1990s, the Eskay Creek and Snip properties were productive enough to grant the Golden Triangle its name. The Eskay Creek property was, during the 1990s, the most productive gold mine in Canada. It was eventually closed in 2008 due to low gold prices, depletion, and the high cost of operations.
Historically, the region has proven difficult to reach and traverse due to the distances required to reach it and a lack of significant infrastructure. The difficult terrain has also made exploration, drilling, and supply of the area costly. This has made consistent, long-term development of the region’s mining infrastructure costly and difficult and has led to many projects being closed.
Circumstances today point to a new ‘golden age’ in the Golden Triangle.
The retreat of the glaciers which once covered the region are exposing new rock and creating more cost-effective opportunities for exploration.
From the discovery of gold in the region up until only a few decades ago, exploration was constrained by the Cambria Icefield, which covers much of the Golden Triangle’s unique geology. But since the 1980s this glacier cover has receded dramatically, giving explorers access to a wider range of elevations and previously unseen rock.
Gold prices, at historic lows when the Eskay Creek and Snip properties closed, have since risen.
Despite their productivity and the high quality of the geology, past mining projects in the Golden Triangle have found themselves undercut in past decades by low gold prices. Combined with the high costs of exploiting resources in the region’s remote and difficult landscape, projects like Eskay Creek often struggled to remain profitable.
Today, higher gold prices and the reduced costs of operating in the Golden Triangle are making projects in the area an attractive proposition for explorers and producers.
The Golden Triangle has become easier to reach, explore, and supply as more infrastructure has been constructed.
Efforts by both prospectors and producers to engage in long-term projects in the Golden Triangle were once hindered by the region’s remoteness and lack of infrastructure.
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