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.
Placer gold occurring primarily in surface gravels along Pinus Creek has been mined by open-cut work, drifting and ground-sluicing. The gravels extend to bedrock in only a few places and in the valley bottom are underlain by glacial silt and gravels. The gold has apparently been derived by reconcentration of glacial drift.
"Data from the Cariboo mining district indicate that supergene leaching of gold dispersed within massive sulphides by Tertiary deep weathering 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).
Between 1916 and 1945, 160 ounces (4976 grams) of gold were mined from Pinus Creek. Between 1894 and 1896 production from Pinus Creek was recorded with Shepard Creek (093H 045). In 1948, a dredge was assembled and 3386 ounces (105305 grams) were recovered from the gravels on Pinus Creek.
In 1990, Dragon Mountain Placers conducted limited evaluation sampling on their placer leases along Pinus Creek.