The Spokane showings are located on the southeast slope of Wall Mountain at about 2000 metres elevation, near the upper end of Next Creek. The veins are on a steep hillside of 35 to 40 degrees, and trend across it obliquely at an angle of about 45 degrees to the headwaters of Next Creek or about east-west; the dip is steep to the southwest. A series of three adits exposes the main vein over a vertical distance of 50 metres and a strike length of 120 metres.
The initial work on the property was done on a vein located at a lower elevation several hundred metres south of the main vein, and included open cutting and 2 adits 7.6 and 18 metres in length. This ground was reportedly staked in 1902 but allowed to lapse in 1909.
The main vein was discovered in 1911 by R.Y. and K.K. Laib of Salmo and 4 claims were staked. An additional 2 claims were staked in 1913, the property then comprising the Spokane, Spokane No. l, International, Continental, Granite, and Timberline claims.
A claim adjacent to the Spokane group, and owned in 1915 by a Mr. Harris, was located on the westerly extension of the Spokane vein. This ground was apparently in part held as the Hilltop and Sitka claims, owned in 1937 by John Bull. See Harris (082FSE078) and Hilltop (082FSW232).
The Laib Bros. carried out development work in open cuts and 2 adits from 1911 until the fall of 1915 when an option was given to W.R. Salisbury of Salmo and I.G. Nelson and associates of Nelson, who comprised the Spokane Mines Syndicate. Development work and the mining of some ore was carried out in 1916 but the option was subsequently given up.
The Laib Bros. resumed work on the property in 1917 and continued intermittently until 1941, apparently residing at the mine permanently for a portion of that period. In 1918 they built an arrestre near the creek but the ore was found to be unameanable to amalgamation. Development work was severely handicapped by the lack of transportation and much of their efforts through the 1920's and 1930's was directed towards the construction of a road (Bayonne Road) some 29 kilometres from the railroad at Tye on Kootenay Lake.
By 1937 the workings comprised 5 adits (Nos. 1-5) totalling about 295 metres of crosscuts and drifts and a 17-metre raise. The lower adit (No. 5) consisted of a 24-metre drift. In 1939 a 533-metre tramline was built from the Main (No. 4 adit) portal and a road was completed to connect the lower tram-terminal with the Bayonne road. Subsequent ore shipments included considerable dump material.
No activity was reported from 1941 until 1948 when K.K. Laib resumed work on the property. Kootenay Central Mines Limited optioned the property in 1949. The raise from No. 4 adit was extended to the No. 3 adit level. A new crosscut adit, also called No. 5, was driven 36.5 metres before work ceased for the winter. The option was subsequently abandoned. The owner resumed work in 1950 and continued through 1954. Dennis G. White of Nelson optioned the property in 1956, extended the new No. 5 crosscut to intersect the vein at a total length of 52.4 metres, and drifted 3.6 metres to the east. The option was subsequently abandoned.
Rimrock Mining Corporation, Limited acquired the property in 1957 and extended the No. 5 crosscut an additional 1.8 metres, intersecting another vein, which was drifted on to the south. This vein, an oxidized fissure 30 inches wide containing mostly decomposed wallrock, is reported to contain high gold values in a narrow soft oxidized zone adjacent to both walls. No further work was carried out. The company planned to install a 35-ton per day mill but this was not done.
The main vein is a well defined and persistent fissure that varies in size from 5 centimetres to 1 metre wide and may be traced for over 600 metres onto the adjacent Harris (082FSE078) property to the west. The vein is hosted in biotite granodiorite of the Wall stock, assumed to be one of the Nelson intrusions of Middle Jurassic age. However, the vein is close to the southern contact of the stock with surrounding metasediments (grit and quartzite) of the Three Sisters Formation, part of the Upper Proterozoic Horsethief Creek Group.
The vein consists of quartz and sheared or altered granodiorite since the vein or veins vary from fine stringers enclosing wallrock to a single vein the full width of the fissure. Alteration is to kaolin and pyrite in the wallrock adjacent to the vein. Biotite minette (lamprophyre) dikes cut and offset the vein along the hangingwall; the strike of these dikes is perpendicular to the vein.
Much of the vein is narrow and barren, but some well-mineralized shoots contain pyrite, galena, sphalerite, chalcopyrite (minor copper stain, assumed to be malachite), limonite, and rarely free gold. These minerals are developed as lenses, stringers and disseminations in the vein. Variable values in gold (up to 20.5 grams per tonne) and silver (up to 1405 grams per tonne) are associated with the sulphides, which assay up to 48.9 per cent lead and 1.6 per cent zinc (Minister of Mines Annual Report 1915, page 173).
Recorded production over the period 1915 to 1956 was 1733 tonnes from which 570,988 grams of silver, 29,639 grams of gold, 304,046 kilograms of lead and 12,943 kilograms of zinc were recovered. The vein is oxidized to a depth of 50 metres.
Extensions to the vein were sought in 1981 by Nugget Resources Ltd. by magnetic, electromagnetic and geochemical surveying; anomalies found in the surveying suggest the presence of two veins extending both east and west off the Spokane property (Assessment Reports 10841, 13393).