Mineral Creek Mines near Port Alberni BC
Part 2 of three shows we did on Vancouver island. To get to the historic abandoned mines we travel 2 KM through a modern mine tunnel.
A 2-kilometre exploration tunnel was completed in March 1989. The tunnel was constructed to allow access to the Mineral Creek and Linda zones and for use as a drilling platform. The highest assay as a result of 1988 drilling in the tunnel on the Mineral Creek zone was 19.78 grams per tonne gold (Assessment Report 18936). Anomalous gold values were found to be associated with quartz veins in argillaceous cherts and visible gold was observed.
The three main gold-bearing quartz veins that were developed from the old workings are, from west to east, the Mac (called the Dunsmuir to the north), the Belcher and the Waterfall. The veins follow well-developed shear zones on the east side of Mineral Creek. They are lens-shaped and consist of two generations of quartz. Pyrite, arsenopyrite and minor sphalerite are disseminated in the veins and free gold has also been reported.
The Mac vein, the main working, was traced for 75 metres by several opencuts and two adits. The vein averages 0.14 metre in width, ranging from 0.07 to 0.45 metre. The vein strikes northeast in the south part and north in the north part, dipping between 40 to 55 degrees. Sixty three samples taken over the length of the vein averaged 126.5 grams per tonne gold over 15 centimetres (Assessment Report 14483).
The Belcher vein is exposed in several opencuts and one adit over 290 metres. It strikes north, dips 40 to 45 degrees and is up to 1.2 metres wide, averaging 0.20 metres. Sampling in 1973 resulted in assays from 0.1 to 9.95 grams per tonne gold and from 2.1 to 3.4 grams per tonnes silver over 1.5 metre lengths (Assessment Report 14483).
The Waterfall vein is exposed by a few trenches over 35 metres, strikes north and dips about 65 degrees east. Widths range from 0.08 to 0.75 metre. Sample values were generally low except for one which assayed 404 grams per tonne gold over 0.15 metres (Assessment
Inferred and indicated geological reserves in three zones are 471,956 tonnes grading 6.23 grams per tonne gold (Westmin Resources Ltd. 1990 Annual Report).
From 2006 through 2008, Bitterroot Resources Ltd. drilled 60 holes in the Linda area, most targeted to test the Linda Zone (Ember Vein). The vein’s thickness ranges from a few centimetres to 1.3 metres and in places it splits into two or three veins. The gold grades vary from trace up to 467.0 grams per tonne gold and the highest grades are often accompanied by visible gold grains. One of the better intercepts, from MC2009-E57, returned a 4.4 metre wide vein/breccia interval of the Ember Zone averaging 75.35 grams per tonne gold, however, this grade was enhanced by two relatively narrow intervals of 0.4 metre and 0.6 metre that both assayed greater than 200 grams per tonne gold (Assessment Report 32204).
During drilling of the Ember vein another quartz vein (HW Zone) was intersected, approximately 30 metres in the hanging wall, averaging approximately 0.5 metre in thickness. An intersection of the HW vein in hole MC2009-E53 returned a 0.55 metre interval grading 137.5 grams per tonne gold and was noted to contain local visible gold. Another interval, possibly from the HW vein, returned high-grade silver mineralization, up to 1,170 grams per tonne silver over 0.15 metre, in hole MC2009-E35 (Assessment Report 32204).