Galena (November 9th, 2015)

Today we have Galena (PbS), a common lead sulphide mineral that is the main ore mineral of lead itself. It forms in hydrothermal systems where heat and fluids allow the crystals to grow in fractures. These environments are rich in other elements too, and as such galena is also an important source of silver, often containing between 1-2% silver in its matrix.

What makes this particular specimen interesting is not only its well formed crystals, but its location. It is from the ‘ViolaMac’ Mine in Sandon, now a ghost town in the Kootenay region of British Columbia. The mine is named after Viola Huggard MacMillan, or “Queen Bee” as she became known. She was a pioneer in so many senses of the word, working with her husband to stake so many of the famous deposits across Canada. Most of all though, she was a female in a ‘mans world’, becoming a full time prospector in 1929.

Viola and her husband, George, became members of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) in 1933, with George becoming President from 1941 to 1943. Then, in 1944, Viola was voted President, becoming the first woman to hold the position. When she started, PDAC had 77 members, but through her tireless lobbying and work efforts, that grew to over 1,700 through the next 20 years.
Her post-war story continued, as well as being pivotal in setting up the Emergency Gold Measures Act, a law to avert collapse of gold mining in Canada.

As the Toronto Stock Exchange fired up, the couples accumulated wealth was called into question, eventually resulting in George being accused of fraud. Both he and Viola were to be sent to jail, but after years of fighting, the charges were dropped, mainly because the TSE had not halted the trading despite seeing the issues. She was pardoned 11 years later by the Canadian Government, but sadly George died two weeks before the pardon came through.

MacMillan donated $1.25 million to Ottawa’s Museum of Nature in 1989 toward the acquisition of the William Pinch mineral collection. The collection is “a spectacular assembly of 16,000 mineral specimens considered among the top five of its kind in the world,” stated Virginia Heffernan in the Afterword of MacMillan’s autobiography. “In recognition of her generous donation, the museum named the collection the Viola MacMillan Mineral Gallery.

Viola Huggard McMillion was inducted into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame in 1991, two years before passing away aged 90 years.

Specimen Information

Store: Pacific Museum of the Earth, University of British Columbia
Collection: Sutton-Thompson Collection
Accession #: S-74-1051
Primary Mineral: Galena
Secondary Mineral: Chalcopyrite, Calcite, Quartz
Site Locality: ViolaMac Mine
Location: Sandon, British Columbia
Special Features: n/a

The BC Minerals Projects

Massive Sulphide (MoM-008)

Massive Sulphide (MoM-008)

Scoria (MoM-009)

Scoria (MoM-009)

Rhyolite Expansion Breccia (MoM-007)

Rhyolite Expansion Breccia (MoM-007)

Cinnibar (MoM-006)

Cinnibar (MoM-006)

Hanging Wall Andesite (MoM-005)

Hanging Wall Andesite (MoM-005)

Core (MoM-004)

Core (MoM-004)

Veined Sulphide (MoM-003)

Veined Sulphide (MoM-003)

Bedded Sulphide (MoM-002)

Bedded Sulphide (MoM-002)

Clastic Sulphide (MoM-001)

Clastic Sulphide (MoM-001)

Iniskinites (SEG)

Iniskinites (SEG)

Altered Volcanic Sandstone / Mudstone (A2-03)

Altered Volcanic Sandstone / Mudstone (A2-03)

Coal (B1-04)

Coal (B1-04)

Semi-Massive Sulphide (D2-05)

Semi-Massive Sulphide (D2-05)

Bladed Feldspar Porphyry (V6-05)

Bladed Feldspar Porphyry (V6-05)

Volcanic Sandstone (V5-01)

Volcanic Sandstone (V5-01)

Quartz-Kaolin Sandstone (V2-18a)

Quartz-Kaolin Sandstone (V2-18a)

Rhyolite Breccia (V2-16a)

Rhyolite Breccia (V2-16a)

Ash Flow – Lahar (V2-14a)

Ash Flow – Lahar (V2-14a)

Tuffaceous Mudstone (V2-10a)

Tuffaceous Mudstone (V2-10a)

Rhyolite Lapilli Tuff (V2-8a)

Rhyolite Lapilli Tuff (V2-8a)

Rhyolite Lapilli Tuff (V2-06a)

Rhyolite Lapilli Tuff (V2-06a)

Flow Banded Rhyolite Tuff (V1-08f)

Flow Banded Rhyolite Tuff (V1-08f)

Sandstone (S21-18)

Sandstone (S21-18)

Conglomerate (S21-11)

Conglomerate (S21-11)

Sandstone (S21-01)

Sandstone (S21-01)

Tuffaceous Argillite (S5-10)

Tuffaceous Argillite (S5-10)

Amygdaloidal Basalt Flow (S5-04)

Amygdaloidal Basalt Flow (S5-04)

Sanidine Porphyry Trachyte (S4-03)

Sanidine Porphyry Trachyte (S4-03)

Monotis (SEG)

Monotis (SEG)

Garnet-Staurolite-Muscovite Schist (M1-14)

Garnet-Staurolite-Muscovite Schist (M1-14)

Pyrite-Galena-Calcite Vein(D34-13)

Pyrite-Galena-Calcite Vein(D34-13)

Pyrite-Chalcopyrite-Quartz Vein (D34-19)

Pyrite-Chalcopyrite-Quartz Vein (D34-19)

Siltstone breccia veined by sulphides (D32-04)

Siltstone breccia veined by sulphides (D32-04)

Massive Sulphide ore breccia (D17-07)

Massive Sulphide ore breccia (D17-07)

Siderite cemented breccia (D17-01)

Siderite cemented breccia (D17-01)

Weather Massive Chalcopyrite (D14-13)

Weather Massive Chalcopyrite (D14-13)

Felsic instrusion, brecciated and altered (D4-02)

Felsic instrusion, brecciated and altered (D4-02)

Quartz Sulphide Vein (D2-08)

Quartz Sulphide Vein (D2-08)

Massive Galena (D9-09)

Massive Galena (D9-09)

Chalcopyrite Vein (D14-06)

Chalcopyrite Vein (D14-06)

Andesite/Mercury(Hg) Ore (D1-01)

Andesite/Mercury(Hg) Ore (D1-01)

Quartz Sulphide Vein (D9-05)

Quartz Sulphide Vein (D9-05)

Chloritized Andesite (D5-13)

Chloritized Andesite (D5-13)

Dacite Breccia Sulphide Matrix (D2-06)

Dacite Breccia Sulphide Matrix (D2-06)

Andesite with Gypsum Vein (D1-07)

Andesite with Gypsum Vein (D1-07)

Granodiorite (SEG D1-04)

Granodiorite (SEG D1-04)

Andesite/Mercury(Hg) Ore (SEG D1-02)

Andesite/Mercury(Hg) Ore (SEG D1-02)

Conglomerate (SEG B1-01)

Conglomerate (SEG B1-01)

Fern Fossil (SEG 17LF037)

Fern Fossil (SEG 17LF037)

AME 133 Argentite, Galena, Quartz & Sphalerite

AME 133 Argentite, Galena, Quartz & Sphalerite

AME 93 Scheelite

AME 93 Scheelite

AME 641 Calcite, Chalcopyrite, Quartz Crystals

AME 641 Calcite, Chalcopyrite, Quartz Crystals

AME 582 Gypsum

AME 582 Gypsum

AME 580 Barite

AME 580 Barite

AME 546 Galena, Polybasite, Pyrite & Quartz

AME 546 Galena, Polybasite, Pyrite & Quartz

AME 509 Galena, Quartz, Tetrahedrite

AME 509 Galena, Quartz, Tetrahedrite

AME 483 Malachite (stain), Quartz, Tetrahedrite, Gold

AME 483 Malachite (stain), Quartz, Tetrahedrite, Gold

AME 452 Barite & Tetrahedrite

AME 452 Barite & Tetrahedrite

AME 298 Argentiferous Galena, Chalcopyrite, Gold, Pyrite, Pyrrhotite, Quartz

AME 298 Argentiferous Galena, Chalcopyrite, Gold, Pyrite, Pyrrhotite, Quartz

AME 199 Kyanite

AME 199 Kyanite

AME 106 Arsenopyrite, Gold & Quartz

AME 106 Arsenopyrite, Gold & Quartz

AME 439 Galena, Quartz, Sphalerite, Tetrahedrite

AME 439 Galena, Quartz, Sphalerite, Tetrahedrite

AME 435 Chalcopyrite & Quartz

AME 435 Chalcopyrite & Quartz

AME 194 Helvite

AME 194 Helvite

AME 250 Chalcopyrite, Galena, Pyrite, Quartz & Tetrahedrite

AME 250 Chalcopyrite, Galena, Pyrite, Quartz & Tetrahedrite

AME 158 Chalcopyrite, Pyrrhotite, Sphalerite

AME 158 Chalcopyrite, Pyrrhotite, Sphalerite

AME 148 Galena, Pyrite, Quartz, Scheelite & Sphalerite

AME 148 Galena, Pyrite, Quartz, Scheelite & Sphalerite

AME 143 Cinnabar & Quartz

AME 143 Cinnabar & Quartz

AME 118 Chromite

AME 118 Chromite

AME 87 Galena, Sphalerite, Chalcopyrite, & Pyrite

AME 87 Galena, Sphalerite, Chalcopyrite, & Pyrite

AME 66 Chalcopyrite

AME 66 Chalcopyrite

AME 42 Allemontite

AME 42 Allemontite

AME 21b Bornite

AME 21b Bornite

AME 21 Bornite

AME 21 Bornite

AME 8 Calcite

AME 8 Calcite

PME/IC 106 Gneiss

PME/IC 106 Gneiss

PME 22551 Kyanite

PME 22551 Kyanite

PME 6700 Molybdenite

PME 6700 Molybdenite

PME 6832 Gold

PME 6832 Gold

PME 215 Sphalerite

PME 215 Sphalerite

AME 997 Chalcopyrite & Pyrite

AME 997 Chalcopyrite & Pyrite

AME 994 Bornite & Stromeyerite

AME 994 Bornite & Stromeyerite

AME 991 Chalcopyrite, Molybdenite, Pyrite & Quartz

AME 991 Chalcopyrite, Molybdenite, Pyrite & Quartz

AME 980 Dolomite

AME 980 Dolomite

AME 961 Pyrite, Quartz & Sphalerite

AME 961 Pyrite, Quartz & Sphalerite

AME 941 Iron, Silver, Zinc & Lead

AME 941 Iron, Silver, Zinc & Lead

AME 930 Marble

AME 930 Marble

AME 918s Fossil Sequoia Leaf

AME 918s Fossil Sequoia Leaf

AME 656 Quartz & Pyrite

AME 656 Quartz & Pyrite

AME 555 Gold (Native) & Quartz

AME 555 Gold (Native) & Quartz

AME 506 Barite, Galena, Pyrite, Quartz, Rhodochrosite & Sphalerite

AME 506 Barite, Galena, Pyrite, Quartz, Rhodochrosite & Sphalerite

AME 502 Arsenopyrite, Dolomite, Gold & Quartz

AME 502 Arsenopyrite, Dolomite, Gold & Quartz

AME 486 Argentiferous Galena, Quartz, Sheelite & Sphalerite

AME 486 Argentiferous Galena, Quartz, Sheelite & Sphalerite

AME 482 Calcite, Chalcopyrite & Sphalerite

AME 482 Calcite, Chalcopyrite & Sphalerite

AME 446 Apatite, Orthoclase and Quartz

AME 446 Apatite, Orthoclase and Quartz

AME 417 Fossil Fern

AME 417 Fossil Fern

AME 161 Arsenopyrite, Gold & Pyrite

AME 161 Arsenopyrite, Gold & Pyrite

AME 918f Mayflies

AME 918f Mayflies

PME S74-1068 Galena

PME S74-1068 Galena

PME 1038 Galena

PME 1038 Galena

PME 983 Bornite & Chalcopyrite

PME 983 Bornite & Chalcopyrite

Tetrahedrite

Tetrahedrite

Stibnite

Stibnite

Sphalerite

Sphalerite

Sodalite

Sodalite

Silver

Silver

Pyromorphite

Pyromorphite

Molybdenite

Molybdenite

Gold

Gold

Galena

Galena

Barite

Barite

Antimony

Antimony

Chalcopyrite

Chalcopyrite

Aragonite

Aragonite

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