The Slocan Mining Camp is within the Kokanee Range of the Selkirk Mountains in southeastern British Columbia. The camp is mainly underlain by metasediments of the Late Triassic Slocan Group (201 to 235 Ma). These metamorphosed sediments are comprised of argillite, impure sandstones, siltstones and limestones. The Slocan Group metasediments were intruded by the Nelson Batholith (160 to 170 Ma) which subsequently fractured and folded the existing rocks. The batholith was a heat engine that assisted in the emplacement of mineralization into the fractures. These fractures became the mineralized veins or “Lodes” that have been mined since the 1890s. The Lodes were subsequently cross-faulted and sheared making the geology and mining of the area very complex.
The main mineralized fractures in the Slocan Group metasediments are a series of east-west parallel Lodes that dip toward the south. The Lodes are not mineralized continuously along their length or dip but are instead a series of mineralized pods or bodies along the length of the Lode structures. These pods have been mined as separate mines along the same structure. As an example, the largest structure in the Camp is called the “Main Lode”. It is approximately 9 km in length and contains the main producing mines in the Camp (Standard, Silvana, Silversmith and Ruth/Hope mines). These mines extracted ore from separate pods along the “Main Lode”. There are still unexplored sections of the “Main Lode” as well as most of the other Lodes.
All the mines in the area were discovered when these mineralized bodies came to surface, except the Silvana Mine. It was discovered by drilling from previous underground workings. Future discoveries in the Camp will come from the 3D computer modeling unraveling and interpreting the complex geology as well as successive drilling programs.
Minor minerals are:
- Tetrahedrite – (Cu,Fe)12Sb4S13,
- Freibergite – (Ag,Cu,Fe)12Sb,As)4S13,
- Chalcopyrite – CuFeS2,
- Pyrargyrite (Ruby Silver) – Ag3SbS3,
- Stephanite – Ag5SbS4,
- Argentite – Ag2S),
- Native Silver – Ag,
- Stannite – Cu2FeSnS4
Major minerals are:
- Argentiferrous Galena – (Pb+Ag)S,
- Sphalerite – (Zn,Fe)S
The entire camp’s 3rd and 13th historical largest producers, the Silvana and Mammoth mines anchors each end of the SILVER MILE.