The Second Relief mine is located in a mountain valley 20 kilometres northwest of Salmo. The deposit was brought into production in 1902, was mined until 1919, resumed in 1928 and produced until 1941. This is the third largest gold-enriched skarn producer in the province. The main vein has been opened on 11 levels.
The area is underlain by lapilli tuff (Unit Je8l, Open File 1989-11) and augite porphyry volcanics of the Elise Formation and siltstone, sandstone, argillite and quartzite of the Archibald Formation both of the Lower Jurassic Rossland Group. These occur as a roof pendant within granodiorite of the Bonnington pluton of the Middle to Late Jurassic Nelson Intrusions. The deposit occurs on the west limb of the Erie Creek anticline along the Red Mountain fault.
The Second Relief mine comprises at least eight subparalllel veins striking northeast and dipping steeply northwest in greenstone or argillaceous quartzite. These are the Second Relief or No.1, the No.'s 2 to 5, the Ida D and the Inez and Rand veins (082FSW216). The veins are sheared, quartz poor structures irregularly mineralized with pyrite and/or pyrrhotite plus one or more of magnetite, chalcopyrite, and sphalerite. Some of the veins locally host fine-grained visible gold. Gold and silver bearing veins consist of quartz, pyrite, epidote, garnet and magnetite. Lesser auriferous veins contain massive pyrrhotite and chalcopyrite.
The Second Relief is the main economic vein but the No.'s 2 to 5 parallel veins occur immediately to the southeast within about 100 metres. The Second Relief vein follows the hanging wall contact of an 8 to 12 metre wide diorite porphyry dyke and crosscuts projections of that dyke into the country rock. Where the dyke and vein go from volcanics to sediments the vein tends to follow the general bedding of the sediments but at the same time the precious metal values decrease greatly. The Second Relief or No.1 vein is 0.2 to 3.5 metres wide, has a strike length of 300 metres and has been mined to a depth of 400 metres. The vein strikes 050 degrees and dips 80 to 85 degrees north. The gangue comprises quartz and locally disseminated magnetite, garnet and epidote, indicating the likely presence of skarn alteration associated with the Nelson batholith immediately to the northeast of the occurrence. The vein carries pyrite, pyrrhotite and chalcopyrite with traces of molybdenite reported. The parallel veins were disappointing in their precious metal values.
The No. 2 vein, about 10 to 16 metres southeast of the No. 1 vein, is over 300 metres long and has been exposed by trenching for more than 228 metres. The exposed mineralized portion of the vein is up to 2.4 metres wide. Gold assayed between 0.137 to 34.2 grams per tonne gold across 1 metre or more . This vein is similar to the Second Relief vein and closely parallels it in strike and dip. The vein, hosted by fragmental volcanic rocks, is mineralized with pyrite, pyrrhotite, magnetite, sphalerite, chalcopyrite and, locally, visible fine-grained gold particles. Vein quartz is sparse and the vein is surrounded by a silicification envelope.
The No. 3 vein is a narrow stringer with no obvious mineralization.
The No. 4 vein, 96 metres southeast of the No. 1 vein, has been exposed by open cuts over a length of 15 metres. The quartz vein hosts pyrrhotite with chalcopyrite and a sample across 0.5 metre assayed 12.3 grams per tonne gold (Assessment Report 19839). The hanging wall is greenstone and the footwall is diorite.
The No. 5 vein, 106 metres east of the workings, is mineralized with pyrite and chalcopyrite. In the adit, the vein is 1.5 metres wide. In 1988, 2 samples assayed 0.07 and 26.53 grams per tonne gold respectively (Assessment Report 19839).
The Ida D vein occurs in the central portion of the property, about 150 metres west of the Second Relief vein Samples from the portal area in 1988 assayed 0.10 to 35.65 grams per tonne gold (Assessment Report 19839). Production from this vein is reported as 34,280 grams of gold.
Sampling of pyritic alteration zones in the central portion of the property assayed 6.2 grams per tonne gold over more than 7 metres (Vancouver Stockwatch, Sept. 12, 1989).
The deposit is classed as a gold-enriched skarn. Production totals 207,023 tonnes which yielded 866,433 grams of silver, 3,117,637 grams of gold, 20,210 kilograms of copper, 1057 kilograms of lead and 147 kilograms of zinc.