The search for a lead zinc deposit of similar size and value as that of the Sullivan Mine in Kimberley B.C. goes on in southeastern British Columbia.
The Sullivan Mine was operated by Cominco, which evolved into Teck. The mine operated for over 100 years in Kimberley before the deposit was mined out. It closed in 2001.
Since then, many mineral companies have tried a number of different drilling projects to try to locate a similar deposit. The Sullivan’s deposit was a sedex deposit (sedimentary-exhalative style mineralization). The latest company to embark on a test drilling project looking for a similar sedex deposit is Eagle Plains Resources Ltd. out of Cranbrook.
The company announced last week that it will commence a three to four hole drilling program on the Vulcan property located 30 km west of Kimberley. The property is 100 per cent owned by Eagle Plains.
“It’s underway,” said Mike Labach from Eagle Plains. “We have a good shot down the first hole. We are about 200 metres down.”
He estimates the cost of the four holes to be from $1 to 1.2 million.
“There are a number of different geophysical and geochemical coincidents in the target areas we are investigating.”
Eagle Plains has produced a video explaining some of the theories.
Vulcan is considered to hold significant potential to host silver-lead-zine mineralization similar to the Sullivan Mine. TerraLogic Exploration Services Inc. from Cranbrook have been contracted to carry out the program, supervised by Kerry Bates, P. Geo.
Earlier this year, Eagle Plains competed a helicopter high-resolution aeromagnetic survey of the project and management considers the Vulcan Project to have excellent potential.
This is not the first time the Vulcan property has been explored.
Sullivan-style mineralization was first reported in the mid-1950s at Vulcan. During the 1970s and 1980s, Texas Gulf Sulphur and later Cominco completed extensive geophysical work and drilled shallow holes to test for continuous mineralization in areas of the property. The most comprehensive testing occurred in the Hilo area during the early 1990s by Ascot Resources. In 1991 a five-hole, 1003m drill program was completed, with three holes totaling 1535m completed in 1992.
Since acquiring the initial claims on the property in 2002, Eagle Plains has completed an extensive compilation of all existing data, followed in 2006 by a 125 line-km helicopter-borne time-domain geophysical survey. Additional claims were added to the property position as they became available through staking. Systematic geochemical, geological and geophysical programs were conducted by Eagle Plains and its partners from 2011-2019.
Labach says that this project is reinterpreting data from those test holes. For example, he says they now believe that one of Cominco’s test holes did go right through ‘Sullivan Time’ — the geological age that the Sullivan Mine deposits formed — but at the time they thought Sullivan Time was 500 metres lower.
“They hit a layer of laminated sulphides at Sullivan Time but they thought they were 500 metres above it,” he said.
Much more information on the latest project and the theories behind it can be found at eagleplains.com
The Sullivan mine was discovered in 1892 and is one of the largest sedex deposits in the world. Over its 100 plus year lifetime, Sullivan contained a total of 160 million tonnes of ore, resulting in 298 million ounces of silver, 18.5 billion pounds of lead, 17.5 billion pounds of zinc, and significant quantities of associated metals; collectively worth over $40B at current metal prices.