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File Created: 24-Jul-1985 by BC Geological Survey (BCGS)
Last Edit:  30-May-2022 by Karl A. Flower (KAF)

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NMI 092L2 Au16
Name CENTRAL ZEBALLOS, BIBB, EXTENSION NO. 6 (L.1049), RENO GOLD, AE, AD, B2-B6, M2,5,6, MON FRACTION Mining Division Alberni, Nanaimo
BCGS Map 092L007
Status Past Producer NTS Map 092L02W
Latitude 050º 02' 09'' UTM 09 (NAD 83)
Longitude 126º 47' 00'' Northing 5544969
Easting 658737
Commodities Gold, Silver, Lead, Copper, Zinc Deposit Types I01 : Au-quartz veins
I06 : Cu+/-Ag quartz veins
I05 : Polymetallic veins Ag-Pb-Zn+/-Au
Tectonic Belt Insular Terrane Wrangell
Capsule Geology

The Central Zeballos (Reno) mine lies in the Zeballos gold camp and is located near the headwaters of Bibb Creek, approximately 1.4 kilometres southeast of its junction with the Zeballos River.

Regionally, the area is underlain by Upper Triassic to Lower Jurassic Bonanza Group basaltic to rhyolitic volcanic rocks. Conformably underlying the Bonanza volcanic rocks are limestones and limy clastics of the Triassic to Lower Jurassic Parson Bay Formation (Bonanza and Vancouver groups) and Upper Triassic Quatsino Formation (Vancouver Group), and tholeiitic basalts of the Upper Triassic Karmutsen Formation (Vancouver Group). Dioritic to granodioritic plutons of the Zeballos intrusion phase of the Jurassic Island Plutonic Suite have intruded all older rocks. The Zeballos stock, a quartz diorite phase of the Eocene to Oligocene Mount Washington Plutonic Suite, is spatially related to gold-quartz veining in the area. Bedded rocks are predominantly northwest striking, southwest dipping, and anticlinally folded about a northwest axis.

Recorded production for the Zeballos gold camp totals 9465 kilograms of gold and 4119 kilograms of silver from 652 000 tonnes of ore mined (Fieldwork 1982, page 291). Most of the production came from the Spud Valley deposits (MINFILE 092L 013 and 092L 211) and the Privateer mine (MINFILE 092L 008).

The area of the Central Zeballos mine is underlain by dark-coloured granodiorite near its gradational contact with a lighter coloured border phase of granodiorite and quartz diorite. Roof pendants or inliers of calc-silicate rocks, skarn-altered limestone and dark-green andesite of the Quatsino Formation and Bonanza Group are present nearby.

The Central Zeballos vein lies in a 0.6- by 1.8-kilometre east-west body of porphyritic granodiorite of the Island Plutonic Suite. The light-coloured border phase of the southern margin has a slightly schistose texture. This phase contains less biotite, and in the ground mass the orthoclase content is higher than plagioclase, as compared to the darker phase, which it has intruded. Contact relationships and distribution between the two granodiorite phases are indefinite. Inclusions of volcanic rock ranging up to 7 metres in width are present within the granodiorite.

Quartz diorite of the northwest-trending South Zeballos pluton occurs west and below the granodiorite. Small dikes of quartz diorite have invaded granodiorite for short distances from the contact. Diabase dikes are present only in the layered rocks. Carbonate-sericite–altered porphyritic dacite dikes, from several centimetres to 7 metres wide, occur in quartz diorite and granodiorite. Felsic dikes less than 10 centimetres wide cut quartz diorite and locally attain stockwork frequency.

The Central Zeballos vein has been explored and developed along a strike length of 450 metres and downdip for 340 metres. The vein has been traced, intermittently, by drilling and on surface for approximately 1200 metres. It occupies a well-defined, west-striking, 75- to 80-degree south-dipping shear zone 7 to 45 centimetres wide containing quartz and strongly sheared country rock and gouge. Northeast-trending diagonal joints interrupt the continuity of the vein. These joints may offset or briefly redirect the vein. The main shear locally splits into two or more breaks over a space of 1.2 metres, running parallel for as much as 15 metres before converging. Post-vein movement along the shear is indicated.

The best mineralization occurs in the wider sections of quartz, usually 20 to 25 centimetres, where comb structures and well-formed quartz crystals may be present. Sulphides are primarily pyrite and arsenopyrite with variable amounts of chalcopyrite, galena and sphalerite.

Alteration of wallrock extends only a few centimetres from the shear. In the granodiorite, where most of the mineralization is located, alteration consists of bleaching with sericite, kaolin and quartz.

Banwolt (Geological Survey of Canada Paper 40-12, page 29) emphasizes the fact that the vein and shear zone follow, to a large degree, the path of an aplite dike. The dike has been shattered in places and its fragments cemented by quartz and sulphides.

In 1982, sampling of the underground workings yielded a possible-probable reserve of 8183 tonnes of ore grading 12.0 grams per tonne gold over a mining width of 36 centimetres, with the westernmost area blocked out in the late 1940s but not mined on the No. 5 level containing 1508 tonnes averaging 47.5 grams per tonne gold and 33.2 grams per tonne silver (Assessment Report 18556).

In 1983, a sample (CA-001-83) across a 24-centimetre-wide mineralized vein assayed 12.1 grams per tonne gold, 4.0 grams per tonne silver and 0.200 per cent arsenic (Assessment Report 12077).

In 1988, underground sampling indicated two possible ore shoots on the No. 6 level with values of 18.7 to 27.0 grams per tonne gold over widths of 20 to 30 centimetres over a 10-metre section located approximately 30 to 40 metres east of the main raise, whereas a sample over 22 centimetres from the western face of the No. 6 drift assayed 131.9 grams per tonne gold (Assessment Report 18556). Sampling of the No. 5 level, performed at this time, yielded 96.6 grams per tonne across 35 centimetres from the previously noted blocked out area and 157.9 grams per tonne gold over 35 centimetres from the western face of the No. 5 level (Assessment Report 18556).

In 1989, diamond drilling yielded intercepts of 17.7 grams per tonne gold over 0.22 metre in hole CZ-9-89-20 from the main vein on the No. 6 level, located approximately 28.5 metres west of the western face of the No. 6 level drift and 34.5 metres below an ore shoot mined on the No. 5 level. Hole CZ-9-88-1 intercepted a new vein, located 27 metres north of the main vein and between the No. 6 and 7 levels, yielding 37.4 grams per tonne gold over 0.10 metre; hole CZ-9-89-10 intersected the main vein 36.3 metres below the No. 9 level and west of the raise yielding 25.6 grams per tonne gold over 0.23 metres and hole CZ-9-89-19 intersected a new vein structure, located 111.6 metres south of the main vein on the No. 9 level, yielding 46.2 grams per tonne gold over 0.07 metre (Property File - New Impact Resources Ltd. (1989-08-08): Prospectus Report on the Britannia M and Central Zeballos Properties).

Possible reserves are 43 631 tonnes grading 12 grams per tonne gold and are estimates based on results from old mine data as supported by recent underground sampling and diamond drilling. The estimated grade given is based on historical data. Probable reserves are 8163 tonnes grading 12 grams per tonne gold and are estimates where indicated by compiling results of recent underground sampling with old mine data (Statement of Material Facts, Consolidated Impact Resources Inc., Report by J.C. Freeze, June 1989).

The Central Zeballos vein was discovered in 1937 by O.T. Bibb. In 1938, the Central Zeballos Gold Mines Limited was formed and two adits were started. The following year, Reno Gold Mines acquired an interest in the property and a winze was sunk between the No. 2 and 5 levels. In 1940, a 45.4 tonne per day amalgamation-floatation mill was completed along with a 690-metre crosscut and 120-metre raise were constructed to access stopes on the No. 5 level. The mine was closed during the fall of 1942 to early 1946, when mining and milling continued until early 1947 after 67.5 metres of drifting on the No. 6 level.

Intermittent mining between 1938 and 1947 on 10 developed levels; sublevels and related raises, winzes and crosscuts produced 37 789 tonnes of milling ore averaging 16.85 grams per tonne gold, 11.44 grams per tonne silver, 0.02 per cent copper and 0.19 per cent lead.

In 1964, the Silver Standard-Granby Prospecting Syndicate completed a program of trenching and sampling before being optioned by Consolidated Skeena Mines Ltd. in 1965. The latter company completing programs of geological mapping, soil sampling, a magnetometer survey and 11 diamond drill holes, totalling 1073.4 metres, on the property.

During 1981 through 1983, Impact Resources Inc. completed programs of geological mapping, prospecting and rock and soil sampling on the Central Zeballos property. In 1988, Canalaska Resources Ltd. optioned the property from New Impact Resources Inc. and completed a program of prospecting, geological mapping, geochemical sampling (rock and soil) and 1840.0 metres of underground development (rehabilitation) on the Central Zeballos property. The following year, a program of geological mapping and prospecting was completed.

In 2003, Canalska Ventures Ltd. completed a regional program of rock, silt and soil sampling on the area. In 2014, the area was prospected as a part of the Zeballos Vancouver Island property.

EMPR AR *1938-38,39,43-45; 1939-40,42,88; 1940-72; 1941-A27,70; 1942-28,65; 1946-36,179,295; 1947-180-181
EMPR ASS RPT *12077, *18556, 18577, 18770, 27371, 27428, 34992
EMPR BULL 20 Part V, pp. 16-20; *27, pp. 15, 104-112
EMPR ENG INSP Fiche Numbers 60270-60273
EMPR EXPL 1979-188; 1983-330
EMPR FIELDWORK 1982, p. 290; 1983, p. 219
EMPR GEM 1970-255; 1937-1953
EMPR MAP 65 (1989)
EMPR OF 1992-1
EMPR PF (unknown (unknown): Index Map of Central Zeballos - Surface Features and Claims; unknown (unknown): Geological Sketch Map - Central Zeballos Area; unknown (unknown): Plan Map of Cuts - Central Zeballos; unknown (unknown): Longitudinal Section Map - Central Zeballos Mine; C.C. Starr (1939-01-30): Report on the Central Zeballos Gold Mines Ltd.; O.T. Bibb (1939-01-31): Claims and Surface Geology - Central Zeballos Gold Mines Ltd.; C.C. Starr (1939-04-01): The Central Zeballos Mine; Reno Gold Mines Ltd. (1939-10-23): Assay Plan Map - Central Zeballos Mine; Central Zeballos Gold Mines Ltd. (1940): Section Map Along Strike - Central Zeballos Mine; C.C. Starr (1940-07-01): Central Zeballos Mine - Showing Surface Between East and West Canyons; Reno Gold Mines Ltd. (1946-09-19): Central Zeballos Mine - Section on East-West Plane (I and II); Reno Gold Mines Ltd. (1947): Central Zeballos - Property Plan and Sections - Zeballos; Reno Gold Mines Ltd. (1947-03-01): Central Zeballos Mine - Map Section on E-W Plane; C.C. Starr (1947-03-04): Report on the Central Zeballos Mine; C.C. Starr (1947-03-04): Property Map of Central Zeballos Gold Mines Ltd.; W.L. Brown (1947-11-15): A Historical Development of the Metalliferous Deposits of Vancouver Island; W.M. Sharp (1960’s): Certificates of Assay; W.M. Sharp (1964): Sketch map - Geology interpretation - Zeballos; W.M. Sharp (1964-05-23): Sketch maps showing geology; W.M. Sharp (1964-06-18): Preliminary Sample Plan - E-Zone - Central Zeballos, Sonny; W.M. Sharp (1964-06-19): Correspondence RE: Geological Investigation of Central Zeballos Sonny Claims Groups; W.M. Sharp (1964-07-01): Report on Geological Investigation and Trenching Program at the Central Zeballos-Sonny Claims Groups; W.M. Sharp (1964-07-03): Sample Descriptions - Silver Standard Mines Ltd. - Zeballos; W.M. Sharp (1964-07-18): Report on Geological Investigation and Trenching Program at the Central Zeballos-Sonny Claims Groups - Zeballos; W.M. Sharp (1964-07-20): Report - Sonny group - Zeballos; W.M. Sharp (1965): Geological Plan of Mineralized Zone at South Contact of South Limestone Band - Central Zeballos - Sonny Claim Groups; W.M. Sharp (1965-07-31): Re: Progress Report No. 2-65 - Bibb Creek - Nomash River Property; W.M. Sharp (1965-08-01): Sketch maps showing claim and drillhole locations and geology - Sonny; W.M. Sharp (1965-11-01): Sketch map - Field sheet and drill sections; ; W.M. Sharp (1965-11-04): Diamond Drill Logs - Central Zeballos; W.M. Sharp (1966): Long Vertical Projection - Diamond Drill Holes - Saddle - West Zone Section; W.M. Sharp (1966): Drilhole and cross section sketches - Sonny, Skeena, Zeballos; W.M. Sharp (1966-07-07): Summary Report - Surface Diamond Drilling Program - Central Zeballos-Sonny M.C.'s Prospect - Bibb Creek; W.M. Sharp (1966-07-30): Interim Report - Underground Drill Exploration from Central Zeballos No. 2 Crosscut; J.C. Freeze (1989-06-01): Geological Report on the Central Zeballos Property; *New Impact Resources Ltd. (1989-08-08): Prospectus Report on the Britannia M and Central Zeballos Properties)
EMR MP CORPFILE (Central Zeballos Gold Mines Ltd.; Reno Gold Mines Ltd.)
GSC EC GEOL 1 (1947)
GSC MAP 4-1974; 255A; 1028A
GSC MEM 204; 272, pp. 48, 63
GSC OF 9; 170; 463
GSC P 38-5; 40-12, p. 30; 69-1A; 70-1A; 72-44; 74-8; 79-30
GSC SUM RPT 1929 Part A; 1932 Part A
CIM Transactions Vol.42 (1939), pp. 225-237; 1948, pp. 78-85; 72, pp. 116-125
GCNL #299, 1980; #53,#128, 1981; #42,#174, 1982; #87,#189, 1983; #190,#202,#213,#231,#248, 1988; #11,#24,#45,#52,#93(May 15),#134(Jul.13),#207(Oct.27), 1989
N MINER Apr., 1938, pp. 39-45; Dec.19, 1988
NW PROSP Oct./Nov., 1988
V STOCKWATCH Jul.3, 1987
Carson, D.J.T. (1968): Metallogenic Study of Vancouver Island with emphasis on the Relationship of Plutonic Rocks to Mineral Deposits, Ph.D. Thesis, Carleton University, Ottawa