Chalcopyrite, Galena, Pyrite, Quartz & Tetrahedrite
This sample contains some ore minerals: chalcopyrite (copper); galena (lead); tetrahedrite (copper, antimony). It also contains the not economic minerals pyrite, and quartz. For the purposes of this description, tetrahedrite will be described. The other minerals are also important but can be found described in other samples on this list.
Tetrahedrite is an important ore mineral for the elements copper, and antimony. It forms commonly with tennantite and the amount of each mineral produced depends on the chemistry of the original fluid mixture. While copper is common and has many applications for every day use, the antimony found within tetrahedrite is much rarer and special. The largest producer of the antimony in the world is China, with one major mine called Xikuangshan Mine responsible for most of this production. Antimony is used as an alloy with lead in older lead acid batteries, and in alloys with tin. It is an uncommon element; however, it is included in over a hundred known minerals.
This specimen is from the Bayonne Mine near Salmo, B.C. The Bayonne mine was a small producer of silver and gold for the period of 1901 to 1904 and 1921 to 1923. It has been intermittently reopened and explored since then with small mapping, sampling, and mining operations. The last of these operations was in 2006 and consisted of geochemical sampling and geological mapping.
This sample represents a piece of British Columbia’s robust mining history and it contains valuable minerals.
Store: Association for Mineral Exploration (AME)
Accession #: AME-250
Primary Mineral: Chalcopyrite, Galena, Pyrite, Quartz, & Tetrahedrite
Secondary Mineral: –
Site Locality: Spokane Mine
Location: Bayonne, BC
Special Features: n/a