Porphyry copper-gold-molybdenum deposits in the Island Copper Cluster, northern Vancouver Island, British Columbia

The Island Copper Cluster (ICC), situated at the northern end of Vancouver Island, consists of five porphyry Cu-Au-Mo systems (Island Copper, Bay Lake, G zone, Red Island and Rupert Inlet) and a porphyry Cu-Mo system (Northwest zone) genetically associated with Jurassic stock and dike-like rhyodacitic porphyries (c. a. 175 Ma) that intruded comagmatic island arc, calc-alkaline basalts, andesites, pyroclastic and sedimentary marine rocks of the Bonanza Group. These share similarities in geometries of alteration and mineralization but exhibit a large range of size and grade. Copper-bearing garnet-pyroxene skarn (e.g., Northwest zone) and vein-type mineralization (A zone) also constitute integral parts of the porphyry systems.
The only orebody in the cluster supports the Island Copper mine, controlled and operated by BHP Minerals Canada Ltd. Between start of production in 1971 and the end of 1994 the mine produced 345 million tonnes of ore having average head grades of 0.41% Cu, 0.017% Mo, 0.19 glt Au and 1.4 glt Ag.
The Island Copper hydrothermal system evolved from an early, probably juvenile magmatic fluid-dominated stage, to one strongly influenced by meteoric waters, as the main heat source cooled and further intrusion and brecciation took place. Three main stages of alteration and mineralization have been differentiated. Most copper, gold and some molybdenum were deposited under K-si/icate stable conditions during an Early stage related to the intrusion of a Main rhyodacite porphyry. This was followed by a coppermolybdenum-( gold?) Intermediate stage associated with quartz-sericite and quartz-sericite-clay (SCC) assemblages and by a copper-barren, pyrophyllite-rich Late stage under advanced argillic alteration conditions. These stages were assisted by Intra-mineral and Latemineral rhyodacite intrusions. Certain features of Island Copper such as the positive correlation between copper and gold, the association of gold with a potassic, biotite-rich alteration assemblage, and the high magnetite content (> 8% by volume) in the system are characteristic of gold-rich porphyry copper deposits. The spatial a"angement of biotite chalcopyrite ore zones around a copper-ba"en, quartz-magnetite amphibole core is, however, considered to be a unique feature of the Island Copper orebody and other members of the cluster (Bay Lake, G zone, Red Island). Comparisons are also valid between the Pe-rich core of the systems of the ICC and iron ore mineralization of the Kiruna-type.
Keywords: Island Copper Cluster, ICC, Porphyry, Jurassic stock, Rhyodacitic porphyries, Orebody, Gold, Copper
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Summary: The Poison Mountain Cu-Au-Mo deposit, 90 km north of Lillooet, British Columbia, on the eastern edge of the Coast Plutonic Belt, is jointly hosted by hornfelsed Lower Cretaceous continental arenaceous sedimentary rocks and Late Paleocene stocks and dikes of biotite quartz diorite composition. Concentric zones of sulphide and minor oxide mineralization surround a barren, similar aged, central intrusion of granodiorite. The inner zone, characterized by fracture-controlled and disseminated...
Publication: Special Volume
Author(s): R. BROWN: Quest Canada Resources Corporation, Vancouver, British Columbia
Keywords: Cu-Au-Mo deposit, Poison Mountain, Biotite quartz diorite, K-Ar age determination.
Issue: 1995
Volume: SV 46
Year: 1995
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Summary: This paper offers a comprehensive review of the numerous economic features that influence or have influenced the profitability of porphyry copper and molybdenum deposits in western Canada, notably in British Columbia.
Over the thirty years since the opening of the Bethlehem Copper mine in 1963, porphyry deposits have supported thirteen producing mines, provided over two billion tonnes of ore, and yielded some 6 Mt of copper and 300 000 t of molybdenum. Six deposits have contributed very...
Publication: Special Volume
Author(s): H. K. TAYLOR: Professional Engineer North Vancouver, British Columbia
Keywords: Economics, Porphyry copper deposits, Molybdenum deposits, British Columbia, Improvements
Issue: 1995
Volume: SV 46
Year: 1995
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Summary: Copper-gold porphyry deposits are associated with both alkaline and calc-alkaline, Early Mesozoic plutonic rocks in the Canadian Cordillera. These intrusions were emplaced into mainly volcanic and sedimentary strata of the Upper Triassic Nicola, Triassic to Lower Jurassic Takla and Triassic Stuhini groups of Quesnellia and Stikinia. In several instances the volcanic country rocks are strongly alkaline in character. Intrusive rocks that either host, or are closely spatially and probably...
Publication: Special Volume
Author(s): J.K. MORTENSEN, O.K. GHOSH: Mineral Deposit Research Unit, Department of Geological Sciences, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia; F. FERRI: Geological Survey Branch, British Columbia Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, Victoria, British Columbia
Keywords: Copper-gold porphyry deposits, Canadian Cordillera,
Issue: 1995
Volume: SV 46
Year: 1995
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Summary: The Poplar copper-molybdenum-gold porphyry deposit is hosted by a calc-alkaline intrusion belonging to the Bulkley Intrusive Suite of Late Cretaceous age. The deposit is located within the Intermontane Belt in west-central British Columbia and lies in the Interior Plateau physiographic region west of Prince George, British Columbia.
The Poplar stock intrudes Jurassic Hazelton Group volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks which include a significant clastic sedimentary component. The stock appears...
Publication: Special Volume
Author(s): G.D. HOUSE: Consulting Geologist, North Vancouver, British Columbia; B. AINSWORTH: Ainsworth-Jenkins Holdings Inc., Vancouver, British Columbia
Keywords: Poplar, Copper-molybdenum deposit, British Columbia, Jurassic Hazelton Group, Intrusive batholith, Classical prospecting
Issue: 1995
Volume: SV 46
Year: 1995
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Summary: Between 1970 and 1990 the Brenda mine milled 177 million tonnes of ore grading 0.169% Cu and 0.043% Mo from the calc alkalic Brenda stock which at the start of production was estimated to contain 159.3 million tonnes grading 0.183% Cu and 0.049% Mo (0.082 MoS.). The stock is a composite quartz-diorite/ granodiorite body of Jurassic age which intrudes Upper Triassic sedimentary and volcanic rocks of the Nicola Group. The initial extraction rate of 21 500 tonnes per day was gradually increased...
Publication: Special Volume
Author(s): R.M. WEEKS: Consultant, Kelowna, British Columbia; R.G. BRADBURN: Brenda Mines Ltd., Kelowna, British Columbia; B.C. FLINTOFF: Brenda Process Technology, Kelowna, British Columbia; G.R. HARRIS: Consultant, Peachland, British Columbia
G. MALCOLM: Consultant, Kelowna, British Columbia
Keywords: Brenda Mine, Porphyry, Molybdenum, Copper, Economics, Low-cost, Human resources
Issue: 1995
Volume: SV 46
Year: 1995
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Summary: Washington State's diverse geological setting is reflected by its several types of porphyry Cu-Mo deposits. All are associated with calc-alkaline intrusions, and they range in age from Jurassic to Miocene.
The largest is the Mount Tolman Mo-Cu deposit located in the Omineca Belt. It contains 2.18 billion tonnes of material averaging 0.093% MoS2 and 0.09% Cu. There are intermediate-size Mesozoic deposits in the Intermontane Belt. The Cascade volcanic arc hosts small- to medium-Tertiary...
Publication: Special Volume
Author(s): R. LASMANIS: Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geology and Earth Resources, Olympia, Washington
Keywords: Washington, Porphyrym Tectonic setting, Cu-Mo deposits
Issue: 1995
Volume: SV 46
Year: 1995
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Summary: The Louise Lake Cu-Mo-Au-As high level porphyry system, located 33 km west of Smithers, British Columbia, has been explored by several companies since its discovery in 1968. The property is situated in the Intermontane tectonic belt near the western end of the Skeena arch. A regional scale fault occupying the Coal Creek Lineament separates Skeena Group sedimentary rocks on the northwest from Hazelton Group volcanic rocks on the southeast. Alteration and mineralization are controlled by a 100m...
Publication: Special Volume
Author(s): D.J. HANSON Consulting Geologist, Quick, British Columbia R.W. KLASSEN
Consulting Geologist, Vancouver, British Columbia
Keywords: Porphyry system, Mineralization, Tennantite, Enargite
Issue: 1995
Volume: SV 46
Year: 1995
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Summary: The Fish Lake porphyry copper-gold deposit is situated 130 km southwest of Williams Lake, British Columbia, near the southwestern edge of the Intermontane Belt. The deposit is spatially and genetically related to the Late Cretaceous Fish Lake Intrusive Complex. This Complex consists of the steeply-dipping, lenticular Fish Creek quartz diorite stock surrounded by an east-west swarm of subparallel quartz feldspar porphyry dikes. The greater part of the deposit, however, is hosted by adjacent...
Publication: Special Volume
Author(s): N.M. CAIRA, A. FINDLAY and C. DeLONG: Taseko Mines Limited, Vancouver, British Columbia; C.M. REBAGLIATI: Consultant, Taseko Mines Limited, Vancouver, British Columbia
Keywords: Porphyry, Copper-gold deposit, Fish lake
Issue: 1995
Volume: SV 46
Year: 1995
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Summary: The Huckleberry copper-molybdenum porphyry system is located in the Tahtsa Lake district of west-central British Columbia. The system contains two copper-molybdenum zones that are associated with porphyritic hornblende-biotite-feldspar granodiorite intrusions of Late Cretaceous age (Bulkley Intrusions) which have intruded Jurassic Hazelton Group volcanic rocks. Mineralization in both zones is largely within hornfelsed Hazelton Group volcanic rocks surrounding the porphyritic intrusions,...
Publication: Special Volume
Author(s): A. JACKSON: Consulting Geologist, Vancouver, British Columbia; K. ILLERBRUN: New Canamin Resources Ltd., Smithers, British Columbia
Keywords: Copper-molybdenum, Porphyry, Mineralization, Zone of alteration.
Issue: 1995
Volume: SV 46
Year: 1995
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Summary: The northern Cordillera of Canada and adjacent parts of Alaska host a variety of molybdenum, tungsten and tin deposits and occurrences, most of which are associated with granitoid intrusions. Skarn, porphyry and vein/breccia are the principal deposit types. Skarn tungsten deposits have been the most important economically and include one of the world's largest tungsten deposits (MacTung) as well as the largest single producer of tungsten concentrates in Canada (Cantung). Skarn tin deposits...
Publication: Special Volume
Author(s): W.O. SINCLAIR: Geological Survey of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
Keywords: Molybdenum, Tungsten, tin, Deposits, Intrusions
Issue: 1995
Volume: SV 46
Year: 1995
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Summary: Big Onion is an inactive porphyry copper prospect located 16 km east of Smithers, British Columbia. It was explored during the 1960s and 1970s by a total of 16 708 m of core and rotary drilling. Recognition of supergene chalcocite in unsampled drill core and subsequent geological re-interpretation were instrumental in discovery of the Big Onion deposit. The Cu-Mo deposit is related to a multiphase intrusive suite emplaced into mafic volcanic and sedimentary rocks of the Hazelton Group. The...
Publication: Special Volume
Author(s): P. WOJDAK: British Columbia Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, Smithers, British Columbia; G.C. STOCK: British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Highways, Vancouver, British Columbia
Keywords: Porphyry, Copper, Big Onion, Core drilling, Rotary Drilling, Exploration, Pyrite halo
Issue: 1995
Volume: SV 46
Year: 1995
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Summary: Porphyry deposits in the Canadian Cordillera formed during two separate time periods: Late Triassic to Middle Jurassic and Late Cretaceous to Eocene. Deposits of the Early Mesozoic period occur in at least three different arc terranes: Wrangellia, Stikinia and Quesnellia, with a single deposit in the oceanic assemblage of the Cache Creek terrane. These terranes were outboard from continental North America during the formation of most of their contained porphyry deposits. Some of the deposits...
Publication: Special Volume
Author(s): W.J. McMILLAN: British Columbia Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, Victoria, British Columbia; J.F.H. THOMPSON: Mineral Deposit Research Unit, Department of Geological Sciences, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia; C.J.R. HART and S.T. JOHNSTON: Canada/Yukon Geoscience Office, Whitehorse, Yukon Territory
Keywords: Porphyry deposits, Geology, formation
Issue: 1995
Volume: SV 46
Year: 1995
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Summary: Catface is a calc-alkalic, Cu-Mo deposit situated on the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island. The claims covering the property are owned by Falconbridge Limited. A partially defined resource known as the Cliff zone contains 124 million tonnes grading 0.46% Cu. To the north, a higher grade but smaller mineralized zone known as the Irishman Creek zone was discovered, but not delineated. Mineralization is related to a small, mid-Eocene, porphyritic quartz diorite to granodiorite stock that...
Publication: Special Volume
Author(s): S.G. ENNS: Consulting Geologist, North Vancouver, British Columbia; J.J. McDOUGALL
J.J. McDougall & Associates, Richmond, British Columbia
Keywords: Calc-alkalic, Cu-Mo deposit, Cliff zone, Mineralization, Chalcopyrite, Bornite, Molybdenite
Issue: 1995
Volume: SV 46
Year: 1995
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Summary: The Casino deposit, located in the Dawson Range mountains in the west-central Yukon Territory, is unique among Canadian porphyry deposits. It hosts significant concentrations of copper, gold and molybdenum, has a substantially preserved leached cap (oxidegold), and a well-developed copper-enriched supergene zone. Rocks of the Paleozoic or older Yukon Metamorphic Complex are intruded by the Mid-Cretaceous Dawson Range Batholith. The batholith, mainly granodiorite, is the dominant country rock...
Publication: Special Volume
Author(s): B. BOWER: Pacific Sentinel Gold Corp., Vancouver, British Columbia; J. PAYNE: Consultant, Pacific Sentinel Gold Corp., Vancouver, British Columbia; C. DeLONG
Pacific Sentinel Gold Corp., Vancouver, British Columbia; C.M. REBAGLIATI: Consultant, Pacific Sentinel Gold Corp., Vancouver, British Columbia
Keywords: Porphyry deposit, Yukon, Palezoic rocks
Issue: 1995
Volume: SV 46
Year: 1995
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Summary: The Berg porphyry Cu-Mo deposit is in the Tahtsa Mountain Ranges approximately 84 km southwest of Houston, British Columbia. Mineralization is localized in and adjacent to one of several ca. 50 Ma quartz monzonite intrusions in the area. Two mineralized zones with a mineral resource of 250 million tonnes grading 0.40% Cu and 0.052% MoS2 (at a 0.25% Cu cutoff) occur in a highly fractured zone superimposed on homfelsed Hazelton Group volcanic rocks which occur adjacent to a quartz diorite...
Publication: Special Volume
Author(s): D. R. HEBERLEIN: Minera American Barrick Ltda. Santiago, Chile
Keywords: Porphyry, Cu-Mo deposit, Quartz mazonite intrusion, facies, Hypogene mineralization.
Issue: 1995
Volume: SV 46
Year: 1995
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Summary: Morrison and Hearne Hill are classic porphyry copper-gold deposits associated with a Tertiary continental magmatic arc in westcentral British Columbia. The deposits are located within and around dikes and plugs of an Eocene high-potassium calc-alkaline suite, the Babine Igneous Suite. Despite the calc-alkaline major element geochemistry, rocks of the Babine Igneous Suite possess immobile trace element ratios typical of alkaline rocks and may have been derived from an alkaline precursor or...
Publication: Special Volume
Author(s): P.L. OGRYZLO: Consulting Geologist, Vancouver, British Columbia; G.E. DIROM: Consulting Geological Engineer, North Vancouver, British Columbia; P.G. STOTHART: Brunswick Mining and Smelting Corp., Bathurst, New Brunswick
Keywords: Porphyry copper-gold deposits, Magmatic arc, Hydrothermal brines, Morrison fault
Issue: 1995
Volume: SV 46
Year: 1995
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Summary: The Bell and Granisle open pit mines exploited two porphyry copper-gold deposits in the Babine Lake region of central British Columbia. The Bell mine produced 303 277 tonnes copper, 12 794 kg gold and 27 813 kg silver from 77.2 million tonnes of ore, while the Granisle mine produced 214 300 tonnes copper, 6833 kg gold and 69 753 kg silver from 52. 7 million tonnes of ore. The deposits are associated with intrusive rocks of a Tertiary continental magmatic arc known as the Babine Igneous Suite....
Publication: Special Volume
Author(s): G.E. DIROM: Consulting Geological Engineer, North Vancouver, British Columbia; M.P. DITTRICK: Consulting Geologist, Whitehorse, Yukon; D.R. McARTHUR: Noranda Mining and Exploration Inc., Bell Mine Division, Granisle, British Columbia; P.L. OGRYZLO: Consulting Geologist, Vancouver, British Columbia; A.J. PARDOE: Consultikng Geologist, Quick, British Columbia; P.G. STOTHART: Brunswick Mining and Smelting Corporation Ltd., Bathurst, New Brunswick
Keywords: Porphyry, Copper-gold deposits, Intrusive rocks, Babine Igneous Suite, Grabens, Biotite-magnetite, Propylitic alteration
Issue: 1995
Volume: SV 46
Year: 1995
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Summary: The Gibraltar porphyry copper deposit is located in central British Columbia 362 km north of Vancouver, British Columbia. Production on the property began in March of 1972. As of December 1992, 241 000 000 tonnes of ore averaging 0.360% Cu have been milled: 147 500 000 tonnes averaging 0.301% Cu (OJXJ8% Mo) have been defined as a mining reserve; and 546 600 000 tonnes averaging 0.287% Cu (0.007% Mo) have been classified as a mineral resource.
The Gibraltar deposit consists of six separate ore...
Publication: Special Volume
Author(s): G.D. BYSOUTH: Gibraltar Mines Limited, McLeese Lake, British Columbia; K.V. CAMPBELL: K.V. Campbell & Associates Ltd., North Vancouver, British Columbia; G.E. BARKER and G.K. GAGNIER: Gibraltar Mines Limited, McLeese Lake, British Columbia
Keywords: Porphyry, Porphyry copper deposit, Batholith, Magmatism, Dynamothermal metamorphism, Ore deposition
Issue: 1995
Volume: SV 46
Year: 1995
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Summary: Porphyry copper-gold, porphyry molybdenum, granitoid-hosted gold, and associated lode deposits occur in several metallogenic belts throughout Alaska. Generally, the older metallogenic belts occur to the north, in interior and northern Alaska, whereas the younger belts occur to the south or west, closer to the Pacific Ocean margin of Alaska. Five older, pre-accretionary metallogenic belts, that formed before tectonic juxtaposition of hasting tectonostratigraphic terranes, occur in Alaska: (1)...
Publication: Special Volume
Author(s): W.J. NOKLEBERG: U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, California, U.S.A.; T.K. BUNDTZEN: Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys, Fairbanks, Alaska, U.S.A.; D.A. BREW and G. PLAFKER: U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, California, U.S.A.
Keywords: Porphyry copper-gold deposits, Porphyry molybdenum deposits, Granitoid-hosted
gold deposits, Associated lode deposits
Issue: 1995
Volume: SV 46
Year: 1995
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Summary: Exploration on the Kemess property has delineated two porphyry gold-copper deposits: Kemess South and Kemess North. The property is underlain mainly by Upper Triassic to Lower Jurassic Takla Group mafic flows, breccias and minor sedimentary rocks and by Lower Jurassic Hazelton Group pyroclastics and epiclastics. Lower Jurassic intermediate to felsic plutons intrude the volcanoclastic and sedimentary strata. Several large hydrothermal alteration zones that host porphyry-type mineralization and...
Publication: Special Volume
Author(s): C.M. REBAGLIATI: Consultant, El Condor Resources Ltd., Vancouver, British Columbia; B.K. BOWEN: Consultant, El Condor Resources Ltd., Vancouver, British Columbia; D.J. COPELAND: El Condor Resources, Vancouver, British Columbia; D.W.A. NIOSI: Consultant, El Condor Resources Ltd., Toronto, Ontario
Keywords: Kemess, Porphyry, Copper-gold deposits, Lower Jurassic, Native copper
Issue: 1995
Volume: SV 46
Year: 1995
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Summary: By any measure - tonnage of reserves discovered, milling capacity installed, expenditures expressed in constant dollars, concentration of exploration effort- the 1960s and 1970s were decades of mineral exploration and mine development unprecedented in the Canadian Cordillera and possibly in the world. Eight of the fifteen porphyry deposits mined in British Columbia were discovered during the period 1962 to 1968. A decade of achievement culminated in 1972 when jour major mines were brought on...
Publication: Special Volume
Author(s): J.M. NEWELL: Consulting Geologist, Sidney, British Columbia; N.C. CARTER: Consulting Geologist, Victoria, British Columbia; A. SUTHERLAND BROWN: Consulting Geologist, Victoria, British Columbia
Keywords: Milling, Porphyry deposits, Mineral exploration, Copper mining, Molybdenum mining
Issue: 1995
Volume: SV 46
Year: 1995
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Summary: The Highland Valley porphyry district, in southern British Columbia, has jive major porphyry copper-molybdenum deposits, Valley, Lomex, Bethlehem, Highmont and JA, located within a fifteen square kilometre area in Highland Valley in the central part of the late Upper Triassic Guichon Creek batholith. The batholith, a composite, calc-alkaline and !-type intrusion emplaced about 210 million years ago, cuts and metamorphoses the Carnian to Norian (230 Ma to 208 Ma) Nicola Group country rocks....
Publication: Special Volume
Author(s): M.J. CASSELMAN: Cominco Ltd., Vancouver, British Columbia; W.J. McMILLAN: British Columbia Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, Victoria, British Columbia; K.M. NEWMAN: Highland Valley Copper, Logan Lake, British Columbia
Keywords: Highland Valley, Porphyry, Porphyry copper deposits, Batholith, Mineralization
Issue: 1995
Volume: SV 46
Year: 1995
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