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File Created: 24-Jul-1985 by BC Geological Survey (BCGS)
Last Edit:  04-Aug-2020 by Karl A. Flower (KAF)

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NMI 082F14 Ag19
BCGS Map 082F094
Status Past Producer NTS Map 082F14E
Latitude 049º 57' 51'' UTM 11 (NAD 83)
Longitude 117º 13' 29'' Northing 5534671
Easting 483883
Commodities Silver, Lead, Zinc, Cadmium, Gold, Copper Deposit Types I05 : Polymetallic veins Ag-Pb-Zn+/-Au
Tectonic Belt Omineca Terrane Quesnel
Capsule Geology

The Silversmith occurrence is located immediately south of Sandon at 1463 metres elevation above sea level, on the west side of Sandon Creek, in the Slocan Mining Division. The occurrence is developed on a vein that traverses the entire property which includes, from east to west, the Slocan Star (Lot 545), Jennie (Lot 546), Windsor (Lot 1016), Silversmith (Lot 1010) and Rabbit Paw (Lot 1252) Crown grants.

The Slocan Star oreshoot was located in October 1891, and first produced ore in 1893. The first operating company was Byron N. White Company, of Spokane, Washington. In 1904 litigation began which involved extralateral rights of the Rabbit Paw claim, owned by the Star Milling and Mining Company. The suit lasted about 7 years and was finally settled against the Byron N. White Company. Following this the two companies were amalgamated as the Slocan Star Mining Company, in 1911. In 1917, with the Slocan Star orebody exhausted and other development not very productive, the company got into financial difficulties and was reorganized the following year as Silversmith Mines Limited. The rich Silversmith orebody which was mined until 1926 was found shortly afterwards. Mining was sharply curtailed in 1927, and from then until 1936 production amounted to only about 13,600 tons. No further work was carried out by the company.

In 1948 an agreement to purchase was entered into with Carnegie Mines Limited, later (1951) Carnegie Mines of British Columbia Limited. Mining and underground development has been carried on intermittently since both by the company and by lessees. In 1958 under terms of an agreement with Violamac Mines Limited, Carnegie Mines of British Columbia Limited was reorganized and renamed Carnegie Mining Corporation Limited.

The workings of the Silversmith and Slocan Star Mines include 6 adits, Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 10, connected by shifts and raises from which 6 principal blind levels, Nos. 6, 7, 8, 9, 11 and 12 have been run. These workings are described by both Cairnes (1935) and Hedley (1952).

Regionally, the area lies on the western margin of the Kootenay Arc, in allochthonous rocks of the Quesnel Terrane. In the vicinity of the occurrence, the Quesnel Terrane is dominated by the Upper Triassic Slocan Group, a thick sequence of deformed and metamorphosed shale, argillite, siltstone, quartzite and minor limestone. Rocks of the Slocan Group are tightly and disharmonically folded. Early minor folds are tight to isoclinal with moderate east plunging, southeast inclined axial planes and younger folds are open, southwest plunging with subhorizontal axial planes. The sedimentary sequence has been regionally metamorphosed to lower greenschist facies.

South of the occurrence, the Slocan Group has been intruded by the Middle Jurassic Nelson intrusions which comprise at least six texturally and compositionally distinct phases ranging from diorite to lamprophyre. The most dominant phase is a medium to coarse grained potassium feldspar porphyritic granite. Several feldspar porphyritic granodiorite dikes, apparently related to the Nelson intrusions, also cut the sedimentary sequence near the occurrence (Paper 1989-5).

The rocks hosting the occurrence consist of massive, more or less carbonaceous argillite, quartzite and limestone of the Slocan Group. The structure is complicated by folding and faulting but in general, the beds strike south to southeast near the Slocan Star workings and swing west on the Silversmith Crown grant. Dips are generally between 30 and 75 degrees south.

The sedimentary rocks have been intruded by a plug of biotite feldspar porphyry and numerous light coloured, medium to fine grained quartz or feldspar porphyry dikes and sills less than 10 metres thick and dark coloured, irregular olivine, pyroxene or biotite lamprophyre dikes usually less than a metre thick. The more felsic dikes are altered and strongly sheared. Most are regular and conform to the general strike of the bedding. The mafic dikes are younger than the felsic dikes and appear associated with the fissure vein structures.

The Silversmith occurrence represents the continuation of the Slocan King (082FNW196) and Richmond-Eureka (082FNW054) deposits to the east and Ruth-Hope (082FNW052) deposit to the west. On the Silversmith property, the deposit has been exploited for a total strike length of 825 metres in six adits connected by raises and shafts. The main access was from the lowest or No. 10 adit.

The deposit consists of a vein within a fissure zone that has a curving strike swinging from due east on the Slocan Star claim to northwest on the eastern part of the Silversmith and Windsor Crown grants and southwest on the western part to the Silversmith and Rabbit Paw Crown grants. The average dip is about 47 degrees south. In the lower levels of the Silversmith mine, the vein steepens to about 75 degrees. The irregular trace of the deposit is due to the changing trend of the enclosing sedimentary rocks and also in part due to a large porphyry plug located in the central part of the property. The fissure vein is widest where its attitude conforms to bedding and is most sharply defined and narrow where it cuts bedding at high angles. The vein also widens at the marked bends in its course. Although the fissure zone is continuous across the entire property, it is mainly composed of a series of en echelon fractures and shears striking northeast and northwest. The northeast fractures are open and usually carry most of the mineralization while the northwest fractures resemble shears and are rarely mineralized. The fissure varies in width from a few centimetres to 25 metres. It is mostly filled with crushed wallrock. Large blocks of feldspar porphyry and massive sulphide have been incorporated within the fissure zone. Large nodules of massive sulphide and fragments of strongly folded ore have been transported a considerable distance from their site of deposition by extensive post-mineralization movement within the shear zone.

Two separate orebodies were mined, the Silversmith and the Slocan Star. The Slocan Star orebody has been stoped for approximately 365 metres downdip. The stopes varied in length from 10 metres up to a maximum of 150 metres between the second and fourth levels of the mine. Galena, sphalerite, tetrahedrite, pyrite, chalcopyrite, quartz and siderite formed discontinuous lenses, some of massive ore but most were mixed with crushed wallrock. The lenses were up to several metres wide aligned diagonally across the fissure. Galena was the most abundant sulphide and usually associated with quartz.

The Silversmith orebody has been mined for about 150 metres along strike and 180 metres downdip. The deposit was widest above the No. 8 level where two mineralized fissures joined to form a 10 metre wide orebody. Ore minerals were similar to the Slocan Star.

Production from the Silversmith and Slocan Star orebodies between 1893 and 1965 yielded about 226 tonnes of silver, 32,524 tonnes of lead, 11,751 tonnes of zinc, 17 tonnes of cadmium and 37 kilograms of gold from 355,110 tonnes mined.

During 2007 through 2009, Klondike Gold Corp. completed programs of prospecting, soil sampling and trenching on the area.

EMPR AR 1892-531; 1893-1044,1055,1058,1062; 1894-740; 1895-674; 1896-
37,46,48,49,51,66,68,560; 1897-532,574; 1898-1074,1155,1158; 1899-
688; 1900-828; 1902-148; 1903-135; 1904-183,200; 1905-25,157,159;
1906-145; 1907-100; 1908-99,247; 1909-114; 1910-98,244; 1911-134,
136; 1912-149; 1913-125,420; 1914-287,510; 1915-121,445; 1916-197,
516; 1917-161,448; 1918-166; 1919-125,154; 1920-124; 1921-134,138;
1922-19,194; 1923-221; 1924-19,195; 1925-48,239,246; 1926-247;
1927-270; 1928-286; 1929-305; 1930-230,247; 1931-138,141; 1932-
160,178; 1933-200,206; 1934-A26,E33; 1936-E53; 1940-80; 1948-145;
1949-188; 1950-144; 1951-43,169,313; 1952-174,335; 1953-46,136,
138; 1954-51,139,260; 1956-A51,94; 1957-A47,52; 1958-46,160; 1959-
68; 1960-76; 1961-76; 1962-80; 1963-A50,77; 1964-A56,124;
EMPR BC METAL MM01127; MM01404
EMPR BULL *29, pp. 108-116, Figs. 13,14
EMPR INDEX 3-189,213; 4-125
EMPR LMP Fiche No. 61530-61533
EMPR OF 1998-10
EMPR P 1989-5
EMPR PF (Underground plans and sections, Silversmith, Slocan Star and
Richmond-Eureka mines; Jaeger, H.W. (1937): Report of Silversmith
Mines Limited)
EMR MP CORPFILE (Slocan Star Mines Limited, Silversmith Mines Limited,
Carnegie Mining Corporation Limited)
GSC ANN RPT 1894 Part A, p. 33; 1925 Part A, pp. 205-206
GSC MAP 273A; 1091A; 1667
GSC MEM 173, p. 15; *184, pp. 124-129; 308, p. 128
CANMET IR 12 (1906), pp. 184-189; 421 (1915), pp. 110-114 (No. 37);
670 (1925), pp. 45-47 (No. 228)
Nelson Daily News Dec.7, 1953
Höy, T. (2016-06-28): Technical Report – The Slocan Silver Camp