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File Created: 24-Jul-1985 by BC Geological Survey (BCGS)
Last Edit:  03-Dec-1990 by Garry J. Payie (GJP)

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NMI 092C8 Au1
BCGS Map 092C049
Status Showing NTS Map 092C08W, 092C09W
Latitude 048º 29' 12'' UTM 10 (NAD 83)
Longitude 124º 17' 13'' Northing 5371193
Easting 404907
Commodities Gold Deposit Types C01 : Surficial placers
Tectonic Belt Insular Terrane Overlap Assemblage, Pacific Rim
Capsule Geology

The Sombrio Placers, on the southwest coast of Vancouver Island near Sombrio Point, occur in a fairly level coastal area composed of sand, gravel and clay from 60 to 120 metres in depth. These gold placers are apparently the remains of a glacial delta deposited by glacial and postglacial rivers that drained southwestward through the Leech River valley. The east side of the delta is cut by Loss Creek, and the west side, up to 3 kilometres away, by the Sombrio River.

The Leech River fault stretches from west of Victoria westward along the Leech River and Loss Creek valleys to the coast near Sombrio Point. To the north of the fault the area is underlain by metamorphic rock of the Jurassic to Cretaceous Leech River Complex. To the south of the fault the rocks are mainly basalts of the Eocene Metchosin Volcanics. The gold is thought to have been derived from quartz veins and stringers known to occur in slate of the Leech River Complex.

The Spaniards first identified gold in the area in 1792; the name "Sombrio" is Spanish for colours. Elaborate camps and engineering works were constructed on the property from 1900 to 1930. Some production was reported to have occurred from 1907 to 1914 utilizing a 50-man monitor and sluice operation. Work continued on the deposit in the 1970's and 1980's. An estimate of the size of the deposit was given by Clapp as 155,000,000 cubic yards (Geological Survey of Canada Memoir 13, page 155).

EMPR AR 1909-151; 1910-161; 1913-290; 1914-386; 1915-290; 1916-367; 1929-369; 1930-287
EMPR ASS RPT 7368, 10896, 12407
EMPR FIELDWORK 1988, pp. 525-527; 1989, pp. 503-510
EMPR PF (Map of the Hydraulic Gold Leases - Sombrio and Loss Rivers, Sombrio Placer Mining Syndicate, 1930's; Geochemical Report on Loss Creek and Sombrio Claim Groups, Armside Mining Company Limited, 1974; Report on the Sombrio Point Alluvial Gold Deposit, Ian M. Sherwin)
GSC MEM 13, p. 154
GSC OF 463; 821
GSC P 72-44; 76-1A; 79-30
CAN ROCKHOUND Internet Magazine, Summer 1997, Vol. 1, No. 3; Rockhounding on Vancouver Island
GCNL #216,#227, 1983; #5,#35, 1984; #9,#116, 1985
IPDM Nov/Dec, 1983
N MINER Dec.8,29, 1983; Feb.2,20, Mar.22, Oct.27, 1984
Hudson, R. (1997): A Field Guide to Gold, Gemstone & Mineral Sites of British Columbia, Vol. 1: Vancouver Island, p. 75