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Cape Spencer Gold

The first full-scale primary gold mine in New Brunswick was located at Cape Spencer east of Saint John where gold occurs as tiny grains in zones along the borders of quartz veins. Gordex Minerals Ltd. opened the Cape Spencer mine in 1986, but ceased work in 1989 when gold prices faltered. Cape Spencer was one of the first Canadian mines to use the percolation leaching method of gold extraction. The technology costs less than traditional extraction methods and can enable low-grade gold ores to be processed more economically. This is the youngest example of an orogenic gold deposit in the province, meaning it is related to faulting and mountain building processes. Gold is hosted along shallow thrusts within deformed Precambrian granite-type rocks of the Avalon Zone and Carboniferous sedimentary rocks. The faulting and folding are likely linked to the collision of the Meguma Terrane (mainland Nova Scotia) with the margin of the Avalon Terrane and to the final closure of the Iapetus Ocean and the creation of Pangea. Almost 5,000 ounces of gold was extracted during the late 1980s.