Chalcopyrite bornite biotite
Virtual Museum ID: 19-NCM09
Chalcopyrite is an important copper ore mineral found in many different types of copper deposit. It is sometimes mistaken for Gold because of its bright yellow colour; however, it is harder, more common, and chalcopyrite commonly occurs with other copper sulphide minerals such as bornite and weathers to malachite and azurite.
Bornite is an important copper ore mineral found in many different types of copper deposit. It is also known as peacock ore because of its iridescent purple-blue-green tarnish. Fresh bornite, however, is copper red. Bornite commonly occurs with other copper sulphide minerals such as chalcocite and weathers, or “oxidizes”, to malachite.
This sample is from the Silver King mine about 7 km south of Nelson in the Kootenay region of southeastern BC.
The Silver King mine was active between 1896 and 1949. In that time, it produced over 200,000 tonnes of ore at grades of 672 grams per tonne silver, 0.5 grams per tonne gold and 3.2% copper. It was once Nelson’s largest mine, putting the town on the map as one of BC’s major silver mining centres. A mining camp, the Silver King Camp, was also home to about 200 people at the mine site, but it was burned down in the early 1900s in a forest fire.
The property was discovered in 1886 by the Hall brothers, who were prospecting for placer gold. They staked three claims: Kootenay Bonanza, Silver Kings and American Flag. The first high-grade ore was shipped in 1889. Initially, ore was transported down the mountain by a process called raw hiding. This was a very dangerous job for the men that transported the ore down! Ore was wrapped in cow hides, hair side down, and attached to a length of rope and pulled down the mountain by horse. A rider sat on the last hide in the train, attempting to control the speed and direction of the hide train using chain brakes. Trails were often icy and extremely slippery, making it very difficult to control the loads. Thankfully a tramway was soon built to transport the ore instead!
In 1893, Hall Mines Limited purchased the property and developed the underground workings and a tramway to transport ore to Nelson for smelting. A 100 tonne-per-day smelter was opened in town in January of 1896. Mining continued until 1919, with small operations in 1936, 1946-1949, 1956 and 1958. Exploration has continued intermittently since then. For several years in the 1960s and early 1970s the slope around the mine hosted a ski hill. The founders of that ski hill eventually went on to establish the Whitewater hill, still open today.
The ore at Silver King is mainly in veins that run parallel to a shear zone, or faulted deformation zone. The veins contain pyrite, chalcopyrite and galena (lead ore), with minor amounts of sphalerite (zinc ore), bornite (copper ore), malachite and azurite (secondary copper minerals), and stromeyerite, as seen in this sample. The main gangue (waste) mineral is quartz, with minor carbonate.
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.
Original Collection:Chamber of Mines of Eastern BC (NCM)
Virtual Museum ID:19-NCM09
Date Added to VM:2019-06-11
Sample Origin:Nelson, B.C.
Specific Site:Gold Hill, NNW of Bridesville
Datum:11 (NAD 83)
Primary Features:Chalcopyrite bornite biotite
Primary Mineral Formula:Cu5FeS4 · CuFeS2 · K(Mg,Fe)3AlSi3O10(OH)2
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:Anarchist Group
Geological Period:Carboniferous to Permian
Stratigraphic Age:251.9 to 358.9 Million Years Ago
The Gold Hill occurrence is located at 1372 metres elevation on the southeastern slopes of Baldy Mountain. The occurrence is part of the historic Camp McKinney, located 9 kilometres north-northwest of Bridesville, British Columbia.
In 1935, the Gold Hill property consisted of the Gold Hill Nos. 1 to 4, Little Billy, Paystreak Nos. 1 and 2, Allan, Mary, Douglas and Evelyn; the result of a partial restaking of the original eight claims which included the George Hurst (Geo Hurst) (Lot 1456), Dolphin, Bellevue Fr. (Lot 1268) and Bellringer No. 1 claims. During this time the property was developed by Camp McKinney Gold Hill Mining Co. Ltd. and J. Carmichael. Many of the above claims and Crown-granted claims have lapsed and have been restaked more recently as the Billie, Lou and Doreen claims.
The Camp McKinney area is underlain by interbanded and intergrading Carboniferous to Permian Anarchist Group metamorphosed sediments and volcanics. The group is mainly sedimentary and consists of greenstone, locally calcareous, altered quartzite and argillaceous quartzite, greywacke, limestone and locally micaceous quartzite and calcareous biotite schist. The minor volcanics are described as mainly altered andesitic and basaltic flows.
Granite and granodiorite of the Middle Jurassic Nelson intrusions have intruded the Anarchist Group to the west and south as small stocks and plugs. Along the contacts of these intrusions the Anarchist rocks have been deformed and hydrothermally altered. Younger dikes of felsic and mafic composition intrude both stratified and granitic rocks and may have been associated with faults related to these granitic intrusions. Eocene Penticton Group volcanic and sedimentary rocks overlie locally sheared amphibolite and serpentinite bodies to the east. For a more detailed description of the geology of the area refer to the Cariboo-Amelia (082ESW020).
Mineralization on the property is confined to four or more bluish quartz veins, varying in attitude and size. Minerals within the veins include galena, sphalerite, pyrite and pyrrhotite. Free gold is associated with galena. The veins are hosted mainly by argillaceous quartzite and lesser calcareous greenstone. Feldspar porphyry dikes are reported halfway between the two main workings on the claim. The relationship between the dikes and veins, however, is unknown.
Development on the Gold Hill No. 4 claim consisted of two adits. The first adit was an 18-metre shaft at 1463 metres elevation with 4.5 to 6.1 metres crosscutting from the bottom. The shaft is sunk 15 to 18 metres deep on a 2.1-metre wide quartz vein striking 120 degrees and dipping 55 degrees southwest. On surface the vein is 1.8 metres wide and is traceable for over 305 metres. A crosscut driven south from the bottom of the shaft intersected three quartz veins of a different structure from the main vein. Mineralization consists of pyrite occurring in small bunches and along fractures in bluish quartz of similar character to the Cariboo-Amelia (082ESW020). The vein is well jointed parallel to the strike and dip of the host sheared quartzites.
Another adit was encountered to the north of the main Gold Hill adit. This adit was driven 40 metres with an average trend of 333 degrees. The adit was exploratory. No vein material or mineralization is reported. About 183 metres southeast along the strike of the Gold Hill vein and 45 metres lower in elevation the second 104-metre adit has been sunk on a quartz vein. At the adit entrance the vein is 1.5 metres wide, strikes 310 degrees and dips 60 to 85 degrees northeast. It consists of white to bluish chalcedonic quartz with scant mineralization. With depth the vein continually narrows, eventually pinching out at 18.0 metres. Pyrite, galena and sphalerite comprise mineralization; some short sections of quartz vein up to 25 centimetres wide with sheared host rock occur. The innermost 40 metres of the adit follows a slip that strikes 302 degrees and dips 70 degrees northeast. In the footwall of this slip there is a narrow and discontinuous quartz stringer.
The Dolphin showing is claimed to consist of three veins: (1) a 46 to 240 centimetre wide quartz vein striking 060 degrees was intersected in the Dolphin adit, (2) to the west, a band of mineralized quartzite explored by an 18-metre tunnel in quartzose schists and (3) near the western boundary, a 91 to 150 centimetre wide quartz vein striking 290 degrees and traceable on surface for 304 metres. Pyrite and galena comprise mineralization of the first vein.
One hundred and fifty-two metres east of the Dolphin adit and 53-metres southwest of the north neighbouring Edward VII claim, are a series of pits and opencuts which explore a 61 metre length of quartz vein striking 075 degrees and dipping 75 degrees south. The vein is as narrow as 22 centimetres and is hosted in the footwall of a 50 to 90 centimetre wide shear zone. In this vicinity mineralization consists of shattered pyrite masses veined with quartz.
Production records indicate that the Gold Hill occurrence produced 110 tonnes of ore in 1932 and 1935 with the recovery of 529 grams of silver, 435 grams of gold, 111 kilograms of lead and 96 kilograms of zinc. The work was done by Camp McKinney Gold Hill Mining Co. Ltd. and J. Carmichael.