Au skarn(?)

Virtual Museum ID: 19-BCGS-HDL1

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.

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:

Nickel Plate Mountain, Hedley, B.C.

Specific Site:

Nickle Plate deposit

UTM Easting:


UTM Northing:



10 (NAD 83)

Coordinate Accuracy:

Specimen Details

VM Category:


Primary Features:

Au skarn(?)

Primary Mineral Formula:


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:

Nicola Group

Geological Period:

Upper Triassic

Stratigraphic Age:

235 - 201.3 Ma

Geological Belt:


Geological Terrane:

Quesnel, Plutonic Rocks

Minfile ID:


Site Details:

The Mascot Fraction is located on the northwest slope of Nickel Plate Mountain, 3 kilometres northeast of Hedley.

Nickel Plate Mountain is underlain by siltstone and limestone of the Hedley Formation and overlying limestone boulder conglomerate of the Whistle Creek Formation, both of the Upper Triassic Nicola Group. The sediments are extensively intruded by sills and dykes of hornblende porphyritic diorite of the Early Jurassic Hedley Intrusions.

This Crown-granted claim covers a portion of the Nickel Plate deposit, a westerly dipping skarn related gold deposit hosted in the upper part of the Hedley Formation. A discontinuous zone of garnet pyroxene skarn up to 300 metres thick and 6 square kilometres in area, is mineralized with arsenopyrite and pyrrhotite, with minor pyrite, chalcopyrite, sphalerite, and magnetite. Trace minerals include galena, native bismuth, gold, electrum, tetrahedrite, native copper, gersdorffite, marcasite, molybdenite, titanite, bismuth tellurides, cobaltite, erythrite, pyrargyrite and breithauptite. The deposit consists primarily of arsenopyrite, pyrrhotite and chalcopyrite, as disseminations and fracture-fillings, in a gangue of carbonate, pyroxene, scapolite, garnet and quartz at the Nickel Plate glory hole, 500 metres east-southeast of the Mascot Fraction claim. Two blade-like zones of mineralization, the Numbers 4 and 5 orebodies, plunge west-northwest at 24 degrees under the claim (Geological Survey of Canada Summary Report 1929, page 227A). Refer to the Nickel Plate mine (092HSE038) for a detailed review of the regional and mine geology.

The Hedley Gold Mining Company (operator of the Nickel Plate mine up to 1931), had mined the Nickel Plate deposit underground up to the boundaries of the claim. The company and the owner could not come to a suitable agreement regarding mining of ore on the Mascot Fraction. Hedley Mascot Gold Mines Ltd. was then formed in 1934 to acquire the Mascot Fraction, Copper Chief and Nick of Time claims.

Underground mining began in 1936 and continued through to 1949; 618,637 tonnes of ore grading 11.2 grams per tonne gold, 2.76 grams per tonne silver and 0.141 per cent copper were mined from three levels of underground workings over an elevation of 335 metres. Arsenic was also produced and sold as a byproduct of this operation. Mascot Gold Mines Ltd. completed 3733 metres of underground diamond drilling in 1987, resulting in open pit reserves of 466,000 tonnes grading 3.8 grams per tonne gold and underground reserves of 289,800 tonnes grading 5.5 grams per tonne gold (George Cross News Letter, February 29 (No. 41), 1988).

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