Pyromorphite (November 16th, 2015)

pyromorphite (November 16th, 2015)

It is Mineral Monday again, and this week Below BC brings you this beautiful piece of rock covered in Pyromorphite crystals!

Pyromorphite is a relatively common mineral found in area where there is lots of lead. It is what is known as a ‘secondary mineral’, meaning that when it is exposed to the atmosphere, it oxidizes and changes its structure – the same process as iron turning to rust. As it morphs, it will incorporate other elements into its matrix, thus changing its look and colour. Where the lead content is high enough, Pyromorphite can be mined.

This specimen is from the Society Girl Mine in Moyie, south east of Cranbrook in British Columbia. Moyie is very rich in mining history with the discovery of a large deposit of galena and the establishment of St. Eugene Mine in the late 1800’s. The town prospered and was the largest in the region until the mine shut down in 1911.

The Society Girl Mine was originally staked by a Father P.N.J. de Coccola on the 25th June, 1893. He had originally arrived in the area to take over management of the St. Eugene Mission. This was a time when American prospectors were moving through the area as part of a great ‘gold rush’, and Coccola, being familiar with rocks, asked members of his Ktunaxa First Nations flock to be on the look out for minerals in the area that could bring prosperity to the otherwise poor community. Alas they were reluctant prospectors, afraid that they would attract more ‘Whites’ into the area to take from their lands.

In 1892, on nearby Mark Creek some particularly promising ore claims were staked, Father Coccola redoubled his efforts, exhorting his charges to find the chikamin he desired. His persistence finally paid off in the spring of 1893 when one of his young parishioners, “Pielle” Tête de Fer, dumped a sackful of likely stones on Coccola’s desk. Sent to Spokane for analysis, a sample was found to contain wonderful percentages of lead generously gifted with silver. This led to Coccola staking the ground in 1893.

A developer from Spokane offered $12,000 for the claims, banking that the discovery would attract a railroad into the area, thus increasing his profits, and both Coccola and Pielle took the deal. The area saw a spike in mining activity, with stockpiles made by the lakes which were then shipped by rail to Montana for processing at smelting plants to recover the lead and silver.

You can read more about the history of Moyie here:

Specimen Information

Store: Pacific Museum of the Earth, University of British Columbia
Collection: UBC Geological Museum Collection
Accession #: 6741
Primary Mineral: Pyromorphite
Secondary Mineral:n/a
Site Locality: Society Girl Mine
Location: Moyie, 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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