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File Created: 24-Jul-1985 by BC Geological Survey (BCGS)
Last Edit:  18-Nov-1991 by Peter S. Fischl (PSF)

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NMI 092H8 Au1
Name FRENCH, FRENCH MINE, OREGON (L.703S) Mining Division Osoyoos
BCGS Map 092H040
Status Past Producer NTS Map 092H08E
Latitude 049º 19' 33'' UTM 10 (NAD 83)
Longitude 120º 01' 26'' Northing 5467939
Easting 716242
Commodities Gold, Silver, Copper, Molybdenum, Tungsten Deposit Types K04 : Au skarn
Tectonic Belt Intermontane Terrane Quesnel
Capsule Geology

The French mine is situated 1.5 kilometres northeast of the Similkameen River, 5.2 kilometres southeast of Hedley.

This area between Cahill and Winters creeks, along the northeast bank of the Similkameen River, is underlain by various sediments and volcanics comprising the Ordovician to Triassic Apex Mountain Complex, the Middle to Upper Triassic Peachland Creek Formation and the Upper Triassic Nicola Group. This sequence is cut by hornblende porphyritic diorite dykes and sills of the Early Jurassic Hedley Intrusions, and intruded by granodiorite of the Middle Jurassic Cahill Creek pluton.

The French mine is hosted in the French Mine Formation (Nicola Group), near the contact with the Cahill Creek pluton to the southwest. The formation locally consists of cherty tuffs, overlain by 4 to 6 metres of limestone and limestone conglomerate, which is in turn overlain by tuffs. These units are brecciated and skarn-altered along the hinge portion of a faulted anticline that strikes west to northwest. The alteration and associated mineralization is believed to be related to several dioritic dykes and sills that cut the mine area. The alteration consists of garnet, diopside and calcite, with variable quantities of plagioclase, wollastonite, clinozoisite, epidote, biotite, potassium feldspar, scapolite and quartz. Mineralogical zoning is evident, with an outer envelope of biotite hornfels passing inward into the later developed crosscutting garnet-diopside assemblages.

The mined orebody trends northwest, plunges southeast, but is flat lying for most of its length. Up to 1958, the deposit had been mined over a strike length of 190 metres and a dip length of 24 metres. Mineralization is terminated against the high angle French fault to the west and the west dipping, northeast-striking Cariboo thrust fault to the east. Other northeast and northwest striking high-angle faults have been identified underground, with displacements generally less than 3 metres.

Sulphides average less than 5 per cent by volume throughout most of the deposit, except for the western part, which is relatively rich in copper and low in gold. The skarn is mineralized with arsenopyrite, pyrite, chalcopyrite, covellite, bornite and pyrrhotite, and sporadic coarse molybdenite and scheelite, in zones up to 40 metres in length and 3 metres in width. Minor cobaltite, erythrite, tellurides and native gold have also been identified. Gold is reported not to be associated with sulphide mineralization, occurring free in association with bismuth telluride. A chip sample taken over 0.91 metre assayed 1179.2 grams per tonne gold (Vancouver Stockwatch July 11, 1989). Several other samples yielded values of over 34 grams per tonne gold over similar widths. Inferred reserves are estimated at 8731 tonnes grading 5.1 grams per tonne gold, 103 grams per tonne silver and 2 per cent copper (National Mineral Inventory - Westervelt Engineering Ltd., 1978).

A total of 77,608 tonnes of ore averaging 20.66 grams per tonne gold was mined from three levels of underground workings over an elevation of 41 metres by Kelowna Mines Hedley Ltd. and French Mines Ltd. between 1950 and 1961. Grove Explorations Ltd. and Dankoe Mines Ltd. produced 4438 tonnes in 1982 and 1983 grading 5.95 grams per tonne gold, 30.48 grams per tonne silver and 0.4627 per cent copper. The underground workings were sampled by Golden North Resource Corporation in 1989.

EMPR AR 1905-190; 1906-166; 1907-120; 1909-136; 1910-125; 1911-180; 1912-182; 1913-177; 1916-524; 1917-205,206; 1928-257; 1949-131; 1950-114,115; 1951-42,131,132; 1952-41,137,138; 1953-44,106, 107; 1954-49,116,117; 1955-A47,42; 1956-73; 1957-A45,33,34; *1958-A45,31; *1959-A47,55; *1960-A53,57,58; 1961-A48,58,59
EMPR ASS RPT 6274, 9452, 14065, 16400
EMPR FIELDWORK 1985, pp. 101-105; 1986, pp. 65-79; 1987, pp. 59-80; *1989, pp. 275,276
EMPR OF 1987-10; 1988-6; 1998-8-M, pp. 1-74
EMPR P *1989-3, pp. 28,29
EMPR PF (Clippings and original B.C. Department of Mines production statistics; Starr, C.C. (1926): Report on Preliminary Examination of Mining Claims, Hedley Camp; Map of Hedley Camp with Geology and claims, 1926 (in 092HSE062))
EMR MIN BULL MR 223 B.C. 119
EMR MP CORPFILE (Cariboo Gold Quartz Mining Co. Ltd., Kelowna Mines Hedley Ltd., French Mines Ltd., Kalco Valley Mines Ltd., Grove Explorations Ltd.)
GSC MAP 568A; 888A; 889A; 41-1989
GSC MEM 243, p. 78
GSC OF 2167, pp. 59-80
GCNL Sept. 24, Nov. 5, 1976; Sept. 16, 23, 1977; Feb. 14, 1978; #18, #177, #191,#206, 1980; #192, 1982; #13,#97,#155, 1983; #166, #226, 1985
N MINER Oct. 14, 1982; Jan. 27, Feb. 17, Sept. 1, 1983; Dec. 13, 1984
V STOCKWATCH July 11, 1989
*Billingsley (1936): Report on the Oregon Prospect, Hedley, British Columbia, unpublished report, Kelowna Exploration Company, July 1936.
*Westervelt Engineering Ltd, Exploration of the French Mine Property, in Grove Explorations Ltd. Statement of Material Facts, Sept. 11, 1978