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File Created: 24-Jul-1985 by BC Geological Survey (BCGS)
Last Edit:  03-May-1991 by Shielagh N. Banfield (SNB)

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NMI 092I6,7 Cu3
BCGS Map 092I046
Status Past Producer NTS Map 092I06E, 092I07W
Latitude 050º 25' 54'' UTM 10 (NAD 83)
Longitude 120º 59' 53'' Northing 5588542
Easting 642179
Commodities Copper, Molybdenum Deposit Types L04 : Porphyry Cu +/- Mo +/- Au
Tectonic Belt Intermontane Terrane Quesnel
Capsule Geology

The Highmont mine is situated in the central core of the Early Jurassic-Late Triassic Guichon Creek batholith and is underlain primarily by Skeena variety quartz diorite. Skeena rocks are intruded by the composite Gnawed Mountain porphyry dyke which trends west-northwest and dips vertically in the central part of the property and 75 degrees north in the eastern part. This dyke consists of biotite-quartz-feldspar porphyry derived from Bethsaida phase leucocratic quartz porphyry and breccia. The two major ore zones roughly parallel the Gnawed Mountain dyke, which itself is partly mineralized. Near the southeast corner of the East pit there is a breccia consisting of granitoid fragments in a tourmaline-hematite matrix, which appears to be gradational into crackle breccia. Smaller plagioclase-quartz porphyry dykes and narrow aplite dykes are scattered throughout the property. Tertiary lamprophyre and andesite porphyry dykes also occur.

The property is cut by several north-northeast trending post-mineral faults. The Waterhole fault strikes 025 degrees, dips westward at 60 degrees and has clay and gouge sections up to 7.5 metres wide bounded by hematitic shattered zones. Apparent left-lateral offset of up to 30 metres is evident. The fracture pattern in the East pit is well-defined and involves four main attitudes: 140 to 150 degree strike and 80 degree northeast dips; 040 to 050 degree strike and 45 degree northwest dips; 075 degree strike and vertical dip; and 095 degree strike and vertical dip. Fractures are concentrated in parallel swarms up to 60 metres in width which coincide with higher grade mineralization.

The Highmont deposits exhibit the lowest overall intensity of alteration of any producing Highland Valley deposits. Potassic alteration is weak although minor potassium feldspar occurs as veins and alteration envelopes. Secondary biotite is widespread. Quartz-sulphide veinlets with sericitic envelopes comprise phyllic alteration which coincides with the 0.28 copper isopleth in the East pit. Argillic and propylitic alteration are entirely fracture-related.

Alteration grades outward from a central vein, fracture or shear, through a zone of kaolinite and montmorillonite, into chlorite- epidote-sericite-albite alteration and then into unaltered rock. The widths of these zones vary from several centimetres to 50 metres. Late-stage calcite and zeolite veins are also present.

The principal economic minerals are chalcopyrite, bornite and molybdenite occurring predominantly in four types of veins and fracture-fillings. In the East pit, quartz veins are generally 1 to 25 millimetres wide with a vuggy texture. Chalcopyrite and bornite occur in the centre of the veins with scattered flaky molybdenite. Alteration envelopes 2.5 to 5.0 centimetres wide are characterized by coarse white sericite flakes, tourmaline clusters, minor potassium feldspar and limonite. Chalcocite is present in small amounts. Pyrite and specular hematite are gangue minerals.

Unclassified reserves in Zone 1 are 87.6 million tonnes grading 0.26 per cent copper and 0.021 per cent molybdenum (Cominco Limited Annual Report 1988).

The West Pit (092ISW036) was mined first; East Pit production began concurrently.

Production from 1981 to 1984 totalled 37,247,399 tonnes, yielding 50,219 tonnes of copper and 6865.6 tonnes of molybdenite.

EMPR AR 1957-27; 1959-30; 1962-49; 1963-47; 1964-89; 1965-148; 1966-158; 1967-158; *1968-189-191
EMPR ASS RPT 286, 290, 1757, 5342, 5409, 5754, 9604, 11945, 13257
EMPR BULL 56; 62
EMPR EXPL 1981-70; 1983-276; 1984-205; 1985-C193; 1989-119-134
EMPR FIELDWORK 1983, p. 67
EMPR GEM 1969-244; 1970-330; 1971-344; 1974-131; 1975-E83
EMPR IR 1984-3, pp. 105, 106; 1984-4, p. 120; 1984-5, pp. 113, 114; 1986-1, pp. 109, 110
EMPR MAP *30; 65 (1989)
EMPR MINING Vol.1 1975-1980
EMPR OF 1992-1
EMPR PF (The Province Newspaper article, Apr.3, 1971; Mercury soil geochemistry map, 1972; Map of plantsite/minesite, 1985)
EMR MP CORPFILE (Torwest Resources (1962) Ltd.; Highmont Mining Corp. Teck Corp. Ltd.; Anaconda Co. (Canada) Ltd.)
GSC MAP 886A; 1010A; 42-1989
GSC MEM 249; 262
GSC OF 980; 2167, pp. 99-114
GSC P 46-8; 47-10; 77-9; 77-12
CIM Spec. Vol. 15, 1976; *46, pp. 161-191
CMH 1972-73; 1975-76; 1981-1986
CMJ May 1980
GCNL Jul.2, 1971; Dec.7, 1978; #53,#80,#199, 1979; #1, 1980; #42, #105, 1981; #31,#104,#109,#171,#193,#225, 1982; #9,#117, 1983; #14,#182, 1984
N MINER Jan.13,Mar.10, 1977; Dec.21, 1978; Jan.4,Mar.22,Apr.26, May 13, 1979; Nov.27, 1980; Jan.15,22,Feb.12,Jun.18, 1981; Jan.28,Mar.25,Jun.3,Oct.14,Dec.2, 1982; Jan.20,Dec.22, 1983; Jan.26,Sept.20, 1984; Apr.28, 1997
W MINER Jan.,Apr., 1977; May,Jun.,Dec., 1979; Dec. 1980; Feb. 1981; May,Nov., 1982
Cominco Ltd. Annual Report 1988, p. 12
Field Trip Guidebook (GAC-MAC-CGU Victoria, B.C. May 11-13, 1983), Trip 10, Porphyry Deposits of Southern British Columbia, pp. 85-104
Mining Magazine Jan. 1981
Northcote, K.E. (1968): Geology and Geochronology of the Guichon Creek Batholith, British Columbia, Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, The University of British Columbia
Placer Dome File
Falconbridge File