The Bayonne showing is situated between 1830 and 2137 metres elevation on the west side of John Bull Mountain in the Summit Creek watershed, approximately 24 kilometres east-southeast of Salmo. The Echo group of claims (MINFILE 082FSE031) adjoins the Bayonne group to the south. The Virginia occurrence (MINFILE 082FSE035) lies to the west.
The area is underlain by Late Precambrian Horsethief Creek–series green argillaceous quartzite, limestone and coarse sediments. The Horsethief Creek series is intruded by Mesozoic fine to medium-grained granodiorite. The showing occurs near the southwest end of the Bayonne Batholith, a northeast-trending, elongate, 60-kilometre-long granodiorite body. The Bayonne Batholith is often gneissic in nature, varies in composition from granite to calcic granodiorite and contains various phases including coarse-grained, fine-grained, porphyritic and nonporphyritic.
The Bayonne occurrence is immediately underlain by the Mine Stock, an intrusive body believed to be older and separate from the Bayonne Batholith. Mineralization consists of quartz-filled fissure veins striking northeast and dipping vertically. The veins vary in width from a few centimetres to a maximum of 3 metres, with an average width of 0.5 metre. Gold and silver are intimately associated with pyrite, galena, sphalerite and chalcopyrite.
The Bayonne mine is a small historic producer (80 903 tonnes averaging 16.1 grams per tonne gold and 38.4 grams per tonne silver) from small (0.1 to 0.5 metre) quartz-filled fissure veins. The veins occur in biotite hornblende granodiorite of the Bayonne Batholith, which is altered to a talc-carbonate rock for 0.5 to 1 metre on either side of the fissure. The fissure contains one or more quartz veins with mineralization in well-defined shoots. An oxidized zone extends down the veins for 137 metres, where it is abruptly truncated by unoxidized primary sulphides. Mineralization consists of pyrite, galena, sphalerite, chalcopyrite, tetrahedrite with minor free gold, hessite and petzite.
The Bayonne showings were discovered in the fall of 1901 by G. Harrison and F. Risdon and optioned that same year to Spokane interests, who began underground development. In 1902, the claims were under option to B. White of Nelson. In 1904, Crown grants were issued to Harrison and Risdon for 10 claims: Bayonne, Oxford and Maryland (Lots 5083 through 5085, respectively); Delaware, Columbus and Ohio (Lots 5960 through 5962); Kentucky (Lot 5966); New Jersey (Lot 5967); Virginia (Lot 6887) and Illinois (Lot 6888).
During 1904, the property was acquired by a syndicate of Butte Montana interests, which formed Bayonne Gold Mines Limited. Intermittent development work to 1911 included an upper drift adit on the Bayonne claim, a drift adit on the Ohio claim and a low-level crosscut driven from the Virginia claim; the workings totalled approximately 509 metres. The Skookum claim (Lot 9360), located in 1902 and surrounded by the Bayonne and Echo groups, was Crown-granted to J. Campbell in 1913. No further activity was reported until the period of 1921 to 1923, when J.B. White & Associates of Spokane held an option and carried out further underground work.
From incomplete records, it appears that a new company, The Bayonne Gold Mines Limited, was organized in the USA in the 1920s to acquire the property. Development work during 1929 and 1930 was financed by J.B. Gerrard of New York; by 1930, the workings totalled approximately 1000 metres of drifts and crosscuts. In 1934, the property was under option to A.C. Frost of Seattle.
Bayonne Consolidated Mines Limited, incorporated April 1935, purchased the Bayonne property for $100 000 CAD payable out of production; the adjoining Echo group was acquired by the company circa 1936. The Echo group was owned in 1904 by W. Maher, H. Anderson and J. Baugh of Nelson. Trenching, ground sluicing and at least 76.2 metres (250 feet) of underground work was done in one or more adits during the initial period of exploration. In 1922, the Echo group of six claims—Echo, Echo Fr., Ontario, Portland, St. Elmo and Idaho (Lots 13014 through 13019, respectively)—were Crown-granted to Harris Ginsberg.
By a December 1935 agreement, Grull-Wihksne Gold Mines Limited acquired a half interest in the Bayonne Consolidated properties. Grull supplied mill equipment from a Bridge River area property and a 45.3-tonne per day (50-ton per day) cyanide mill was installed and put into operation on November 3, 1936. Development work failed to locate additional ore and depletion of the known reserves led to the mill’s closure on October 31, 1938.
Underground exploration and development in 1939 and 1940 outlined additional reserves at depth, and milling operations resumed in April 1940. The mine closed August 1, 1942, for the duration of the war, after which work resumed on the property in August 1945, when shaft sinking from the No. 8 level began. Milling operations resumed in May 1946 and continued until July of that year, when the mine closed due to labour and material shortages. The workings at that time comprised seven adit levels at vertical intervals of approximately 30 metres, connected by raises.
An internal shaft was sunk 51.8 metres (170 feet) from the lowest adit (No. 8 level) and the No. 9 level, established at a depth of 30 metres in the shaft. Underground work in 1936 included approximately 2396 metres of drifting and crosscutting and 229 metres of raising. Lessees worked the property intermittently between 1947 and 1951, removing approximately 907 tonnes (1000 tons) of ore from the workings. The property reportedly reverted to the Crown in 1957.
The construction of the Salmo-Creston highway up Summit Creek, approximately 6.4 kilometres to the south of the property, led to renewed interest in the area in the 1960s. Bayonne Mine Limited, incorporated July 1962, acquired 17 Crown grants of the Bayonne and Echo groups and 25 recorded claims. In 1963, the company carried out rehabilitation work in the No. 8 adit, underground sampling and site preparation for the installation of a flotation mill. Reserves were reported at 9979 tonnes (11 000 tons) valued at $55.12 CAD per tonne ($50 USD per ton; Northern Miner, October 17, 1963).
The property was held for a short period in 1968 by Liberty Mines Limited, but no work was done and the option was later terminated.
In 1975, R.A. Sostad acquired the Bayonne, Columbia, Ohio, New Jersey, Virginia and Skookum Crown grants, as well as 11 reverted Crown grants comprising the Bayonne and Echo groups. In February 1980, the claims were transferred to Goldrich Resources Incorporated. Reserves were estimated at approximately 15 603 tonnes (17 200 tons; G.L. Mill, 04/01/80; VSE AL 213/80, Goldrich Mines Ltd.). Work began on the property in 1980.
Recent work included rehabilitation by Goldrich Resources over the period 1980 to 1987. The old mine levels were rehabilitated and resampled. By June 1983, Goldrich had re-opened the Bayonne mine and the first ore shipment was scheduled for July 15, 1983. One test shipment of 39 tonnes averaging 5.1 grams per tonne gold, 41.1 grams per tonne silver, 0.4 per cent lead, 0.2 per cent zinc and 78.3 per cent silica was sent to the Cominco smelter at Trail. In 1987, Lightening Minerals Limited optioned the property and conducted a detailed geological mapping and soil sampling program. Further geochemical, geophysical (very low-frequency electromagnetic) and trenching work was done under an option agreement with Terra Mines Limited from 1987 to 1990.
In 1994, Nugget Mines Limited completed 2.5 kilometres of very low-frequency electromagnetic geophysical surveying on two stations and 0.7 kilometre of self-potential geophysical surveying. Results of the survey were inconclusive.
In 1998, Goldrich Resources Incorporated conducted soil sampling and very low-frequency electromagnetic and self-potential geophysical surveying on the Bayonne property. Later in 2006, Yellowstone Resources Limited followed up on results of the 1998 geochemical surveying with a program of excavator trenching, geological mapping and rock geochemical sampling in the West Bayonne area of the property. Results of the program were consistent with anomalous soil geochemistry results obtained in 1998.
Reserves calculated in 1983 were 28,186 tonnes proven, 28,186 tonnes possible and 45 000 to 63,500 tonnes inferred. Proven and possible ore averages 15 and 25.7 grams per tonne gold and silver, respectively, over a 0.5-metre width (GCNL May 27, 1983).