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File Created: 24-Jul-1985 by BC Geological Survey (BCGS)
Last Edit:  31-Aug-2007 by Sarah Meredith-Jones (SMJ)

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NMI 092I15 Hg1,8
BCGS Map 092I077
Status Past Producer NTS Map 092I15W
Latitude 050º 47' 32'' UTM 10 (NAD 83)
Longitude 120º 46' 39'' Northing 5629074
Easting 656640
Commodities Mercury Deposit Types H02 : Hot spring Hg
Tectonic Belt Intermontane Terrane Quesnel
Capsule Geology

Hostrocks of the Copper Creek cinnabar deposits comprise Upper Triassic Nicola Group green and purple volcanic breccias with interbedded tuffs that are intruded by diabase sills and brown weathering, porphyritic basaltic dikes. The brown weathering is attributed to ankerite alteration. Breccia fragments vary from 2 to 20 centimetres in average diameter and are set in a more finely fragmental tuffaceous matrix. The composition of the fragments is predominantly dark green basaltic rock which is occasionally finely porphyritic. The attitude and general contact relationships of well bedded tuffs indicate a northwesterly strike with moderate 20 degree northeast dips. The hostrocks exhibit widespread faulting.

Cinnabar mineralization is associated with dolomite veins and stringers that occur in fracture and shear zones within and related to the ankerite altered, porphyritic basaltic dikes. The dolomite veins range from a seam up to 1.2 metres thick but average 45 centimetres for the most persistent veins and are irregulary distributed in the fracture zones. Small amounts of chalcedonic quartz and, in some veins, stringers of more coarsely crystalline quartz occur. A small amount of tetrahedrite was reported in a quartz lens in the North workings. The cinnabar occurs as disseminations, thin films and small masses in dolomite veins. Old reports indicate that much of the mined cinnabar occurred as blebs or nodules of massive cinnabar within the dolomite.

The Copper Creek property was one of the early cinnabar discoveries in the province in the early 1890s. The first intensive work appears to have been done by an American company in 1894, when, in addition to a small amount of surface prospecting, an adit was driven 42 metres and a shaft and incline sunk for 15 metres and 9 metres respectively. In 1895, the Cinnabar Mining Company, Ltd. took over the deposits. This company did considerable exploratory work, erected two retorts and operated them for only a few weeks producing more than 100 flasks of mercury. The underground work done by this company appears to have constituted the bulk of the work done on the property. These workings are in three main groups; a South and Central group located at about 518 metres elevation, and a North group at about the same elevation but 800 metres north of the South group. Most of the production came from the South workings. In general, the workings consist of a labyrinth of drifts, crosscuts, raises and short shafts. Between 1896 and 1925 very little work was done on the property. However, in 1924, J. Fleetwood-Wells of the British Quicksilver Mining Company reopened the workings and operated for 3 years obtaining about 5 flasks of mercury. From 1927 to about 1940, the old retort and furnace had been dismantled and partly destroyed. In 1940, the property was leased by Kamloops Mercury Mines, Limited and some stripping was done and a short adit driven. In 1941, F.L. Gorse did prospecting work on the J claim and erected two pot retorts, with which a few pounds of mercury were recovered. The workings are badly caved and several sections of the adits and the stopes are inaccessible (ca. 1939). The most recent work was in 1967 when Newmont Mining Corp. of Canada Ltd. conducted geological mapping and rock sampling (158) from old workings and from 4 bulldozer trenches which were excavated during the exploration program.

EMPR AR 1891-574; 1892-540; 1893-1068; 1894-751; 1895-696; 1896-568;
1897-614; 1898-1104,1105; 1900-891,892; 1901-1080,1230; 1903-246,
248; 1909-139; 1910-129; 1913-184,194,195; 1918-237; 1924-149;
1925-167; 1926-185; 1927-198
EMPR BULL 5, pp. 33-45; 17, p. 25
EMPR PF (Sketch of Cinnabar mineral claims (Lots 922-930);
Topographic maps with claim and showing locations; Geology sketch
maps of underground and surface workings)
GSC ANN RPT 1894 Vol.VII, pp. 340B,341B
GSC MEM *249, pp. 87-93
GSC SUM RPT 1918 Part B, p. 19B
GSC OF 165; 980; 2490
GSC MAP 886A; 887A; 9-1963; 1394A; 42-1989
GSC P 44-20; 82-1A, pp. 293-297; 85-1A, pp. 349-358
CANMET IR 687 (1926), pp. 53-56