In about 1876, gold was discovered in Defot Creek which flows north into Canyon Creek, located 23 kilometres northwest of the north end of Dease Lake.
Coarse, rough gold often full of quartz, was obtained from a 1.6-kilometre section of the creek which proved to be the most productive in 1878. The creek drains an area underlain by volcanic sandstone, argillaceous tuff and conglomerate of the undivided Triassic-Jurassic Shonektaw and Nazcha formations (Takla Group).
A total of 359,174 grams of gold was produced between 1880 and 1915. Over 90 per cent of this total was mined between 1886 and 1890 (Bulletin 28).