Lynn Headwaters - Return to Zinc Canyon - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 07-10-2010, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
Headed for the Mountains
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Courtenay, BC, Canada.
Posts: 129
Default Lynn Headwaters - Return to Zinc Canyon

<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.
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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.

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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)

Kent Tunnel

Lower Camp

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 -</center>

[u]Selected References</u>

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)
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 07-10-2010, 11:28 PM
Hittin' the Trails
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Nice report. Very interested in this kind of subject and truly hope that you can get your website up and running. Good luck and will certainly be watching.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 07-11-2010, 01:06 AM
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Commendable work, Craig, I guess you've found most of the sites by now?
By the way, if you have something of interest that might be good to display at BC Mills House, who do you talk to?
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 07-11-2010, 09:21 AM Thread Starter
Headed for the Mountains
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Courtenay, BC, Canada.
Posts: 129

Thanks Sean & Mick,

Mick, I know that there is much more to be found up there but I am reluctant to venture into some of the locations solo. I have barely scratched the surface of what is out there. A careful reading of the annual reports, and several reports I did not post, indicate the existence of a few tunnels up to 200 feet long.

I did little exploring at the upper camp due to snow and time constraints but the amount of material left behind was incredible. I didn't stray too far off the ridge but I could see significant areas of disturbance on the ridge's east slope. On my first trip to the upper camp I was lucky to get there just prior to the blueberries leafing out. On my second trip much had been obscured by the ground cover.

Out of curiosity, has anyone looked at the Google Earth file?
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 07-11-2010, 09:41 AM Thread Starter
Headed for the Mountains
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You might talk to Jennifer Swanston, the BC Mills House volunteer coordinator, or Bill Siegrist, the park Ranger. I'll PM their email addresses. Be sure to label the item with who, what, where, when.

I've spent many hours in the BC Mills House and have yet to see all of the artifacts there. Space is at a premium so make sure it's a unique item.

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 07-11-2010, 09:46 AM
Hittin' the Trails
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Location: North Vancouver, BC, Canada.
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I've been patiently waiting for a new BB post! Enjoy thoroughly your combination of archaelogical (sp?) research with backcountry hiking. Thanks for the work and posts.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 07-11-2010, 01:42 PM
High on the Mountain Top
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: North Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Interest: hiking on and off trails , maintaining certain trails. recumbent bike on log/mining roads, and KVR, and for excercise in absolute comfort.
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Keep digging up this info as I thoroughly enjoy finding stuff in the wilderness and wondering about the past. It took me 3 years of looking for the swimming pool at the Britannia minesite before I finally found it 50 feet into the brush and trees that I had cycled by numerous times and just never explored.
The trees and brush covers over a lot of tailing piles and adit entrances that would be accesible if you could only find them. One little nasty thing about zinc mines is various gases are usually present and therefore exploring a zinc mine can be a short experience.
Thanks for your research.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 07-11-2010, 02:46 PM
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Very cool. I really enjoyed the Google Earth detail and flying around your various tracks and the mining sites. If you want someone to tag along with your next exploration let me know.

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post #9 of (permalink) Old 07-11-2010, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
Headed for the Mountains
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Location: Courtenay, BC, Canada.
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Thanks Ryan,

I'm glad someone has looked at it. Having read a few of your recent trip reports I'm afraid that I'd be the one tagging along. [xx(]

Bruce, Yes... Thanks for mentioning that! Confined spaces can be deadly. Standard disclaimer applies:



[xx(][xx(] STAY OUT! STAY ALIVE! [xx(][xx(]


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post #10 of (permalink) Old 07-12-2010, 01:33 AM
Headed for the Mountains
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top notch!
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 07-12-2010, 08:25 AM
Off the Beaten Path
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Burnaby, BC, Canada.
Posts: 966

Thanks for posting this information! I have been very interested in this and have had no idea where to start! Seeing as I just purchased my first GPS as well it will help.

Is there a way to take the tracks from you outing there and put them on my GPS to follow your path?
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 05-14-2020, 08:25 PM
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I've heard rumours of unlucky explorers nearly falling in covered/hidden mine shafts in the area...
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 05-25-2020, 11:40 PM
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Default Quest for zinc

Great report. I'm wondering - is Paul Billingsley's 1919 report on the properties owned by the Lynn Valley Zinc Mines, Ltd still available somewhere? Has shut down?
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