Early claims on Pioneer were staked by Harry Atwood and William Allen in 1897. Shortly thereafter, F. Kinder acquired a 50 percent share by promising to purchase and operate a stamp mill, which proved only capable of crushing 100 lbs. of ore per day. Atwood and Allen withdrew from the partnership leaving Kinder to operate on his own for the next six years until he sold to a syndicate for $20,000. In 1915, Pioneer Gold Mines Limited was incorporated. Through the next nine years, the property was producing but it was examined and turned down by numerous companies who didn't have faith in it's potential.
David Sloan holding gold brick from Pioneer Mine 1930
David Sloan's contribution to the Pioneer Mine operations began after production was suspended for lack of funds in 1924. He acquired 50% interest, and J.I. Babe the other 50%. In 1927, Col. Victor Spencer bought Babe's interest and together, they began what was to become the success story of the Pioneer Mine.
Sponge gold before final process of heating off silver and pouring remaining melted gold.
Outside of Mill Building, Pioneer, B.C. Canada
Sponge gold and minor silver material has had the mercury driven off and is now ready for fire and cast to mold.
Harry Cain, Pioneer Mines General Manager David Sloan, Managing Director 1930
In 1928 Pioneer Mine was incorporated with Col. Spencer as President, A.E. Bull as Secretary Treasurer, David Sloan as Managing Director and Harry Cain as General Manager.
This was the start of the second shaft being sunk and the cyanide mill being built. Now the community of Pioneer was shaping up with the opening of the first school.
The powerhouse on the Cadwallader Creek
Cadwallader Creek, below Bralorne at the confluence of the Cadwallader and Hurley rivers
The Pioneer powerhouse, situated below Bralorne at the confluence of the Cadwallader Creek and the Hurley River, was used to deliver water to the mill and was capable of developing over 500 horsepower. During a spring flood around 1930, a log was pushed through the building, completely destroying it. The new powerhouse was built on the Hurley River three and a half miles from the mine.
In October 1934, minor changes to the mill had increased capacity to 400 tons per day. The No. 2 shaft had reached 19 level and was intended to go to 26 level. There were also new discoveries on the upper levels once thought to be mined out, with new drifting on 5 level showing results of 3.9 ounces of gold per ton.
Pioneer Mine site
By the end of 1935, No. 2 shaft had been sunk to 26 level, 3,313 feet below the surface. Crosscuts had been driven to the main vein from 15 to 22 levels and some drifting done on the vein from 15 to 17 levels. Pioneer's future looked promising.