Au Ag Zn Pb Cu ore

Virtual Museum ID: 19-BCGS-Mtla1

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.

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.

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.

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.

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:

SW of Metlatulin Mountain, B.C.

Specific Site:

Metla Property

UTM Easting:


UTM Northing:



08 (NAD 83)

Coordinate Accuracy:

Specimen Details

VM Category:

Ore Sample

Primary Features:

Au Ag Zn Pb Cu ore

Primary Mineral Formula:

Au · Ag · Zn · Pb · Cu

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:

Stuhini Group

Geological Period:

Late Cretaceous

Stratigraphic Age:

100.5 - 66 Ma

Geological Belt:


Geological Terrane:


Minfile ID:

104K 161

Site Details:

The Metla area is dominantly underlain by Upper Triassic Stuhini Group rocks, Middle Triassic to Late Triassic Coast Range Plutonic quartz diorite-granodiorite rocks, and Upper Paleozoic black argillaceous shales and other sedimentary rocks of the Stikine Assemblage. Intruded into the latter as well as the Stuhini volcanics are six zones of hydrothermal breccia, correlating to Zones A to F. These breccias are considered Late Cretaceous in age and are thought to be closely related to the precious and base metals outcrops and mineralized boulder trains present on the property.

The hydrothermal breccia mineralization consists of irregular massive to disseminated base metal sulphides accompanied by gold and silver. From field observations, the principal occurrence of mineralization is within or adjacent to outcrop areas of “hydrothermal breccia”, often where argillite clasts predominate. Sulphide minerals are most abundant as matrix to the breccias and this sulphide mineralization is concentrated near the margins of the breccia bodies.

Pyrite is very common, followed by sphalerite. Chalcopyrite, although significantly less common is the most ubiquitous mineral in the suite after pyrite. Galena occurs sporadically, most commonly in association with sphalerite. Also observed from ore microscopy are arsenopyrite, magnetite, tetrahedrite, pyrrhotite, gold/electrum, bournonite, niccolite and gersdorffite. Other minerals observed included hematite, stibnite and boulangerite.

Within the central part of the Metla 1 claim are seven zones of gold-silver-copper-lead-zinc massive sulphide mineralized outcrops and/or mineralized boulder trains, forming a southeast-northwest mineralized trend. In total, this trend ranges up to 1500 metres long and 600 metres wide.

Six of these zones, Zone A through to Zone F, are associated with hydrothermal breccia and epithermal events. The mineralized trend follows an assumed structural weakness and contact fault, named the Metla Creek Fault. Chip samples range from 1.0 to 8.5 grams per tonne gold; 20.8 to 87.2 grams per tonne silver; with boulders returning up to 62.7 grams per tonne gold and grab samples from old trenches up to 202 grams per tonne silver (Assessment Report 29058).

The seventh zone, Zone G, is a newly recorded zone and occurs 600 metres southwest of Zone F in a cirque. It consists of a boulder train of gold and copper rich boulder fragments assaying up to 20.2 grams per tonne gold and 15.20 per cent copper (Assessment Report 29058). Evidence suggests the source of this mineralization is local to the cirque area. It is not yet known if or how mineralization at Zone G is related to the other 6 zones.

Within zones A, B, C, D, E, F and G there are three styles of sulphide mineralization recognized:

Type 1. Hydrothermal breccia. Fragments included sedimentary rocks consisting of limestone, chert, arigllaceous shales. Mineralization consists of massive pyrite, chalcopyrite, galena and sphalerite as fracture fillings and sedimentary lens replacements up to 50 centimetres thick, especially in zones A, C, D and E. Gold and silver values are obtained in assays.

Type 2. Zones of sedimentary micritic limestone, bedded chert, black and argillaceous shale. Sulphide mineralization is generally present in zones B and F.

Type 3. Quartz affiliated veins hosting variable amounts of chalcopyrite, copper carbonates and other sulphides and with gold and silver as shown from analysis. An example is zone G.

Just east of the main Metla Creek A to F zone area, field crews evaluated outcrops newly revealed by the retreating glacier. Samples from 2017 extended Zone G into newly uncovered outcrop areas upslope to the southwest and sampling within other existing zones showed significantly anomalous results. A new zone called Zone H occurs to the southeast along the glacier margins south of Zone G. Outcrops at Zone H were a mix of andesite and andesite breccia. Samples in this region were weakly anomalous in gold an silver with some minor copper anomalies such as sample J953588 which ran 0.17 per cent copper (Assessment Report 37092). Zone H is thought to be a primarily low grade gold-silver zone associated with late stage epithermal quartz veining and brecciation.

The 2018 VTEM survey covered the entire property at 250 metres spacing and the Metla Creek Area at a detailed 100 metres spacing. The survey revealed conductive anomalies and proximal magnetic lows paralleling the surface trace of the Metla Creek Structure. The geometry of the responses are reported to indicate a large zone of structurally controlled magnetic destruction likely related to alteration in any or all of the 3 mineralizing events on the property as well as a long (5 kilometres), wide (1.5 kilometres) heterogenous conductive response likely related to mineralization and graphite within the complexly folded Stikine sediments and gabbros within the core Metla Creek Area. The anomalous conductive response did not extend beneath Zones C and D which historically have some of the most significant extents of on-surface mineralization and particularly high sphalerite/zinc concentrations.

Work History

In 1957 Cominco Ltd discovered “brecciated feldspar porphyry dike” mineralized with pyrite-sphalerite and galena near the outlet of Metla Creek, where it flows into “Trapper Lake Creek”. A sample yielded 10.97 grams per tonne gold with significant silver and base metal values. This location was the presently known Zone D. Zones A, B, C, E, F and G to the southeast and up glacier, are reported to have been covered by glacial ice and snow fields in 1957.

In 1983 to 1985, Chevron prospected and ran contour soil lines on the Rod prospect, now just within Metla claims (of 2008) at its southeast corner.

In 1988, during follow-up of RGS release gold anomalies in the Tatsamenie-Trapper Lake area, a visit was made by Cominco prospectors to the Metla Creek valley where the 1957 discovery was known to occur. Prospecting the more recent ice-exhumed valley below the glacier located numerous mineralized float boulders and a number of outcrops of mineralized breccia. Cominco prospectors staked the Metla claim over these mineralized areas. Preliminary boulder and outcrop grab sampling indicated gold values over an area of 300 metres wide by 1200 metres long.

In 1989 Cominco Ltd commissioned a program of detailed prospecting, 1:500 scale geological mapping and trenching over the property. This work confirmed gold values over the extent of the known breccia zones and further work was recommended.

During 1990 Cominco Ltd continued with detailed prospecting, and the completion of 1:500 scale geological mapping. A ground geophysical program of electro-magnetic and magnetometer surveys were also undertaken and completed over the zones of interest. The prospecting and mapping located additional outcrops of mineralized rock and delineated the areas of brecciation and various rock types. The geophysical work outlined at least four zones with weak conductors. These conductors correlated with a possible source of mineralized float. A drilling program was recommended.

Galico Resources Inc optioned the property in 1991. During 1991, Galico arranged for Aerodat Ltd3 of Mississauga Ontario to fly a combined Magnetic-Electromagnetic-VLF survey over the Metla property and adjacent Trapper Lake area. These surveys confirmed a resistivity anomaly within the central part of the Metla 1 claim. In September 1991 Galico Resources Inc. drilled ten diamond drill holes (totaling 1075 metres) on the property. The Galico drill program was carried out successfully, but no assessment reports are available to show Galico pre-drilling geological mapping at Metla. No mineralized intersections were found. The Galico drill core was professionally split and logged at Trapper Lake, 5 km the north, where it remains stored today. Original core logs, geological mapping and sampling records were never recorded and are not available.

In 1992 the option agreement was terminated, and the property returned to Cominco Ltd.

The original Cominco Metla mineral claim was forfeited in August 2001. This claim was restaked by Clive Aspinall in May 2002 as Metla #1, and a second mineral claim, Metla #2 was staked in June 2002 for Jim Dawson. The two stakers formed a partnership on the property.

In January 2004 Solomon Resources Ltd funded the acquisition by of eight more claims prior to agreeing to option and to carrying out field work on the property in 2004. During 2004 Solomon conducted a 130 person day program of geological, geochemical and prospecting surveys over the entire claim group. The program consisted of collecting 200 chip, grab, and float rock samples, in addition to 234 reconnaissance samples. Sampling was mainly carried out over precious metal or base metal barren areas and/or recent glacial gravels which resulted in poor analytical returns, and the property was returned to Aspinall and Dawson early in 2005.

The property was optioned by Indico Technologies Ltd in 2006. A program of rock geochemistry and petrology study was conducted. Indico collected 129 rock samples for geochemical analysis and 10 rock samples for petrographic analysis. Indico left the agreement after this exploration program.

In 2008, a 7 day soil geochemical survey conducted by the Aspinall-Dawson partnership resulted in the collection of 90 soil, 10 silt, 11 float and 8 grab samples (Assessment Report 30661).

In 2010, Clive Aspinall on behalf of the Aspinall-Dawson partnership conducted a 1 day prospecting program on tenure 832466 about 1.25 kilometres west of the main Metla zone consisting zones A, B, C, D, E, F and G. Ten silt and 5 rock samples were collected. A float sample assayed 174 grams per tonne gold, 378 grams per tonne silver and 0.11 per cent zinc; an adjacent in situ rock sample assayed 21.7 grams per tonne silver, 0.58 per cent copper and 0.15 per cent zinc (see new MINFILE (Clive))(Assessment Report 32184).

In 2011, Ocean Park Ventures conducted a brief exploration program involving prospecting and the collection of 76 rock samples (Assessment Report 33489). Samples were collected within a 4 square kilometre area in the glacial valley of the retreating Metla glacier.

In 2011, the Borge gossan (104G 160) was staked and is now included as part of the Metla Property. The gossan is located 5 kilometres west of the Metla zone. Clive Aspinall conducted a prospecting program in the Borg and Metla area. A total of 14 rock and 20 silt samples were collected. The best rock sample obtained assayed 0.29 gram per tonne gold and 2.4 grams per tonne silver (Assessment Report 32511).

In 2012, Ocean Park Venture spent a total of 36 man days. During this time, a total 72 rock samples were collected including 7 float, 55 grab, and 10 composite or chip samples. The first four days were spent prospecting and mapping portions of the property not covered by the historic Metla Creek showings. 8 out of 72 samples ran over 0.5 grams per ton (grams per tonne) gold; 6 out of 72 samples carried over 16 grams per tonne silver and 8 out of 72 samples assayed over 0.2 per cent copper (Assessment Report 34047).

In 2013, Clive Aspinall and Jim Dawson staked the re-staked the Metla Property and the adjacent Borge property, holding joint title to the property. Geological observations made on the property.

The Metla property was acquired by Barry Hanslit from Nicholas Aspinall in 2016 and he subsequently staked further tenures surrounding the main discovery totaling 6,457 hectares. Hanslit co-founded Stuhini Exploration Ltd in 2017 in order to better explore the property.

In 2017, Stuhini Exploration investigated areas of interest outside of the main Metla Creek corridor as well as outcrop newly revealed by the retreating glacier. A ground magnetic survey was also conducted over the main zone of interest. Rock and soil sampling (89 rock and 9 soil) returned significantly anomalous results in the newly staked tenure areas particularly in those west of the Main Metla Creek area as well as in extension zones from previous exploration (Zone G and H). The majority of the anomalous results were proximal to the Metla Creek area that has been the main focus of exploration in the region. The 4.6 line kilometer ground magnetic survey showed significant magnetic variability over the surveyed areas of Zones A, B and C. Significant magnetic anomalies were uncovered requiring future follow-up.

In 2018, Stuhini Exploration Ltd. contracted Geotech Ltd. to conduct A VTEM (versatile time-domain electromagnetic) airborne survey. The survey covered 419 line kilometres over the entire Metla property.

Additional Images