Tetrahedrite (February 1st, 2016)

Mineral Monday! This week we have Tetrahedrite from the Payne Mountain Mine near Sandon, British Columbia.

This site was discovered by two men with unusual pasts in 1891. The first was a French-Canadian tightrope walker named Eli Carpenter, and the second was an Irish Immigrant then living in Tennessee called Jack Seaton.

They came to British Columbia in search of their fortune, like so many others at the time. They spent many months wandering the area to no avail, but towards the end of the summer, they climbed Payne Mountain (an arduous journey!), and found metallic ore glinting in the sunlight.

They staked the ground there and then (1600ft x 500ft), and took two samples to have them assayed for mineral content. The mineral they had seen was Galena, and when it was measured, it contained a lot of silver – 170 ounces to be exact. This was Carpenters sample. The second sample, collected by Seaton, only assayed 20 ounces silver, and because of the lower grade, Seton lost interest and abandoned the claims to Carpenter.

Carpenter then entered into a secret agreement with another Prospector, E.A. Bielenberg of Nelson, but the deal was overheard by a local inn keeper who informed Seaton of the deceit.

Seaton found four new partners, called the ‘Noble Five’, and secretly went back up Payne Mountain and staked 21 additional claims, outflanking Carpenter. This story got out, and the area was flooded with prospectors who staked the remaining ground in a frenzy. Over the next century, the area earned over $30billion from the silver, copper and lead that was extracted (with over 1million ounces of silver per year from Payne Mountain while it was in operation).

But what of the two men? Carpenter sold his shares in the mine early on, tempted by the easy money. Alas it was a pittance compared to what it was eventually worth, and he ended up running a pack train that was used to take ore out of the very site he discovered.

Jack Seaton was joined by his younger brother, who subsequently died within two months of arriving in British Columbia. Seaton then decided to sell his shares, again for a small sum, and returned to Tennessee with hist brothers body. He then also became sick and bedridden, and died within a year of his return.

Tetrahedrite is a mineral known as a ‘sulfosalt’, and commonly forms in veins of lead and silver. It is relatively common, but until recently had no commercial use. However, a California-based company has announced plans to use the mineral in a device that will turn heat into electricity, and that it is more efficient and less toxic than other manufactured thermoregulators.

Specimen Information

Store: Pacific Museum of the Earth, University of British Columbia
Collection: UBC Geological Museum Collection
Accession #: 711
Primary Mineral: Tetrahedrite
Secondary Mineral: n/a
Site Locality: Payne Mine
Location: Sandon, British Columbia
Special Features: n/a

The BC Minerals Projects

Massive Sulphide (MoM-008)

Massive Sulphide (MoM-008)

Scoria (MoM-009)

Scoria (MoM-009)

Rhyolite Expansion Breccia (MoM-007)

Rhyolite Expansion Breccia (MoM-007)

Cinnibar (MoM-006)

Cinnibar (MoM-006)

Hanging Wall Andesite (MoM-005)

Hanging Wall Andesite (MoM-005)

Core (MoM-004)

Core (MoM-004)

Veined Sulphide (MoM-003)

Veined Sulphide (MoM-003)

Bedded Sulphide (MoM-002)

Bedded Sulphide (MoM-002)

Clastic Sulphide (MoM-001)

Clastic Sulphide (MoM-001)

Iniskinites (SEG)

Iniskinites (SEG)

Altered Volcanic Sandstone / Mudstone (A2-03)

Altered Volcanic Sandstone / Mudstone (A2-03)

Coal (B1-04)

Coal (B1-04)

Semi-Massive Sulphide (D2-05)

Semi-Massive Sulphide (D2-05)

Bladed Feldspar Porphyry (V6-05)

Bladed Feldspar Porphyry (V6-05)

Volcanic Sandstone (V5-01)

Volcanic Sandstone (V5-01)

Quartz-Kaolin Sandstone (V2-18a)

Quartz-Kaolin Sandstone (V2-18a)

Rhyolite Breccia (V2-16a)

Rhyolite Breccia (V2-16a)

Ash Flow – Lahar (V2-14a)

Ash Flow – Lahar (V2-14a)

Tuffaceous Mudstone (V2-10a)

Tuffaceous Mudstone (V2-10a)

Rhyolite Lapilli Tuff (V2-8a)

Rhyolite Lapilli Tuff (V2-8a)

Rhyolite Lapilli Tuff (V2-06a)

Rhyolite Lapilli Tuff (V2-06a)

Flow Banded Rhyolite Tuff (V1-08f)

Flow Banded Rhyolite Tuff (V1-08f)

Sandstone (S21-18)

Sandstone (S21-18)

Conglomerate (S21-11)

Conglomerate (S21-11)

Sandstone (S21-01)

Sandstone (S21-01)

Tuffaceous Argillite (S5-10)

Tuffaceous Argillite (S5-10)

Amygdaloidal Basalt Flow (S5-04)

Amygdaloidal Basalt Flow (S5-04)

Sanidine Porphyry Trachyte (S4-03)

Sanidine Porphyry Trachyte (S4-03)

Monotis (SEG)

Monotis (SEG)

Garnet-Staurolite-Muscovite Schist (M1-14)

Garnet-Staurolite-Muscovite Schist (M1-14)

Pyrite-Galena-Calcite Vein(D34-13)

Pyrite-Galena-Calcite Vein(D34-13)

Pyrite-Chalcopyrite-Quartz Vein (D34-19)

Pyrite-Chalcopyrite-Quartz Vein (D34-19)

Siltstone breccia veined by sulphides (D32-04)

Siltstone breccia veined by sulphides (D32-04)

Massive Sulphide ore breccia (D17-07)

Massive Sulphide ore breccia (D17-07)

Siderite cemented breccia (D17-01)

Siderite cemented breccia (D17-01)

Weather Massive Chalcopyrite (D14-13)

Weather Massive Chalcopyrite (D14-13)

Felsic instrusion, brecciated and altered (D4-02)

Felsic instrusion, brecciated and altered (D4-02)

Quartz Sulphide Vein (D2-08)

Quartz Sulphide Vein (D2-08)

Massive Galena (D9-09)

Massive Galena (D9-09)

Chalcopyrite Vein (D14-06)

Chalcopyrite Vein (D14-06)

Andesite/Mercury(Hg) Ore (D1-01)

Andesite/Mercury(Hg) Ore (D1-01)

Quartz Sulphide Vein (D9-05)

Quartz Sulphide Vein (D9-05)

Chloritized Andesite (D5-13)

Chloritized Andesite (D5-13)

Dacite Breccia Sulphide Matrix (D2-06)

Dacite Breccia Sulphide Matrix (D2-06)

Andesite with Gypsum Vein (D1-07)

Andesite with Gypsum Vein (D1-07)

Granodiorite (SEG D1-04)

Granodiorite (SEG D1-04)

Andesite/Mercury(Hg) Ore (SEG D1-02)

Andesite/Mercury(Hg) Ore (SEG D1-02)

Conglomerate (SEG B1-01)

Conglomerate (SEG B1-01)

Fern Fossil (SEG 17LF037)

Fern Fossil (SEG 17LF037)

AME 133 Argentite, Galena, Quartz & Sphalerite

AME 133 Argentite, Galena, Quartz & Sphalerite

AME 93 Scheelite

AME 93 Scheelite

AME 641 Calcite, Chalcopyrite, Quartz Crystals

AME 641 Calcite, Chalcopyrite, Quartz Crystals

AME 582 Gypsum

AME 582 Gypsum

AME 580 Barite

AME 580 Barite

AME 546 Galena, Polybasite, Pyrite & Quartz

AME 546 Galena, Polybasite, Pyrite & Quartz

AME 509 Galena, Quartz, Tetrahedrite

AME 509 Galena, Quartz, Tetrahedrite

AME 483 Malachite (stain), Quartz, Tetrahedrite, Gold

AME 483 Malachite (stain), Quartz, Tetrahedrite, Gold

AME 452 Barite & Tetrahedrite

AME 452 Barite & Tetrahedrite

AME 298 Argentiferous Galena, Chalcopyrite, Gold, Pyrite, Pyrrhotite, Quartz

AME 298 Argentiferous Galena, Chalcopyrite, Gold, Pyrite, Pyrrhotite, Quartz

AME 199 Kyanite

AME 199 Kyanite

AME 106 Arsenopyrite, Gold & Quartz

AME 106 Arsenopyrite, Gold & Quartz

AME 439 Galena, Quartz, Sphalerite, Tetrahedrite

AME 439 Galena, Quartz, Sphalerite, Tetrahedrite

AME 435 Chalcopyrite & Quartz

AME 435 Chalcopyrite & Quartz

AME 194 Helvite

AME 194 Helvite

AME 250 Chalcopyrite, Galena, Pyrite, Quartz & Tetrahedrite

AME 250 Chalcopyrite, Galena, Pyrite, Quartz & Tetrahedrite

AME 158 Chalcopyrite, Pyrrhotite, Sphalerite

AME 158 Chalcopyrite, Pyrrhotite, Sphalerite

AME 148 Galena, Pyrite, Quartz, Scheelite & Sphalerite

AME 148 Galena, Pyrite, Quartz, Scheelite & Sphalerite

AME 143 Cinnabar & Quartz

AME 143 Cinnabar & Quartz

AME 118 Chromite

AME 118 Chromite

AME 87 Galena, Sphalerite, Chalcopyrite, & Pyrite

AME 87 Galena, Sphalerite, Chalcopyrite, & Pyrite

AME 66 Chalcopyrite

AME 66 Chalcopyrite

AME 42 Allemontite

AME 42 Allemontite

AME 21b Bornite

AME 21b Bornite

AME 21 Bornite

AME 21 Bornite

AME 8 Calcite

AME 8 Calcite

PME/IC 106 Gneiss

PME/IC 106 Gneiss

PME 22551 Kyanite

PME 22551 Kyanite

PME 6700 Molybdenite

PME 6700 Molybdenite

PME 6832 Gold

PME 6832 Gold

PME 215 Sphalerite

PME 215 Sphalerite

AME 997 Chalcopyrite & Pyrite

AME 997 Chalcopyrite & Pyrite

AME 994 Bornite & Stromeyerite

AME 994 Bornite & Stromeyerite

AME 991 Chalcopyrite, Molybdenite, Pyrite & Quartz

AME 991 Chalcopyrite, Molybdenite, Pyrite & Quartz

AME 980 Dolomite

AME 980 Dolomite

AME 961 Pyrite, Quartz & Sphalerite

AME 961 Pyrite, Quartz & Sphalerite

AME 941 Iron, Silver, Zinc & Lead

AME 941 Iron, Silver, Zinc & Lead

AME 930 Marble

AME 930 Marble

AME 918s Fossil Sequoia Leaf

AME 918s Fossil Sequoia Leaf

AME 656 Quartz & Pyrite

AME 656 Quartz & Pyrite

AME 555 Gold (Native) & Quartz

AME 555 Gold (Native) & Quartz

AME 506 Barite, Galena, Pyrite, Quartz, Rhodochrosite & Sphalerite

AME 506 Barite, Galena, Pyrite, Quartz, Rhodochrosite & Sphalerite

AME 502 Arsenopyrite, Dolomite, Gold & Quartz

AME 502 Arsenopyrite, Dolomite, Gold & Quartz

AME 486 Argentiferous Galena, Quartz, Sheelite & Sphalerite

AME 486 Argentiferous Galena, Quartz, Sheelite & Sphalerite

AME 482 Calcite, Chalcopyrite & Sphalerite

AME 482 Calcite, Chalcopyrite & Sphalerite

AME 446 Apatite, Orthoclase and Quartz

AME 446 Apatite, Orthoclase and Quartz

AME 417 Fossil Fern

AME 417 Fossil Fern

AME 161 Arsenopyrite, Gold & Pyrite

AME 161 Arsenopyrite, Gold & Pyrite

AME 918f Mayflies

AME 918f Mayflies

PME S74-1068 Galena

PME S74-1068 Galena

PME 1038 Galena

PME 1038 Galena

PME 983 Bornite & Chalcopyrite

PME 983 Bornite & Chalcopyrite

Tetrahedrite

Tetrahedrite

Stibnite

Stibnite

Sphalerite

Sphalerite

Sodalite

Sodalite

Silver

Silver

Pyromorphite

Pyromorphite

Molybdenite

Molybdenite

Gold

Gold

Galena

Galena

Barite

Barite

Antimony

Antimony

Chalcopyrite

Chalcopyrite

Aragonite

Aragonite

Contact Us

The Below BC Geological Association
Suite 415 - 1035 Pacific Street,
Vancouver, British Coumbia, V6E 1S9

Phone: +1 (604) 349 2090
Email: info@belowbc.com

 

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