Virtual Museum ID: 19-MEM04

Specimen Summary

Lithified phosphate rich sediments.

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:

Ministry of Energy, Mines & Petroleum Resources of Cranbrook (MEM)

Sub Collection:


Collection ID:


Virtual Museum ID:



Date Added to VM:


Location Information

Sample Origin:

Near B.C. Alberta boarder

Specific Site:

Crowsnest Pass

UTM Easting:


UTM Northing:



11 (NAD 83)

Coordinate Accuracy:


Specimen Details

VM Category:


Primary Features:


Primary Mineral Formula:


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:

Fernie Group

Geological Period:


Stratigraphic Age:

145 to 201.3 Million Years

Geological Belt:


Geological Terrane:

Ancestral North America

Minfile ID:


Site Details:

Phosphate occurs 15 kilometres southeast of Sparwood in the Crowsnest Pass area, 2.5 kilometres north of the pumping station on Highway 3.

Pelletal phosphorite is contained in two beds separated by phosphatic shale at the base of the Jurassic Fernie Group. The top of the phosphate horizon is marked by a thin yellowish weathering cherty limestone bed. The phosphate generally strikes north with shallow to moderate dips to the west. Thrust faulting complicates the distribution of the phosphate, causing the repetition of beds at some localities while causing the same beds to disappear in other locations. The horizon is locally structurally thickened to 4.8 metres. Individual phosphorite beds are 0.7 to 1.0 metre thick and contain 25.1 to 27.0 per cent P2O5 (Open File 1987-16, page 94, samples SBB86-4A to E). A sample analyzed by X-ray fluorescence contained 5.34 per cent SiO2, 1.11 per cent Al2O3, 0.53 per cent Fe2O3, 0.40 per cent MgO, 47.72 per cent CaO, 0.34 per cent Na2O, 0.15 per cent K2O, 0.07 per cent TiO2, 0.01 per cent MnO, 29.81 per cent P2O5 and 1.45 per cent sulphur (Fieldwork 1989, page 490, sample VM89-3).

The Crow deposit has been explored periodically by Cominco Ltd. between the 1930's and the mid-1970's. The company shipped an 1800 tonne bulk sample to Trail in 1931 and completed 600 metres of underground development work. Formosa Resources Corporation sampled near the Crow adit in 1989 while assessing the northern extension of the phosphate horizon.

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