The Cedars sodium sulphate deposit is located in a southeast trending basin on a faulted contact between intrusive rocks of the Cherry Creek unit of the Late Triassic-Early Jurassic Iron Mask batholith to the north and Eocene Kamloops Group volcanic flow rocks and breccia and flat lying mafic sills to the south. The salt deposit underlies a small alkali lake, Saltwort Pond, about 550 metres long and 100 metres wide. The deposit is covered by the Reverted Crown grant Cedars (Lot 5381).
The deposit of hydrous sodium sulphate is also referred to as the mineral mirabilite or the industrial term, Glauber's salt. The anhydrous form of this mineral is referred to by the industrial term 'salt cake'. The deposit represents a good grade Glauber's salt relatively low in chemical impurities. The clay material overlying and intermixed with the salt crystals may have value as ceramic material and may also have cosmetic and therapeutic applications.
When the Cedars deposit was examined on February 17, 1987 the lake was completely thawed and covered with water. Reports by others indicate that when the water level is sufficiently low, the Glauber's salt deposit is widely exposed or covered by only a thin layer of mud. Previous work indicated the overlying mud layer to average 30 centimetres thick, and the permanent crystal underneath to vary from 2 to more than 6 metres thick. In plan, the limit of permanent crystals closely parallel the shore line at a distance of 5 to 25 metres. The surface area of the deposit is calculated at 23,600 square metres. Using an average thickness of 3 metres and a specific gravity of 1.46, gives 103,368 tonnes of Glauber's salt containing 45,500 tonnes of salt cake. The volume of the clay overlying the deposit is calculated at 7080 cubic metres or 18,250 tonnes. Average water depth is estimated at 1 metre and the volume of water contained in Saltwort Pond is calculated at approximately 30 million litres (Assessment Report 17869).
Nine samples taken by McCammon in 1949 assayed 58.90 to 97.17 per cent Na2SO4, nil to 7.35 per cent MgSO4, negligible CaSO4, trace to 4.64 per cent CaCO3 and trace to 1.94 per cent MgCO3. Insoluble content varied from 0.4 to 27.31 per cent.
All of the test samples taken in 1987 contain significant quantities of sodium sulphate. There is a fairly wide variation in quality, however, since (calculated) anhydrous sodium sulphate contents range from 44 to 13 per cent. Corresponding (calculated) Glauber's salt contents range from near 100 to 30 per cent. Overall, test results confirm the feasibility of producing technically pure sodium sulphate (greater than 99 per cent Na2SO4) from 14 of the 19 test samples (Assessment Report 17869).
Previous work on the Cedars salt deposit dates back to at least 1930. The property was apparently held by one owner from 1930 to 1949. Known exploration consisted of sporadic attempts to evaluate the deposit by pitting, auger drilling, sampling and assaying. No significant exploration work has been documented since 1949. In 1987, Salor Scientific Inc. took 19 samples for analyses.