Royal Alberta Museum
visitors since 1967


<p>The Bridge River mining district, of which the Bralorne-Pioneer Mine was the most important mine, can trace its history back to the placer gold rush along the Fraser River in the 1850s. Hard rock mining commenced near the future site of the Bralorne Mine in 1896. Large scale mining was undertaken in the early 1930s. By the time the Bralorne-Pioneer Mine ceased operation in 1971, over 4 million ounces of gold and 1.2 million ounces of silver had been produced, more than from any other mine in British Columbia.</p><p>In addition to 15 fine gold specimens, Royal Alberta Museum has a fine collection of photographs which document this famous mine's history. Ron Mussieux is currently researching this material with the object of producing a historical-based article on this mine.</p><em>Source: Photo CD 2269 1012 0322, Image # 009</em>

The Geology Collections were started in 1962 and associated field programs were initiated in 1964. Since that time, 20,000 specimens have been entered into the collections including about 13,000 minerals; 4,000 rocks; and 3,000 stratigraphic specimens. Our collections presently comprise approximately 650 mineral species from over 80 countries.

During the past ten years Royal Alberta Museum has had one of the most active geology collection programs in Canada. The collection comprises over 200 gemstones ranging from coloured diamonds to an 1100 carat facetted blue topaz. The geology collection contains the Bralorne gold suite which is probably the best collection of gold samples from a single locality in Canada. It has been declared a Canadian Cultural Property. Royal Alberta Museum also has an excellent collection of mineral specimens and photographs from the Eldorado Mine, Great Bear Lake, which was Canada's first radium-uranium mine and the mine that spurred major mineral exploration throughout the north.

For information on working with the collection, contact the Assistant Curator, Geology.