Silver Lead Zinc Gold

Virtual Museum ID: 19-BCGS-KS1

Specimen Summary

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.

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.

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:

East of Kaslo, B.C.

Specific Site:

Kaslo Silver

UTM Easting:


UTM Northing:



11 (NAD 83)

Coordinate Accuracy:

Specimen Details

VM Category:

Ore Sample

Primary Features:

Silver Lead Zinc Gold

Primary Mineral Formula:

Ag · Pb · Zn · Au

Primary Category:

sulphide 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

Geological Period:

Upper Triassic

Stratigraphic Age:

235 - 201.3 Ma

Geological Belt:


Geological Terrane:

Quesnel, Kootenay, Slide Mountain

Minfile ID:

082FNW092-97, 99-101, 185-186

Site Details:

The Black Bear occurrence is located at 1019 metres elevation, on the Black Bear Reverted Crown grant (Lot 10783). The Reverted Crown grant lies northeast of the junction of Carlyle Creek with Keen Creek and adjoins the eastern edge of the Liberty, 082FNW093. Kaslo, British Columbia lies 15 kilometres to the east.

Regionally, the area lies on the western margin of the Kootenay Arc, in allochthonous rocks of the Quesnel Terrane. In the vicinity of the occurrence, the Quesnel Terrane is dominated by the Upper Triassic Slocan Group, a thick sequence of deformed and metamorphosed shale, argillite, siltstone, quartzite and minor limestone. Rocks of the Slocan Group are tightly and disharmonically folded. Early minor folds are tight to isoclinal with moderate east plunging, southeast inclined axial planes and younger folds are open, southwest plunging with subhorizontal axial planes. The sedimentary sequence has been regionally metamorphosed to lower greenschist facies.

Immediately west of the occurrence, the Slocan Group has been intruded by the Middle Jurassic Nelson intrusions which comprise at least six texturally and compositionally distinct phases ranging from diorite to lamprophyre. The most dominant phase is a medium to coarse grained potassium feldspar porphyritic granite. Several feldspar porphyritic granodiorite dikes, apparently related to the Nelson intrusions, also cut the sedimentary sequence near the occurrence (Paper 1989-5). The sedimentary sequence has been affected by contact metamorphism from the emplacement of the nearby Nelson intrusions.

In 1920, work by G.B. Gerrard was started on restoring the old workings of the Black Bear occurrence, which included a 10.6-metre shaft, a short crosscut adit below and an opencut above the shaft.

The workings intersected a vein that appeared to follow the bedding of contact metamorphosed, slaty argillites of the Slocan Group on the eastern edge of the Middle Jurassic Mount Carlyle stock. The stock is composed primarily of potassium feldspar porphyritic granite. The vein width varied from 30 to 45 centimetres and hosted galena, pyrite and minor sphalerite mineralization in a quartz gangue. The strike of the vein is 065 degrees and the dip is 67 degrees southeast.

A 48-centimetre chip sample taken near the bottom of the shaft in 1920 yielded 2.74 grams per tonne gold, 181.7 grams per tonne silver, 15 per cent lead and 3.6 per cent zinc (Minister of Mines Annual Report 1920, page 123).

Production records for the Black Bear occurrence indicate 5 tonnes of ore was mined in 1922 from which 1866 grams silver and 944 kilograms lead were recovered.

Cream Minerals Ltd. optioned the property in late 1997. A grab sample assayed 101.2 grams per tonne silver, 7.76 per cent lead, 12.82 per cent zinc, and 0.23 grams per tonne gold (GCNL #182 (September 22), 1998).

In 2013, Agave Silver Corp. examined the area as the Kaslo property

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