Massive yellow barite purple-green fluorite

Virtual Museum ID: 19-GM02

Specimen Summary


Barite is a barium sulphate mineral that occurs in many different colours and crystal shapes. It occurs in a variety of sedimentary and metamorphic settings and often replaces other minerals or fossils. Despite its many forms, it is relatively easy to identify because of its heavy weight. In fact, its name comes from the Ancient Creek “barys”, meaning heavy. Examples of different forms of barite include golden yellow honeycomb barite and Desert Rose barite that has a flower-like appearance. Barite is also often found in hydrothermal veins with ores of antimony, copper, lead, manganese and silver. Barite is used to add weight to oil and gas drilling fluids to prevent blowouts, as well as in paints and automotive parts, ceramics, LED TVs and medical applications. Geologists can analyze the oxygen and sulphur isotopes in barite to investigate ancient seawater compositions.

Fluorite, also commonly referred to as fluorspar, is a calcium fluoride species of the Halide Group. Fluorite first was named in 1797 by Carlo Antonio Galeani Napione from the Latin, fluere = "to flow" due to its industrial use within flux. The colour of fluorite varies dramatically with the most common colours being purple, lilac, golden-yellow, green, colourless, blue, and pink, champagne, brown. The most distinguishable feature of fluorite is its ability to fluoresce under UV light. Fluorite is often associated with a variety of ore deposits, including epithermal gold, Intrusion-related gold and porphyry copper deposits. Fluorite is the major source mineral of the element fluorine.

The Rock Candy fluorspar property is located on Kennedy Creek, approximately 27 kilometres north of Grand Forks. The main showing is exposed between 790 and 880 metres elevation on the wooded slopes north of Kennedy Creek. It can be reached by forest access road which branches off the North Fork road approximately 19 kilometres north of Grand Forks, follows Pass Creek westerly for 3.5 kilometres and then follows Rock Candy Creek north for approximately 8.5 kilometres to Kennedy Creek.

The deposit was discovered in 1916 by two prospectors who mistook the green fluorite for copper mineralization. Once the true nature of the deposit was realized the property was acquired by Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company of Canada Ltd. and immediately put into production. It was in operation intermittently between 1918 and 1942 and a total of 56,000 tonnes of ore, with an average grade of 68 per cent CaF2 and 22 per cent SiO2, produced about 36,759,501 kilograms of fluorite and 1,673,000 kilograms of silica. The mine operated through two adits; all mining was carried out using shrinkage stope methods. The ore was transported by aerial tramway to the Granby River valley, approximately 4 kilometres east of the mine site, and from there to the Trail smelter where most of it was used. The adits remained open until the 1980's at which time they were blasted closed. It is estimated that approximately 12,300 tonnes of broken ore remain in the stopes and that 47,800 tonnes of probable ore remain in pillars and sills in and adjacent to stoped areas. The mine was controlled by Cominco until its recent acquisition by a mineral collector.

The region in the vicinity Kennedy Creek, west of the Granby River, is underlain by andesites, dacites and trachytes of the Eocene Penticton Group, Marron Formation, which are intruded by syenite and monzonite of the Eocene Coryell plutonic suite. The Coryell intrusions may be the plutonic equivalent of the Marron Formation.

The Rock Candy fluorspar deposit consists of an intricate network of subparallel veins, which vary from a few centimetres to approximately 10 metres in width. They occupy a silicified, northerly-trending, moderate to steeply west-dipping fracture zone in Tertiary andesitic volcanics adjacent to a large syenite intrusion with offshoot dikes. Within the mine the veins were numerous and closely spaced. The developed mineralized zone extends 200 metres north from Kennedy Creek and has a maximum width of 15 metres. The vein is exposed again about one kilometre north of the main developed zone.

The andesites that host the fluorite veins are predominantly fine to medium grained, greenish to grey in colour and contain albite, oligoclase and actinolite with minor magnetite and biotite. Quartz occurs as veinlets and cavity fillings. Sericite, calcite and chlorite are alteration minerals. Immediately adjacent to the veins, the andesites, which are thought to be early Tertiary age, are strongly altered, weathered to a pinkish buff colour and contain chlorite, sericite, quartz, calcite, pyrite and abundant clay minerals including kaolin. The outcrops east of the vein system are medium to coarse-grained, massive pink Coryell syenite. The Coryell intrusion contains large pink and green feldspar crystals, predominantly orthoclase, and a minor amount of plagioclase. The centres of some of the orthoclase crystals have been identified as hyalophane, a barium- rich orthoclase. Biotite, hornblende, augite, magnetite and traces of quartz, apatite, sphene and zircon are accessory minerals in the syenite. The ferromagnesian minerals are commonly altered to chlorite and epidote is locally present. The numerous dikes in the area related to the Coryell intrusion consist of altered feldspars with some interstitial quartz and secondary calcite and chlorite. Fluorite has been reported from one such dike. Granite and granodiorite correlative with the Nelson batholith (Jurassic-Cretaceous) occur south of Kennedy Creek.

Excellent surface exposures of a large vein exist near the old workings, the eastern margin of which is covered with glacial till. The vein is 3 to 4 metres wide and consists mostly of massive fluorite, bounded on the west by 1.5 to 2 metres of fluorite-matrix breccia and a thin composite banded margin adjacent to altered country rocks. The massive part of the vein is coarse grained, apple to emerald green fluorite and some pale purple fluorite cut by numerous vuggy quartz veins. Within the mine, numerous large vugs have been reported which are locally in excess of one metre in width and filled with white kaolin or lined with crystals of barite, quartz, calcite and fluorite. The marginal breccia contains altered subangular fragments of volcanic country rocks in a matrix of purple and green fluorite, chalcedony, kaolin, pyrite, quartz and calcite. The banded western margin of the vein comprises both crystalline and massive, barite with calcite, fluorite, chalcedony and quartz. Chalcopyrite, galena, chalcocite and covellite have been reported by previous investigator but these minerals are no longer exposed. Numerous fluorite veinlets, 4 to 5 centimetres thick and subparallel to the main vein, cut the altered volcanic rocks.

Fluorite mineralization is exposed again one kilometre north of the mine. In this area a 1-metre-wide vein cuts the altered volcanic rocks. It consists of massive pale purple, and pale green fluorite intruded by younger quartz veins and a breccia a few centimetres across consisting of angular fluorite fragments in a matrix of small quartz crystals. Small vugs lined with quartz crystals are abundant. A strong fault lineament connects this showing with the main workings and projects some distance to the north and south. Drilling shows intermittent development of fluorite mineralization along this fault but no economic grades have been reported except from the main workings.

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:

Greenwood Museum (GM)

Sub Collection:

-

Collection ID:

GM_02

Virtual Museum ID:

19-GM02

Accessibility:

Date Added to VM:

2019-06-06

Location Information

Sample Origin:

Grand Forks, BC

Specific Site:

Rock Candy Mine

UTM Easting:

391669

UTM Northing:

5457457

Datum:

11 (NAD 83)

Coordinate Accuracy:

Approximate

Specimen Details

VM Category:

Mineral

Primary Features:

Massive yellow barite purple-green fluorite

Primary Mineral Formula:

CaF2, BaSO4

Primary Category:

halide sulphate

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:

Penticton Group

Geological Period:

Eocene

Stratigraphic Age:

33.7 to 54.8 Million Years Ago

Geological Belt:

Omineca

Geological Terrane:

Quesnel

Minfile ID:

082ESE070

Site Details:

The Rock Candy fluorspar property is located on Kennedy Creek, approximately 27 kilometres north of Grand Forks. The main showing is exposed between 790 and 880 metres elevation on the wooded slopes north of Kennedy Creek. It can be reached by forest access road which branches off the North Fork road approximately 19 kilometres north of Grand Forks, follows Pass Creek westerly for 3.5 kilometres and then follows Rock Candy Creek north for approximately 8.5 kilometres to Kennedy Creek.

The deposit was discovered in 1916 by two prospectors who mistook the green fluorite for copper mineralization. Once the true nature of the deposit was realized the property was acquired by Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company of Canada Ltd. and immediately put into production. It was in operation intermittently between 1918 and 1942 and a total of 56,000 tonnes of ore, with an average grade of 68 per cent CaF2 and 22 per cent SiO2, produced about 36,759,501 kilograms of fluorite and 1,673,000 kilograms of silica. The mine operated through two adits; all mining was carried out using shrinkage stope methods. The ore was transported by aerial tramway to the Granby River valley, approximately 4 kilometres east of the mine site, and from there to the Trail smelter where most of it was used. The adits remained open until the 1980's at which time they were blasted closed. It is estimated that approximately 12,300 tonnes of broken ore remain in the stopes and that 47,800 tonnes of probable ore remain in pillars and sills in and adjacent to stoped areas. The mine was controlled by Cominco until its recent acquisition by a mineral collector.

The region in the vicinity Kennedy Creek, west of the Granby River, is underlain by andesites, dacites and trachytes of the Eocene Penticton Group, Marron Formation, which are intruded by syenite and monzonite of the Eocene Coryell plutonic suite. The Coryell intrusions may be the plutonic equivalent of the Marron Formation.

The Rock Candy fluorspar deposit consists of an intricate network of subparallel veins, which vary from a few centimetres to approximately 10 metres in width. They occupy a silicified, northerly-trending, moderate to steeply west-dipping fracture zone in Tertiary andesitic volcanics adjacent to a large syenite intrusion with offshoot dikes. Within the mine the veins were numerous and closely spaced. The developed mineralized zone extends 200 metres north from Kennedy Creek and has a maximum width of 15 metres. The vein is exposed again about one kilometre north of the main developed zone.

The andesites that host the fluorite veins are predominantly fine to medium grained, greenish to grey in colour and contain albite, oligoclase and actinolite with minor magnetite and biotite. Quartz occurs as veinlets and cavity fillings. Sericite, calcite and chlorite are alteration minerals. Immediately adjacent to the veins, the andesites, which are thought to be early Tertiary age, are strongly altered, weathered to a pinkish buff colour and contain chlorite, sericite, quartz, calcite, pyrite and abundant clay minerals including kaolin. The outcrops east of the vein system are medium to coarse-grained, massive pink Coryell syenite. The Coryell intrusion contains large pink and green feldspar crystals, predominantly orthoclase, and a minor amount of plagioclase. The centres of some of the orthoclase crystals have been identified as hyalophane, a barium- rich orthoclase. Biotite, hornblende, augite, magnetite and traces of quartz, apatite, sphene and zircon are accessory minerals in the syenite. The ferromagnesian minerals are commonly altered to chlorite and epidote is locally present. The numerous dikes in the area related to the Coryell intrusion consist of altered feldspars with some interstitial quartz and secondary calcite and chlorite. Fluorite has been reported from one such dike. Granite and granodiorite correlative with the Nelson batholith (Jurassic-Cretaceous) occur south of Kennedy Creek.

Excellent surface exposures of a large vein exist near the old workings, the eastern margin of which is covered with glacial till. The vein is 3 to 4 metres wide and consists mostly of massive fluorite, bounded on the west by 1.5 to 2 metres of fluorite-matrix breccia and a thin composite banded margin adjacent to altered country rocks. The massive part of the vein is coarse grained, apple to emerald green fluorite and some pale purple fluorite cut by numerous vuggy quartz veins. Within the mine, numerous large vugs have been reported which are locally in excess of one metre in width and filled with white kaolin or lined with crystals of barite, quartz, calcite and fluorite. The marginal breccia contains altered subangular fragments of volcanic country rocks in a matrix of purple and green fluorite, chalcedony, kaolin, pyrite, quartz and calcite. The banded western margin of the vein comprises both crystalline and massive, barite with calcite, fluorite, chalcedony and quartz. Chalcopyrite, galena, chalcocite and covellite have been reported by previous investigator but these minerals are no longer exposed. Numerous fluorite veinlets, 4 to 5 centimetres thick and subparallel to the main vein, cut the altered volcanic rocks.

Fluorite mineralization is exposed again one kilometre north of the mine. In this area a 1-metre-wide vein cuts the altered volcanic rocks. It consists of massive pale purple, and pale green fluorite intruded by younger quartz veins and a breccia a few centimetres across consisting of angular fluorite fragments in a matrix of small quartz crystals. Small vugs lined with quartz crystals are abundant. A strong fault lineament connects this showing with the main workings and projects some distance to the north and south. Drilling shows intermittent development of fluorite mineralization along this fault but no economic grades have been reported except from the main workings.

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