The Payne occurrence is situated on the northwest end of a ridge extending northwesterly from Mount Payne, east of Carpenter Creek. New Denver, BC, lies 10 kilometres to the southwest.
The Payne mine is hosted by limy argillite, quartzite, slate and limestone of Triassic Slocan Group, intruded by various dikes and sills of quartz feldspar porphyry. The structure of the upper part of the Payne mine is a recumbent fold open to the northeast. The fold has a near-horizontal axial plane and plunges a few degrees to the southeast. A second recumbent fold, open to the northeast, is believed to occur below the No. 15 level. Ore shoots lie within the zone of maximum curvature of these folds.
The deposit consists of a single vein to a series of closely-spaced veins passing downward to a 2 to 2.5-metre-wide shear zone with considerable gouge in places. The main ore shoot, averaging 300 metres length with a maximum length of 380 metres, was mined from just below the No. 5 level. The lode has an average strike of 055 degrees and dips 60 degrees south. The vein is terminated by a northwest fault at its northeast end. The vein curves to the northwest close to this fault, suggesting some sinistral movement. The ore consists of massive galena lenses averaging 10 to 15 centimetres in length. Lenses also carry tetrahedrite and sphalerite in a gangue of siderite and minor calcite. The ore was almost continuous along the vein of the upper workings but became more discontinuous and of lower grade in the lower sheared portion of the vein. Some leaching of hostrocks close to veinlets of the Payne veins was observed in the trench crossing the ridge over the vein.
The ore zone at the Payne mine is considered to have occurred in response to gouge-free fractures in the zone of maximum curvature in a pronounced fold and competent lithologies including quartzite (Bulletin 29, page 98).
First discovered in 1891, the Payne mine was covered by four Crown grants: Two Jacks (Lot 497), Mountain Chief (Lot 498), Payne (Lot 499) and Maid of Erin (Lot 500). Mining was first carried out by the newly formed Payne Mining Company of British Columbia Limited. One half interest in the company was purchased by A.W. McCune in 1896. Operations continued under the direction of the Tom Payne Consolidated Mining Company Limited Liability, from 1897 to 1899, stoping high-grade ore from the upper levels. The Payne Consolidated Mining Company continued production from 1899 to 1904, when operations were temporarily ceased. During this time, a 120-tonne per day concentrator was constructed and put into operation. Payne Mines Limited was formed in 1907. Exploration and development work was carried out below the No. 8 level. A deep adit, the No. 15 level, was begun in 1911. The east-neighbouring St. Keverne Group (082KSW007) was purchased at this time.
Slocan Payne Mines Limited was formed in 1912 and, under lease and bond, completed the No. 15 level and raise to the No. 8 level. The Nos. 9 and 10 levels were completed by 1916, intersecting low-grade, sporadic ore. Several other lessees continued intermittent exploration and work on the property from 1920 to 1939. Kelowna Exploration Company Limited held the property from 1941 to 1942, conducting considerable surface work including trenching. Some underground work was done in 1948 and 1949 by R.A. Grimes. The Nos. 8, 9 and 10 levels were reopened in 1951, under option to Kootenay Belle Gold Mines Limited.
Workings at the Payne occurrence included seven adits and four intermediate levels—6 to 10—to a depth of 440 metres below surfacee. The original workings included five adits, the upper three passing through the ridge.
The property was optioned in 1980 to Silvex Resources Corporation. Property exploration on and adjacent to the Payne property was conducted by Minotaur Resources from 1986 to 1988 and Touchstone Resources Ltd. from 1988 to 1992. Several trenches explored geochemical soil anomalies 300 metres northwest of the former Payne mine in 1992. Trench 1 uncovered numerous quartz veins and lenses in folded slate and argillite. Sample 1+01S 5+51E, a 1-metre chip sample, yielded 0.06 per cent zinc—the best of nine rock samples taken from two trenches (Assessment Report 22628).
In 2008, Klondike Silver Corporation owned the claims covering the Payne occurrence as part of their Payne property. That year, 1179 soil samples were collected from a 360-hectare sample grid situated over the Payne occurrence. The following year, Klondike Silver Corporation completed a program of geological mapping, geophysical surveying and trenching over a smaller portion of the Payne property. In total, four trenches and 8.95 line kilometres of very low-frequency electromagnetic geophysical surveying were completed over a 4.12-hectare area to the west of the Payne occurrence.
Production from the Payne mine spanned 46 years from 1893 to 1939, with the bulk of production from 1898 to 1906. From a total of 110,604 tonnes mined, 116,386,525 grams silver, 17,376,637 kilograms lead and 1,024,416 kilograms zinc were recovered. The nearby St. Keverne mine (082KSW007) produced 14 tonnes, from which 71,538 grams silver and 11,384 kilograms lead were recovered (NMI 082K3 Ag8). Property evaluation in 1972 indicated the possibility of 27,215 tonnes ore averaging 7.53 per cent zinc, 41.13 grams per tonne silver and minor lead between the Nos. 6 and 10 veins (NMI 082K3 Ag8; Silvex Resources Corp. Statement of Material Facts 254/80, page 24; Energy, Mines and Resources Canada Mineral Bulletin 223, BC 46).