Home » Placer Mining in BC » Placer Areas
I am not an expert on mining law - I am just trying to help. Use the information in this website at your own risk. See the Notice at the bottom of this page.Placer Areas are areas in BC where you can get a Placer Claim. They are also called "Placer Designated Areas" or "areas open for placer acquisition" or "placer registration" or "placer staking".
Almost a quarter of the area of BC is covered by placer areas. This includes an area running from about as far south as Lillooet and Kamloops all the way to the Yukon border and between about 140 km and 300 km wide.
The good news is that there is still a lot of unexplored ground in BC, including ground above creeks that have been explored.
Almost all placer Prospecting is done in placer areas. Some prospectors start exploring where there are no claims. Some buy placer claims with the intention of making them more valuable by discovering more gold. If they are successful, they either mine the gold or sell the claim for more than they paid for it.
You can pan for gold (with just a pan and shovel) anywhere in BC except for placer claims, private property, First Nations land and parks.
Placer areas have the best known ground, of course. On the other hand, if you don't want to get a claim, you can pan for gold outside placer areas and not have any problem about where other people have claims.
that show Placer areas using the Mineral Titles Online (MTO) system.
Some Important Areas
The Fraser River
The Fraser River is where BC's first gold rush started in the
1850s, and it continues to be important for everything from weekend
gold panning to major placer mining. See the
Fraser River page for more
The Fraser River is the only river in BC in which machine-digging can be done on gravel bars.
The history is wonderful and there are a lot of gold-bearing creeks. The important ones are pretty much covered with placer claims. It is a good area to buy a claim and there is plenty of ground to explore without one.
It has a center, around the hamlet of Manson Creek, where every square foot is covered in claims, but the rest of this huge area has a lot of open ground to explore. It is remote enough that it still has a lot of potential - wonderful for prospectors that want to get out into remote country.
The main creeks are covered with claims. Buying a claim is probably the best plan in this area - there are better prospecting opportunities in the Omineca that aren't as difficult to get to.
With a GPS and a 4x4 truck or SUV, you can get to a lot of little areas worth more attention.
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