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 predominantly metasedimentary rocks have been metamorphosed to greenschist facies.
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.
At least part of the placer mining done on Hardscrabble Creek involved underground work. The area is mainly underlain by Snowshoe Group rocks but the contact with Slide Mountain Group rocks is near-by.
"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).
Historically the property has been worked since the 1880s with the main project being the drifting of a drainage tunnel along bed rock from a point just NE of the confluence of Hardscrabble Creek, and the Willow River. This adit extended north for a distance of some 625 meters terminating very near the northend of placer claim 1711 (Assessment Report 21199). Considerable drifting was done in and around the north end following the sinking of a 19 meter shaft as well as at the south end where a shaft was sunk to the 28 meter level.
From 1879 to 1895 the estimated combined production of Hardscrabble and Sugar Creeks totalled about 5,180 ounces (161,098 grams).
In 1991, Dragon Mountain Placers prospected and sampled their placer claims on Hardscrabble Creek It was thought that the previous old-time" high-graded the gutter of the creek, leaving most of of the valley fill in place.