The Bralorne Takla mercury mine is situated near the divide between Silver and West Kwanika creeks, approximately 37 kilometres east-northeast of Takla Landing. Cinnabar mineralization was first located in the area by Bralorne Mines, Limited in July 1942. Exploration culminated with over 1800 metres of diamond drilling that winter.
The area is underlain by interbedded limestone, argillite, slate, chert and derived schist assigned to the Carboniferous to Jurassic Cache Creek Complex. Dark grey, massive limestone is the most common member outcropping in the vicinity of the mine. The argillaceous and siliceous strata strike 330 degrees, dip 60 to 80 degrees to the southwest, and occur predominantly in a band 183 metres wide. The Pinchi fault zone traverses the area from north to south and is marked by widespread brecciation of the sediments.
East of the fault zone, Late Triassic to Early Cretaceous Hogem Intrusive Complex rocks dominate and intrude Middle Triassic to Lower Jurassic Takla Group volcanic rocks.
Numerous subsidiary faults are evident in limestone, both on the surface and underground. Their attitudes are variable, but the dominant faults strike northwest to northeast and dip steeply west. Fault displacements are unknown. Along and near the faults, the limestone has been brecciated across zones 0.3 to 6 metres or more in width. The breccia fragments are cemented with buff-coloured ankeritic carbonate. Solution cavities, up to a metre wide, are common and partly to completely filled with coarsely crystalline calcite. Gouge seams up to 0.6 metre wide and slickensided surfaces mark many of the faults. More than one period of movement is evident, and some of the faults carry veinlets of calcite.
Two areas of cinnabar mineralization, the "A" and "B" showings, are situated approximately 304 metres apart and occur in brecciated limestone. The intervening area is mostly drift covered. The "B" showing has been developed by underground workings where mercury was recovered from an orebody approximately 152 by 76 by 6 metres.
Cinnabar is found in brecciated limestone near faults and fractures. The best ore is found closest to the faults. The cinnabar occurs as veinlets, blebs and individual grains filling minute fissures, and in places forms the breccia cement. It is also evident in solution cavities and as coatings on cleavage planes and the faces of calcite crystals. Limestone wallrock has been partly replaced by cinnabar, especially where it is finely fractured. Minor pyrite is also evident. Coarsely crystalline, pre-cinnabar calcite occurs along fault planes and fills solution cavities while veinlets of post-cinnabar calcite intersect the ore. Very little quartz has been observed in the ore and, apart from a few crystals in open cavities, most is fine grained.
The "B" showings occur along or in the vicinity of two major parallel faults, approximately 36 metres apart. While both strike 015 degrees, one dips 65 degrees northwest and the other nearly vertically. The faults are marked by as much as 3 metres of gouge, clay and breccia. On both faults, the hangingwalls have apparently moved north and down relative to the footwall rocks. Many branching faults and fractures are subsidiary to the major faults; the more pronounced strike is approximately 345 degrees. As fracture intensity decreases away from the faults, cinnabar mineralization also decreases. The resultant orebodies are very irregular in outline.
Two sets of faults have also been recognized at the "A" showings. These strike approximately 030 degrees and 300 degrees respectively. The northwest-striking fault dips approximately 55 degrees southwest and hosts the principal cinnabar mineralization. All the faults are marked by intensely brecciated limestone.
Production from the "B" showings orebodies started in November 1943 and continued to September 1944, when mining ceased. During nine months of operation, 59,914 kilograms of mercury were recovered from 10,206 tonnes of milled ore from the two largest orebodies (Geological Survey of Canada Memoir 252, page 157).
In 2003, with the intent of expanding its nearby Lustdust property (093N 009), Alpha Gold Corp purchased 8 two post claims which overlie the historic Bralorne Takla mine. A total of four drillholes where collared in the area of the Bralorne Takla Mercury Mine. Three of these drillholes where successfully completed. All boreholes intersected very large calcite, low silica, vein systems. However, significant values were not obtained from drillhole analyses. A extensive soil geochemical survey was also conducted in the mine area.
In 2005, Alpha Gold, as part of its Lustdust operation conducted a broad, grid-based soil sampling and bedrock mapping program that covered not only the Dream Creek area north of the Canyon skarn zone but also part of the Pinchi fault system at the former Bralorne Takla mercury mine A new exploration model for the Bralorne Takla has been developed based on work by Sillitoe and Bonham (1990) that links skarn- and sediment-hosted (Carlin-type) gold deposits. Based on this model, some of the core from the 2003 drill program
at the Bralorne Takla mercury mine has been sampled in 2005 with results pending.
See Lustdust (093N 009) for further details.