The area of the Murphy occurrence is underlain by a fault-bound block of Permian to Jurassic Hozameen Complex rocks consisting mainly of shale/argillite. This is in contact to the north and east, as shown by Muller (GSC Map 41-1989), with metamorphic rocks of the Cretaceous and/or Tertiary Custer Gneiss and to the west with Eocene conglomerate. The country rocks have been intruded by the Cretaceous Spuzzum pluton, the contact of which is just a few kilometres to the west, and a nearby a granodioritic mass related to an unnamed early Tertiary pluton which occurs across the Fraser River to the southeast.
This occurrence has been reported to be the oldest lode mine on the mainland. In 1858, the Murphy brothers sank a shaft on a mineralized quartz vein. An opencut was also made near the shaft, and it is reported that some high grade silver-lead ore was shipped to Swansea, Wales. The Murphy claim was Mining License No. 1 under the Mineral Ordinance of 1869. Prior to 1879, an adit was driven from a point just east of the present Canadian Pacific Railway tracks in an easterly direction for 244 metres and later extended to 293 metres cutting Crown-granted claim (Lot 27) at a depth of about 60 to 90 metres. Some work was done in 1924 and again in the mid-1960s, when 6 diamond-drill holes and 3 percussion holes were put down. From 1980 to 1991, work was done on the Margie claims which surround the Murphy Crown grant (Lot 27) and covers much of the adit area. Two drillholes were put down near the showings during this period.
The quartz vein occurs at the zone of contact of slaty argillite and a dioritic mass and is mineralized with pyrite, pyrrhotite, chalcopyrite and some galena. At the shaft site, the vein is about 7.6 metres wide and strikes 210 degrees, dipping 65 degrees northwest. The hangingwall is formed by the intrusion; the footwall would be the argillite but is described in one report as serpentine. Inside the adit, about 183 metres from the portal, a quartz vein is exposed striking 005 degrees having a near vertical rolling dip. It is sparsely mineralized with sulphides and scheelite. The whole length of the adit is reported to be much disturbed by faulting. In 1915, a grab sample taken from the dump of an opencut yielded 1.6 per cent copper, 13.71 grams per tonne silver and a trace of gold (Minister of Mines Annual Report 1915, page 260).
Verdstone Gold Corporation drilled 13 holes (over 600 metres) in 1996. The best intersection was 1.03 per cent copper and 20.9 grams per tonne silver over 7 metres (Press Release, Verdstone Gold Corporation, April 10, 1997).