<center>Lynn Headwaters - Return to Zinc Canyon</center>
The Lynn Creek watershed has a long, rich history of logging and mining, and served for many years as the water source for the City of North Vancouver. In 1929 the watershed was closed to the public and though overgrown and decayed, various works have survived in this virtual time capsule.
In September 2008 I set out to dig up some of its mining history and detailed that in the Lynn Headwaters: The forgotten past of Zinc Canyon
post. Since then I have spent far too much time researching the Lynn Valley Zinc Mines and now I think its time to set some if it free. I had grand plans to construct a web site and present the information in an orderly manner, and I may still do that, but for now this is it.
The Upper Lynn was used as a domestic water source for the City of North Vancouver from the beginning of the century.1 The majority of the most recent intake was completed around August 1925 and remained in use until October 31st 1981 when the intake was destroyed by a high water event. North Vancouver then joined the Greater Vancouver water district in 1983 and in 1984 released the land for park development.
The first claim recorded in the area was Kempville which was granted to H. Abbot et al on April 10th 1893.2 The first record of prospecting was in 1901 when 6 or 7 chutes containing ‘clean chalcopyrite' and ‘pyrrhotide with copper' were discovered on the claims on the west fork of Lynn Creek. 3
In 1911 G.H.A Lee made a brief trip to the property and reported
that additional work is necessary to determine the extent of the lower ore body. By 1912 the 8 crown granted claims in the area had been consolidated under Lynn Creek Zinc Mines, Ltd (N.P.L) and was actively being worked. A report
by Newton W. Emmens concluded that with these claims “there is the makings of a very large, paying mine” “During the year 1912 there was 619 feet of work done on the property, consisting of 59 feet of crosscuts, 91 feet of drives, and 469 feet of surface cuts of an average depth of 8 feet, and, in addition, 411' feet of diamond-drilling”
A detailed description of the 1912 work was written by J.D. Galloway and can be found in the 1913 Annual Report of the Minister of Mines. 4
In 1915 Mr. Gerald A. Kent bonded the property and employed 9 men to continue exploration. 150 feet of 5 x 7 foot main lower level tunnel was excavated in expectation of production. 8 miles of trail was cleared to construct a camp consisting of: two offices, a bunkhouse, a cookhouse, a storehouse, a powder house a black-smith shop, and plant and equipment.5
By 1916, a mile and a half of wagon road had been built at government expense and 220 feet of 5 x 7 foot main low level tunnel was completed with an additional 250 feet of prospecting tunnels and 330 feet of diamond drilling. The bondholder estimated 700,000 tons of ore and said the mine would begin producing as soon as the road was completed. 6
In 1919 Paul Billingsley, a well respected mining engineer, wrote an extensive report
on the properties owned by the Lynn Valley Zinc Mines, Ltd though no record of work is available for that year.
The entire area was dormant until 1924 when a minor revival occurred. The Lynn Creek Zinc mines were bonded by Mr. A. B. Trites, who wanted to develop them due to rising zinc prices and a demand for zinc ore containing lead. He built a camp to accommodate a large force of men but dropped the option in the spring of 1925. 7
The following year Charles Starr wrote a report
regarding the zinc properties for Porcupine Goldfields Mining and Development who picked up the option and did some work to open old adits and extend the prospecting work, but subsequently abandoned it. 8 & 9
The watershed was closed to the public in 1929 though numerous companies attempted to access the properties for prospecting and development purposes.
A 1942 metallurgical report
and a 1944 report
by C.M. Campbell summarizing the previous reports on the Lynn Creek Zinc Mines, Ltd properties once again generated interest in the zinc claims.
Several requests were made to the City of North Vancouver to access the properties for prospecting purposes but were denied sighting concerns over water quality. Although the mineral claims provided a right of expropriation the necessity to comply with health board regulations made the project seem onerous to most.
In March of 1950 the owners of the Lynn Creek Zinc Mines wrote a letter
to the provincial Lieutenant Governor in Council requesting that the province grant them access to the properties under the Mineral Rights act.
Finally in 1951 Graham Bousquet Gold Mines of Toronto optioned the claims owned by Lynn Creek Zinc Mines, Ltd. By September 1951 employees of Graham-Bousquet Gold Mines were working on site, cutting out existing trails, cleaning out open cuts and pits, and rehabilitating adits. 10 On November 19th the superintendent of works, J. M. Greenwood submitted a letter
to Council asking for direction regarding the chlorination of the Lynn Creek water supply. Council
unanimously agreed that chlorination was a necessary precaution and that it should begin as soon as possible.
Without a road to the site, men and equipment were being flown into the by helicopter and by the end of 1952, eight miles of trail was re-cut from the lower intake of the City Waterworks to the property, and seventeen diamond-drill holes were drilled, with a total footage of 3,630 feet. 11 & 12
After much resistance, stalling, and a threat of intent to expropriate, the City Council acquiesced and negotiated an agreement
giving Lynn Creek Zinc Mines, or their assigns, right to construct a road. The By-Law
authorizing this agreement was tabled August 11, 1952 of a Special Meeting of City Council
and laid over for further consideration. In a regular council meeting on Nov 20 the mater was again laid over. I can find no record of it ever being tabled again.
I have now made 5 trips to the area in an attempt to locate any of the camp remains and mine workings. I have painstakingly detailed these in the following Google Earth file.
The file has many layers that contain more than 100 geocoded photos, map overlays, and GPS tracks. Note:
GPS reception in this area is not great so some of the photo locations and tracks are inacurate.
Here are some of the photos:
Zinc Canyon Workings
These photos were taking in the same area as the following photos from the periodical
1963/11 Western Miner and Oil Review - Zinc Mine on Burrard Inlet (Extracted Text) (Original)
It is interesting to me that many of the items are marked "Made in Canada." Rare these days. The nickel plated Coleman Lantern fuel tank is a Model 242B and dated December 1950. You can examine it in person at the BC Mills House.
The "Miner's Camp Stove" was manufactured by The D. Moore Company, Limited of Hamilton, Ontario. In the 1909-1910 Catalog and Price List
the large version of the stove cost $7.05. (See Page 100)
Upper Workings & Camp
The upper workings range in elevation from 1000m to 1125m. It would appear that much of the exploration and drilling of the 1950s took place at the higher elevations.
It seems that where ever there is a tree with a blaze you will find cores.
I even managed to locate a couple or drill barrels.
There are barrels everywhere! Maybe 100 or more. The red one reads "8-10-51 Property of Imperial Oil Limited"
Another Coleman Lantern base dated April 51. I failed to get the model number off of it but it was mucg larger than others I have seen.
The only intact bottle I have ever found in Lynn Headwaters. It's now in the BC Mills House.
Atypical Party Ballon Detritus
A cleared area on the ridge top, which was likely used as a helicopter landing area, was still covered in snow the last time I was there. I look forward to getting back up there!
<center>- To be Continued -
1 Conditional Water License C005315 C005315
2 1896/12/31 Annual Report of the Minister of Mines (Extract) (Source)
3 1901/12/31 Annual Report of the Minister of Mines (Extract) (Source)
4 1912/12/31 Annual Report of the Minister of Mines (Extract) (Source)
5 1915/12/31 Annual Report of the Minister of Mines (Extract) (Source)
6 1916/12/31 Annual Report of the Minister of Mines (Extract) (Source)
7 1924/12/31 Annual Report of the Minister of Mines (Extract) (Source)
8 1926/12/31 Annual Report of the Minister of Mines (Extract) (Source)
9 1927/12/31 Annual Report of the Minister of Mines (Extract) (Source)
10 1951/12/31 Annual Report of the Minister of Mines (Extract) (Source)
11 1952/12/31 Annual Report of the Minister of Mines (Extract) (Source)
12 1952/06/23 City of North Vancouver Council Minutes (pdf)