Carl Schulze, 2019 prospector of the year, plays the keyboard at the Yukon Geoscience Forum and Tradeshow in Whitehorse on Nov. 18. (Julien Gignac/Yukon News)

‘I look at it as a crowning glory’: Carl Schulze named Prospector of the Year

Schulze has made discoveries that have led to the development of producing mines

Carl Schulze tickles the faux ivory of a keyboard at the Yukon Geoscience Forum, greeting some passersby and never losing a beat.

He prides himself on his playing. But that’s not his claim to fame — at least not to the same degree.

The Yukon Prospectors’ Association named Schulze Prospector of the Year on Nov. 18. The geologist, who pairs that with exploration work, said getting good is akin to anything you practise — struggle, fail, pick yourself up, like honing your chops at an instrument.

“Musicians get better and better at listening to someone else’s music and being able to figure out the progressions and the chording and voicing,” he said.

Schulze has a storied career. He’s found more than 100 occurrences — rock that could hold precious metals — during roughly 30 years. Of that number, he said he’s unearthed nine or 10 “significant discoveries” of gold or gold-silver.

A significant discovery, to Schulze, is one that leads to the development of a producing mine. It’s very rare when this happens, he said.

“There’s lots of occurrences. A good prospector will go out on the land and find occurrences regularly. But to actually get one that’s mineralized, that’s really rare, one-tenth maybe,” he said.

The trick is learning to read the ground. Having a trained eye means you can pick out alterations in the earth that some may otherwise overlook, he said.

“You need to have a lot of ground and to try over and over again in order to make some discoveries. The more you do it, the better you get at spotting alteration in the rock or structural setting, where, you know, you’ve got a change, we’re getting into a system that might just be worth looking at.”

He said most samples come back busts — until they don’t.

Schulze’s first discovery was in northern Ontario. It was the best find of his career, he said.

“I found something called the sugar vein towards the end of 1990. There was visible gold in it. I banged open a rock and it was full of gold, and I just went berserk, just the way I felt about it. The thrill was unparalleled.”

There’s now a producing mine there, having turned into a full-bore operation last year (Harte Gold Corp. is running it.)

He said it’s the first new gold mine to open in Ontario in 10 years. It’s expected to eventually produce more than one million ounces of gold.

After living in Thunder Bay, he packed into a truck and headed to the Yukon, arriving in 1992. He’s been here since, aside from a short spell in Nunavut. Schulze has also found veins in British Columbia and has worked in the Northwest Territories.

Two discoveries in the Yukon spurred the Golden Culvert and 3 Aces properties, which currently produce. He’s had finds in the Dawson range, too.

Asked for the appeal of his work he said, “It’s like a drug addict, why people keep coming back to do cocaine, which I do not do. They’re trying to experience it again, and it’s just plain fun.”

Schulze said it’s his “crowning glory” that he’s been deemed Prospector of the Year.

“I guess we’re all a bit vain, “ he said, noting, however, that credit is sometimes due in these instances.

“The award is important because prospecting leads to discoveries and if discoveries actually lead to a producing mine it creates wealth,” he said. “You know, people always say it’s for the greedy shareholders. Well, shareholders make money and so do CEOs, of course they do, but also so do many other people. I mean, we get the tax revenue, income. The economics, for sure, because you’re injecting wealth into a system where none existed.

“If you’ve got a healthy economy, people are generally happier.”

Contact Julien Gignac at

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A bobcat is used to help clear snow in downtown Whitehorse on Nov. 4. According to Environment Canada, the Yukon has experienced record-breaking precipitation this year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon will have “delayed spring” after heavy winter snowfall

After record levels of precipitation, cold spring will delay melt

Yukon RCMP say they’ve received three reports of youth being extorted online. (Black Press file)
Yukon youth being extorted online

Yukon RCMP say they’ve received three reports of youth being extorted on… Continue reading

Fines for contravening the fire ban start at $1,150 and could go as high as $100,000. File photo
Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. (Black Press file)
Yukon campgrounds to open early

Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. The early opening… Continue reading

A Housing First building on Fifth Avenue and Wood Street will be taken over by the Council of Yukon First Nations and John Howard Society later this month. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
CYFN, John Howard Society take over downtown Housing First residence

The organizations have pledged culturally appropriate service for its many Indigenous residents

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. Politicians return for the spring sitting of the assembly March 4. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Analysis: What to expect in spring sitting of the legislature

They’re back on March 4, but election speculation is looming large

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is preparing for a pandemic-era election this October with a number of measures proposed to address COVID-19 restrictions. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City gets set for Oct. 21 municipal election

Elections procedures bylaw comes forward

A rendering of the Normandy Manor seniors housing facility. (Photo courtesy KBC Developments)
Work on seniors housing project moves forward

Funding announced for Normandy Manor

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

The Blood Ties outreach van will now run seven nights a week, thanks to a boost in government funding. Logan Godin, coordinator, and Jesse Whelen, harm reduction counsellor, are seen here on May 12, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Blood Ties outreach van running seven nights a week with funding boost

The Yukon government is ramping up overdose response, considering safe supply plan

Ranj Pillai speaks to media about business relief programs in Whitehorse on April 1, 2020. The Yukon government announced Feb.25 that it will extend business support programs until September. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Government extends business relief programs to September, launches new loan

“It really gives folks some help with supporting their business with cash flow.”

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Bylaw amendment Whitehorse city council is moving closer with changes to a… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

Most Read