The Miner Mountain property is on a large rolling plateau with a small peak at its southern end (Miner Mountain, Mt. Baldy) overlooking the Similkameen River and the town of Princeton. To the east, ground rises sharply after the small Schisler Creek valley, and on the west and south it slopes down to the valley floor 200 metres below.
The vegetation is primarily grassland with copses of ponderosa pine and aspen, near seasonal ponds.
The property is easily accessible from the town of Princeton 5 kilometres away along an all-weather road, and is connected to Vancouver via Highway 3. Local infrastructure is excellent with the town sawmill and cellphone tower within the property boundaries. Exploration can take place year round.
The oldest assemblage on the Property is a broadly folded series of volcanic sediments, tuffs and basalts assigned to the Eastern Belt of the Nicola Group (Logan & Mihalynuk, 2013). These are cut first by diorite & quartz diorites of Latest Triassic (?) age, and then by late the Cretaceous (~103 mya) “Mine Dykes” which are equivalent to the “mine dykes” present at the Copper Mountain Mine 15 kilometres to the south. The next assemblage is the Eocene Princeton Group, which consists of a lower volcanic formation of andesitic and basaltic flows and an upper sedimentary graben fill composed of arkose, coal measures, and minor felsic volcanics. This assemblage is separated from the Nicola group by the north-east trending, west side down Boundary Fault. The last geologic event was the glaciation of the property which has left a till veneer that ranges from 1m-10m thick over most of the property, and extensive post glacial deposits of colluvium along the slopes of the plateau.
The most economically important assemblages are the Nicola Group and associated intrusions. Mapping by in 2012 by the BCGS defined a series of volcanics, sediments and intrusives as described below (abstracted from Logan & Mihalynuk, 2013). In order from oldest to youngest, they are:
Volcanic Conglomerate-Siltstone : Grey-green, brown weathering with decimeter scale bedding, cross stratification, and graded bedding. Covers a significant portion of the property, and is interbedded with the unit below.
“Cherty Tuff”: Pale green-white siliceous volcanic siltstone, with centimetre scale bedding, locally graded. Some evidence of synsedimentary deformation, with locally disrupted bedding. The “cherty” aspect is the tendency to conchoidally fracture, when hit.
Limestone, Carbonate Breccia-Conglomerate: Light grey-maroon hematitic massive recrystallized limestone. 3-5m thick and interbedded with volcaniclastic rocks, with magnetite-chalcopyrite mineralization at contacts. The carbonate breccia is a single discontinuously outcropping layer, composed of angular limestone clasts surrounded by red-green volcanic detritus. This is interpreted as an olistostrome indicating subaqueaous deposition for unit.
Polymictic Lapilli Tuff: Grey to Orange weathering, massive to thickly bedded, with lapilli clasts in an arkosic matrix. Lapilli clasts include, basalts, diorites, in a plagioclase, hornblende, pyroxene matrix. The tuff is weakly mineralized with sparse magnetite and chalcopyrite.
Pyroxene Phyric Volcanic Breccia: Pale Green with blocks of dark, coarse grained pyroxene-porphyry blocks and lapilli, in a crystal rich tuff matrix. Locally sections of basaltic andesite. Magnetite rich, with local white quartz veins.
Hornblende-Feldspar Porphyry: Dark Grey blocky acicular hornblende-feldspar phyric breccia, lapilli tuff and flows. Occasionally with minor coarse augite.
Pyroxene Phyric Flow Rocks: Ochre – Grey sparsely amygdaloidal basaltic flow, with variable phenocrysts including, augite, glomeroporphyritic feldspar, and altered relicts of olivine. Petrographic analysis indicates that there are sub mm analcime crystals present.
Diorite: Tan-Green-Orange weathering, with leucocratic quartz bearing dyke phases, massive mineralized, hornblende diorite and possible microdiorite. The quartz diorite dyke has trachytic texture in places.
In addition to these major rock types there are numerous breccias too small to show on the map.
The structure of the property is dominated by the northeast -southwest trending Boundary Fault, a west side down normal fault zone. This is a major, long lived fault system which extends over 50 kilometres south past the Copper Mountain Mine (where it cuts the Copper Mountain Stock), and north to Kamloops and beyond. Other prominent structures include two northwest – southeast striking “crush zones” of intensely deformed and oxidized rock which bound the mineralized core of the Cuba Zone. Their axis and position is similar to the regional trends which control the mineralization in both the Iron Mask Batholith and the Copper Mountain Stock.
As mapped by the BCGS, there are numerous small zones of ductile deformation present in the sedimentary package, particularly the “cherty tuff”. Unambiguous shear sense indicators were not found. In the centre of the property a till-covered zone of east-west faulting associated with intense alteration and strong mineralization was identified by trenching and drilling.
The alteration assemblages on the property range from a distal propylitic to intense potassic-albitic. In addition to these major types there are other assemblages dominated by illite and muscovite within certain zones, and an unusual kaolinite-gypsum-pyrite zone located at depth in the centre of the property. Zonation at this time is uncertain, due to the amount of cover. However the dominant trend is for distal-proximal propylitic alteration to occur on the surface with higher temperature alteration present at depth or in local breccia pipes.
The distal propylitic styles of alteration include:
The more proximal propylitic styles include:
Potassic-Albitic styles include
Other Styles include
Chalcopyrite is the most common copper bearing sulfide mineral, with bornite, chalcocite, covellite, native copper being present in diminishing abundance. Although gold and silver generally follow the abundance of copper, there are exceptions with certain areas being richer in one or the other of these two elements relative to copper. Styles of mineralization range from vein hosted (particularly within the calcite veins) to phenocryst replacement to massive bands and net textured and clots of sulphide in the most mineralized sections. Pyrite is ubiquitous in certain styles of alteration but is absent in the most mineralized zones.