British Columbia Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas and Responsible for Housing
News | The Premier Online | Ministries & Organizations | Job Opportunities | Main Index

MINFILE Home page  ARIS Home page  MINFILE Search page  Property File Search
Help Help
File Created: 24-Jul-1985 by BC Geological Survey (BCGS)
Last Edit:  19-Jul-2020 by Karl A. Flower (KAF)

Summary Help Help

NMI 082G11 Cu1
BCGS Map 082G054
Status Past Producer NTS Map 082G11W
Latitude 049º 30' 12'' UTM 11 (NAD 83)
Longitude 115º 23' 09'' Northing 5484663
Easting 616868
Commodities Copper, Silver, Gold, Lead, Zinc Deposit Types I06 : Cu+/-Ag quartz veins
Tectonic Belt Foreland Terrane Ancestral North America
Capsule Geology

The property is located 23 kilometres due west of Fernie, extending north from the Bull River, astride Burntbridge Creek, between 900 and 1070 metres elevation.

In the Bull River mine area, quartz-siderite veins and veinlets host irregular blebs of chalcopyrite and disseminated pyrite and pyrrhotite. Malachite and azurite coat fractures in both vein and country rock as secondary minerals. Chalcopyrite is observed as fracture-fillings in less weathered host rocks. The veins are concentrated in highly fractured and sheared zones in dark grey laminated argillites and quartzites of the Helikian Aldridge Formation (Purcell Supergroup). The major veins ranged from 0.3 to 6 metres in width. The sediments are characterized by bands rich in fine, well-crystallized pyrite. The area is also intersected by dykes which are spatially related to mineralization.

Another zone of mineralization is reported approximately 300 metres north east of the Bull River mine portal. At this location several unnamed trenches, pits, and an adit are reported to expose east trending and vertically dipping quartz siderite veins up to 60 centimetres in width that can be traced for several hundred metres. The veining occurs within and along the contacts of the most northerly diorite dike that crosses the property and contains locally semi-massive galena and minor chalcopyrite.

Work History

A number of claims were located in the vicinity of Burntbridge Creek in about 1896. The Silver Chief, Silver Reef, and Silver Buckeye claims were owned by David Griffith of Wild Horse Creek. Development work was done in a 30-metre crosscut adit and 4.5-metre shaft. The Daisy Fr. claim, owned by Thomas Bevans, was developed by shallow pits and open cuts. The Silver Chief (Lot 3548) and Sirdar (Lot 3554) were Crown-granted to Dave Griffith in 1899.

No further activity was reported until 1927 when the Silver Chief, Sirdar, and Khedive claims were owned by A.B. Fenwick of Bull River. The workings at that time included a crosscut adit about 40 metres in length.

The ground was subsequently restaked but no further activity was reported until 1968.

Mineral Lease M-69 comprising Lots 14717-14752, which included the Big Bonanza 1-4, June 1-6, and Bonanza 1-30 claims, was owned in 1968 by J. Van Koughnett.

Placid Oil Company optioned the property and during 1968 carried out geological mapping, a megnetometer survey, trenching and stripping. A number of old pits and 460 metres of old adit were cleaned out. Diamond drilling was done in 23 surface holes (2260 metres) and 5 underground holes (310 metres). The property was expanded to include 62 located claims. Exploration work during 1969 included soil sampling, induced polarization and electromagnetic surveys, and 5415 metres of surface diamond drilling in 45 holes. This work indicated two orebodies amenable to open pit mining. A 750-tone per day mill was built and milling operations commenced on October 1, 1971. Mining had begun in Pit 2 in August with commencement of overburden removal. Exploratory drilling totalling 1168 metres was done in the vicinity of the tailings pond. Preproduction stripping of No. 1 pit began in 1972. Mining in No. 2 pit was completed in April 1973 and operations transferred to No. 1 pit. After completion of No. 2 pit, the pit was backfilled with material from No. 1 pit and almost completely refilled. Mining ceased in March 1974 because of depletion of open pit ore reserves. Milling of stockpiled ore continued until June 10th, 1974, when operations ceased.

In order to determine the feasibility of mining the underground reserves the company elected to sink a 200-metre exploration decline to intersect zone A, however, after several abortive attempts to collar the portal, the program was abandoned due to very blocky ground which could not be economically stabilized. Reserves are reported as 90,720 tonnes at 1.3 per cent copper, 0.31 gram per tonne gold, 21.77 grams per tonne silver (EMPR Reserves Map, 1984). Although milling operations began in October 1971 there is no available record of production for that year. During the period 1971-1974 inclusive, 471,900 tonnes of ore were milled. From this ore 126,123 grams of gold, 6,353,628 grams of silver, and 7,256,050 kilograms of copper were recovered.

Inferred (proven/probable/possible) reserves at Bull River are 2 million tonnes of copper-silver-gold ore (grade not given) (Open File 1992-1).

In 1996, R.H. Stanfield and Associates (Bul River Mineral Corp.) commenced excavation of a 1500-metre decline to provide access for underground drilling and sampling. Stanfield acquired the property from Placid Oil Co., who report reserves of 664,500 tonnes averaging 1.95 per cent copper, at a 1.00 per cent copper cut-off and minimum thickness of 1.2 metres (Assessment Report 23786). Stanfield has drilled the property since 1982.

In 1998, Bul River Mineral Corporation's exploration activity included 1100 metres on the 16 per cent decline (total 2000 metres), 725 metres level advance, 195 metres raise bore, 6508 metres of underground BQTK diamond drilling, 1144 metres of surface diamond drilling and 367 metres of percussion drilling. Measured and indicated resources are reported as 5.3 million tonnes, averaging 2.25 per cent copper, 36.34 grams per tonne silver and 12.0 grams per tonne gold (Bul River Mineral Corporation, 1998; Exploration in BC 1998, page 69). Calculation details are unavailable.

By December 1999 the decline had advanced approximately 3800 metres to the 900-foot level from surface. The company reported they spent $11.5 million in 1999 on underground development, bulk sampling and analytical work. This included extending the decline by 554 metres, 1424 metres of level development, 11,169 metres of underground drilling, 1741 metres of surface drilling and a 306-metre raise. Ministry geologists visited the site in June 1999 and took ten splits of mineralized vein material from three diamond-drill holes and five rock chip samples from veins exposed in the underground workings at the 300 and 500 levels for independent assay. The median gold grade returned by fire assay from ten mineralized core samples was 0.28 gram per tonne with the best intersect being 4.77 grams per tonne over 1.1 metres. Neutron activation results were in close agreement with those by fire assay.

In 2000, an exploratory underground drill hole (BRUOO-60) within the Gallowai-Bull River Mine (Mining Lease-93) workings to ascertain possible economic mineralization to the west of the current underground operation. Nine samples were collected from a 5.3 metre section of carbonate- rich vein containing pyrrhotite, pyrite and elevated copper values (Assessment Report 26638).

During 1996 through 2009, approximately 21 000 metres of underground development was reported to have been completed, including exposure of the mineralized structures on seven levels along access drives and crosscuts. Underground work has consisted of development and sill drifting in mineralized material.

During 2001 through 2009, 41,047.2 metres of underground drilling and 42,060.6 metres of surface diamond drilling were completed on the property.

In 2011 and 2012, Moose Mountain Technical Services completed additional drill core sampling, pulp re-assaying and underground sampling. A inferred resource of 746,000 tonnes grading 2.61 per cent copper, 16.40 grams per tonne silver and 0.17 gram per tonne gold, using a 1.9 per cent copper equivalent cut-off grade and a minimum mining width of 3 metres, was reported (Bird, S. (2019-01-22): NI43-101 Technical Report - Gallowai-Bul River Resource Estimate).

In 2013, a further 1154.33 metres of underground drilling and surface drilling each are reported to have been completed on the property. An updated mineral resource was reported at 1.484 million tonnes indicated grading 1.42 per cent copper, 10.0 grams per tonne silver and 0.30 gram per tonne gold with 1.732 million tonnes inferred grading 1.47 per cent copper, 11.4 grams per tonne silver and 0.40 gram per tonne gold, using a 0.6 per cent copper equivalent cut-off grade and no minimum mining width (Bird, S. (2019-01-22): NI43-101 Technical Report - Gallowai-Bul River Resource Estimate).

In 2017, TerraLogic completed an airborne electromagnetic and induced polarization survey on the area.

In November 2018, an updated mineral resource estimate for the Bul River deposit was reported at 2.179 million tonnes indicated grading 1.517 copper, 0.352 gram per tonne gold and 12.2 grams per tonne silver and 0.513 million tonnes inferred grading 1.279 per cent copper, 0.284 gram per tonne gold and 8.7 grams per tonne silver, using a 0.6 per cent copper equivalent cut-off grade and a minimum mining width of 2.5 metres (Bird, S. (2019-01-22): NI43-101 Technical Report - Gallowai-Bul River Resource Estimate).

EMPR AR 1898-1005-1006; 1899-658-659,841; *1927-266-267; 1968-269; 1972-A52; 1973-A52; 1974-A118
EMPR EXPL 1978-E68; 1982-77; 1983-105; 1996-E2; 1997-50; 1998-12, 69-70; 1999-40-52; 2000-43-53
EMPR FIELDWORK 1978, p. 117; *1979, p. 115; *1999, pp. 307-313
EMPR GEM 1969-348; 1970-476; 1971-417; 1972-65; *1973-84; 1974-79
EMPR GF 2000-6, p. 6
EMPR INF CIRC 1998-1, p. 22; 1999-1, pp. 10, 12; 2000-1, pp. 15-16
EMPR OF 1988-14; 1992-1
EMPR PF (unknown (unknown): Typical structural relationship veins and argillite rocks; *Chiang, M.C. (1972): Report on Underground Ore Reserve Estimation Bull River Mine, 11 pp.; *Chiang, M.C. (1973): Geology of the Bull River Mine, Placid Oil Company, 18 pp.; Placid Oil Company Ltd. (1974-01-01): Bull River - Placid Oil Company - Profile On Cross Section 0-00 - Fort Steele - Jan 1974; Allen, A.R. (1976): Report on the Holdings of R.H. Stanfield, Geology and Ore Potential, in 082G General; Allen, A.R. (1976-08-17): The R.H. Stanfield Holdings - South Eastern British Columbia; Stanfield, R.H. (1979-08-02): Mineral Claims Map - Bull River)
EMR MR 223, B.C. 44
EMR RESFILE (Bull River Mine)
GSC MAP 11-1960
N MINER Feb. 7, 28, 2000
Business in Vancouver, Mar. 28, 2000
Edmonton Journal, Jan. 13, 2000
The Edmonton Sun, Jan. 13, 2000
*Bird, S. (2019-01-22): NI43-101 Technical Report - Gallowai-Bul River Resource Estimate