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File Created: 31-Mar-93 by Discovery Consultants(DISC)
Last Edit:  01-Mar-11 by Sarah Meredith-Jones(SMJ)

Summary HelpHelp

NMI
Name KLINKER, OKANAGAN OPAL, KLINKER OPAL, MCGREGOR CREEK Mining Division Vernon
BCGS Map 082L033
Status Producer NTS Map 082L05E
Latitude 50º 21' 31" N UTM 11 (NAD 83)
Longitude 119º 33' 51" W Northing 5581648
Easting 317616
Commodities Opal, Gemstones, Agate Deposit Types Q11 : Volcanic-hosted opal
Tectonic Belt Intermontane Terrane Overlap Assemblage, Harper Ranch
Capsule Geology

The Klinker showing is located 23 kilometres west-northwest of Vernon, north of McGregor Creek.

In this area, Upper Triassic to Lower Jurassic Nicola Group sedimentary and volcanic rocks unconformably overlie sedimentary and volcanic rocks of the Devonian to Triassic Harper Ranch Group. These units are intruded by Middle Jurassic granitic rocks. Extensive Eocene Kamloops Group and Penticton Group volcanic and sedimentary rocks overlie the older units.

The Klinker property covers several concentrations of precious opal developed in the basal 100 metres of the Kamloops Group. The hostrock is a volcanic breccia-lahar complex composed of angular to rounded clasts of andesite and basalt ranging from 0.2 to 0.6 metre in diameter in a lapilli tuff matrix. In the lahar, the tuff has bedding which swirls around the clasts. Lapilli tuff lenses up to 5 metres thick develop locally and indicate that the volcanic succession dips 20 to 30 degrees to the west. Thin andesite or basalt flows and intrusions up to 4 metres thick are scattered throughout. On McGregor Creek Forestry Access Road, about 500 metres east of the discovery pit, outcrops of grey-green meta-andesite flows and lapilli tuffs of probable Late Paleozoic age form the basement which dips gently westward and underlies the valley bottom of Ewer Creek north of the property.

On the property, precious opal, agate and common opal fill fractures in the Eocene rocks and permeate podiform rock masses which are up to 0.5 metre in diameter in the lahars. The rock masses are smaller in the lapilli tuffs and absent in the flows or intrusions. Precious opal-filled fractures preferentially develop in sets with the following three preferred strikes: 025 +/- 10 degrees, 070 +/- 10 degrees and 330 +/- 15 degrees; all sets have steep dips. The podiform rock masses commonly form beside or across opal-filled fractures. In the masses, precious opal fills voids developed during the formation of the hostrock, and later openings apparently formed by local dissolution of the host. Here and there the precious opal, agate and common opal have layering which is subhorizontal even in subvertically oriented fracture fillings. The presence of this subhorizontal layering in these materials, which is not subparallel to the orientation of the gently west-dipping lapilli tuff, implies that the precious opal, agate and common opal precipitated after the beds were tilted.

Of the six shallow pits exposing the precious opal on the Klinker property, the discovery pit is the largest at 2100 square metres, and together with the smaller Bluebird pit, probably the richest because of subequally developed podiform masses and fracture fillings. A right-lateral strike-slip fault dips 80 degrees northwest (slickensides trend/plunge 195/25S), passes along the eastern side of the pit, and offsets the lahars an indeterminate amount. In the other shallow pits, the Tripod, Red Rock and the Caramel and its extension, podiform masses in the lahars developed at the expense of fracture fillings. A lapilli tuff underlies the eastern side of the Caramel pit. Outside the pit areas, the primary openings of the rock are either mostly empty or less commonly filled with agate, common opal, chabazite - a highly hydrated zeolite, and other unidentified zeolites (P. Read, personal communication, 1995).

The opal is white, orange or red, with some fire-green and fire- orange opal reported. Most of the precious opal is described as having a light orange base, is clear and full of colour. At surface the opal is hydrophane, but becomes more solid at shallow depths. The banded agate has grey, white and clear bands. The opal was discovered in 1991.

Besides precious opal, common opal and agate at the Klinker deposit, there are other fracture-fill minerals which include non-precious facet-grade opal, quartz, celadonite, amorphous manganese oxides, clinoptilolite, heulandite, stilbite, jarosite, clays and rarely, clacite. Non-precious, facet-grade opal is typically orange and honey coloured, similar to Mexican "fire opal". Common opals occur as transparent, translucent and opaque types in white, honey, brown, amber, orange and grey colours. Quartz can occur as small, inward facing, terminated crystals within vugs. X-ray diffraction analysis notes that kutnahorite and saponite co-exist with opal. Opal from the Klinker property is classified as opal-CT, using Jones and Segnit's (1971) grade classification. Most stones from deposits with precious and common opal are classified as opal-A (Frye, 1981).

Okanagan Opal Inc. conducted test pitting and some rockhound sales transpired (Information Circular 1996-1, page 20).

There was enough volume of commercial grade opal excavated during the 1994 season's bulk sampling program to provide the raw material necessary to start a small scale gemstone cutting and retail sales business. Sorting, grading and cutting of finished gemstones began on a limited scale in November 1994 and continued through to late December 1994. This program re-commenced in January 1, 1995 and is scheduled to produce sufficient quality and quantity of finished 'opal product' to commence a local retail sales operation by May 1, 1995 (Assessment Report 24606).

Small scale test mining and market was ongoing in 1996. Okanagan took a 316.5-tonne bulk sample of opal-bearing material from test pits. The company has set up a workshop and retail outlet at Vernon where opal jewelery and specimens are produced and sold.

In 2010 Opal Resources Canada Inc. was producing fire opal gemstones and jewelery from the Klinker property (Exploration and Mining in BC 2010).

Bibliography
EMPR ASS RPT 24370, *24606
EMPR EXPL 1996-A24,D5,D7; 1997-40; 2010-65
EMPR FIELDWORK 1982, pp. 89-92; 1987, pp. 55-58; 1988, pp. 355-363; *1997, pp. 321-327; 1998-1, p. 24
EMPR INF CIRC 1995-9, p. 20; 1996-1, p. 20; 1997-1, p. 23
EMPR MAP 37; 5214G; 7216G
EMPR OF 1989-5; 1990-30
EMPR PF (In 082LSW General - Claim Map, 1966; Cab & Crystal article "We truly can be thankful" by R.W. Yorke-Hardy, Vol. 3 Number 6, 1991; *Property description, P. Read, 1995; Gem & Mineral Federation of Canada Newsletter, Spring 1999, Vol.18, No.2, pp. 10-12; Okanagan Opal Inc. Website (Feb. 1999): Company History & Information, 5 p.; Yorke-Hardy, Bob (Spring 2000) Okanagan Opal - Successful development at the Klinker Opal Deposit, Volume 1, Number 2, 3 pages; Yorke-Hardy, Bob (Winter/Spring 1999):
Precious Opals in Canada, Volume 3, Number 1, 3 pages)
EMPR RGS 1976
GSC MEM 296
GSC OF 637; 736; 2167
GSC P 89-1E, pp. 51-60
CIM '97 Vancouver Program, April 27-30, 1997, p. 61
Lapidary Journal *February 1993, pp. 63-66

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