Azurite (blue) malachite (green) Cu-ore

Virtual Museum ID: 19-GM13

Specimen Summary

Azurite forms by the weathering of other copper minerals. Copper ore minerals like chalcocite and bornite “rust” when they come into contact with oxygen in the air or groundwater. This causes their atomic structure to change to become brightly coloured azurite. Azurite is often found at the surface above buried copper deposits and is a useful clue for prospectors and geologists looking for new deposits.

Malachite is a green hydrous copper carbonate mineral that forms near the Earth's surface as other copper ore minerals, like bornite, are exposed to the atmosphere and weather, or oxidize. Malachite often forms as coatings on joints and fractures or in rock cavities. It often occurs in banded "botryoidal" masses. Botryoidal means is has an appearance similar to a bunch of grapes. Malachite commonly occurs with azurite, another secondary copper mineral that forms by weathering copper sulphides. Together, they are clues that more extensive copper mineralization might be nearby.

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:


Virtual Museum ID:



Date Added to VM:


Location Information

Sample Origin:

N of Koksilah River, BC

Specific Site:

King Solomon Mine

UTM Easting:


UTM Northing:



10 (NAD 83)

Coordinate Accuracy:


Specimen Details

VM Category:

Ore Sample

Primary Features:

Azurite (blue) malachite (green) Cu-ore

Primary Mineral Formula:

Cu3(CO3)2(OH)2 · Cu2(CO3)(OH)2

Primary Category:


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:

Fourth Lake Formation (formerly the Sediment-Sill Unit of Muller)

Geological Period:

Mississippian to Pennsylvanian

Stratigraphic Age:

323.2 to 358.9 Millions Years Ago

Geological Belt:


Geological Terrane:


Minfile ID:

092B 015

Site Details:

The King Solomon past-producer is located north of the Koksilah River, near Hunes Creek.

The area is underlain predominantly by bedded chert and cherty basaltic tuffs of the Mississippian to Pennsylvanian Fourth Lake Formation (formerly the Sediment-Sill Unit of Muller), Buttle Lake Group. These are overlain by limestone, bedded chert and cherty tuff of the Upper Pennsylvanian to Lower Permian Mount Mark Formation, Buttle Lake Group (formerly the Buttle Lake Formation). Between the Mount Mark and Fourth Lake formations, and above the Mount Mark Formation, are packages of mainly basaltic rock, of unknown affinity. These Paleozoic rocks are intruded by numerous dykes of feldspar- porphyritic dacite and rhyolite and part of the granodioritic "Koksilah" stock of the Early to Middle Jurassic Island Plutonic Suite (formerly called Island Intrusions).

The Upper King Solomon mine workings (Lee's upper workings) consist of an inclined shaft (55 degrees northeast) which connects to a 24 metre long adit driven from the south. Mineralization is reported to consist of pyrite and chalcopyrite occurring in fractures in chert and marble, and disseminated in the marble, forming 15 per cent of the rock within the mineralized zone. The interbedded chert and marble occur within the Mount Mark Formation. It is complexly folded and faulted, but may dip from 40 to 60 degrees to the northeast overall. A trench leading to the portal of the adit exposes intrusive rock in complex contact with chert to the northeast. The intrusive consists of grey, feldspar-mafic porphyritic dacite. The cut exposes complexly interlayered, shattered, faulted and weathered epidote skarn. The epidote occurs in layers up to 1.5 metres thick.

The Middle King Solomon mine workings (Lee's lower workings), located 150 metres northwest of the upper workings, consist of an adit driven easterly 34 metres and several cuts into a gossanous outcrop. The mineralization is found as a massive sulphide replacement occupying a shear zone; the adit is driven through the 6.1 metre thick sulphide body that strikes 030 degrees and dips 35 degrees to the southeast. The north wall of a trench leading to the portal cuts through intrusive rock consisting of altered rhyolite. The mineralization occurs at or near the base of the Mount Mark Formation in a succession of very strongly fractured, faulted and folded, bedded cherty basaltic tuffs, chert, interbedded limestone and interlayered skarn. The tuff is strongly epidote altered. Pyrrhotite is the most abundant sulphide and occupies the centre of the zone with an increase in pyrite toward the upper and lower boundaries. Chalcopyrite is found only in small amounts, apparently in greatest abundance near the footwall. Pyrite occurs as replacements in the country rock away from the ore zone. The gangue in the ore zone generally consists of dark, silicified gouge.

Some reports also record the presence of magnetite, minor sphalerite, galena and some tetrahedrite, associated with garnet- epidote-diopside skarn.

The King Solomon claim was originally staked in 1902. Production, reported for the years 1904, 1905 and 1907, totalled 254 tonnes of ore, from which 6,345 ounces of silver and 17,974 kilograms of copper were recovered (Mineral Policy data). In 1912 and 1913, production totalled 275 tonnes of ore grading 5 per cent copper was shipped (Assessment Report 13997).

From 1956 through 1960, Cellardor Mines completed programs of geological mapping, a self potential geophysical survey, trenching and 34 diamond drill holes, totalling 1446.9 metres, in the area. The old workings were dewatered and the lower adit was extended for more than 120 metres. Reserves of the King Solomon orebodies were estimated at 226,800 tonnes of 1.4 per cent copper or 286,700 tons of 0.83 per cent copper (Assessment Report 13997).

In 1983 through 1985, Reward Resources completed programs of prospecting, geochemical sampling and ground geophysical surveys on the Independence, Koksilah, Pacific Star and Western mineral claims. In 1986, Hollycroft and Nexus resources completed a program of geological mapping and rock sampling on the Sil claims.

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