BC Sessional Papers

Lode Metals British Columbia. Legislative Assembly 1963

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 Lode Metals
.            3
General Review.—         ..   	
Notes on Metal Mines
Tootsee River      -    ~    	
Cassiar                          ..        -
Iskut River             _
Unuk River.   	
Portland Canal	
Alice Arm      	
Observatory Inlet    __ 	
Queen Charlotte Islands            ...
..    11
Smithers          _
Endako  _ 	
Cariboo       —_          ..      .
Lac la Hache      	
Taseko Lake    ...   .     	
Anderson Lake	
Lillooet River    ..
Spences Bridge	
Highland Valley	
Abbott Lake      ..    .....
Merritt                    .    .
...            .....         31
Aspen Grove        	
_.__._   .      46
North Thompson	
Skwaam (Agate) Bay      _   .
..                      .    53
Similkameen River	
Hedley.       .
Fairview Camp  	
         ..    . .    61
Anarchist Mountain        ... .
...   ....    61
Camp McKinney     	
Notes on Metal Mines—Continued Pagb
Phoenix  65
Rossland  65
Trail  66
Nelson  66
Ymir  67
Salmo  68
Nelway  71
North Kootenay Lake  72
Woodbury Creek  74
Kaslo  74
Retallack-Three Forks  75
Sandon  76
Slocan Lake  77
Springer Creek  78
Nakusp  79
North Lardeau  79
South Lardeau  79
Creston  80
Kimberley  80
St. Mary River  82
Windermere  82
Spillimacheen  83
Ruddock Creek  84
Revelstoke  84
Skagit River  85
Hope  86
Harrison Lake  88
Howe Sound  89
Sechelt Peninsula  89
Powell Lake  90
Bute Inlet  90
Loughborough Inlet  90
Texada Island  90
Quadra Island  91
Vancouver Island  91
Reports on Geological, Geophysical, and Geochemical Work  114
Compared to 1960 the average Canadian prices paid in 1961 for gold and
silver were up, and those for copper, lead, and zinc were down. The change in
parity between the Canadian and United States dollar, brought about in the middle
of the year, created a premium on the United States metal prices for the first time
in ten years. The 1961 Canadian average price for gold consequently increased—
$1.50 per ounce above that of 1960. The Canadian price for silver remained close
to the fixed New York price of 91.375 cents per ounce until the end of 1961, when
the price increased to $1.09, a price not equalled since 1919. The Canadian
average prices for copper, lead, and zinc fell a substantial fraction of a cent each,
compared to 1960, resulting in the lowest average price for lead since 1946. The
decreases in base-metal prices would have been greater had it not been for the
revaluation of the dollar.
Gold, silver, copper, lead, and zinc produced at British Columbia lode mines
in 1961 had a value of $109,325,484. Miscellaneous metals, including iron ore,
nickel, tin, and minor metals recovered at the Trail smelter, had a value of
$18,651,608. The total quantity of ore mined at all lode mines amounted to
8,392,161 tons and came from fifty-nine mines, of which thirty-nine produced 100
tons or more. The average number employed in the lode-mining industry in 1961,
including mines, concentrators, and smelters, was 7,111.
In 1961 twenty-three mills were operated—fifteen of them throughout the
year. Of the other eight mills, that at the Empire mine was a seasonal operation,
five operated intermittently, one closed, and one operated for the first time. The
Craigmont mill opened September 15th with a production capacity of 4,000 tons
per day, a capacity that has subsequently been increased. Five small mills operated
intermittently, and the French mill closed after a life of five years. Three small
mills accepted custom ore, as did one large one, the Britannia mill. Five mills were
being built at the end of the year—three for iron ore and two for copper ore.
The Trail smelter recorded custom receipts of 13,957 tons of ore from eighteen
properties, of which 98 per cent was from seven properties shipping siliceous ore.
The smelter also recorded custom receipts of 2,799 tons of lead concentrates and
47,138 tons of zinc concentrates. Totals of approximately 32,691 tons of lead
concentrates and approximately 31,364 tons of zinc concentrates were shipped out
of the Province for smelting. Copper concentrates were shipped to the Tacoma
smelter, except for part of the Craigmont production, the copper concentrates
recovered by Texada Mines Ltd., and the copper contained in bulk nickel concentrates from Giant Nickel Mines Limited, all of which went to Japan. All iron-ore
concentrates, amounting to 1,264,017 tons, were shipped to Japan.
Lode-gold production was down about 22 per cent from 1960 and was at the
lowest figure in fifteen years. This was due in large part to closure of the Pioneer
mine in 1960 and of the French mine in 1961, but it was also due to a minor drop
in production from Bralorne and a drop in the 1961 gold production from Britannia
and the copper mines at Greenwood. A new 600-ton cyanide mill was built at
Bralorne to replace the combined gravity and flotation mill that had been in operation for many years. Closure of the Fairview mine at Oliver, long a source of silica
flux at the Trail smelter, encouraged the shipment of siliceous gold ores, but smelter
requirements of silica in excess of custom ore shipments was met by recovery of
the dumps of the Queen mine at Sheep Creek.
The French mine at Hedley closed on May 21st, due to depletion of the ore-
bodies. In its first period of operation from 1950 to 1955 the mine produced
32,463 tons containing 25,284 ounces gold; in its second period, with a mill, from
1957 to 1961 it produced 53,085 tons containing 26,429 ounces gold. The ore
is gold-bearing skarn.
There was no change in the production of silver; the change in price came too
late in the year to affect output or development to any marked extent. Except for
very minor quantities of ore, the Highland-Bell continued to be the only operating
silver mine in the Province.
The position of copper improved greatly with the coming into production of
the Craigmont mine. Opened officially on September 15th, the mill by the end of
1961 was operating at more than its rated capacity of 4,000 tons of ore daily. This
is the first major mine in British Columbia that was found solely as a result of
geochemical and geophysical investigation of ground that was very largely covered
by overburden and also by a younger formation. The Britannia mine, after going
through a critical period in 1957-58, has reaffirmed its position as a mine and not
merely a salvage operation. Effort is being made to revise the geological maps and
to investigate the ore possibilities of many parts of the mine. With excess mill
capacity, Britannia has accepted custom ore, a fact of advantage in the development
of some copper deposits in the general region.
The active exploration for copper in southern British Columbia has begun to
pay off. Serious investigation of the Bethlehem property started in 1955 and at
once led to surface activity that spread far and wide. The Craigmont ore zone first
became known in 1957 and focused attention on the general Promontory Hills area.
In 1961 Bethlehem began to prepare its open pit for production to start about a
year later than Craigmont. In seven years a great deal of money has been spent,
and it has been demonstrated that exploration for hidden ore zones can be an expensive business. Much ground has been gone over by surveys of one sort or another
more than once, and it is plain that better geological knowledge of ore occurrence
is sorely needed.
Activity continued on the Granduc property, as well as on new and relatively
new showings in the general Unuk River area, and more work is planned for 1962.
East of the Stikine River, attention was attracted to Galore Creek, where extensive
surface investigations were carried out on copper showings and diamond drilling
was started. A great many claims are held in the general Unuk-Stikine area, and
it is evident that copper mineralization, of types associated with porphyry and with
skarn, is quite widely distributed.
Lead production was at the highest level since 1943, at a time when the price
was the lowest in fifteen years. Zinc production was down, being 9 per cent below
the average of the past five years. In August the United States Government contracted to purchase from The Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company of
Canada, Limited, 55,000 tons of lead, using funds generated from disposal of surplus agricultural products.   About half this amount was shipped in 1961.
The Reeves MacDonald mine established a new low level at an elevation of
420 feet. The main lead-zinc orebody has been demonstrated to have had, before
faulting, a plunge length of more than 5,000 feet.
Exploration for lead and zinc continued along the general course of the
Kootenay arc, and a discovery was made west of the Columbia River near Gordon
Home Peak.
For the second successive year the export of magnetic iron concentrates to
Japan passed the million-ton mark, from three producing mines. Iron ore is
already fourth in value of production of metallic products, with three more magnetic
concentrators under construction and diamond drilling being done on at least two
other deposits. What appeared for some years to be a relatively minor commodity
has become one of the most important products of the mining industry.
Of the less common metals, mol