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Gold was first discovered on Granite Creek during the time when prospectors were rushing North to the Interior of British Columbia, Canada, around 1858. The area boasted rich deposits of gold and platinum, but was considered low grade and abandoned by the white miners. For the next 25 years, Chinese immigrants who had been working on the railroad mined and panned the area.

Visitors can still see the “tailings” or piles of rock moved by hand to get to the precious metals between the Granite Creek Campground and the junction of Granite Creek and the Tulameen River.

In July of 1885, a group of intrepid miners hit a major gold strike and by the end of the year Granite Creek had grown to a community of more than 2,000 people. In one year, there were 40 houses, six saloons, seven stores, and several hotels. Granite Creek was reportedly the third largest community in B.C. as gold production reached its peak of a reported $193,000.

Ironically, early prospectors were plagued with annoying “white iron” that couldn’t be separated easily from the gold. Hundreds of pounds of platinum were tossed back into the tailings piles but for a few wily bar owners who would trade the nuisance platinum for drinks. Eventually the value was discovered and miners scrambled back to the tailing piles to haul it away.

In every business, there is “white iron”, the hidden treasures that can be realised only by a wily few who have information, knowledge and a strategy to capture that value.