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File Created: 22-Apr-1991 by George Owsiacki (GO)
Last Edit:  28-Jul-2023 by Garry J. Payie (GJP)

Summary Help Help

Name MCNEIL, MCNEIL CREEK Mining Division Fort Steele, Nelson
BCGS Map 082F040, 082G031
Status Prospect NTS Map 082F08E, 082G05W
Latitude 049º 22' 07'' UTM 11 (NAD 83)
Longitude 116º 00' 02'' Northing 5468914
Easting 572560
Commodities Lead, Zinc, Silver, Copper, Gold Deposit Types E14 : Sedimentary exhalative Zn-Pb-Ag
I05 : Polymetallic veins Ag-Pb-Zn+/-Au
Tectonic Belt Omineca Terrane Ancestral North America
Capsule Geology

The McNeil prospect is located 22 kilometres southwest of Cranbrook and 12 kilometres west of Moyie Lake.

The McNeil area entirely underlain by rocks of the Helikian Aldridge Formation (Purcell Supergroup) and predominantly comprise siltstones and quartzites. The sediments are relatively flat-lying and are thinly to very thickly bedded. A gently north-northeast plunging syncline is centred in the south part of the property. Lower Aldridge Formation rocks have been mapped on the east limb of the syncline, immediately north of the northeast trending Moyie fault. The west limb of the syncline is cut by the north trending McNeil Creek fault, a major steeply west dipping(?) normal fault with vertical displacement in the order of 1000 metres. Several thick, regional gabbro intrusions of the Proterozoic Moyie Intrusions also occur on the property. The uppermost of these, the "Hiawatha" sill, has been intersected in several diamond-drill holes.

Mineralization is of two types: 1) stratabound base metal sulphides developed at the Lower-Middle Aldridge Formation contact; and 2) a series of mineralized quartz veins in Middle Aldridge Formation rocks. The stratabound mineralization generally occurs as banded sphalerite and as fracture-fillings and disseminations. A best drill intersection assayed 1.74 per cent zinc over 40 centimetres (Drill hole M-89-3, Assessment Report 19989d). Surface trenching and drilling has disclosed vein-controlled copper mineralization partly associated with the gabbros, as is common elsewhere in the region. Anomalous gold also occurs on the property in quartz veins, gabbro, and fault zones, and may be related to the McNeil Creek fault (which extends into the Palmer Bar fault, known to carry gold mineralization).

A series of sulphide-mineralized quartz veins occur in hydrothermally altered lower Middle Aldridge Formation quartzites and siltstones, just above the hanging wall of a regionally extensive, thick gabbro sill, on the west limb of the McNeil syncline. The veins occur near the gabbro hanging wall contact in an orthogonal set of fractures, of which two are steeply dipping and one is relatively flat. Wallrock adjacent to the vein zones are commonly altered. Vein widths range from a few centimetres to 1.5 metres. The veins carry galena, sphalerite, chalcopyrite, and pyrite with gold and silver values. Cerussite and pyromorphite are extensively developed from weathering of galena, and chalcopyrite is typically oxidized to malachite; sphalerite has been weathered to smithsonite. The veins are oriented at approximately 120 degrees and are steeply dipping.

Geochemical anomalies at surface are weak (less than 800 parts per million lead, 450 parts per million zinc and 5.3 parts per million silver). Twenty-one drillholes for a total of 5621 metres were drilled and intersected anomalous (250 parts per million) zinc and lead (100 parts per million) over true widths of 7-16 metres at the LMC. Anomalous gold up to 30 parts per billion occurs in Aldridge rocks, and anomalous gold to 19 parts per billion plus platinum-group metals platinum, palladium, and rhodium, occurs in drill intersections of gabbro. (Assessment Reports 19277 and 19989).

The best intersection of vein material assayed 13.99 per cent lead, 2.11 per cent zinc and 137.8 grams per tonne silver over 0.65 metre (Drill hole M-89-14, Assessment Report 19989d). There is a spatial and genetic relationship between the quartz veins and the "Hiawatha" sill, with the veins occurring near the juncture of feeder dike(s) and the gabbro sill.

Alteration is very weak and consists of minor chlorite on fractures associated with mineralized intervals, chalcedonic silica and sericite associated with stratabound mineralization, and biotite-chlorite associated with anomalous gold. Lamprophyre dikes, believed to be Cretaceous or Tertiary, may be associated with the anomalous gold. Tourmalinite (identified in thin section as recrystallized coarse-grained material compared to Sullivan tourmalinite) is known in float.


In 1979, lead and zinc mineralization were found by Edward Frost on the property (Assessment Report 16606). During the next few years, a considerable amount of trenching was carried out on the shear zones to better expose them.

In 1986, a program of linecutting, geological mapping and soil sampling was conducted by owner/operator Edward Frost (Assessment Report 16606).

In 1988, a geophysical program consisting of 62 kilometres of HLEM VLF, and 31 kilometres of ground magnetic surveying was completed in the Mar 3-4 and Ram 1-2 claim area on behalf Dragoon Resources Ltd.

In 1988, the McNeil property was optioned to South Kootenay Goldfields Inc. From 1988 into 1989, to test a series of sulphide veins mainly in the Mar 3 and 4 claims area, South Kootenay Goldfields drilled 2677 metres in 8 diamond-drill holes; they followed later in 1989 and 1990 by drilling 5621 metres in twenty-one holes (Assessment Reports 19277 and 19989). Besides drilling, significant linecutting, geophysical surveying, and soil sampling were completed, and twenty-nine trenches were dug by excavator. The Mar 4 claim corresponds in location to the more recent (in 1997) Phantom 1 claim, the main mineralized area intersected by drilling.

During 1995 soil sampling and prospecting was carried out on the Phantom 1 claim by owner Frank O’Grady (Assessment Report 24031). O'Grady also conducted a magnetometer and VLF survey over a portion of the MAR 3 claim (Assessment Report 24044). Also, in 1995 O'Grady completed a program of geology, prospecting, and soil sampling on the Cubby 1 to 10 claims (Assessment Report 24417).

In 1996, an exploration program was completed on behalf of owner/operator Frank O'Grady who held the Mar 3, Phantom 1, and the Cubby 1 to 10 claims. The work was conducted almost entirely on the MAR 3 and MAR 4 (Assessment Report 24916).

In 1996, operator and part owner Sedex Mining Corp undertook to evaluate their extensive South Moyie River claim block, which contained a sliver of claims along the western boundary of the 082GW map area that included the McNeil River claims (Cubby, Phantom 1, and Mar 3). Work in 1996 included the collection of 158 silt samples, 521 soil samples and 113 rocks samples, geological mapping over 16875 hectares, gravity-geophysical surveying over 403 kilometres and the completion of an airborne magnetic survey over 1246 kilometres. Most of this work was completed on the 082FSE part of the claim block (Assessment Report 24786).

In 1998, Sedex Mining Corp completed one diamond drill hole totaling 455.4 meters in order to intersect the contact between the Lower Aldridge Formation and the Middle Aldridge Formation (Assessment Report 26026). The drill was set up on the Phantom claim which covered the same ground as the earlier Mar 4 claim, where drilling had intersected mineralization documented as the McNeil Creek prospect (082GSW024).

In 2002, work by operator Klondike Gold Corp (owners: F. O'Grady and Sedex Mining Corp.) on their McNeil property (Phantom 1, Mar 3, MCL 54-57, and RNG 1 claims) consisted of unique geological mapping by using the correlation of two deep drill holes. Re-evaluation of the area using this new information identified several key marker units that allow correlation of the stratigraphic succession with Sullivan succession to the north, allowing construction of a map that can be used to determine depth to the Sullivan horizon in the area (Assessment Report 27005). MINFILE showing Pee Pee (082GSW038) occurs on the RNG 1 claim.

In 2015, 24.9 kilometres of ground electromagnetic surveying (VLF) was completed on the Mac's Attack claim area that covers the McNeil prospect (083GSW024) (Assessment Report 35430). VLF data reported in Assessment Report 19277 was reprocessed to produce cross-sectional images of the near-surface electrical conductivity structure for the Mac’s Attack property.

In 2019, Salt Spring Imaging, on behalf of “Mac Attack” property owner Sean Kennedy, completed an analysis of previously reported airborne magnetic data (Assessment Report 38865). The results include identification and delineation of a prominent and extensive zone of elevated conductivity and magnetic susceptibility in the near subsurface that has not been tested by drilling.

EMPR EXPL 1998-68
EMPR OF 1988-14; 2000-22
EMPR PF (Prospectors Report 1996-17 by Frank O'Grady)
GSC MAP 11-1960; 603A
GSC MEM 76; 228; 336
GSC OF 820; 929; 2721
GSC P 58-10
GCNL #182(Sept.22), #184(Sept.24), #191(Oct.5), 1998
Placer Dome File