Geology of the lngerbelle and Copper Mountain Deposits at Princeton, B.C.

The Ingerbelle and Copper Mountain deposits are located near Princeton in southern British Columbia. They are owned by Newmont Mining Corporation's wholly owned subsidiary, Similkameen Mining Company Ltd. The property includes the Copper Mountain mine, a former producer. Ore reserves recoverable by open-pit mining are estimated to be 76 million tons containing 0.53% copper. Production commenced during 1972 at a rate in excess of designed capacity (15,000 tpd). All of the known major copper deposits in this area lie in a 14,000- by 3,500-foot belt of Triassic volcanics (Nicola Group) that is situated between a well-defined syenitemonzonite- diorite stock on the south and a variable intrusive complex on the north. The Nicola rocks consist of andesitic tuffs and agglomerates with lesser amounts of flows and some lensy siltstone layers. The orebodies are essentially disseminated sulphide deposits, although fracture-fillings are also important in many areas. Total sulphide content is usually less than 5%. At lngerbelle, and at Pit 2 and most of Pit 1 at Copper Mountain, the sulphides are chalcopyrite-pyrite. In part of Pit 1 and most of the former underground mine they are chalcopyrite-bornite. At lngerbelle the predominant alteration associated with mineralization is a pale greenish-gray bleaching of the dark andesitic rocks. This has been identified as albitization, with lesser amounts of epidote, chlorite, biotite, scapolite and calcite. This bleaching is plentiful at Pit 2, but K-feldspathization is also evident here. These orebodies can better be classified with pyrometasomatic deposits than with typical porphyry coppers. Their relationship to intrusives, the probably extensive metasomatic replacements, the evidence of pneumatolytic activity, the formation and redistribution of magnetite, and the irregular distribution of mineralization are all characteristic of this class. Deep-seated faults probably acted as channelways for mineralization; fracturing, faulting and rock contacts influenced ore localization in detail.
Keywords: bornite, chalcopyrite, Copper Mountain, British Columbia, magnetite, siltstone, copper, Deposits, Fault, Faults, Ore, Ores, Pits
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