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File Created: 09-May-88 by Gordon S. Archer(GSA)
Last Edit:  10-Mar-15 by Sarah Meredith-Jones(SMJ)

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NMI 104B11 Au2
Name SNIP, TWIN, SNIP 1, ROPE, TARA, TWIN WEST Mining Division Liard
BCGS Map 104B065
Status Past Producer NTS Map 104B11E
Latitude 56º 40' 07" N UTM 09 (NAD 83)
Longitude 131º 06' 32" W Northing 6282486
Easting 370764
Commodities Gold, Silver, Zinc, Copper, Lead Deposit Types I02 : Intrusion-related Au pyrrhotite veins
Tectonic Belt Intermontane Terrane Stikine
Capsule Geology

The Snip mine area, near the junction of the Craig and Iskut rivers is underlain by a series of folded and faulted volcanics, volcaniclastic and clastic sedimentary rocks of Mesozoic age.

The Snip mine itself is underlain by a sequence of fine to coarse grained feldspathic to lithic greywackes with lesser intercalated siltstone, mudstone and conglomerate. This sequence is correlated with the Upper Triassic Stuhini Group. The Snip deposit is hosted within a 200 metre interval of biotite altered, feldspathic to lithic greywacke in this lower sedimentary sequence.

These layered rocks are intruded by intermediate to felsic stocks and plutons of Jurassic and younger age that are related to the Tertiary-Jurassic Coast Plutonic Complex. The area is extensively cut by regional thrust faults and more regional northeast and northwest striking normal block faults.

The Twin zone is a 0.5 to 15(?)-metre wide sheared quartz- carbonate-sulphide vein that cuts through a massively bedded feldspathic greywacke-siltstone sequence. Bedding strikes from 045 to 100 degrees and dips 10 to 45 degrees northwest. A post- mineralization dike divides the vein into two parts for most of its length.

Massive sulphides occur in foliation-parallel veins of predominantly massive pyrite 5 centimetres to more than 1 metre thick. Massive pyrrhotite is present locally. Other significant sulphides include, in decreasing order of abundance, arsenopyrite, sphalerite, chalcopyrite and galena. Streaks of magnetite occur in some pyrite veins with 1 to 5 per cent disseminated pyrrhotite. Both black biotite and annite streaks are associated with the sulphides, but seldom exceed more than 10 per cent of the vein volume. Calcite is interstitial to sulphide grains in most veins and quartz eyes are common in pyrrhotite-rich ore. Both chalcopyrite and fine (less than a millimetre) visible gold are commonly spatially associated with the quartz.

Quartz mineralization consists of foliation-parallel quartz veins containing the same sulphide species as the massive sulphide veins, but sulphide content seldom exceeds 2 per cent. The relative abundance of pyrite is generally less than that in massive sulphide mineralization;other sulphides, notably pyrrhotite and chalcopyrite, are proportionally more abundant. Annite. and less abundantly, black biotite, commonly comprises 5 per cent of the quartz veins, but locally forms up to 50 per cent of the vein. Bladed quartz-annite intergrowth is common in veins with abundant annite. Blades are generally perpendicular to the vein walls.

Quartz veins are invariably strongly fractured and have been described as "crackle quartz". Fractures are usually filled with calcite and/or iron carbonate, giving the quartz veins a carbonate content of 1 to 4 per cent. Annite and sulphides may also occur as fracture filling. Visible gold is usually associated with or enclosed in sulphides and annite as fine, free gold, but may also occur as disseminations in unfractured quartz.

Progressive increase in sulphide content over distances of 1 to 2 metres commonly produces a gradation from quartz to sulphide vein mineralization, implying a genetic relationship between these two ore types.

The Twin zone mineralization consists of two zones occupying a 120 degree structure with dips varying from 30 to 90 degrees southwest. The dip length of the deposit is about 500 metres and has been traced over a strike length of 1000 metres. Minor/trace amounts of bismuth and lead tellurides, including tellurobismuthite, cosalite, hessite and volynskite have been noted in thin sections. Narrow parts of the mineralized zone often comprise dominantly one band of sulphide while thicker sections show repetitive banding of all ore types. The thicker sections also contain interbands of biotite-carbonate-potassium feldspar-altered feldspathic wacke. Later shearing has developed a strong to moderate foliation within this zone and is best defined in the biotite (chlorite)-rich bands. Vein boundaries are usually sharp with well-defined gold values plus lower grade values in the immediate footwall and hanging wall. Minor fault offsets were noted and extensive right lateral tension gashes are common.

Gold mineralization occurs in 1 centimetre to 1 metre alternating bands of massive (streaky) calcite, heavily disseminated to massive pyrite, biotite-calcite as thin bands or streaks, or in quartz with sulphides in a crackle breccia or pyritic to non-pyritic fault gouge.

Work History
The Snip 1 and 2 claims, located by Cominco Ltd. in 1982, were staked over the company’s Red Bluff property and adjacent ground. A gold showing was discovered at about 670 metres elevation on Snip 1 claim on the lower northwest slope of Mount Johnny 1 km west of and on the opposite side of the ridge from the Red Bluff claims. In 1985, Cominco carried out a geochemical survey comprising 36 soil and 26 rock samples.
Delaware Resources Corp. optioned a 50 per cent interest in the property in 1986. Work that year included geochemical soil surveys, trenching, and 1494 metres of diamond drilling in 13 holes. The agreement was renegotiated in early 1987 giving Delaware the right to earn 100 per cent interest subject to Cominco backing in for a 60 per cent interest. In 1987, Cominco, as operator of the joint venture, completed about 14 000 metres of diamond drilling in 73 holes. Underground exploration was started in March 1988. Delaware Resources and Colossus Resource Equities merged into Prime Resources Corporation. Underground exploration was carried out on the 180, 300 and 340 metre levels. Between August 1988 and October 1989, 41 000 metres of underground diamond drilling and 4200 metres of underground work were completed and by mid-1990, 63 700 metres of surface and underground diamond drilling were completed. In 1990, Prime Resources Corp became Prime Resources Group Inc.

Reserves estimated by Cominco at January 1, 1995 were 625,000 tonnes grading 26.5 grams per tonne gold, sufficient until the fourth quarter of 1998 (Information Circular 1995-9, page 6).

Proven and probable ore reserves at January 1, 1996 were 347,782 tonnes grading 26.7 grams per tonne gold. In addition, there are possible reserves of 132,890 tonnes grading 23.6 grams per tonne gold (George Cross News Letter No.64 (March 29), 1996).

In 1997, Homesake Canada Inc continued to explore the Snip property with 12 BQ drillholes totalling 2788 metres on the Jim 1, Jim 2 and Mining Lease 37.

Proven and probable ore reserves at January 1, 1997 were 334,720 tonnes grading 24.7 grams per tonne gold. Geological resources were 17,235 tonnes grading 19 grams per tonne gold (George Cross News Letter No. 25 (February 5), 1997).

The Snip Mine is owned and operated by Prime Resources Group Inc. at January 1, 1998 were 210,470 tonnes grading 23.25 grams per tonne gold. Geological resources (mineralized material) were 23,590 tonnes grading 25.75 grams per tonne gold (Prime Resources Group Inc., Press Release, January 22, 1998).

In December 1998, International Skyline Gold and Homestake Canada, a wholly owned subsidiary of Homestake Mining, agreed to explore and possibly mine a portion of Skyline's claims neighbouring the Snip mine. See Bronson Slope for details (104B 077).

Mining was completed and production suspended during the second quarter of 1999. Reclamation activities have started and will be completed by the end of 1999. Recovery of about 2500 kilograms of gold from the tailings pond may be considered.

From 1991 to 1999, the Snip Mine produced 32.093 million grams of gold, 12.183 million grams of silver and 249,276 kilograms of copper from about 1.2 million tonnes.

Bibliography
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Prime Capital Corporation, Iskut River Gold Camp Poster, July, 1988
Rhys, D.A. (1993): Geology of the Snip mine and its relationship to the magmatic and deformational history of the Johnny Mountain area, northwestern British Columbia. The University of British Columbia, unpublished M.Sc. thesis, 1993, 278 pp.
Rhys, D.A. (1996): The Snip and Johnny Mountain Gold Mines: Early Jurassic Intrusive-Related Vein Systems, Iskut River Area, B.C.; Geological Survey of Canada, Mineral Deposit Research Unit and B.C. Dept. of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, New Mineral Deposit Models Short Course, January 1996, Vancouver, B.C., and December, 1996 in Spokane, Washington
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The Province, Jan. 13, 1991

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