Molybdenite Pyrite

Virtual Museum ID: 19-DE09

Specimen Summary

Molybdenum, often just called ‘moly’, is used to make alloys with other metals like iron. Adding molybdenum to steel makes it stronger, harder and more resistant to corrosion. It also has a very high melting temperature, so is very useful when added to alloys to make aircraft parts and industrial motors, which need to withstand high temperatures.

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 the 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.

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:

Dan Ethier (DE)

Sub Collection:


Collection ID:


Virtual Museum ID:



Date Added to VM:


Location Information

Sample Origin:

Hudson Bay Mt., B.C.

Specific Site:

Davidson Deposit

UTM Easting:


UTM Northing:



09 (NAD 83)

Coordinate Accuracy:


Specimen Details

VM Category:


Primary Features:

Molybdenite Pyrite

Primary Mineral Formula:

MoS2, FeS2

Primary Category:


Secondary Features:

Quartz vein

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:

Hazelton Group

Geological Period:

Lower-Middle Jurassic

Stratigraphic Age:

201.3 - 163.5 Million Years Ago

Geological Belt:


Geological Terrane:


Minfile ID:

093L 088

Site Details:

The Davidson occurrence is located 8 kilometres northwest of the community of Smithers on the east side of Hudson Bay Mountain.

The showing area is underlain by Lower-Middle Jurassic Hazelton Group andesite and tuffs that are in turn overlain by Lower-Upper Cretaceous Skeena Group sediments. A large discordant and differentiated granodiorite sheet is intruded into the volcanic sequence. The Early Tertiary-Late Cretaceous (67-73 Ma) Hudson Bay Mountain stock is concealed and is estimated to be 550 metres thick. It is divided texturally from the upper to lower contacts as aplitic granodiorite, porphyritic granodiorite and granodiorite, respectively. The stock contains blocks of Hazelton volcanics traceable for hundreds of metres. Lamprophyre dikes crosscut both the granodiorite and Hazelton rocks. The metamorphism is due to the intrusion of the Hudson Bay stock and the associated intrusion of a rhyolite porphyry plug and radial quartz feldspar porphyry dikes. The rhyolite plug is oval shaped and at its upper contact are quartz stockworks and a high silica zone that crosscuts well defined chill and crenulate quartz band zones.

Veins hosting molybdenite and scheelite occur over three kilometres horizontally and are enveloped by radial base metal veins that extend beyond an eight kilometre radius. High-grade molybdenum zones occur in the lower portion of the differentiated granodiorite sheet and is an important lithological control on mineralization. The molybdenite mineralization occurs over a surface area of approximately 2.5 by 1.5 kilometres and a vertical distance of 2.1 kilometres. Strands of 0.2 per cent molybdenite appear over more than 600 metres vertically.

Molybdenite occurs in three modes: 1) early fine grained, hairline stockwork veins characterized by potassic alteration and relatively low molybdenum values; 2) domal sets of fine grained, banded quartz-molybdenite veins associated with phyllic alteration and high-grade assays; and 3) spectacular molybdenite crystals up to 5 centimetres in length occur in coarse grained quartz-molybdenite veins characterized by potassic alteration envelopes with high assays.

Scheelite occurs in quartz-magnetite-potassium feldspar veins formed prior to the coarse grained quartz-molybdenite veins. Scheelite also occurs as rare disseminations associated with andradite garnet, epidote and quartz assemblages formed prior to the fine grained hairline stockwork veins. Minor amounts of wolframite are found downdip from the granodiorite sheet.

Late-stage vein mineralization includes pyrite, chalcopyrite, sphalerite and carbonate. The source of the mineralizing fluids is thought to be the Hudson Bay Mountain stock due to its spatial relationship. The tungsten-rich zone generally straddles the upper 0.2 per cent molybdenum boundary.

The Davidson occurrence was originally explored by American Metal Climax Incorporated in 1957. A total of 35,715 metres of diamond drilling and 2722 metres of tunneling had been completed by 1968 under Climax Molybdenum (B.C.) Limited.

Unclassified reserves at Yorke-Hardy are 100 million tons (about 90.7 million tonnes) grading 0.297 per cent MoS2 (0.178 per cent molybdenum) and 0.04 per cent WO3 (0.032 per cent tungsten) (D. Davidson, Climax Canada Ltd., personal communication, 1996).

In 1998, Verdstone Gold Corp. and Molycor Gold Corporation are evaluating the development of a high-grade core of 24,200,000 million tonnes of 0.24 per cent molybdenum (0.4 per cent MoS2).

In 1998, Giroux Consultants Ltd. evaluated the resource to be 120 million tonnes of 0.152 per cent molybdenum (0.254 per cent MoS2), including 24,200,000 tonnes of 0.24 per cent molybdenum (0.400 per cent MoS2). Estimates by Steininger in 1981 were 125,500,000 tonnes of 0.157 per cent molybdenum and 0.0238 per cent tungsten including 20,600,000 tonnes of 0.24 per cent molybdenum and 0.0317 per cent tungsten (George Cross News Letter No.80 (April 27), 1998 and Canadian Mines Handbook 1998-99, page 461).

In 2007, Thompson Creek Metals Company Inc. conducted a feasibility study on what they now refer to as the Davidson deposit. The study reports combined measured and indicated resources for the property of 77.2 million tonnes grading 0.169 per cent molybdenum at a cut-off grade of 0.12 per cent molybdenum (Thompson Creek Annual Report 2007).

In 2008, the Davidson property comprised six cell claims and six mining leases that cover the central and southwest flanks of Hudson Bay Mountain. These mineral tenures are under option to Blue Pearl Mining Inc., a subsidiary of Thompson Creek Metals Inc. The claims lie northwest of the Davidson porphyry molybdenum deposit, which is currently being evaluated for potential development by Blue Pearl. Past work by Blue Pearl Mining Inc. on Hudson Bay Mountain has been confined to the area of the Davidson molybdenum deposit on the eastern side of the mountain, where over 15,000 metres of diamond drilling and extensive environmental studies have been completed since the summer of 2005. Climax Molybdenum Corporation (B.C.) Ltd. and associated companies had previously completed approximately 60,000 metres of diamond drilling and three kilometres of underground development on the property in the period from 1957 to 1980. The property has also been known as Yorke-Hardy, Hudson Bay Mountain and Glacier Gulch.

In 2016, Darnley Bay Resources Ltd. entered into an agreement with Roda Holdings Inc. whereby Roda granted Darnley Bay the option to earn a 100 per cent interest in the Davidson property. Darnley Bay Resources Ltd. released an updated mineral resource estimate for the Davidson molybdenum and tungsten property. The estimate was undertaken by independent consultants. Since the last resource estimate on the property in 2007, a previous operator drilled 23 additional holes and these have been incorporated into the new resource estimate. Total drilling on the property to date is 72,815 metres in 218 drillholes, dating back to the 1950s. All of the drill core has been securely stored and is available to Darnley Bay. Estimated Measured and Indicated resources are: 90.08 million tonnes grading 0.286 per cent MoS2 and 0.034 per cent WO3 at a 0.20 per cent MoS2 cut-off, and 34.42 million tonnes grading 0.374 per cent MoS2 and 0.036 per cent WO3 at a 0.28 per cent MoS2 cut-off (Press Release - Darnley Bay Resources Ltd., October 17, 2016).

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