Ashlu Mine, Squamish (aka Osprey Mine)

The former Ashlu Mine is located at the confluence of Roaring Creek with Ashlu Creek, approx 45 km northwest of Squamish, British Columbia, on the branch A-600 of Ashlu FSR Road. Check out abandoned buildings and the mine.

History

The history of the Ashu mine dates back to 1923 when Fred Pykett and Associates discovered Quartz Veins in a steep gorge of the roaring creek, which is a small tributary of Ashlu Creek. The original name of the claim was the Gold coin Group. The production of the mine began in 1932 by driving a 75-foot drift at the quart vein location. At some points, it was a hundred feet lower than the outcrop.

In 1934, the property bonded to the Ashlu Gold Mining for more development, and the main adit advanced to 390 feet with several raises to the surface outcrop. Between 1932-1939, approximately 15,000 tons of ore was mined, which yielded 6,396 oz of gold, 7,154 oz silver, and 66,187 lbs of copper. The mine operations were concluded in 1939.

From 1979 to 1985, the mine was owned by Slim’s Mining & Exploration Ltd and operated under Osprey Mining & Exploration Ltd. Walter (Slim) Babkirk managed the mine. In 1985, Tenquille Resources Ltd acquired the property, and in 1988, Valentine Gold Corp. took an option on the property.

“As of 1994, the former Ashlu mine is staked as the Au claim and owned by L. Demczuk. The surrounding area was restaked as the Ashlu 1 to 5 claims by 421424 B.C. Ltd. and Homegold Resources Ltd was retained to prospect and geologically map the claims. During 2009 through 2012, Ashlu Mines completed a program of rock, soil and silt sampling on the area” (MINFile Record).

How to get there
Ashlu Mine Map

From Squamish, Drive on Highway 99 North for approximately 10 km and turn left towards Squamish Valley Road. Continue driving on Squamish Valley Road till you reach the end of the paved road.

Once the paved road ends, continue straight on Squamish Main Forest Service Rod (FSR) for approximately 4 km and then turn on Ashlu Rd. Cross the bridge and continue straight.

Continue on Ashlu FSR for approimately 10.5 km till you reach the turnoff for the Hydro Intake.

Continue straight on branch A-600. The branch A-600 is very rough and narrow (4×4 only).

Note: The branch A-600 is a rough and narrow road with washouts, potholes, and tree branches that can easily scratch your vehicle.

After driving on the branch A-600 for approximately 300 m, you will arrive at a fork. Go right at the fork and continue driving.

I tried going left from the fork, the road gets very rough and ends after 5 mins. You will end up scratching you vehicle if you go left.

Few years ago , the branch A-600 could take you straight to the mine. Unfortunately, the road is completely washed out after approximately 650 m at the Pokosha Creek.

Three hundred fifty meters from the fork, you will arrive at a washout of the Pokosha Creek. The road is thoroughly washed out, and there is no vehicle access past this point. Luckily, there is a small wooden suspension bridge for pedestrians to go across.

Ashlu Mine
Hike to the Mine

Now, you will have to walk for approximately 2 km to get to the Ashlu Mine. Walk on the overgrown branch A-600 till you reach the flat area of the mine.

Note: The road is an uphill climb. Prepare to hike! (Round Trip will be approx 4.5 km)

After 1.5 km, look on your left, you will see the tailing pond.

Walk for another 500 m and you will reach the flat area where you will encounter a lot of shotgun shells, junk, scrap metal, tires, and burned buildings.

2009 (The Buildings were intact)
2009 (The Buildings were intact)
2009 (The Buildings were intact)
2019 (Buildings Damaged, Burned, Vandalized)
2019 (Buildings Damaged, Burned, Vandalized)

In the above photograph, use the slider to compare two photographs with aerial view of the Mine (2009 and 2019).

Opposite to the burned buildings, find an overgrown path that will take you past abandoned buildings to the processing facility. You will see an old hopper and a conveyor in the processing facility.

Alert: There is a belief that this building (processing facility) was contaminated with sodium cyanide. Just be careful! I understand that sodium cyanide has been used in gold mining since 1887. The process was known as Gold cyanidation, which was used to extract gold from low-grade ore.

If you continue straight, past the flat area you will reach Roaring Creek. If you manage to go across the creek you will get to the underground mine entrance.

Useful Links

BC Gold Adventures

Osprey Mining & Exploration Assessment Work Report for 1984

MIN File – Ministry of Energy, Mines, and Petroleum Resources

Butterfly near Roaring Creek, Ashlu Mine

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