Chalcopyrite Galena Pyrite Sphalerite

Virtual Museum ID: 19-AME87a

Specimen Summary

In this sample the easiest mineral to identify is the grey-black coloured galena! Galena is a sulphide mineral and is the primary ore mineral for lead. It is often found in veins together in conjunction with the other minerals in this specimen, in limestone altered to skarn, and some sedimentary rocks. Galena has been mined for its lead content from as early as 3000 BC.

Also seen in this sample are sphalerite, chalcopyrite and pyrite. Sphalerite, a zinc sulphide ore mineral, varies in colour but is commonly brown. Chalcopyrite is a bright yellow copper sulphide mineral often mistaken for gold, and it is the most common ore mineral for copper. Pyrite is a brassy dull yellow colour, and it is a very common iron sulphide mineral that is found in many different settings. Although it is nicknamed "fool's gold", a well-trained eye can pick out the differences when the mineral is large enough.

This specimen comes from the Ruth Vermont Mine in the vicinity of Golden, B.C. It was a past producer of silver, lead, zinc, copper, gold, and tungsten. It contains both polymetallic veins and SEDEX style mineral deposition. The mine was surveyed previously and opened for production in 1970. Silver is often associated with galena, and so it is likely present within this sample!

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:

Golden, B.C.

Specific Site:

Ruth Vermont

UTM Easting:


UTM Northing:



11 (NAD 83)

Coordinate Accuracy:


Specimen Details

VM Category:


Primary Features:

Chalcopyrite Galena Pyrite Sphalerite

Primary Mineral Formula:

CuFeS2, PbS, FeS2, (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:

Hadrynian Horsethief Creek

Geological Period:


Stratigraphic Age:

Geological Belt:


Geological Terrane:

Ancestral North America

Minfile ID:


Site Details:

The Ruth-Vermont mine is located south of Vermont Creek, a north-east-flowing tributary of Vowell Creek, and approximately 2.5 kilometres north east of Azurite Mountain.

The area is underlain by Hadrynian Horsethief Creek Group polymictic quartz pebble conglomerates, impure quartzite (quartzofeldspathic sandstone) and grit, grey slate, argillaceous limestone and limestone. The pyritic conglomerates contain blue and white quartz pebbles and are sericitic, chloritic and locally limy. Deformation has produced elongated pebbles. The slates are locally phyllitic and limy, range from a centimetre to several metres in thickness and are black, green and grey in colour. Porphyroblasts of ankerite are present throughout the slates, syngenetic pyrite occurs parallel to bedding and minor drag folding is common. The limestone ("Ruth" limestone) is 6 to 15 metres thick and lies between two thick slate units. Individual limestone beds vary from less than a centimetre to several metres in thickness. Minor drag folding is also evident in this unit. All members of the Horsethief Creek Group are intercalated with readily discernible facies changes along strike and dip.

Structurally, these units have been folded into a major northwest- trending asymmetric anticline approximately 183 metres from crest to trough. The anticline crosses Vermont Creek near the property. The fold plunges gently to the southeast and the axial plane dips steeply to the northeast, parallel to the cleavage in the slates. The "Charlotte" anticline to the northeast, the "Sheba" anticline to the southwest and the "Ruth" syncline between them are local folds in the hinge zone of the major anticline. The "Ruth" syncline lies in a series of synclines and anticlines of varying amplitudes that culminate near the eastern extremity of the Charlotte claim (L.405) and lead, into the "Charlotte" anticline, which is overturned to the west. The main workings are along the southwest limb of the "Ruth" syncline. The "Ruth" synclinal axis plunges 5 degrees towards an azimuth of 135 degrees and the axial plane dips 75 degrees northeast. The limestone on the southwest limb has an average strike of 140 degrees and a dip of 30 degrees northeast. This southwest limb contains the Nelson ore-body.

Three sets of quartz-calcite fissure veins occur obliquely, transversely and parallel to bedding relative to the fold structures. The veins occur in well-defined sets of fractures. The veins are hosted in the "Ruth" limestone and in the slate above and below it. The oblique veins are well mineralized, strike southeast (110-–115 degrees), have an average dip of 65 degrees southwest and cut bedding at 15 degrees. The transverse veins are poorly mineralized and are representative of fissure-fillings along a series of near- vertical and parallel shears. Tension gashes are generally related to these veins. The veins parallel to bedding normally mark concordant contacts between the slate and limestone. Sulphide content in the veins is low. Scheelite occurs in varying amounts in the three sets of veins. Some of the veins have been traced underground for 609 metres and where they intersect the limestone beds, replacement-type mineralization occurs. The oblique veins occur in swarms that produce bulges and the irregular shape of such replacement zones. The veins tend to widen at depth and vary from centimetres to 2.4 metres in width.

Two veins of particular importance are the Pine Tree and the Blacksmith.

The Pine Tree vein has been traced underground for 365 metres and plays a significant role as the main feeder for the replacement- type mineralization of the Nelson ore-body. Underground development and drilling have proven a vertical extension of 152 metres for the Pine Tree vein. Underground sampling of the vein has yielded 7.0 per cent lead, 6.06 per cent zinc and 420 grams per tonne silver over a length of 360 metres and width of 1.5 metres (Property File - Bright Star Metals Inc. [2000-05-16]: Assessment Report for the Ruth-Vermont, BB and VMT Claim Groups).

The Blacksmith vein has been developed for 152 metres along strike and 122 metres down-dip and is roughly parallel to the Pine Tree vein. Underground sampling of the vein has yielded 5.2 per cent lead, 3.1 per cent zinc and 342 grams per tonne silver over a 1.6 metre width (Property File - Bright Star Metals Inc. [2000-05-16]: Assessment Report for the Ruth-Vermont, BB and VMT Claim Groups).

Three other veins have been discovered by underground drilling: the Wind Lass, South and North veins.

The Nelson ore-body on the southwest limb of the "Ruth" syncline is the most important replacement zone developed. The ore-body is near and crudely parallel to the axial plane of the fold and relatively flat- lying. The zone has been delineated for a length of 359 metres and varies from 6 to 33 metres in width. Within the limestone, sulphides occur in fractures ranging from a fraction of a centimetre up to 1.5 metres in thickness. Fine-grained sulphides are disseminated in the limestone adjacent to the fractures. Silicification accompanying the sulphides has taken place where the quartz veins have intersected the limestone beds. The Nelson ore-body is surrounded by a conspicuous halo of coarse-grained pyrite. The extent of the replacement-style mineralization varies directly with the size and number of feeder veins. A plunge to the zone is affected by the oblique intersection of the veins across the limestone. The mineralization in the zone exhibits lineations both parallel and normal to the bedding; the latter coincides with the axial plane cleavage of small drag folds.

Mineralization within the quartz veins consist of pyrite, galena, sphalerite, arsenopyrite, and minor amounts of boulangerite, argentiferous tetrahedrite, freibergite, chalcopyrite and scheelite. Gold is generally associated with arsenopyrite and pyrite. Scheelite is also present as fine disseminations. Younger scheelite-bearing quartz veins cut both the vein and replacement-type mineralization.

The mine has been extensively developed with underground workings. Reserves calculated in 1982 indicate 273,944 tonnes in all categories grading 233.10 grams per tonne silver, 4.84 per cent lead and 5.47 per cent zinc (George Cross News Letter No.182).

In 1972, inferred reserves for most of the individual veins were compiled: 190,029 tonnes grading 188.54 grams per tonne silver, 4.4 per cent lead, 6.1 per cent zinc in the Nelson ore body; 43,903 tonnes grading 420.61 grams per tonne silver, 7.0 per cent lead, 6.06 per cent zinc in the Pine Tree vein; 7529 tonnes grading 283.84 grams per tonne silver, 5.68 per cent lead, 6.78 per cent zinc in the South vein and 10,431 tonnes grading 523.11 grams per tonne silver, 10.74 per cent lead, 5.16 per cent zinc in the North vein (Tough, 1972).

In 1975, proven reserves included: 219,992 tonnes averaging 159 grams per tonne silver, 3.76 per cent lead and 5.52 per cent zinc in the Nelson ore body; 54,431 tonnes averaging 342 grams per tonne silver, 6.61 per cent lead and 5.80 per cent zinc in the Pine Tree vein; 4,263 tonnes averaging 311 grams per tonne silver, 4.72 per cent lead and 2.82 per cent zinc in the Blacksmith vein and 3401 tonnes averaging 643 grams per tonne silver, 6.10 per cent lead and 2.94 per cent zinc in the Wind Lass vein; yielding a total of 282,089 tonnes grading 203 grams per tonne silver, 5.03 per cent lead and 5.53 per cent zinc (Property File - Columbia River Mines Ltd. [1975-09-22]: Correspondence RE: Ruth Vermont Mine Ore Reserves Golden B.C.).

During 1892 through 1981, a total of 176,276 tonnes was mined and 176,084 tonnes milled, yielding 17,248 kilograms of silver, 9.4 kilograms of gold, 23,137 kilograms of cadmium, 55,693 kilograms of copper, 3,253,956 kilograms of lead and 5,947,422 kilograms of zinc.

Lead-zinc-silver mineralization was discovered on the property in 1893 and 136 tonnes of hand- sorted ore was shipped from the Ruth mine in 1896. The Galena Syndicate from London, England, held the property until the early 1960s and completed several hundred feet of underground development prior to 1930.

The property originally consisted of 11 Crown- granted claims, on which more than a dozen short adits were driven before 1930. In 1956 and 1957, Rio Canadian Exploration Ltd. made an extensive survey of the property and did a small amount of drilling and soil-sampling.

In 1964, the old Crown grants that had reverted were taken up by Mel Pardek, of Vancouver, as a mineral lease and approximately 40 claims located surrounding the lease. Columbia River Mines Ltd. acquired the property in 1965 and began underground work in an old adit called the Old Timers level and subsequently referred to as the 6000 level. Columbia River Mines conducted 701 metres of underground development on the 5750 and 6000 levels, drilled approximately 12 191 metres of diamond drill core and shipped 15 tonnes of high- grade ore, averaging 31 per cent lead, 19 per cent zinc and 2161 grams per tonne silver, to the smelter at Trail.

In 1969, the property was optioned to Copperline Mines Ltd. who brought the Ruth-Vermont mine into full production, and from September 1970 to June 1971, a total of 85,725 tonnes was milled, averaging 184 grams per tonne silver, 3.88 per cent lead and 5.04 per cent zinc. The mine was shut down from 1971 to 1973 due to low metal prices.

During this period, Lou Manning and Associates Ltd from Vancouver, B.C., conducted a feasibility study on the mining leases. The study concluded that there was 264,285 tonnes of mineable ore reserves remaining in the mine. Consolidated Columbia Mines Ltd. took over the option in 1973 and shipped 24,466 tonnes of concentrate to the Cominco smelter in Trail. In 1974, the mine facilities suffered extensive damage from snow-slides. During 1975 through 1979, 71,081 tonnes were mined and milled, yielding 5,232.4 kilograms of silver, 3.31 kilograms of gold, 10,554 kilograms of cadmium, 18,233 kilograms of copper, 1,176,959 kilograms of lead and 1,520,813 kilograms of zinc.

There was a short- lived attempt to bring the mine back into production in 1981; 12,839 tonnes was mined and milled, yielding 1,720 kilograms of silver, 1,359 kilograms of cadmium, 6,521 kilograms of copper, 297,874 kilograms of lead and 203,214 kilograms of zinc.

The mine lay derelict until 1994, when all the buildings and machinery were removed from the property, the surface sites were reclaimed, and underground openings were sealed.

In 1996, MineQuest Exploration Services conducted a three hole underground diamond drill program to test for a Sedex lead-zinc deposit below the workings and to verify a high gold assay reported in mine archives. No evidence for Sedex mineralization was found in the one hole that penetrated the “Target Shale, however, another hole (96-3) did intersect 1.7 metres of replacement-type disseminated pyrite, arsenopyrite, sphalerite and massive vein type galena in a limy argillite yielding 71.1 grams per tonne gold (Property File - Bright Star Metals Inc. [2000-05-16]: Assessment Report for the Ruth-Vermont, BB and VMT Claim Groups). A brief program of transient electro-magnetometer and gravity surveying on the VMT property was done on behalf of Mountain Star Resources.

In 1997, Mountain Star Resources Ltd. conducted a property examination on the eastern portion of the VMT claim block and a small portion of the northern 83 claims. On May 31, 1999, Bright Star Metals Inc. entered into an option agreement with Mellenco Investments Ltd. to acquire 13 Crown granted claims immediately adjacent to the former Ruth-Vermont mine. In 2000, MineQuest Exploration Associates Ltd. drilled five holes, totalling approximately 1000 metres, as part of its ongoing exploration of the Ruth-Vermont. The property is owned by Bright Star Metals Inc. Following the program along the Vermont Creek valley and LCP zone (MINFILE 082KNE011- Crystal Creek), the CYD claim group was staked by the company to cover the interpreted sub-surface projection of a favourable horizon. Drilling, on the north side of the valley, identified an anticline or syncline and indicated the north side of the valley as being displaced to the east relative to the south side. Drill hole VC-02 intercepted several narrow, less than 5- centimetre wide, quartz-ankerite veins with coarse pyrite and galena yielding up to 19.29 per cent lead, 0.12 per cent zinc and 497.3 grams per tonne silver (Property File - Bright Star Metals Inc. [2000-12-01]: Report - Drilling 2000 - Vowell Creek Claims).

In February 2001, Bright Star changed its name to Jasper Mining Corporation and held a contiguous block of mineral claims, Crown grants and reverted Crown grants extending approximately 19 km on a northwest-southeast direction and centred approximately on the former Ruth-Vermont mine.

In 2002, Jasper Mining Corporation carried out a surface exploration program on their Vowell Creek property. The work program included soil and rock sampling, geological mapping, and prospecting. Rock and soil sampling demonstrated that significant gold mineralization is associated with the vein system.

In 2003, Jasper Mining Corporation carried out a surface drill program consisting of 3200 metres in 21 holes. The primary purpose of the drill program was to test for extensions to the Ruth- Vermont vein system, particularly on the north side of Vermont Creek. On the south side of Vermont Creek, drill holes intersected the Ruth vein system above the underground workings, but the zone was thinner than anticipated by the company. On the north side of the creek, no mineralization was intersected along the strike projection, suggesting it has either pinched out or become offset. During the work, the company identified a second phase of gold mineralization. Gold occurs in arsenopyrite veins that are associated with a grit package immediately underlying the mine sequence.

In 2004, Jasper reportedly carried out approximately 2000 metres of diamond drilling on the property.

In 2005, Jasper Mining Corporation carried out air-borne geophysics and follow-up diamond drilling consisting of a total of 1224 metres in eight holes. Two geophysical anomalies (low resistivity) were drilled, but unexpectedly turned out to be due to the presence of graphite. As a result, the company turned its attention to the potential for graphite on the large property (Press Release, November 15, 2005).

Additional Images