The Wellington (Lot 2621) past producer is located 3.25 kilometres west of the summit of Mount Wallace and 1.25 kilometres south-southeast of Beaverdell, British Columbia (Geology 1975, Figure G-17; Minister of Mines Annual Report 1949, page A144).
Initial prospecting began in the Beaverdell area in the late 1880s. The first ore was shipped in 1896. The major producing mines in the Beaverdell silver-lead-zinc vein camp, from west to east, were the Wellington (082ESW072), Sally and Rob Roy (082ESW073), Beaver (082ESW040) and Bell (082ESW030), with numerous other small workings throughout the area. The Wellington occurrence was first discovered and actively developed by 1901. Past development consisted of substantial underground workings. At depth, the Wellington mine is connected to the Sally mine.
Granodiorite of the Westkettle batholith underlies most of the area. It has been intruded by small quartz monzonite porphyry stocks including the Beaverdell, Tuzo Creek, Eugene Creek and Carmi stocks. Other granitic porphyry stocks that intrude the Westkettle batholith are the Beaverdell porphyry. These have been dated by potassium- argon methods as Eocene (Watson, P.H. (1981): Genesis and zoning of silver-gold veins in the Beaverdell area, south-central British Columbia; Leary, G.M. (1970): Petrology and structure of the Tuzo Creek molybdenite prospect near Penticton, British Columbia and Exploration in British Columbia 1995, pages 124-126. The Westkettle batholith has been correlated with the Nelson intrusions that has been dated by potassium-argon and uranium-lead methods as Middle Jurassic. The Westkettle batholith contains remnants of pendants and/or screens of metamorphosed Wallace Formation. The Wallace Formation is believed to be correlative with the upper sections of the Carboniferous to Permian Anarchist Group. Lithologies include metamorphosed andesitic tuffs and lavas, hornblende diorite porphyries, olivine gabbro and hornblendite, hornfels and minor limestone. The contact between the Wallace Formation and the Westkettle batholith is sinuous, trending north with gentle east dips. These are unconformably overlain by Oligocene tuffs and conglomerates and Miocene plateau basalts. Westkettle granodiorite or Beaverdell quartz monzonite are the dominant hostrocks. Mineralization rarely extends into the Wallace Formation to the east.
A series of dikes, ranging in composition from quartz latite and quartz monzonite porphyries to hornblende andesite porphyries, are found throughout the area. In the Beaverdell camp, fine-grained, brown andesite dikes, referred to as Wellington-type dikes, are believed to be pre-mineralization. One of these was dated by potassium-argon methods at 61.6 +/- 2.2 Ma (Watson, P.H., 1981). Quartz latite dikes are referred to as Idaho-type dikes and thought to be syn or post-mineralization. One of these has given a potassium-argon age of 50.6 +/- 1.5 Ma (Watson, P.H., 1981).
Beaverdell silver-rich veins are found in a 3.0 by 0.8 kilometre belt, referred to as the Beaverdell silver-lead-zinc vein camp. Five distinctly separate quartz vein systems are arranged roughly en echelon in this structural zone. The west-half contains the Wellington (Lot 2621), Sally (082ESW075, Lot 2092) and Rob Roy (Lot 2093, also part of Sally) systems which all strike east and dip from 70 degrees south to vertical. The Wellington and Sally each comprise two separate veins and the Rob Roy three. In the central part of the zone, the Bell (082ESW030, Lot 2343) comprises two veins which strike east to northeast and dip south to southeast. The eastern part of the zone contains the upper and lower sections of the Lass (082ESW133) and Highland Lass (Lot 2341, also part of the Bell) vein which strikes northeast and dips 50 degrees southeast. In general, quartz breccia veins and stockworks are so complex that continuous mineralized sections are a maximum of a few metres before being faulted or disrupted. Nevertheless, some mineralized zones have been found that extend up to 150 metres horizontally. Faults have been classified into five types based on their orientation, with each type having common orientation, kind of movement and age relationship: (1) high angle, north striking normal faults, (2) low angle, north trending strike-slip faults, (3) northeast striking, high angle normal faults (terminal faults), (4) northeast-trending 'slice' faults and (5) crossfaults. The northeast striking, high angle normal faults pose the greatest obstacle to systematic exploration and mining, as these faults are commonly spaced a few metres apart dividing veins into short segments in a northwest-downward direction.
Vein-type mineralization of the Beaverdell camp is characterized by a high silver content. Mineralization is composed of galena, sphalerite and pyrite with lesser amounts of arsenopyrite, tetrahedrite, pyrargyrite, chalcopyrite, polybasite, acanthite, native silver and pyrrhotite. The gangue minerals in veins are mainly quartz with lesser amounts of calcite, fluorite and sericite with rare barite. 'Ore ground' has been described as propylitic altered granodiorite, quartz diorite and quartz monzonite of the Westkettle batholith, up to 15 metres wide. These zones are characterized by sericite, clay minerals, chlorite, calcite, epidote and hematite. The fault-bound veins commonly have a banded texture defined by outer, crudely parallel sulphide stringers. The wallrocks are brecciated and sheared over 30 to 150 centimetres width adjacent to veins. Weak sericite alteration of feldspars is pervasive in the Westkettle batholith.
The interpretation of galena lead-lead isotope age data coupled with geometrical and age relationships between dikes and veins suggests mineralization was formed around 50 Ma, coeval with Eocene stocks (Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, Vol. 19, No. 6, pages 1264-1274, 1982).
The Wellington mine (Lot 2621) adjoins the Sally mine on the west. Mineralized quartz veins occur in east striking, moderate to steep south-dipping faults in Westkettle granodiorite. The quartz fissure-veins vary from 20 to 75 centimetres in width with propylitic alteration extending up to 8 metres in the wallrock. Thin section studies show amphiboles almost entirely converted to chlorite and feldspar replaced by clay and calcite. A pre-mineralization andesite (Wellington-type) dike parallels as well as displaces the veins up to 76 centimetres and is in places invaded and mineralized by them. The dike is absent below the No. 4 level. The Wellington- type dike also cut older, pink aplite dikes which occur discontinuously. Augite porphyritic dikes (similar to Idaho-type), are the youngest and cut Wellington-type dikes.
Three quartz veins within 36 metres from each other have been mined in the past. These are the Wellington, Broach and Air Receiver veins. The Broach and Air Receiver veins appear to be terminated by faults and most ore was mined from these veins at ore near the No. 5 level. The Air Receiver vein is cut off by faults at the east and west ends. Drag ore in these faults indicates left-lateral displacement of the ore but attempts to locate the faulted extensions were unsuccessful. The Broach vein strikes 090 degrees and dips steeply south. It has a pronounced west rake due to strike-slip transverse faults. Minute veinlets carry mineralization in the upper fault zone. An augite porphyry dike, similar to nearby Idaho-type dikes, occupies the lower fault zone. Figure 15 in the Minister of Mines Annual Report 1949, page A144 show the location of these veins in the No. 5 level. Other ore was intersected underground from the No. 2 level to below the No. 5 level.
Mineralization consists of pyrite, sphalerite, galena, tetrahedrite, pyrargyrite, argentite, native silver, arsenopyrite and pyrrhotite with a minor amount of chalcopyrite. The gangue material is mainly quartz with altered wallrock fragments and minor concentrations of calcite. At lower elevations in the veins, there appears to be more tetrahedrite present and less pyrargyrite.
Past production from the Wellington was 7261 tonnes, with 46,885,178 grams of silver, 11,321 grams of gold, 435,534 kilograms of lead and 660,409 kilograms of zinc recovered. In 1951, N. Puhaty shipped 583 kilograms of ore for testing from the Silver Dollar, Henderson Group, an adjacent property to the Wellington. In 1988, measured geological reserves at Wellington were 32,211 tonnes grading 166.2 grams per tonne silver (Assessment Report 16772, page 7).