Locally, volcanic and sedimentary rocks of the Eocene Kamloops Group unconformably overlie Middle and Upper Lower Cretaceous Spences Bridge Group volcanics west of the Fraser River and Fraser fault system.
Volcanic rocks at the Frenier open pit site are correlated with the Kamloops Group and consist of devitrified rhyolite tuff, vesicular rhyolite flows, rhyolite crystal tuff, perlite and volcanic breccia with clasts of varied composition. The lowest unit is a white to grey devitrified rhyolite tuff, approximately 20 metres thick, that contains abundant siliceous veinlets and layers of waxy, green volcanic glass (pitchstone). This tuff is overlain by 15 metres of grey, pink to purple vesicular rhyolite flows. Above the flows, and directly below the perlite, is a unit of pink to grey rhyolite crystal tuff approximately 50 metres thick which contains quartz phenocrysts up to 0.5 centimetre in size. Perlite flows, approximately 25 metres thick, overlie the previously mentioned units in the vicinity of the open pit; however, immediately south of the pit, in Higginbottom Creek, it crosscuts the underlying lithologies. In outcrop the perlite is a homogeneous, light grey, glassy rock, crosscut by veins of opaline silica and pitchstone. Fine fractures are visible in hand sample which impart an onion skin texture to the perlite. A volcanic breccia, containing clasts of various composition and size in a light green, siliceous rhyolitic matrix, overlies the perlite and grades laterally and vertically into a welded pink rhyolite tuff.
The deposit consists of a flat-lying flow of volcanic glass with occasional shards of glass welded together to form tuff. Flow direction has not been established but the deposit is massive, appears domed, and exhibits perlitic (onion skin) textures. When heated using a hand-held propane torch, crushed perlite expands rapidly to many times the original size.
The deposit has been divided into "coarse" and "fine" perlite with inferred reserves calculated by Aurun Mines Limited of 3.8 million tonnes, using an average thickness of 30 metres and a specific gravity of 2.3 (Fieldwork 1989, page 483; Open File 1992-1). The same perlite horizon is reported to occur on the area of high relief about 1.5 kilometres to the east-northeast. These outcropping are separated from the pit area by a south-flowing creek.
Six thousand tonnes of crude perlite was shipped by truck from 1983 through 1985. The mine has been inactive since 1986 because of transportation difficulties resulting from an old, low-capacity bridge across the Fraser River.
Lawrence Frenier, a prospector from Clinton, BC discovered perlite on the property in 1949.
During its history the property was staked by various individuals, most significantly in 1976 and again in 1982 when it was staked by J. Kruszewski and others. Mountain Minerals did test work on the property in 1976 to 1977 and consulting geologist E. Meyers provided deposit information to the BC Ministry of Mines and Petroleum Resources in 1978.
In 1982 to 1983 Aurun Mines Ltd. acquired the property and initiated geological mapping, field expansion testing, bulk sampling and product pilot testing. A field program of test pits, trenches, diamond drilling, mapping and testing was completed at the end of 1983. Feasibility studies resulted in a production decision in 1984, and perlite was mined on a limited scale from 1984 to 1987. The crude perlite was quarried on site, loaded and transported to Aurun’s facilities in Aldergrove BC for crushing, sizing, drying, expanding and packaging. These plant facilities were later relocated to Surrey BC during April of 1986.
Receivership proceedings in 1987 resulted in closure of the operation and Mr. W. Kure obtained the interest of Aurun Mines Ltd. perlite claims from the receiver in 1991.
In 1994, geological mapping, prospecting, field testing and sampling was conducted by Absolut Resources Ltd. for owner W.B. Kure.
The property was acquired by BBF Resources Inc. in June 2002. In 2003, BBF extracted a 180 tonne bulk sample from the past producing Frenier. The material was trucked to Abbotsford for pilot plant testing. BBF continued marketing studies on the bulk sample in 2004.