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File Created: 24-Jul-1985 by BC Geological Survey (BCGS)
Last Edit:  05-Dec-2013 by Karl A. Flower (KAF)

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NMI 092F14 Cu2
Name MUREX, HKR, MWC, MINK Mining Division Nanaimo
BCGS Map 092F074
Status Prospect NTS Map 092F14E, 092F14W
Latitude 049º 45' 40'' UTM 10 (NAD 83)
Longitude 125º 15' 00'' Northing 5514500
Easting 337958
Commodities Copper, Gold, Silver Deposit Types L04 : Porphyry Cu +/- Mo +/- Au
Tectonic Belt Insular Terrane Wrangell, Plutonic Rocks
Capsule Geology

The Murex occurrence is located south east of Murex Creek, approximately 2.9 kilometres east- south east of McKay Lake. A complete exploration history of the area and associated occurrences can be found Assessment Report 30010.

The area is underlain primarily by basaltic lavas of the Upper Triassic Karmutsen Formation, Vancouver Group. These rocks are mostly massive flows and pillow lavas of partly amygdaloidal basalts, with minor tuffs, volcanic breccias and agglomerates. A major unconformity separates the Karmutsen Formation from the overlying Upper Cretaceous Nanaimo Group. Haslam and Comox Formations which consist of fine to coarse grained detrital sedimentary rocks. The Benson Member is a pebble-cobble-boulder conglomerate which marks the unconformity in some areas.

Diorite and granodiorite of the Late Eocene to Early Oligocene Mount Washingtone Intrusive Suite (formerly Catface Intrusions) have intruded the above rocks, forming stocks, sills and dykes. The two intrusive types, as well as xenoliths of intrusive found within diorite dykes, indicate that multiple stage intrusions have occurred.

These intrusives have, in some cases, caused the formation of breccias composed of various combinations of basalts, sediments, and diorite fragments in a fine to medium grained siliceous matrix, sometimes with accompanying sulphide mineralization. There are five breccia types recognized in the Murex breccia zone. Subdivided on the basis of their fragment lithology they are:

(1) A Basaltic breccia composed of fragments of Karmutsen basalt, in a rusty, vuggy, fine to coarse grained quartz rich matrix. The fragments are sub-angular to rounded, and range in size from granules to large boulder sized blocks. The quartz rich matrix makes up from 20 to less than 5 per cent of the breccia. This matrix is mineralized with up to 10 per cent sulphides including chalcopyrite, pyrite and pyrrhotite.

(2) The Comox breccia composed of fragments of Comox sandstones, siltstones and argillites in a siliceous matrix. The fragments ranging in size from pebbles to large cobbles, are generally angular to sub-angular and make up 85 per cent of the rock; the matrix makes up 15 per cent. In most cases the sulphide content makes up less than 1 per cent of the rock, chiefly in the form of blebs of pyrite, chalcopyrite and pyrrhotite.

(3) The Intrusive breccia composed of fragments of diorite in a fine grained siliceous matrix containing up to 10 per cent biotite. The fragments are angular to sub-angular and range in size from pebbles to large cobbles. The fragment to matrix ratio is generally 90 per cent to 10 per cent, respectively. Pyrite with minor pyrrhotite and chalcopyrite occur within the matrix but rarely exceed 2 per cent of the whole rock.

(4) The Mixed Lithology breccia consisting of fragments of basaltic, sedimentary and dioritic rocks, in varying proportions, in a siliceous, often biotite bearing matrix. The fragments vary from angular to sub-rounded and range in size from pebbles to large cobbles. Fragment to matrix ratio averages 90 per cent to 10 per cent, respectively.

(5) The Fluidized Milled breccia composed of 80 to 85 per cent fragments consisting of basaltic, sedimentary and dioritic fragments. The fragments are sub-angular to rounded and range in size from granule to cobble. The matrix makes up 15 to 20 per cent of the breccia and is composed of quartz plus or minus minor carbonate and varying amounts of chalcopyrite, pyrrhotite and pyrite.

Epidote also occurs within the interstices, usually at the expense of the sulphides. Chlorite generally accompanies the epidote indicating a form of propylitic alteration has taken place. Also exerting an influence on the amount of sulphides is the percentage of comminuted rock flour within the matrix. In addition, where the rock flour content is low, the clasts tend to be angular and often elongate, suggesting little movement has taken place. In these areas the origin of the Murex breccia is interpreted to be the result of collapse. Within blocks of unbrecciated mafic volcanic adjacent to the breccia a minor amount of sulphide veining is present. However, within the breccia the degree of veining is minimal. Magnetite is also reported to occur within the matrix.

The Murex zone represents an area of roughly 700 by 700 metres. The mineralization is thought to be the result of replacement but also has characteristics in common with porphyry-type deposits.

During 1987 through 1989, Better Resources and Noranda Mining and Exploration completed programs of geological mapping, geochemical sampling, ground geophysical surveys and fifteen diamond drill holes, totalling 1451.8 metres. One hole (Mx-86-7) cut strong breccias with pyrrhotite- chalcopyrite mineralization about 30 metres below the surface and assayed 1.54 per cent copper over 32.43 metres (Assessment Report 17033). Another 4 metre section of core assayed 4.08 per cent copper, 32.91 grams per tonne silver and 6.31 grams per tonne gold (George Cross News Letter #5, January 8, 1990).

In 2008, Blue Rock Resources completed a geological mapping and prospecting program.

EMPR AR 1956-119; 1957-69; 1959-135; 1960-111; 1961-102; 1962-105;
1963-103; 1964-155,157; 1965-235; 1966-71; 1968-101
EMPR ASS RPT 839, 1120, 1142, 1145, 1691, 4471, 4505, 5146, 5267
5604, 5979, 5980, 6407, 6930, 9445, 11946, 11995, 11996, 12604,
12605, 14085, 14705, 15228, 15395, 15526, 15776, 15825, 15826,
15857, 15765, 16762, *17033, 17123, 17181, *18119, *18391, *30010
EMPR EXPL 1975-E102; 1976-E116; 1977-E115; 1978-E131; 1980-175;
1983-209; 1984-166,168; 1985-C156; 1986-B29,C181,C184; 1987-
C156-158; 1988-C92,C93
EMPR EXPL REVIEW 1986, p. 70
EMPR FIELDWORK *1988, pp. 81-91
EMPR GEM 1969-212; 1970-281; 1973-236; 1974-183
EMPR INF CIRC 1989-1, p.32; 1990-1, p.39
EMPR PF (W.G. Stevenson and Associates, (1970): Mt.Washington
Exploration Project; W.G. Stevenson and Associates, (1969):
Geological Map, 1: 12000; McElhanney, (1972): Line Cutting Map,
1:9600; Cumberland Mining Company Limited and Mount Washington
Copper Company Limited, Souvenir of the Official Opening, Dec.5,
1964; Better Resources (1987): Statement of Material Facts dated
June 19 1987; Photograph, (1965): Mount Washington Mill; Map
(1959): Mount Washington Diamond Drill Hole Locations; Claim Map,
Mount Washington Area; Noranda Exploration Company Limited (1959):
Mount Washington Property Surface Plan, T. Walker, 1: 600 (waste
dump area; Nicolls, O.W.,(1961): Report on the Mount Washington
Domineer Drilling Option; Mount Washington Area Claims List and
EMR MIN BULL MR 223 (1989) B.C. 99
EMR MP CORPFILE (Mount Washington Copper Company Limited; Noranda
Exploration Company; Qualicum Mines Limited; Cumberland Mining
Company Limited)
GSC MAP 49-1959; 2-1965; 17-1968; 1386A
GSC OF 9; 61; 463
GSC P 66-1; 68-50, p. 39,42; 71-36; 72-44
GSC SUM RPT 1924A, pp. 106-144; 1925A; 1930A-64
CIM Special Volume #15, 1976, Table I
CIM Transactions #72, p. 116
CMJ Jan., 1965
GCNL Sept.17, Dec.30, 1975; Sept.22, #210, 1976; May 25, Oct.26,
1977; #7, 1978; #121,#206, 1979; #128,#155, 1984; #107,#129,
#142,#150,#176,#178,#194,#198,#214, 1986; #14,#91,#107,
#114,#135,#175,#176,#191,#195,#212,#225, 1987; #11,#114,
#144,#177,#187,#222, 1988; #13,149,#178, 1989; *#5, 1990
N MINER Aug 11, Oct.27, Nov.17,24, 1986; Feb.2, May 18, Sep.28, Oct.
19, Nov.16, 1987; July 4, 1988;
NW PROSP Oct./Nov., 1988
PERS COMM: Paul Wilton, 1990 (with respect to genesis)
PERS COMM: Nick Massey, May 1990 (with respect to Tertiary intrusion
V STOCKWATCH Sep.15, Jul.30, Sept.30, Oct.6, Oct.13, Nov.5, 9, 24,
1987; Jan.19, 1988; Aug.3, Sept.12, 1989
W MINER Nov. 1965, p. 35; Nov. 1967, pp.35-40
*Better Resources Limited (1987): Mount Washington Precious Metals
Project, Vancouver Island, Coreshack, Cordilleran Roundup
Better Resources Limited, News Release Jan.16, 1987, Jul.26, 1988
Better Resources Limited, Annual Report 1987; Corporate Profile (not
dated); 1989 Snapshot Review; Statement of Material Facts dated
Aug.1, 1984
Carson, D.J.T., (1960): Geology of Mount Washington, Vancouver
Island, British Columbia, M.Sc. Thesis, University of British
Carson, D.J.T., (1968): Metallogenic Study of Vancouver Island with
Emphasis on the Relationship of Plutonic Rocks and Mineral
Deposits, Ph.D. Thesis, Carleton University
McGuigan, P.J., (1975): Certain Breccias of Mount Washington
Property, Vancouver Island, B.Sc. Thesis, University of British
Mount Washington Copper Company Limited, (1971): Statement of
Material Facts dated May 26, 1971
Schroeter, T., EMPR District Geologist, Monthly Reports Jan.1987, Mar.
Vancouver Market Report, February, 1987