The Jordan River flows southwest from its head waters near Jordan Meadows and Valentine Mountain (San Juan Ridge area) to the coast approximately 25 kilometres to the west of the community of Sooke.
The area is underlain by metamorphic rock (slaty schists) of the Jurassic to Cretaceous Leech River Complex. Basalts and basaltic pillow lavas of the Eocene Metchosin Volcanics are exposed to the south. The Leech River fault separates these and stretches from west of Victoria westward along the Leech River and Loss Creek valleys to the coast near Sombrio Point.
Placer gold occurs almost exclusively in the gravels of the streams that drain the area that is underlain by the slaty schists of the Jurassic to Cretaceous Leech River Complex (Formation). Fairly coarse gold may be found in the gravels of virtually all these streams. The gold in recent gravel deposits is likely derived from the numerous quartz veins that occur in the slaty schists. These veins are seldom more than small stringers and lenses a few centimetres wide and approximately 1 metre in length. The only metallic minerals in the veins are a little pyrite or chalcopyrite and free gold. The veins are generally too small and too barren to be profitably mined. The Valentine Mountain (MINFILE 092B 108) lode gold developed prospect is located in the eastern drainages of the Jordan River and is the best known hard rock gold occurrence to be hosted by rocks of the Leech River Complex.
Bulletin 21, from 1946, states that placer miners have worked the following rivers and streams of Vancouver Island: China and Loss creeks, Leech, Gordon, Jordan, Sooke, Sombrio, San Juan, Bedwell, Nanaimo, Gold, and Zeballos rivers.
The placer deposits were discovered in the late 1800’s in association with placer gold exploration on the island following the discovery of the Leech River Placers (MINFILE 092B 078) in the 1860’s. At this time a reported estimate of 30,000 dollars’ worth of gold was mined (Brown, W.L. (1947-11-15): A Historical Development of the Metalliferous Deposits of Vancouver Island). At a 1900’s value of approximately 19 dollars a troy ounce this would have equalled approximately 49100 grams of gold.
It appears that most of the gold was derived from bars or in crevices in the bedrock of the river bed, or from benches along the side of the creeks.
Minor work by local prospectors has continued through to present.