Gold Silver Copper Zinc Lead Quartz Vein

Virtual Museum ID: 19-BCGS-FG1

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.

Silver is an important precious metal. It is still highly valued today and has many important uses, as well as being used for jewellery. Silver has the highest electrical and thermal conductivity and reflectivity of all metals and is widely used in electronics and industrial chemistry. It is also used to make mirrors, photographic and x-ray film and collectible coins. Silver has natural antiseptic properties, therefore, has many different medical applications. Silver can occur in its elemental form as metallic silver, or in compounds and minerals with other elements like gold and lead. Silver has a distinct silver-grey colour and is soft and malleable, meaning it can be easily worked and shaped.

Native Copper is a form of copper that occurs as a natural mineral. It is uncombined. Copper rarely occurs in a native form as it usually occurs mixed with other elements or in oxidized states. Most of the copper that is produced is extracted from sulfide deposits. It is metallic, has an opaque diaphaneity, is soft and has an isometric crystal system. Copper is used as a conductor of electricity, specifically as wiring. It is also a conductor of heat and used to make cooking utensils. Copper is used to make alloys as well.

Galena is the main ore mineral for lead. Because of its relatively low melting temperature it can be easily smelted and has been used as a source of lead since ancient times. Galena has a cubic crystal system and can often be found as cubes or octahedra. Its shiny grey metallic lustre and heavy, dense nature make it easy to recognize. Galena often contains small amounts of silver, which add to its economic value.

Sphalerite is the main ore mineral for zinc, and although relatively common, finding it in commercial amounts is somewhat rarer. The zinc will give the mineral a yellow or red hue, but iron can replace the zinc in the atomic structure, making the crystals black. Rarely, cobalt finds its way into the structure, and produces green crystals. Although sphalerite is a relatively soft mineral, it can be cut (faceted) into attractive gems, which are used for mineral displays.

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:

100km E of Williams Lake, B.C.

Specific Site:

Frasergold Deposit, W side of McKay River Valley

UTM Easting:


UTM Northing:



10 (NAD 83)

Coordinate Accuracy:

Specimen Details

VM Category:

Ore Sample

Primary Features:

Gold Silver Copper Zinc Lead Quartz Vein

Primary Mineral Formula:

Au · Ag · Ag · Zn · Pb

Primary Category:

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:

Slocan Group / Nicola Group

Geological Period:


Stratigraphic Age:

251.902 - 201.36 Ma

Geological Belt:


Geological Terrane:

Kootenay, Quesnel

Minfile ID:

093A 150

Site Details:

The Frasergold deposit is located on the south west side of the McKay River Valley, approximately 100 kilometres east of the community of Williams Lake. The property is road accessible by a series of paved and gravel surfaced roads that lead east northeast from Williams Lake to the village of Horsefly and along the Horsefly River to Mackay River. Recent logging activities have provided a series of tracks that provide good access to most of the exploration areas on the property.

Regionally, the area is underlain mainly by Triassic Slocan Group black phyllite with minor interbedded siliceous sediments and basaltic volcanic rocks and fine clastic sedimentary rocks of the Middle to Upper Triassic Nicola Group. These rocks form the upright northeast limb of the major northwesterly trending Eureka Syncline. Locally, the rocks form asymmetric drag folds that contain metamorphically derived quartz sweats in the hinges. Rotation of these folds by axial plane crenulation cleavage formed minor folds plunging slightly northwest of the earlier folds. Gold mineralization is apparently associated with the youngest structures.

The northwest trending, shallowly plunging, Eureka Syncline and Perseus Anticline are the dominant interpreted structures in the region. Well developed, northeast striking, near vertical extension joints are clearly manifested in the drainage pattern of the Eureka Syncline. Towards the nose of the syncline,southeast of the Frasergold project area, the syncline becomes overturned to the southwest with axial planes dipping steeply northeast. Northeast of MacKay River the northeast limb is also overturned to the southwest, however, the syncline is upright in the area of the property. The core of the Eureka Syncline is occupied by Upper Triassic Nicola Group mafic volcanic rocks consisting of basalt, augite porphyry flows, tuffs and volcanic breccias that have been metamorphosed to a low grade. The contact with the underlying black phyllitic sediments of the Middle-Upper Triassic Nicola Group has been interpreted as a fault.

The northwest trending MacKay River valley appears to mark a major zone of vertical or near vertical fracturing. At this location the Nicola Group is sandwiched between two more competent units; younger intrusives and volcaniclastics to the south and older amphibolites (Upper Paleozoic Crooked Amphibolite), schists and gneisses (Upper Proterozoic to Paleozoic Snowshoe Group) to the north and east. Shearing and faulting appears to have been concentrated in the incompetent phyllite units striking along the valley.

The Frasergold gold-quartz occurrences are hosted within graphite rich (5-40 per cent) phyllitic sediments and is located on the east limb of the syncline, whereas the Eureka Peak gold-sulphide mineralization (MINFILE 093A 011) is found closer to the core of the fold, near the base of volcanics that overlay the sediments. At least five zones of mineralization, referred to as the Northwest Extension, Main, Grouse Creek West, Grouse Creek East and Frasergold Creek zones, have been identified along a 200 to 300-metre wide and approximately 10 kilometre long zone of "knotted phyllite" which is made up of coarse elongated carbonate porphyroblasts in a lustrous, well-laminated phyllite. Gold mineralization typically occurs near the base of the "knotted phyllite". Zones within this sequence contain 10 to 30 per cent quartz veins. Most of the veins parallel the S1 cleavage which strikes 130 degrees and dips between 35 and 85 degrees west. The veins contain up to 5 to 10 per cent pyrrhotite and pyrite in a quartz-dolomite-siderite gangue. A few have trace amounts of sphalerite, chalcopyrite, galena and coarse-grained gold. Gold tends to occur in quartz veins with coarse particulate gold occurring in segregations of stringers, veins, boudins and mullions. Gold has also been commonly observed as fine anhedral grains set in quartz often near the margins of veins. The gold also appears to be associated with sulphides, including pyrrhotite, pyrite and minor chalcopyrite and sphalerite. Petrographic studies show that a major part of the gold occurs with medium to coarse grained pyrite and pyrrhotite aggregates throughout the mineralized zone. Overall, the sulphide content of the Frasergold zone varies from trace to 12 per cent sulphides and averaging about 2-3 per cent sulphides. Pervasive low-grade gold mineralization is also found within the knotted phyllite strata where quartz is absent, however, the gold also appears to be associated with sulphides within the phyllitic strata. In most or all cases the phyllitic metasediments are graphite rich, with trace to 3 per cent chlorite alteration. In addition, copper mineralization occurs on the property as disseminations within the sheared marginal phase of a mafic sill unit and as porphyry copper type mineralization within granitic rocks.

The Main zone has been traced by drilling and underground drifting for over 700 metres along strike and varies from 7.5 to 30.2 metres in width, with an average width of 15.6 metres. The weighted average gold concentration for this zone has been estimated at 1.30 grams per tonne gold (Goodall, G., Campbell, K.V. (2007-03-20): Summary Report and Exploration Proposal on the Frasergold Project).

The Northwest Extension zone comprises two lenticular zones of gold mineralization over widths of approximately 10 metres, respectively, located to the north west of the Main zone. Sixteen drill holes on the zone area reported to have yielded a weighted average of 1.04 grams per tonne gold (Goodall, G., Campbell, K.V. (2007-03-20): Summary Report and Exploration Proposal on the Frasergold Project).

The Grouse Creek West zone is the south east continuation of the Main zone and extends over an approximately 400 metre strike length with an average width of 10 metres. The weighted average of the zone from drilling intercepts is reported to be 1.24 grams per tonne gold (Goodall, G., Campbell, K.V. (2007-03-20): Summary Report and Exploration Proposal on the Frasergold Project).

The Grouse Creek East zone is a continuation of the Grouse Creek West zone and has been traced for approximately 850 metres along strike to the south east with an average width of 18.3 and has been tested to a depth of 120 meters. The zone is reported to have a weighted average gold concentration of 1.33 grams per tonne (Goodall, G., Campbell, K.V. (2007-03-20): Summary Report and Exploration Proposal on the Frasergold Project).

The Frasergold Creek zone, located south east of the Grouse Creek East zone, has been traced for a strike length of 200 metres and averages 16.8 metres in width. The zone is reported to contain a weighted average gold content of 1.47 grams per tonne (Goodall, G., Campbell, K.V. (2007-03-20): Summary Report and Exploration Proposal on the Frasergold Project).

Work History

The first record of work being conducted in the vicinity of the Frasergold property was in the late 1970s by C.E. Gunn who prospected the area after researching historic references to the placer gold potential of the region. During 1978 and 1979 he staked claims and prospected the area to cover a panned gold anomaly discovered in Frasergold Creek.

During 1980 through 1982 the ground was optioned by Keron Holdings Ltd. and NCL Resources Ltd. A geology map was produced after preliminary soil and rock geochemical surveys were completed over the property, with results revealing a 10-kilometre long zone containing anomalous gold values from soil samples that was suspected to have a stratigraphic control. In 1983, Eureka Resources Inc. acquired the property and optioned it to Amoco Canada Petroleum Co. Ltd. During 1983 and 1984 Amoco collected rock and soil geochemical samples and conducted limited electromagnetic and magnetic surveys. Amoco also drilled 14 diamond-drill holes totalling 4519 metres, with 12 of the drillholes producing coarse visible gold with values ranging from 0.79 gram per tonne gold over 7.5 metres to 11.70 grams per tonne gold over 1.5 metres (Goodall, G., Campbell, K.V. (2007-01-29): Summary Report and Exploration Proposal on the Frasergold Project).

Amoco terminated the option agreement at the end of these programs and returned the property to Eureka. Eureka continued exploring the Frasergold property in 1985 and 1986 and completed further soil and rock chip geochemical sampling, trenching and bulk sampling, reverse circulation and diamond drilling, metallurgical testing and an induced polarization (IP) survey. Four holes totalling 406.5 metres were completed by reverse circulation drilling, and eighteen diamond-drill holes, totalling 2021 metres were completed in three areas. Twelve of the diamond drill holes contained sections with visible gold yielding values from 1.95 grams per tonne gold over 39.0 metres in hole 86-2 to 44.84 grams per tonne gold over 1.5 metres in hole 86-18 (Goodall, G., Campbell, K.V. (2007-01-29): Summary Report and Exploration Proposal on the Frasergold Project).

Also at this time, a surface bulk sampling program was completed in 1985 by selecting eight sites for excavation. A total of 56 samples were collected and analyzed for gold content by fire assay. One sample, 86-12-2A from the Jay zone, was submitted to Coastech Research Inc. who milled the material and completed cyanidation testing on the sample. Results from the cyanidation work were compared to the standard fire assay analyses. The mean FA values from the 56 samples varied from 2.05 to 4.38 grams per tonne gold, while cyanidation leach metallurgical work of 24 composite samples yielded a weighted average of 16.38 grams per tonne gold (Goodall, G., Campbell, K.V. (2007-01-29): Summary Report and Exploration Proposal on the Frasergold Project).

In 1987, Southlands Mining Corporation undertook an option on the Frasergold property, with Eureka as operator. Southlands constructed and sampled eight trenches totalling 660-metres and completed 21 reverse circulation holes totalling 1710 metres. In late 1987, Southlands optioned a portion of their interest to Sirius Resources Corp. Sirius completed 17 diamond-drill holes totalling 1536 metres, drilled 37 reverse circulation holes totalling 2456 metres, and excavated 184 metres of underground workings to provide 524 tonnes of material for bulk sampling. In the fall of 1988, Sirius completed work in the Eureka Peak zone (MINFILE 093A 011), collecting 478 soil samples over a closely spaced grid, collecting 27 rock chip samples from hand trenches and drilling six diamond-drill holes totalling 862 metres. During September 1989, Eureka completed a program of underground channel sampling (284 samples), muck sampling (74 samples) from untested rounds, drill core sampling (297 samples) and relogging and geological mapping of underground workings.

In 1990, Eureka entered into a joint venture agreement with Asarco Company of Canada Ltd. (Asarco). During the period 1990 and 1991, Asarco drilled 25 diamond-drill holes totalling 4687 metres, and 156 reverse circulation holes totalling 15,720 metres. Four 1.25-ton bulk samples were collected in 1990 for metallurgical testing by Bacon, Donaldson and Associates Ltd. yielding an average of 2.32 grams per tonne gold (Goodall, G., Campbell, K.V. (2007-01-29): Summary Report and Exploration Proposal on the Frasergold Project).

In 1991, the underground workings were lengthened by 114 metres and these workings produced 1591 tons of material that was divided into nine lots for off-site milling yielding an average of 0.92 gram per tonne gold with gold recoveries ranging from 87 to 92 per cent (Goodall, G., Campbell, K.V. (2007-01-29): Summary Report and Exploration Proposal on the Frasergold Project). In January 1991, the mining, geological and geotechnical engineering firm James Askew Associates, Inc. of Englewood, Colorado was commissioned by Asarco to conduct a prefeasibility study of the Frasergold project. The Askew report does not take into account economic, mining, metallurgical, environmental, social or governmental factors. As part of this study, Askew completed “In Situ Reserves/Resources” for the project using hand drawn polygonal methods. The basis for drawing these mineralized envelopes was data collected by Asarco and others which is believed to be reliable. Askew used a 0.03 oz/t gold cutoff with a minimum true width thickness of three metres. Assays greater than 0.60 oz/t gold were cut to 0.60 oz/t gold. Zones of gold mineralization were extended half-way to the adjacent section and were extended 75 metres downdip. A specific gravity of 2.7 was used in the calculations. Based on these parameters, Askew (1991) summarized the gold mineralization at the Frasergold property as 6,612,675 tons (5,999,019 tonnes) of mineralized material at an average grade of 0.055 oz/t gold (1.71 grams per tonnes) to represent 362,825 ounces (11,283,857 grams) of gold. Askew (1991) does not categorize the mineralized material due to “the comparatively small amount of geological and assay data for such a long strike length”. The volume and gold content estimates used by Askew (1991) do not conform to current National Instrument 43-101 standards.

In 1992, Inferred (geological) reserves at Frasergold were reported to be 11 million tonnes grading 1.85 grams per tonne gold to depths of 100 metres and over a 3-kilometre strike length (George Cross Newsletter #37, 1992).

In 2007, Hawthorne Gold Corp. conducted a major exploration program on the property including rock sampling, trenching, diamond drilling and underground geochemical and bulk sampling. Rock sampling yielded up to 5.17 grams per tonne gold from the north western limit of the known knotted phyllite unit (Sample 135844), while trenching near the Main zone adit yielded up to 8.13 grams per tonne gold (Campbell, K.V. , G. H. Giroux, G.H. [2009-11-15]: NI 43-101 Technical Report - Report on the 2007 and 2008 Drill Programs on the Frasergold Project). A diamond drill program was laid out to test four previously defined zones of interest; including the Main zone, the Grouse Creek West zone, the Grouse Creek East zone and the Frasergold zone. A total of 16 HQ core size drillholes totalling 3615 metres were drilled. Between 1980 and 2007, a total of 39,582 metres of drilling in 344 holes has been completed on the property, along with 294 metres of underground drifts to provide access for bulk sampling and metallurgical testing. Bulk sampling yielded an average grade of 1.275 grams per tonne gold from cyanide analysis and 1.812 grams per tonne gold from screened metallic analysis (Campbell, K.V. , G. H. Giroux, G.H. [2009-11-15]: NI 43-101 Technical Report - Report on the 2007 and 2008 Drill Programs on the Frasergold Project).

In 2008, Hawthorne Gold Corp. and Eureka Resources Inc. completed a soil sampling and diamond drilling program consisting of 58 holes totalling 10,405 metres. Drillhole FG08-362C intersected 82.28 metres grading 0.75 gram per tonne gold, including 5.88 metres grading 3.97 grams per tonne gold (Hawthorne Gold Corp. website An inferred resource of 27.493 million tonnes grading 0.718 gram per tonne gold with a 0.50 gram per tonne gold cut-off was reported for the Main, Northwest and Southeast zones (Campbell, K.V. , G. H. Giroux, G.H. [2009-11-15]: NI 43-101 Technical Report - Report on the 2007 and 2008 Drill Programs on the Frasergold Project).

In October 2009, Hawthorne Gold released an updated resource estimate. Combined Measured and Indicated resources for the Main zone was reported as 34.08 million tonnes grading 0.559 gram per tonne gold. Combined Inferred resources for the Main, Northwest, and Southeast zones was reported as 75.31 million tonnes grading 0.507 gram per tonne Au (News Release October 1, 2009

In 2011, Teslin River Resources Corp. performed a soil sampling program at the Frasergold project. The geochemical program sampled a total of 27 line-kilometres conducted over three zones within three separate grids. Results from this grid included values ranging up to 2.24 grams per tonne gold and 0.12 per cent copper. These results suggest a strong association of copper sympathetic to the gold values (V STOCKWATCH, January 16, 2012).

In 2013, Teslins option agreement expired and the property was returned to Eureka Resources. In 2015, Eureka conducted a 4 line-kilometre soil sampling program on the property.

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