Golden riches forged the foundation of Rossland and the surrounding area.
The Rossland Mines produced over 84 tonnes of gold in their 40 years of operation. This explains the origins of the Trail Smelter, the railway links with both Canada and the USA, and West Kootenay Power & Light Company.
The financial investment necessary to promote and develop the hard rock mining operations was international in its sources as was the background of the thousands of miners who dug out more than 80 miles of tunnels to retrieve the gold.
How much gold is 84 tonnes? Such an amount would form a solid cube approximately 6 feet to a side. Imagine a heavy-duty pick-up truck with a load of 1.66 tonnes of gold – you would need 51 of these truckloads to carry all the gold produced in the Rossland Mines. At today’s prices, the value of this gold would be 3.3 billion dollars.
Gold has always been highly valued throughout history but in the 1890s, known gold sources were limited. One can see why the gold discoveries in Rossland hit the international press and caused a flurry of trading on the London and New York Stock Exchanges. The crown jewel in the Rossland mines was the LeRoi – touted as being ‘the richest mine in the world’.
Historically, the average price of gold per troy ounce remained remarkably stable for long periods of time. Sir Isaac Newton, master of the U. K. Mint, set the gold price in 1717 and it remained effectively the same for two hundred years.
During the days of gold mining in Rossland the price was never more than $20.69 per troy ounce. Since 1968, the market price for gold has been free to fluctuate and in the past 10 years the price has increased dramatically.
One troy ounce of gold in the form of a coin from the Canadian Mint is being raffled by the Rossland Museum with the draw to be held on September 6 during the annual Golden City Days celebration.
Tickets are $10 each and only 400 tickets are available to purchase at the Museum and Alpine Drug Mart in Rossland and from members of the Museum and Golden City Days Committee.
Stake your claim to the prizes and reconnect with Rossland’s golden history.