UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Mineralogy and computer-orientated study of mineral deposits in Slocan City Camp, Nelson Mining Division, British Columbia. Orr, John Frederick Walter


Slocan City mineral deposits are "dry" fissure types (Cairnes, 1934, p.114) consisting of high grade silver veins in quartz, with minor amounts of lead and zinc. These veins, almost all in Nelson plutonic rocks, occur in an area of approximately 100 square miles along the eastern margin of Slocan Lake. Mineralogical analysis revealed a definite concentric zoning in the camp; a pyrite halo with high gold values surrounds a core of galena and sphalerite with high silver values. The most commonly occurring minerals in order of deposition are: pyrite, sphalerite, chalcopyrite, gold, tetrahedrite, galena, silver, ruby silvers, and argentite. Quartz is the dominant gangue mineral, with small amounts of calcite, siderite, barite, and fluorite generally concentrated in the central zone. Publically available production data for 73 mineral deposits, and geological and mineralogical data obtained from field and laboratory studies,were organized in a computer-processible data file. Methods used to investigate the usefulness of such a file for both academic and practical purposes include: computer generated plots and contour maps, correlation studies, trend surface analysis, multiple regression, and chi square analysis. Computer contour plots and trend surface analysis were rapid means of analyzing lateral zoning of average metal grades and ratios. Patterns obtained substantiated the mineral zoning which was based on data from appreciably fewer mineral deposits. Multiple stepwise regression showed that value of a deposit (estimated by total production in tons) is dependent on average grades of lead and zinc, and volume percentage total sulphides. Consequently, the tonnage potential of a prospect might be predictable within specified limits from a single bulk sample and a brief geological examination. Chi square analysis showed that relatively large deposits are characterized by a more-or-less northeasterly strike and the presence of small amounts of barite and carbonate gangue. The ease and rapidity with which proven statistical techniques can be applied to the mass of informal ion in a computer-processible data file gives great scope and practicality to the concept.

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