Pyrite Chalcopyrite Quartz Au

Virtual Museum ID: 19-BCGS-HWK1

Specimen Summary

Gold, Copper, Silver ore

Pyrite is a common iron sulphide mineral found in many different geological settings. It has a brassy-yellow metallic colour that has caused many people to mistake it for gold, giving it its other name, “Fool’s gold”. Pyrite and gold can be quite easily distinguished from one another: pyrite is less yellow and much lighter and harder than gold, which can be scratched with a pocket knife. Pyrite often forms perfect cubes, which can grow to quite large sizes, because of its crystal structure. The word pyrite comes from the Greek word ‘pyr’ meaning fire, because it will spark if hit with other metal or stone objects.

Chalcopyrite is an important copper ore mineral found in many different types of copper deposit. It is sometimes mistaken for Gold because of its bright yellow colour; however, it is harder, more common, and chalcopyrite commonly occurs with other copper sulphide minerals such as bornite and weathers to malachite and azurite.

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, present in many different types of rocks. Although usually clear or milky white in colour, quartz is found in a variety of colours due to impurities in the crystal structure. Pure quartz consists of silicon and oxygen only, but atoms of other elements often make their way into the quartz crystal structure, colouring the crystals. Some varieties of quartz, like purple amethyst and yellow citrine, are considered to be semi-precious gemstones and have been used since ancient times to make jewellery and decorative objects. Well-formed (euhedral) crystals of quartz have a hexagonal cross section and are highly collectible.

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:

North of Germansen Landing, B.C.

Specific Site:

Hawk (Radio) occurrence

UTM Easting:


UTM Northing:



10 (NAD 83)

Coordinate Accuracy:

Specimen Details

VM Category:

Ore Sample

Primary Features:

Pyrite Chalcopyrite Quartz Au

Primary Mineral Formula:

FeS2 · CuFeS2 · SiO2

Primary Category:

sulphide native element oxide

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:

Duckling Creek Syenite Complex

Geological Period:

Early Jurassic

Stratigraphic Age:

174.1 to 201.3 Ma

Geological Belt:


Geological Terrane:

Plutonic Rocks, Quesnel

Minfile ID:


Site Details:

The Hawk (Radio) occurrence is located 5 kilometres south of a main south fork of the Osilinka River, about 66 kilometres northwest of the community of Germansen Landing.

The Hawk property is located within the Early Jurassic Duckling Creek Syenite Complex, one of several phases comprising the Early Jurassic to Early Cretaceous Hogem Plutonic Suite. Hostrock consists of leucocratic and mesocratic syenite and intensely sheared leucocratic biotite-muscovite syenite.

The Radio veins outcrop or subcrop in a number of locations, and are reported to be remarkably continuous and predictable. The north and south veins have been traced over a strike length of about 3200 metres and a vertical range of 400 metres and are open at both ends. To the east, the veins disappear under a steep talus slope and trend onto a flat meadow area at the bottom of the slope. To the west, they trend downhill into a forested area with very limited outcrop.

The veins cut leucocratic syenite and have virtually no alteration halo. They are very distinct in appearance and consist of white and pink quartz with variable, but typically significant sulphide content and abundant pyrolusite staining. Sulphides present include abundant coarse pyrite and chalcopyrite. Copper values are elevated relative to the other veins on the property, and show a strong correlation with gold (0.58) and silver (0.76). Gold and silver are also positively correlated (0.71).

Visible gold was noted in several samples collected near the top of the ridge in the centre of the property; vein widths up to 1.5 metres have been reported. Grades range between 0.59 and 30.86 grams per tonne gold and average 9.94 grams per tonne gold (Assessment Report 21412, page 15).

In 2010, a rock sample (tag #329108) of a banded quartz-sulphide vein striking 120 degrees and dipping vertically assayed 6.48 grams per tonne gold, 6.6 grams per tonne silver and 0.47 per cent copper (Assessment Report 32441).

In the early 1970s, numerous mining companies conducted exploration programs in the area of the Hawk property. The Hogem batholith was of particular interest for porphyry copper-molybdenum deposits, and the first detailed recorded work on the property was conducted in 1971 by Amoco (Canada) Petroleum Company Ltd. A total of 7376 silt, water, rock, and soil samples were collected throughout 2400 square kilometres. The ensuing values showed regions with anomalous copper and/or molybdenum, and lead to the staking of four areas including the Hawk prospect. Resultant work continued from 1972 to 1974 and included detailed geological mapping and soil sampling. In 1974, Amoco Canada conducted a drilling program in which 749 metres of core from four different holes on Hawk were completed and analyzed for copper and molybdenum (gold content was not determined). After the 1974 drilling program, no further work was conducted on the property by Amoco and the claims were allowed to lapse.

Cyprus Gold (Canada) Ltd. re-staked the Hawk prospect and, in 1990, began an exploration program that involved extensive rock and soil sampling, a magnetic survey, and a VLF survey. Drilling commenced on the AD zone (094C 138) in October of 1990, and a total of 898 metres of core from eight different holes (HK90-1 to HK90-8) was completed. In 1991, the Radio veins were discovered by Cyprus. The results indicated anomalous values of gold and copper in the Radio vein, AD zone, and HSW regions (094C 140). Limited work at that time exposed the south vein over a strike length of about 100 metre, and identified the presence of the north vein through scattered surface samples. The western extension of the veins was also discovered by Cyprus Canada who called the area the SW zone (HSW, 094C 140). Cyprus recommended additional work on the Radio vein and HSW area because of the anomalous gold/copper values found in the area, however, no additional work was conducted by Cyprus and the claims lapsed in 1995.

The area was then staked by Nicholson and Associates and R.M. Durfeld in 1995, and optioned to Castleford Resources Ltd. who conducted a work program focused on expanding and detailing the known zones of mineralization and also completing additional prospecting. No further work was done by Castleford and the claims, except HK3 and HK4, eventually lapsed.

In 2001, Redcorp Ventures Ltd. re-staked claims surrounding the HK3 and HK4 claims and in 2002 acquired an option on the HK3 and HK4 claims. Redcorp then completed an exhaustive program at Hawk that included surface surveys, sampling, prospecting and diamond drilling. A total of 1534 metres of drilling in twelve holes were completed with five holes being in the Radio zone (HK02001-HK02005), three in the AD zone (HK02006-HK02007), and four in the Zulu zone (094C 138) (HK02008-HK02012). Diamond drilling of the Radio veins by Redcorp indicated that several parallel veins occur along the trend and Redcorp established that the SW zone lies along the same structure as the Radio veins and it is referred to by Redcorp as the western extension of the Radio veins. Five holes were drilled along the vein in order to better characterize the mineralization and to test for areas of increased width. No drilling had been done on the Radio vein prior to 2002. Drill results indicate that gold and copper values were consistently high. However, widths intersected in drilling were similar to those seen on surface, and were considered too narrow to be of economic interest. One significant intersection (with respect to width) yielded 4.42 grams per tonne gold, 3.61 grams per tonne silver and 0.33 per cent copper over 0.95 metre (true width-0.90 metre); the highest gold value intersection reported was 16.10 grams per tonne, 7.6 grams per tonne silver and 1.62 per cent copper across a drill intersection of 0.43 metre (true width–0.33 metre) (Assessment Report 27113).

Redcorp subsequently experienced financial difficulty and allowed most of the Hawk claims to expire and returned the key claims to Durfeld in January 2010.

The most recent exploration at Hawk was completed by Alton Resource Corp. in 2010 and 2011. The first campaign completed in July 2010 took drill core originating from drill programs completed in 1990 and in 2002 that was in disarray and reorganized it. Twenty-two silt samples were collected and analyzed and, along with the historic data set for the project, digitized. In the second campaign, completed in late September 2010, additional soil and rock sampling (largely focused on the alkalic copper-gold potential) was completed in the south-central property area. During 2011, Alton expanded the claim holdings by tenure acquisition and completed a high-resolution helicopter-borne magnetic survey over the entire claim holdings. A total of 397 line kilometres was flown.

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