Silver (December 7th, 2015)

This specimen was collected from the Highland Lass Mine in Beaverdell, British Columbia. The mineralisation in the area was first discovered in 1897, 25km east of Penticton. Soon, prospectors arrived and set up that camps that eventually became the town of Beaverdell, and several mines were established, including the Lass, Wellington, Sally and The Bell.

The whole mineral system is very long – 3km or so, but only about 800m wide. The thickest silver veins are about 15cm wide, running with quartz and other minerals. Alas the ground is so broken up by faults, the individual veins only run a short distance before ending abruptly, making this a challenging mining environment, although the richness of the veins made miners persevere!

The Highland Lass mine was established in 1922, but was amalgamated with the neighbouring Bell mine in 1936, and the name was changed to the Highland Bell mine. This specimen was labelled as coming form the Highland Lass mine, so we can assume that it was collected prior to the 1930’s.

In the 1940’s, gold was found in a section of mine, and the mines were taken over again, eventually becoming one of Teck’s properties in the 1970’s. The mine continued production until it was closed in 1991.

From its heyday between 1922 and 1936, the mine produced 30,925,029 grams silver, 5940 grams gold, 313,371 kilograms lead and 487,528 kilograms zinc. (After this period, records were incorporated with the Bell mine and so it is not clear what the individual recovery was).

Specimen Information

Store: Pacific Museum of the Earth, University of British Columbia
Collection: UBC Geological and Mineral Collection
Accession #: 6846
Primary Mineral: Barite
Secondary Mineral: Fluorite
Site Locality: Rock Candy Mine
Location: Grand Forks, British Columbia
Special Features: n/a