Quartz-sulphide ore vein

Virtual Museum ID: 19-BCGS-BKI1

Specimen Summary

Gold is a valuable, highly prized mineral used in everything from jewellery to electronics and dentistry. Gold is desirable due to its special properties, such as malleability and resistance to tarnishing. Gold is commonly microscopic or embedded within or around sulphide grains. Free visible gold occurs as disseminated grains, or rarely as crystals. Crystals of gold commonly form within or around quartz. In its natural mineral form, gold is commonly alloyed with silver. Gold is distinguishable by its characteristic golden yellow colour and extreme heaviness.

Quartz is the second most abundant mineral on Earth, occurring in many different types of rocks. Although usually clear or milky white in colour, quartz can be found in a variety of colours because of impurities in the crystal structure. Pure quartz is made up of silicon and oxygen only, but atoms of other elements, like iron or titanium, often make their way into the quartz crystal structure. Some varieties of quartz, like purple amethyst, are considered to be semi-precious gemstones and have been used since ancient times to make jewellery and decorative objects.

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:

British Columbia Geological Survey (BCGS)

Sub Collection:


Collection ID:


Virtual Museum ID:



Date Added to VM:


Location Information

Sample Origin:

Banks Island, B.C.

Specific Site:

Yellow Giant Property

UTM Easting:


UTM Northing:



09 (NAD 83)

Coordinate Accuracy:

Specimen Details

VM Category:

Ore Sample

Primary Features:

Quartz-sulphide ore vein

Primary Mineral Formula:

SiO2 · Au

Primary Category:

oxide native element

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:

Coast Plutonic Complex

Geological Period:

Tertiary - Jurassic

Stratigraphic Age:

201.3 - 2.58 Ma

Geological Belt:

Coast Crystalline

Geological Terrane:

Alexander, Plutonic Rocks

Minfile ID:

103G 026

Site Details:

The Yellow Giant property is located on the west side of Banks Island, a coastal island located on the Hecate Straight approximately 110 kilometres south of Prince Rupert and 120 kilometres southwest of Kitimat. Nearby communities include Hartley Bay, which is located 55 kilometres to the east on the mainland, and Kitkatla, which is located 55 kilometres to the north on Dolphin Island. Banks Island is uninhabited and presently the only access to Banks Island is by air or by boat. Access is easiest by float plane or helicopter, which can be chartered from Prince Rupert.

Banks Island lies along the western edge of the Tertiary-Jurassic Coast Plutonic Complex characterized by northwest trending granitic bodies, mainly granodiorite-quartz monzonite and quartz diorite. These bodies are separated by narrow, persistent Permian(?) or older metasedimentary belts, mainly crystalline limestone, micaceous quartzite skarn and schist. The metasedimentary rocks generally exhibit a wide range of "granitization" effects and contact metasomatism.

Regional and local faulting, fracturing and folding are common on the island. Two major right-lateral faults, striking 310 degrees, known as the Arseno and Hepler faults, have associated 045 degree linears. Left-lateral faults striking 090 degrees also occur. Many contacts between the plutonic and metasedimentary rocks are faults or drag folds. Some faults have been healed by recrystallization. Structure is the prime factor in ore localization.

The Tel area is underlain by a northwest trending metasedimentary assemblage which dips moderately to steeply (55 to 80 degrees) northeast. The metasediments are mainly crystalline, silty and banded marble, and minor siltstone-biotite hornfels. The rocks are cut by many faults and shears, producing abundant chloritic slickensides, graphitic zones and gouge. All units have variable development of garnet-actinolite skarn and have been intruded by quartz diorite dikes, quartz felsite sills and quartz veins.

Three mineralized zones occurring along a 300 metre strike length are the Main, Central and West Tel zones. Massive sulphide and quartz-sulphide vein mineralization contains pyrite, pyrrhotite, sphalerite, galena and arsenopyrite. Gangue minerals include calcite and brecciated quartz.

The main Tel zone is 200 metres long, averages 7.6 metres in width, and is 135 metres in vertical depth. The deposit is open along strike and at depth.

The West Tel zone, 250 metres to the northwest, has gold in both quartz vein and skarn exposed in surface trenches. Two of the largest 045 degree cross faults, called the Tel and Sproatt faults, cut through the main Tel and West Tel zones, respectively.

The central zone, 90 metres southeast of the west Tel zone, has sulphide lenses in diorite and marble.

The Tel deposit appears to be a deformed Paleozoic gold deposit that may, in part, have been localized by solution collapse breccias formed in host carbonate lithologies.

The Tel zone was discovered in 1963 by McIntyre Porcupine Mines Ltd. and was mapped and identified with geophysical and geochemical surveys. In 1964, McIntyre Porcupine Mines Ltd. completed trenching and packsack drilling at the Tel zone.

In 1975, McIntyre Porcupine Mines Ltd. sold the claims to Sproatt Silver Mines Ltd., who completed a 998 metre drillhole program. Anomalous gold values were found within many of the drillholes. In 1977, Sproatt Silver Mines Ltd. changed their name to Hecate Gold Corp.

In 1983, Trader Mines Ltd. (through United Minerals Services Ltd.) entered into an option agreement with Host Ventures Ltd. (successor company to Hecate Gold Corp.) to acquire the Tel claims. Trader Mines Ltd. then re-evaluated past data and completed detailed geological mapping. From 1984 to 1985, Trader Mines Ltd. completed an exploration program of geological mapping, geochemical surveys and diamond drilling. A 14.33-metre drill intersection assayed 53.40 grams per tonne gold, 34.29 grams per tonne silver, 2.73 per cent zinc and 0.15 per cent copper (Assessment Report 14171). A 1985 drill intersection assayed 20.23 grams per tonne gold, 39.09 grams per tonne silver, 1.49 per cent lead and 1.07 per cent zinc over 22.34 metres (George Cross News Letter No.245, 1985).

In 1987, Trader Mines Ltd. conducted 8018.7 metres of diamond drilling on the Tel zone. Highlights include drillhole YGTL-87-023, which intersected 1.3 metres grading 102.86 grams per tonne gold (Assessment Report 17503).

In 1988, unclassified reserves of the main Tel deposit were 71,349 tonnes grading 14.4 grams per tonne gold (Trader Resource Corp., Letter to Shareholders, March 28, 1988).

In 1993, Trader Resources Corp. owned 90 per cent of the Yellow Giant property claims, while Falconbridge Nickel Mines Ltd. owned the remaining 10 per cent. In 1994, Trader Resources Corp. was renamed Highwood Resources Ltd. In 1996, Energex Minerals Ltd. acquired 51 per cent of the claims from Highwood Resources Ltd. In 1998, Doublestar Resources Ltd. acquired the 51 per cent share held by Energex Minerals Ltd. In 2000, Doublestar Resources Ltd. acquired Falconbridge Nickel Mines Ltd.’s 10 per cent stake of the claims. In 2002, Dynatec Corp. merged with Highwood Resources Ltd. to form Beta Minerals Inc.

In 2007, Selkirk Metals Corp. acquired 61 per cent of the Yellow Giant property claims through the purchase of Doublestar Resources Ltd. In 2009, Advanced Primary Minerals Corp. acquired 39 per cent of the claims through the reverse takeover of Beta Minerals Inc. and then sold the stake to Selkirk Metals Corp., giving them 100 per cent ownership of the property. Imperial Metals Corp. then acquired all the shares of Selkirk Metals Corp., making it a wholly-owned subsidiary of Imperial Metals Corp.

No exploration work was completed on the property from 1988 until 2010, when Selkirk Metals Corp. completed a control survey to establish UTM coordinates for old drillholes and facilities.

In 2011, Banks Island Gold Ltd. optioned the property from Selkirk Metals Corp. and completed 19 diamond-drill holes. Highlights include drillhole BIG-11-15, which intersected 10.36 metres (estimated true width of 7.36 metres) grading 20.7 grams per tonne gold, 55 grams per tonne silver and 12 per cent zinc (Press Release - Banks Island Gold Ltd., January 9, 2012).

In 2012, Banks Island Gold Ltd. released a National Instrument (NI) 43-101 compliant mineral resources estimate for the Tel zone that showed a measured resource of 15,000 tonnes grading 21.1 grams per tonne gold and 43 grams per tonnes silver, indicated resource of 21,000 tonnes grading 18.5 grams per tonne gold and 41 grams per tonne silver and an inferred resource of 8000 tonnes grading 20.6 grams per tonne gold and 40 grams per tonne silver using a 6 grams per tonne gold cut off (Press Release - Banks Island Gold Ltd., October 22, 2012). The total resource estimate for the Yellow Giant property was also released and showed a measured resource of 31,000 tonnes grading 23.4 grams per tonne gold and 44 grams per tonne silver, an indicated resource of 47,000 tonnes grading 22.7 grams per tonne gold and 43 grams per tonne silver and an inferred resource of 81,000 tonnes grading 13.7 grams per tonne gold and 33 grams per tonne silver using a 6 grams per tonne gold cut off (Press Release - Banks Island Gold Ltd., October 22, 2012).

See Kim (103G 021), Discovery (103G 025) and Bob (103G 024) showings for additional information and resource estimates.

Banks Island Gold Ltd. declared Commercial Production effective January 1, 2015. During the period of 2014 into 2015, mining was occurring in the Bob and Tel zones. On July 31, 2015, operations were suspended due to permitting and regulatory issues and in January 2016 Banks Island Gold filed for bankruptcy (Press Release - Banks Island Gold Ltd., August 4, 2015 and January 8, 2016).

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