Placer gold deposits of the Quesnel Highland region, including the former rich producers of the Barkerville Camp, have accounted for a large proportion of British Columbia's alluvial gold production. With the exception of a few producers in the Wingdam area, which are underlain by Upper Triassic sediments correlative with the Nicola Group, almost all the deposits are underlain by the Upper Proterozoic to Lower Paleozoic Snowshoe Group. These rocks have been metamorphosed to greenschist facies and are predominantly metasedimentary.
Placer gold deposits in the region are generally found in relatively young Pleistocene gravels. The morphology and mineral associations of the gold suggests that it was derived locally, the most obvious sources are the numerous auriferous veins in the Downey succession of the Snowshoe Group.
One, and possibly two, old channels occur on the west side of the present Canadian Creek. Some placer gold was recovered by drifting on the old channels and some by hydraulicking. Records indicate that the placer occurrences on Canadian Creek were probably not very rich. Recorded production from 1876-95, 1901-10, and from 1936-45 totalled 6966 grams gold. Production from Canadian Creek in 1883-95, and 1906-08 was recorded under Grouse Creek (093H 008)(Bulletin 28).
Supergene leaching of gold, dispersed Tertiary deep weathering and followed by Cenozoic erosion, is the most likely explanation for the occurrence of coarse gold nuggets in Quaternary sediments (Exploration in British Columbia 1989, page 147).