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File Created: 24-Jul-1985 by BC Geological Survey (BCGS)
Last Edit:  15-Apr-2021 by Nicole Barlow (NB)

Summary Help Help

NMI 093K8 Sb1
BCGS Map 093K048
Status Past Producer NTS Map 093K07E
Latitude 054º 27' 10'' UTM 10 (NAD 83)
Longitude 124º 30' 28'' Northing 6034946
Easting 402245
Commodities Gold, Antimony Deposit Types I01 : Au-quartz veins
I09 : Stibnite veins and disseminations
Tectonic Belt Intermontane Terrane Cache Creek
Capsule Geology

The Snowbird property is located 16 kilometres west of Fort St. James, near the southern shore of Stuart Lake.

Gold-antimony mineralization at the Snowbird property occurs within the Carboniferous to Jurassic Cache Creek Complex (Group) of the allochthonous Cache Creek terrane, which is truncated to the east by the Pinchi fault, a complex, northwest-trending, transcurrent fault system. Northeast of the fault zone, the Upper Triassic Takla Group is composed of greywacke and siltstone with minor conglomerate and limestone. Southwest of the fault zone, the Cache Creek Complex is composed of chert, argillite, basalt, alpine-type ultramafics, extensive carbonates and minor blueschist.

The dominant structural feature at the Snowbird property is the Sowchea shear zone, a zone of brecciation and open-space fracturing up to 50 metres wide that strikes northwest and dips 40 to 50 degrees northeast. Multiple episodes of ankerite and silica flooding over a strike length of at least 1200 metres have produced a classic listwanite lithology along the shear zone, comprising ankerite, quartz and mariposite.

North and south of the shear zone, the listwanites grade into a steeply dipping, silicified, carbonaceous argillite sequence. Occurrences of diorite-andesite intrusions in the argillite may be associated with granite-diorite of the Early Jurassic-Late Triassic Topley Intrusions, which crosscut the Cache Creek Complex. The McKnab Lake pluton is 166 Ma, mariposite is approximately 162 Ma and sericite show Snowbird stock is 157 Ma.

The gold-antimony mineralization is associated with the Sowchea shear zone, the permeability of which appears to have controlled the vertical and lateral extent of mineralization. Three sulphide-bearing quartz veins occur (Economic Geology 85). Surface sampling has shown a correlation between gold mineralization and quartz veining; antimony present in concentrations greater than 1 per cent is always associated with quartz veining (Assessment Report 36912).

The Main vein is located in the hangingwall of the shear zone. It strikes 120 degrees with a dip of 40 to 50 degrees to the northeast. Trench sampling along 64 metres of the Main vein has yielded gold assay values averaging 4.45 grams per tonne across an average width of 0.9 metre (Economic Geology 85). Figure 3.7, Bulletin 108 shows 20.02 grams per tonne and 21.84 grams per tonne gold on drill fragments (10 centimetres?).

The Peg-leg vein is located in the footwall of the shear zone. It strikes at 120 degrees with a dip of 40 to 50 degrees to the northeast. Trench sampling along 66 metres of the Peg-leg vein has yielded gold assay values of 13.03 grams per tonne across an average width of 0.8 metre (Economic Geology 85). A 10-centimetre drillcore yields 8508 grams per tonne gold and 2900 grams per tonne silver (Bulletin 108, page 37).

A third vein, which crosses into the argillites, is stibnite rich and strikes at 010 degrees, approximately at a right angle to the Sowchea shear zone.

Carbonate (ankerite)-quartz-mariposite listwanites are fine- to medium-grained, dark olive-green to grey rocks with centimetre-scale patches of bright apple-green mariposite. Some samples have a greasy-soapy feel suggesting the presence of talc. An extensive network of ferroan magnesite and quartz veinlets and stringers crosscut the rocks. Mariposite is found most often as an alteration product of chromites. Chromite is fractured, fragmented, and suggests an alpine-type ultramafic. Remnant olivine, extensively altered to serpentine family minerals (usually chrysotile or antigorite) and magnetite, is present in several thin sections (Economic Geology 85).

In the Main vein, stibnite mineralization is sporadically distributed as pods or vuggy fillings in fractured, milky white quartz gangue. The mineralogy of the quartz-sulphide veins generally consists of three sulphide minerals—stibnite, arsenopyrite and trace amounts of anhedral pyrite—occurring in the quartz gangue. Anhedral stibnite is intimately embayed with the quartz, fills interstices within it, and often appears to replace it. Clusters of subhedral arsenopyrite are found either within the anhedral quartz gangue or intermixed with the stibnite.

Deposition of stibnite-bearing quartz veins at the Snowbird property occurred after pervasive listwanitization along the Sowchea shear and complex, greenschist facies metamorphism of the Cache Creek Complex during the Jurassic. Several geologic characteristics of the Snowbird occurrence are similar to other documented mesothermal deposits (Economic Geology 85).

Work History

Massive stibnite was first discovered in a shear zone on the Snowbird property in 1920 by placer prospectors in the area. In 1937, a shipment of 48.9 tonnes of (unknown grade) antimony ore was produced from underground workings. In 1939, Pioneer Gold Mines Limited optioned the property and sunk a 45-metre shaft on the ‘Main vein’ and a 45-metre adit on the massive stibnite ‘Cross vein’. During this time, 32.6 tonnes of ore (unknown grade) was shipped. In 1947, Cominco acquired the property and shipped a total of 59.9 tonnes of massive stibnite (unknown grade) from the Cross vein. An oreshoot sampled at this time returned 8.58 grams per tonne gold and 9.2 per cent antimony over 28.5 metres length and 0.9 metre width (Property File Rimfire Minnova Inc., 1990).

The property lay dormant until 1970, when a geochemical survey was completed on a small portion of the property. In 1974 and 1980, a small amount of drilling was completed on the quartz stringer zones with the best intersection returning 12.01 grams per tonne gold over 1.5 metres (Property File Rimfire Minnova Inc., 1990).

X-Cal Resources Limited optioned the property in 1985 and completed a trenching, geochemical sampling and 10-hole diamond drilling program in 1986. The drilling centred on the ‘Main vein’ and ‘Pegleg vein’. The best assayed intersection returned 9.26 grams per tonne over 4.25 metres. A separate hole (85-6) intersected a vein 0.15 metre wide containing visible gold, which assayed 8511.89 grams per tonne gold and 2901.1 grams per tonne silver (Property File Rimfire Minnova Inc., 1990).

Unclassified reserves at Snowbird are 4535 tonnes grading 6.86 grams per tonne gold and 3.0 per cent antimony (News Release, X-Cal Resources, October 9, 1986). Possible reserves in the North zone are 226 775 tonnes grading 6.86 grams per tonne gold (Northern Miner - March 27, 1989).

Approximately 78 tonnes of stibnite ore were mined from the Snowbird property between 1938 and 1940 (Economic Geology 85).

During 1987, a comprehensive geophysical survey comprising induced polarization, horizontal loop electromagnetics, very low frequency electromagnetics and magnetics was completed over the northwest portion of the property. The induced polarization survey located and extended the known zone of alteration to 2000 metres. This was followed by 25 diamond drill holes and 57 percussion drill holes on the same area as in 1986. In 1988, diamond drilling extended the known zone of gold mineralization in the structure an additional 370 metres. Intersections included 2.65 metres of 7.75 grams per tonne gold and 6.12 metres of 10.94 grams per tonne gold (Property File Rimfire Minnova Inc., 1990).

In 1994, X-Cal Resources completed airborne electromagnetic and magnetic surveys. In 2003, a program of geological mapping and sampling was completed. A sample (SB-03-02) from the main shaft assayed 3.67 grams per tonne gold and greater than 0.2 per cent antimony, whereas another sample (SB-03-01) from the mariposite alteration zone assayed 0.115 per cent antimony and 0.916 gram per tonne gold (Assessment Report 27154).

In 2011 and 2012, Omineca Gold completed a program of geological mapping, rock sampling and historical data review.

In 2014, Omineca Gold Ltd. assayed seven rock samples collected from the Snowbird property. Sample SK - 6 (a representative sample) of quartz stibnite vein returned gold values of 1.24 grams per tonne (Assessment Report 34922).

In 2015, Omineca Gold Ltd. carried out trenching to follow up on historical soil geochemical anomalies within the Granite zone of the Snowbird property. A total of 45 rock samples were collected from the trench program.

In 2017, Omineca Gold Ltd. completed a program consisting of mapping, soil sampling, magnetic susceptibility surveying and diamond drilling. The diamond drilling program consisted of 1212 metres of NQ2 core in 11 holes, from which 364 drillcore samples were taken. The soil sampling program totalled 138 samples and demonstrated the potential use of pathfinder elements of arsenic. Lastly, a ground magnetometer survey was conducted over 51.3 line-kilometres, producing high quality results that Omenica planned to follow up on. Highlights of drilling completed by Omineca Gold Ltd. include 16.20 grams per tonne gold over 1 metre in sample W370822 and 1 per cent antimony in sample W370791 (Assessment Report 36912).

In 2018, Gitennes Exploration Inc. completed a follow-up diamond drill program in joint ownership between Gitennes Exploration and Omineca Gold. The program consisted of 1613 metres of core over 10 drillholes, with the goal of extending known mineralization in the Main zone into areas where no drilling had yet been completed along strike and in the southern portion of the Main zone. Sample W371377 returned 15.85 grams per tonne gold and sample W371211 assayed at the upper detection limit of antimony at 1 per cent (Assessment Report 38191).

EMPR AR 1929-186; 1939-99; 1963-38
EMPR ASS RPT 520, 2764, 3520, 5136, *8613, *15261, 15732, *15853, *16766, 23523, *27154, 33310, 34922, 35922, *36912, *38191
EMPR BULL 108, p. 27-40
EMPR EXPL 1980-337; 1986-C346; *1987-C296,B47,B48; *1989-171-174; 1992-69-106
EMPR FIELDWORK 1992, pp. 69-86, 475-482
EMPR GEM 1970-117; 1971-166; 1974-254
EMPR MAP 65 (1989)
EMPR OF 1992-1; 1993-9
EMPR PF (Fort Fraser Mineral Occurrence Map to accompany GSC Paper 38-14; Geology Stuart Lake Area, 1940; Stevenson, J.S. 1939 Notes on Snowbird Property; Rough Geological Map assumed Snowbird Area, 1940; James, D.H. 1963 Report on Magnetometer Survey; Trench Locations, Consolidated Shunsby Mines Ltd., 1971; Claim Map, 1971; Dept. of Mines Summary of Exploration and Development work, 1972, 1975; X-Cal Resources Quarterly Report Nov. 1986; Articles (unidentified source) Jan. 1987; Quarterly Report Jan. 22, 1987; Shareholders Quarterly Aug. 27, 1987; X-Cal Resources Ltd. Annual Report 1987; X-Cal Resources Annual Report 1989; Progress Report X-Cal Resources Ltd. Feb. 1989; X-Cal Resources Circular Apr.8, 1989; Yorkton Natural Resources, Circular Issue #22, May 1, 1989)
EMPR PF Placer Dome (Drillhole Cross-Section Maps - Snowbird Property; C.J.S. (1989-01-08): Geology map, East sheet, Snowbird Property; C.J.S. (1989-01-08): Geology map, West sheet, Snowbird Property)
EMPR PF Rimfire (Macrae, R. (1958-05-13): Re: Stuart Lake Antimony Prospect; Minnova Inc. (1990-11-06): Re: X-Cal Resources Ltd. Snowbird Gold Project, Bralorne Gold Project)
EMR MR CORPFILE (Pioneer Gold Mines of B.C. Limited; Tungsten of British Columbia, Ltd.; Consolidated Shunsby Mines Limited; Westwind Mines Ltd.; X-Cal Resources Ltd.)
EMR MR MIN BULL 223 B.C. 224
EMR MP RESFILE (British Columbia)
GSC MAP 630A; 907A; 971A; 1424A
GSC MEM *252, pp. 186-189
GSC OF 2593, 3182
GSC P 38-14, p. 7; 90-1F, pp. 115-120; 91-1A, pp. 7-13
ECON GEOL *85 (1990), pp. 1260-1268 (Madu, B.E., Nesbitt, B.E. and Muehlenbachs, K.)
GCNL #133, #215, 1980; #59, #146, 1981; #67,#197, 1986; #10,#24,#47, #108,#208, 1987; #40,#73,#191, 1988; #6(Jan.10),#10(Jan.16),#33, #47,#148(Aug.2),#167(Aug.30), 1989; #143(Jul.25), 1990; #9(Jan.14), 1991
N MINER Apr.21, Aug.8, Oct.20, Dec.8, Dec.22, 1986; Jan.26, Feb. 2, Feb.9, Mar.23, 1987; Mar.6,27, Aug.14, 1989
NW PROSP Jan. 1987; Jan/Feb, Mar/Apr, May/June, 1989
PR REL X-Cal Resources Oct.9, 1986; Jan.12, Feb.2, June 2, July 20, Oct.26, 1987; Feb.10, Apr.8, 1989
TSE Review Oct. 1987
Placer Dome File