NAME: Discovery
CLIMATE: Tame summer, cold winter
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Summer, requires flight
COMMENTS: Only accessible by airplane 90 kilometers north of Yellowknife, NWT. No residents, fully abandoned town aside from use by prospecting crews and visitors.
REMAINS: 40 frame/steel structures, including houses and mine structures
A former gold mining operation with a company owned townsite. The first mineral claims were staked in 1944 by Fred Giauque, for whom the adjacent lake is named. The company Discovery Mines was formed and the shaft was sunk in 1946. Gold production began in 1950. The original milling plant, purchased from the U.S.A in 1948, was destroyed while being transported across Great Slave Lake by barge. Population peaked in late 1950's with 122 employees and up to 30 families. All structures were company owned. The Canadian government opened a postal office at the town in 1961, and also opened a school hall. Production of one million ounces of gold and 1500+ gold bricks was made in 1968. The shaft was developed down to 4,000' with 27 levels, and Discovery was the richest and most profitable gold mine in the NWT. Mineable ore resources were exhausted in 1968, and the last gold was poured in April 1969. By then, all families had moved away. The mill burned down in May 1969, but all other buildings remained as they do to this day. Discovery mine is targetted for remediation and cleanup in the coming years (as of writing, the year is 2002), and will include the demolition of all structures. There is interest in preserving the site and conducting reunions and complete documentation of Discovery in the near future. Submitted by: Ryan Silke

Members of heritage group NWT Mining Heritage Society
erect wood sign at Discovery to honor the old mine and townsite August 2002.
Reads - "Welcome to Discovery NWT - Population: 0 - 1950-1969"
Courtesy Ryan Silke

Discovery mine headframe, with concrete ruins of burnt mill
building, August 1999
Courtesy Ryan Silke