Virtual Museum ID: 19-MEM14

Specimen Summary

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.

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.

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.

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:

Moyie, B.C.

Specific Site:

St. Eugene

UTM Easting:


UTM Northing:



11 (NAD 83)

Coordinate Accuracy:

Specimen Details

VM Category:


Primary Features:


Primary Mineral Formula:

Pb, Zn, Ag

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:

Helikian Middle Aldridge Formation (Purcell Supergroup)

Geological Period:

Middle Proterozoic

Stratigraphic Age:

1 to 2.5 Billion Years

Geological Belt:


Geological Terrane:

Ancestral North America

Minfile ID:


Site Details:

The St. Eugene mine is located 1.5 kilometres south east of Moyie, east of Moyie Lake.

The deposit is hosted by quartzites and argillites of the Helikian Middle Aldridge Formation (Purcell Supergroup) and is contained within an east-west fracture zone, dipping 70 degrees south, which strikes across the axial plane of a large regional northeast plunging anticline. The St. Eugene mine is on the eastern limb of the anticline and the Aurora showing (MINFILE 082GSW023) is on the western limb across Moyie Lake.

The deposit consists of two important veins and a system of connecting veins which meet the main vein system at a low angle. Most of the ores occurred at or near such junctions in the form of irregular lenses. Very little displacement was noted along the vein as a whole and they are probably tensional fractures along the crest of a plunging anticline. It was reported that the sulphides (mainly pyrite, pyrrhotite and sphalerite) were slightly more abundant near the margins of the orebodies and that sphalerite showed no increase with depth. At the 305 metre level, the two main veins/fissures are 183 metres apart and converge downwards and towards the west.

Production from 1899 to 1929 totalled 1.5 million tonnes resulting in 182,690,658 grams of silver, 78,846 grams of gold, 113,034,479 kilograms of lead and 14,482,913 kilograms of zinc.

The deposit was recorded in 1893 by James Cronin, who was told of the ore by the Ktunaxa (Kootenai) people. St. Eugene Consolidated Mining Company conducted early development and in 1905 the mine was taken over by the Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company. In 1947, Saint Eugene Mining completed a program of geological mapping and a 10 line-kilometre ground magnetic survey on the area as the Moyie property. In 1990, Cominco completed a 16.5 line-kilometre ground electromagnetic survey on the area. In 2006, Saint Eugene Mining completed 697 line-kilometres of airborne combined magnetic and electromagnetic surveys on the area. In 2011 and 2013, Kootenay Silver completed programs of geological mapping, rock sampling, a 500 line-kilometre airborne magnetic survey and a 500 line-kilometre seismic survey on the area as the Silver Fox property.

Additional Images