Having a Blast with Public Fee Mining!

Having a Blast with Public Fee Mining

A collection of mined gems

Did you know you could mining? Yes, and you can bring your family!

Wondering what to do for the summer? Need something fun for the whole family while on vacation? An open fee mine may just be what you are looking for now. It’s a fun afternoon of looking for stones and or fossils. The kids can start a collection, and so can you! You amay find some lovely garden stones or beautiful stones to turn into jewellery.

There are many placees in Ontario that offer the chance to have fun and bring home some treasures. Bancroft is the gem capital of Ontario. They have a Gemboree every year in the summer. You can find all kids of informationa and pretty things. Pluse they sell mining tools (they have you covered.) There are many mines in the area. Some of the most popular are the Beryl Pit, Teh Rose Quartz mine, and Princess Sodalite mine.

A sign depicting what rocks you can find in the Beryl Pit
Beryl Pit

The Beryl Pit is near a small town called Quadeville. You go to the general store there to pay a fee to mine. They have you sign a release and give you directions on how to get there. Once there, you can pick through piles, dig in the dirt mounds and chisel on the walls. You may stay at the mine as long as you want. You can bring out as much as you can carry in one trip. Some of the stone you can find are quartzes, feld spar, amazonite, and fluorite. There is a sign board in the mine (see left) telling you all the stones you can find at the pit.

A picture of the Rose Quartz mines in Bancroft Ontario
The Rose Quartz Mine

The Rose Quartz mine can only be accessed by appointment. You must contact a lovely couple: Dave and Renee Paterson, to gain entrance to this mine. They also own the Beryl Pit. On the day of your appointment, you will meet Dave at the general store in Quadeville. Dave then guides everyone to the Rose Quartz mine. Once you park, he collects a fee. You are told, when you make the appointment, what the fee will be. Now you are ready for the mine entry. Rose Quartz heaven! Dave gives a very informative talk about the mine, then turns you loose to pick and dig. If there are good quality rose quartz pieces he takes out and weighs them before you leave. Then he charges you per pound to take them with you. Any other stones or gems are not weighed or charged. When everyone is done, then he guides you out again.

Rocks and Gems that can be found at the Princess Sodalite Mine
Princess Sodalite Mine

The Princess Sodalite mine is, as the name implies, full of sodalite as well as other stones. There is a rock shop that you first enter. They have many specimens of a multitude of rocks. If you want to go minig, you must sign a release form and comply with all the posted rules. You can take your time and get lost in the rock picking experience here. When you come out, they will weigh all your treasures and charge you by the pound. You are then free to take it all home. You can also do the easy thing and buy your specimens from the rock shop too!

There are many small cuts and places to go as well. A stop at the Bancroft Chamber of Commerce would be wise. They sell a book on all spaces in the area. 

Thunder Bay and Pearl are also good for public fee mining. Here you will find amethyst as well as other treasures. There are at least three known mines in this area:

  1. The Panorama
  2. The Willowdale
  3. The Blue Points

They are mainly spots to pick through piles of rocks but finding a quality gemstone is possible and oh so satisfying! They also have other rocks too. If you’d like to go outside of Ontario, there is open fee mining in Vernon B.C. There you will find rough opal.


No matter where you go, there are some must haves you need for mining. Here is a list:

  • small hammer
  • chisels
  • rain gear (it’s not always sunny)
  • gardening gloves
  • water
  • bug spray
  • suntan lotion
  • containers
  • a wagon to carry everything in and out
  • a snack (you don’t want to be hangry in a mine)

Hopefully , this article will inspire some of you to try it. Good luck out there!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *