Galena Pyrite Quartz Scheelite Sphalerite

Virtual Museum ID: 19-AME148

Specimen Summary

This sample contains some common minerals such as pyrite and quartz, and some valuable ore minerals. Galena, sphalerite, and scheelite are ore minerals for lead, zinc and tungsten respectively. Since galena and sphalerite are more common and appear in many of the other samples in this collection, this description will focus mainly on the mineral scheelite.

Scheelite is an important ore mineral for tungsten. It is very nice to look at under short wave ultraviolet light due to its fluorescence. It can be many different colours, but it is always somewhat translucent if not transparent and when in good crystal form can be used as a gemstone.

Tungsten, the commodity that scheelite is mined for, is a rare metal on earth. It is known for having the highest melting and boiling points of any element discovered. It has many industrial uses that make use of its special properties including filaments in light bulbs and in x-ray tubes. It is a shiny steel grey metal with a high specific gravity like gold.

This specimen is from the Cariboo Hudson Gold Mine in the Cunningham Creek are near the gold mining ghost town of Barkerville, B.C. At this mine work has been done since at least 1938 when an assay reported high levels of gold.

Specimen Data


The information listed below relates to the current holding location or collection that the sample is from, and whether the item is viewable at that location or is part of a private collection. Coordinates are given as guides, and we remind you that collecting specimens from these locations is not allowed. Caution is advised visiting such sites and Below BC assumes no responsibility for any injuries or trespassing charges that may occur as a result of the viewer entering these sites.

Collection Details

Original Collection:

Association for Mineral Exploration (AME)

Sub Collection:


Collection ID:


Virtual Museum ID:



Date Added to VM:


Location Information

Sample Origin:

Cunningham Creek, Barkerville, B.C.

Specific Site:

Cariboo Hudson Gold Mine

UTM Easting:


UTM Northing:



10 (NAD 83)

Coordinate Accuracy:


Specimen Details

VM Category:


Primary Features:

Galena Pyrite Quartz Scheelite Sphalerite

Primary Mineral Formula:

PbS, FeS2, SiO2, CaWO4, (Zn,Fe)S

Primary Category:


Secondary Features:

Advanced Geological Information


The following section provides geological data relating to the specimen or the site it was collected from, when available. Information has been obtained from various sources including private and government datasets but may not be up to date. Any geological time periods or ages listed often relate to the primary geology of the area, and may not be the actual date of an event such as mineral formation.

Geological Formation:

Snowshoe Group

Geological Period:

Proterozoic-Early Paleozoic

Stratigraphic Age:

Geological Belt:


Geological Terrane:


Minfile ID:

093A 071

Site Details:

The Cariboo-Hudson property is located 25 kilometres southeast of the towns of Wells and Barkerville. The property is easily accessible by 4-wheel drive vehicle. A well maintained forestry road (3100) branches off the Wells-Barkerville highway at the Bowron Lake turnoff; at kilometre 17 a secondary road leads up Cunningham Creek past several placer operations to the old Hudson mine workings near the height of land.

The region is underlain by Proterozoic-Early Paleozoic Snowshoe Group rocks, which occur within the Barkerville Terrane of south-central British Columbia. These metasedimentary rocks consist primarily of marble, quartzite and phyllite which in the area of the Cariboo Canyon showing comprise the Downey succession (informal name). Metamorphism of the region varies from chlorite grade to sillimanite and higher. The lode gold deposits of the region occur in rocks metamorphosed no higher than greenschist facies.

Rocks underlying the Cariboo-Hudson workings consist of fine grained micaceous quartzite, in places calcareous, calcareous sericitic phyllite, chlorite schist and limestone. These rocks are complexly folded and exhibit a penetrative fabric in finer grained rocks. The metasedimentary rocks generally strike to the northwest and dip steeply to the northeast.

Mineralization is reported to occur in quartz veins associated with north-striking shears or faults. These quartz veins have been exposed on the surface and in underground workings over an area of about 520 by 275 metres. Three types of mineral assemblages have been noted: gold-galena, galena-sphalerite-pyrrhotite and scheelite (with ankerite). The two main veins are the Hudson and Shasta veins. Other types of mineralization present are massive pyrite and massive lenses of galena and pyrrhotite, occurring as replacement bodies. Gold mineralization is closely associated with sulphides, mainly pyrite.

A 1.2-metre sample taken from the adit in 1938 assayed 102.09 grams per tonne gold, 188.43 grams per tonne silver and 24 per cent lead (Geological Survey of Canada Paper 38-16, page 29).

The Cariboo-Hudson workings are again receiving attention due to the fact that the geological setting is similar to that of the Cariboo Gold Quartz mine (093H 019).

In 1975, Zelon Chemicals Limited completed geochemical sampling on the Roundtop mountain area, including the Cariboo-Hudson area. Drill indicated reserves are 32,655 tonnes grading 12.3 grams per tonne gold (Cathedral Gold Corp. Annual Report 1987).

Exploration by Imperial Metals Corporation and Cathedral Gold Corporation has defined a mineral resource potential in one ore shoot within the Shasta vein, west of and parallel to the Hudson vein, of 70,000 tonnes grading 13 grams per tonne gold and 21 grams per tonne silver. Half of this resource is drill indicated, and is therefore classed as mineral inventory (Property File - see Island Mountain (093H 006), Gold City Mining Corporation Information Brochure).

Placer mining has been carried out intermittently on Cunningham Creek and its tributaries since the 1860s Cariboo Gold Rush. The close association of placer gold with seams of detrital pyrite and the presence of quartz crystals with some of the nuggets indicated a nearby source. However, it was not until the 1920s that lode gold was discovered at the head of Pearce Creek. Short adits were driven to explore the gold-bearing Hudson

vein. Full scale development did not commence until 1937 when Cariboo-Hudson Mines Ltd. acquired the property. The following year, 2440 metres of drifting and crosscutting was carried out on 6 levels, with most development on the 200 foot and 600 foot levels which were accessed from portals on the hillside. Much of this development work was done to investigate two adjacent veins - the Shasta and 605 Veins. Stoping was carried out on the Hudson Vein between the 250 foot level and surface. Some 12,938 tons of ore were mined from which 6186 ounces of gold were recovered using a 100 tons per day cyanide mill. The mine was closed in 1939, and in 1948 the mill was dismantled and sold. During the 1940s and 1950s, intermittent exploration, including extensive bulldozer trenching, was carried out in the area of the Hudson, Shasta and 605 veins. Tungsten mineralization was discovered near the junction of Peter and Pearce creeks in the early 1950s. Two adits were driven to test the extent of the tungsten mineralization. To facilitate this exploration several of the remaining Cariboo-Hudson buildings were moved to the junction of Peter and Pearce creeks. In 1971, the claims reverted to the Crown and were acquired by Resoursex and TVI Mines Ltd. These companies carried out geological, geophysical and

geochemical surveys in 1973 and 1976. Five holes were drilled in 1977 to test geochemical anomalies and exposed structures. Invex Resources, a predecessor company of Imperial Metals, acquired the property the following year and in 1979 tested the Shasta Vein with 3 diamond-drill holes. Imperial Metals carried out a soil geochemical program in 1983 and continued testing of the Shasta Vein with 12 short holes. In 1984, a fairly major program of drilling, trenching, mine rehabilitation (200 foot level) and sampling was carried out. Drilling concentrated on the Shasta Vein; 32,000 tons of ore grading 0.36 ounces per ton were outlined. The 1986 drilling program indicated continuity of the Shasta vein to a depth of at least 600 feet below surface. Two encouraging intersections were obtained along the southern extension of 605 Vein and newly discovered "replacement" sulphide body was tested with several short holes. On July 1, 1987, Imperial Metals Corporation assigned its interest in Cunningham Creek to Cathedral Gold Corporation. In 1987, Cathedral Gold conducted property mapping, a magnetic survey, soil survey extensions, rock sampling, and diamond drilling totalling 1098 metres. Four holes tested the south extension of the 605 Vein, 2 holes tested anomalous chlorite schist, 4 holes tested magnetic-indicated 'replacement' targets, and 1 hole tested the north extension of the Cariboo-Hudson vein system. In 1995, Gold City Mining Corporation conducted a 1865 metre (13 holes) diamond drill program on the Cariboo-Hudson property. In 2000, Cathedral Gold completed a program of relogging and resampling of three 1984 drillholes. In 2003, Golden Cariboo Resources Ltd. controls a large land package that covers the Cariboo-Hudson mine property and completed geological mapping and prospecting with concurrent rock and soil geochemical sampling, the establishment of 35.5 line kilometres of grid and the collection of 2235 grid soil samples from the Maude Creek, Shy Robin and Cunningham grids.

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