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File Created: 24-Jul-1985 by BC Geological Survey (BCGS)
Last Edit:  18-Apr-2008 by Mandy N. Desautels (MND)

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NMI 092F15 Cu3
BCGS Map 092F078
Status Past Producer NTS Map 092F15E
Latitude 049º 45' 30'' UTM 10 (NAD 83)
Longitude 124º 32' 49'' Northing 5512910
Easting 388583
Commodities Gold, Copper, Wollastonite, Silver, Molybdenum, Zinc, Lead, Tungsten, Bismuth, Tellurium Deposit Types K01 : Cu skarn
K05 : W skarn
Tectonic Belt Insular Terrane Wrangell
Capsule Geology

The Little Billie mine is located just outside the town of Vananda on the northeast coast of Texada Island, 120 kilometres northwest of Vancouver. Historic work at the Little Billie mine has included moderate underground development. The shaft collar is situated on Lots 521 and 522, 0.5 kilometre east-southeast of Vananda Cove.

Northern Texada Island is underlain by Karmutsen Formation pillowed and massive basaltic flows with thick units of pillowed breccia conformably overlain by massive limestone of the Quatsino Formation, both of the Upper Triassic Vancouver Group. Various Middle Jurassic stocks and minor intrusions, ranging in composition from gabbro through diorite to quartz monzonite, intrude the volcanics and limestones. These intrusions are locally associated with iron and copper-gold skarn mineralization. A major episode of folding (F1) has resulted in the limestones and, to a lesser extent, the underlying volcanics, being deformed into a series of broad, northwest trending open folds that plunge northwards. Three subparallel northwest striking lineaments are also recognized and coincide with the Ideal, Holly and Marble Bay faults. These faults cut a set of northeast striking faults. The Marble Bay fault, and to a lesser extent the Ideal fault, have apparently controlled the emplacement of some of the Jurassic intrusions and their associated skarn mineralization.

The Little Billie occurrence, near the Marble Bay fault, is underlain by massive, recrystallized limestone of the Quatsino Formation intruded by the Cretaceous Little Billy stock comprised of a light grey, fine to medium-grained equigranular tonalite. A suite of amphibole rich mafic dykes also occur and appear to pre- and postdate the Little Billy stock. The limestone is gently folded and bedding is poorly defined. Skarn mineralization is spatially associated with the dykes and stock. Mineralization often forms irregular pipe-like bodies that plunge moderately, subparallel to the contacts between limestone and intrusive rocks. The mafic dykes appear to be of two generations. The older, and commonly altered northeast striking dykes cut only the limestone and are cut off along strike by the Little Billy stock. They contain abundant veinlets and lenses of garnet-diopside skarn which locally have completely replaced the dyke rock. The younger, "fresher looking" dykes strike east and cut the older dykes, the Little Billy stock and skarn developed along the intrusive/limestone contacts. Several, west-dipping, quartz-feldspar porphyry and hornblende-feldspar porphyry dykes are locally present in the mine area but are not exposed in the mine workings. Numerous minor faults are exposed underground. At the Little Billie mine, irregularly distributed skarn and related mineralization is developed in limestone near the tonalitic Little Billy stock where amphibole-rich mafic dykes cut the limestone. The skarn also extends into dyke material. The shape of the skarns are determined by the tonalite/limestone contacts or by the attitude of the mafic dykes. The skarns are comprised of coarse, light tan grossularite and light green and dark brown andradite garnet as well as wollastonite, clinopyroxene (diopside), tremolite, quartz and feldspar.

Two types of skarn ore are recognized; one is characterized by a gangue of coarse granular brown garnet and abundant magnetite that is loosely held together and the second by a gangue of green garnet, wollastonite and diopside which is dense and hard. The main ore minerals are chalcopyrite and bornite with variable but minor amounts of molybdenite, pyrite, magnetite and sphalerite. Bornite sometimes occurs as coarse euhedral crystals intergrown with garnet, and the higher gold values are commonly found with the higher copper concentrations. Chalcopyrite and bornite are interstitial to bladed wollastonite. Although chalcopyrite and bornite occur together in both the green and brown garnet skarn bodies, the chalcopyrite favours the brown garnet (andradite)-magnetite bodies and the bornite favours the green garnet (andradite)-wollastonite-diopside bodies. The light tan grossularite garnet is associated with diopside and wollastonite and clusters of quartz, epidote and feldspar but is typically not mineralized with sulphides.

Other minerals identified at the Little Billie mine include galena, scheelite and native silver as well as the tellurides hessite, petzite and wehrlite (Fieldwork, 1989). Small amounts of pyrrhotite are found along joints in some altered mafic dykes.

Inferred reserves are 181,420 tonnes of ore grading 11.65 grams per tonne gold, 2 per cent copper and 34.28 grams per tonne silver (George Cross News Letter No. 202 (October 20), 1992)). A recent diamond-drill hole intersection of skarn mineralization below the 6th level graded 7.26 grams per tonne gold, 29.13 grams per tonne silver and 1.6 per cent copper across 5.8 metres of skarn (Northern Miner - January 2, 1989).

Wollastonite, at the Little Billie, is common in green exoskarn which commonly occurs with green andradite in layers 0.6 to 5 centimetres thick.

A 38.7 kilogram sample of massive, white wollastonite-rich skarn was sent to CANMET for processing and the results were as follows (Open File 1991-17):


SiO2 44.5 %

Al2O3 1.10%

Fe2O3 4.21%

CaCo3 14.3 %

MgO 1.20%

L.O.I. 5.72

Brightness 62.78

Lightness 80.30


Recent interest in the wollastonite potential of the Little Billie mine has resulted in unclassified reserves of 100,000 tonnes of wollastonite skarn material in the old mine workings. The reserve figure is based on Stevenson's report in the Minister of Mines Annual Report 1944 (Fieldwork, 1988). Recent drilling has cut intercepts of up to 24 metres comprised essentially of wollastonite (Open File 1991-17).

Production from 1896 to 1952 totalled 63,713 tonnes yielding 1,198,533 grams of silver, 363,199 grams of gold and 819,225 kilograms of copper.

The property is held by Consolidated Van Anda Gold Ltd.

EMPR AR 1897-560-562; 1898-1136,1144; 1899-802; 1907-L215; 1908-J154;
1910-K166; 1911-K212; 1912-K197,K238,K239,K323; 1913-K287,K288,
K324,K421; 1914-K381,K420; 1915-K289,K368,K447; 1916-K355,K356,
K519; 1917-F258; 1918-K306; 1919-N254; 1922-N235; 1925-A284,A288-
A290; 1928-C384; 1929-C393; 1943-A45,A69; *1944-A66,A162-A174;
1945-A112,A114; 1946-A176,A177,A294,A295; 1947-A179,A277; 1948-
A156,A157,A197,A253,A254; 1949-A217,A218,A322; 1950-A178,A234;
1951-A196,A321; 1952-A209,A210,A338; 1965-224
EMPR ASS RPT 3, 5077, 6770, 8004, 9300, 14425, 15750, 16104, 16749
EMPR BULL 101, pp. 80, 83, 85, 89, 91, 93, 159, Appendix 6
EMPR EXPL 1977-E113,E114; 1979-132,133; 1986-C179; 1987-C153,C154
EMPR FIELDWORK *1988, p. 493; 1989, pp. 257-265
EMPR GEM 1970-282; 1974-180
EMPR INDEX 3-203, 217
EMPR OF 1988-28; 1990-3; *1991-17; 1992-1; 1992-9; 1998-10
EMPR P 1989-3, pp. 51-53
EMPR PF (Geology maps, undated; Vananda Gold Ltd., Prospectus, July
31, 1987; Consolidated Van Anda Gold Ltd. Website (Apr. 1998):
Little Billy Property, 22 p.; Geophysical Report, Aug. 1991;
various notes and forms, 1992-1995; Regional Geologist's property
examination, 1987; Photos, 1992)
GSC EC GEOL 3, pp. 86-102
GSC MAP 1386A; 17-1968
GSC MEM 58, pp. 9,45,46,62-64
GSC OF 463
GSC P 68-50
GSC SUM RPT 1924 Part A, pp. 106-144
GCNL #3, 1980; #21, 1985; #231,#244, 1988; #45(Mar.6), 1989;
#30(Feb.12),#41(Feb.27),#49(Mar.11),#126(Jul.2), 1991;
#36(Feb.20),#48(Mar.9),#202(Oct.20), #241(Dec.15), 1992;
#12(Jan.19), #16(Jan.25), #9(Jan.14), 1993; #191(Oct.3), 1997
N MINER Jan.2, Mar.(Advertising Supplement), 1989; Jan.2, 1990;
Apr.8, June 17, 1991; Feb.17, 1992
V STOCKWATCH, Nov.16, 1989; Feb.17, 1992
Deleen, J.L. (1946): The Geology and Mineralogy of the Little Billie
Mine, Texada Island, British Columbia, M.Sc. Thesis, University of
British Columbia