Red Rose Mine
Projects Overview Newfoundland & Labrador British Columbia
HighlightsThe Red Rose mine, located in the prolific Rocher Deboule mining camp, is a past tungsten-gold-silver-copper producer. Between 1942 and 1954, over one million kilograms of tungsten (2.2 million lbs) were recovered from Red Rose, with copper, gold and silver by-products. The mine closed in 1954 due to a drop in tungsten demand, with significant ore remaining.
Significant historical gold results from Adit 1 include:
Location & AccessThe Red Rose consists of 15 crown grants on the west side of the Rocher Deboule range, 13 kilometres (8 miles) south of New Hazelton. The Red Rose mine itself is accessed from the provincial highway from Hazelton, and then by gravel road up to the main camp and mill. When the mine was operational, a surface-track connected the camp and lower adit, and a gravity aerial tram 1597 m (5240') long connected the mine and mill.
Mineralization at the Red Rose is related to the Rocher Deboule intrusion, a granodioritic pluton which intruded siltstone and argillite of the Bowser Lake Group. Click Rocher Deboule Geology Map to view a larger version of thumbnail map. The property was initially worked for rich gold showings in the valley.
The Red Rose was primarily mined for tungsten, with an average scheelite grade of 1.5% CaWO4. Mineralization occurs in a vein which fills the Red Rose shear zone (Minfile 093M 067). The vein is composed mostly of quartz with lesser amounts scheelite (the tungsten ore), with accessory gold, silver, copper, and molybdenum. For more information, please visit our Detailed Geology section, or read Geology of the Rocher Deboule Range.
TungstenTungsten is a metal used for its unique physical properties in special, tough alloys in steel, and corrosion-resistant, high-hardness products such as drill bits etc. Tungsten is now in increasing demand and valued at over US$22 per kg (US$10 per pound), roughly double its price when the Red Rose mine closed. The Red Rose is still a highly prospective tungsten target today. More information on tungsten can be found at www.itia.org.uk, and in NRC 2005 Tungsten.
ProductionThe Red Rose Mine was strategically important as a tungsten producer (1942-43) during World War II, and also from 1952 to 1954. It has extensive underground workings, including 12 levels and sub levels, multiples raises and 4 access adits. Click Red Rose Mine plan and section to view larger mine plan and section.
Over a five period, Red Rose produced over 1,002,500 kg of tungsten (2,210,100 lbs) with some copper, gold and silver as by-products. For illustrative purposes, the value of the reported ore would be over C$24,000,000 at current prices (May 2010). For more information, please see Red Rose Mine Summary section.
ConclusionThe Rocher Deboule area is geologically significant, with many past-producing mines and showings, producing tungsten, gold, silver, copper, zinc, cobalt, molybdenum and lead. At the Red Rose, high gold values encountered in the shear zone reach as much as 2 ounces per tonne (1.86 troy oz/ton) over short intervals.
As discovered during Freeport's last drilling program, the Red Rose vein is known to extend at least 100 metres (328') below the lowest level of the mine. The Red Rose Mine should be re-evaluated not only for tungsten, but especially gold and also base metals. As stated by A. Sutherland Brown, a recognized authority on Rocher Deboule, "Possibilities for developing additional ore in the Red Rose Shear cannot be ignored." (Bulletin 43, 1960)
ProductionThe Red Rose Mine was strategically important as a tungsten producer (1942-43) during World War II, and also from 1952 to 1954. Over a five year period, Red Rose produced over 1,002,500 kg of tungsten (2,210,100 lb) from 103,560 tonnes (114,175 tons) of ore with some copper, gold and silver as by-products, reported only in the last two years of production.
Silver, gold and copper recovered from 60,858 tonnes (66,944 tons) milled includes:
For illustrative purposes, the value of the reported ore would be over C$24,000,000 at current prices (May 2010). The mine closed in 1954 due to a drop in demand for tungsten.
MetallurgyIn 1954, the mill heads averaged 1.43% WO3 and the tails 0.48% WO3 (WO3 - conversion to tungsten using the factor 1.2611).
InventoryThe vein was mined over the length of some 60 to 120 metres and from the surface down to the 800 level. On the 800 and 900 levels, about three quarters of the ore was mined. The vein on the 1000 level was about half mined. The 1100 level (335 m, 1100') was not mined.
According to McEachern (1955), historical estimates above the 1100 level include 13,600 mt (15,000 tons) of indicated ore at a grade of approximately 1.9% WO3 and 16,050 mt (17,700 tons) of inferred ore. Below the 1100 level, there are 22,700 mt (25,000 tons) of inferred vein material: At the time of closure in December 1954, the estimated remaining mine reserves* were 52,350 tonnes (57,700 tons), or about 50% of the total ore mined.
Mineralization at the Red Rose property is related to the Lower Cretaceous Rocher Deboule stock which intrudes middle Jurassic to Lower Cretaceous siltstone and argillite of the Bowser Lake Group. Those are recrystallized into hornfels. The Rocher Deboule intrusion comprises mainly granodiorite with some diorite phases. Other rocks on the property include older Lower Cretaceous porphyritic andesite dykes, fine-grained northeasterly trending diorite dyke-like intrusive bodies and feldspar porphyry dykes younger than the diorites. The mine is almost entirely enclosed within one of the diorite intrusions, the 'Mine Diorite' (McEachern 1954). This unit is between 90-120m (300-400') wide. The second diorite intrusion is porphyritic, occurs to the south, and is about 250m (800') wide.
The Red Rose mine is located east of the north-south Chicago Creek Fault, a major regional structure. At the 800 level portal, the fault is approximately 70m (230') to the west. The Red Rose Shear zone, which strikes 30 to 40 degrees west and dips 60 to 65 degrees southwest, is a tributary to the Chicago Creek Fault.
The Red Rose mineralized vein fills the Red Rose shear zone where it cuts through the diorite, sometimes referred to as the "Mine Diorite" (after Sutherland Brown, 1960). It is composed mostly of pegmatitic quartz with lesser amounts of feldspar, biotite, hornblende, ankerite, tourmaline, apatite, scheelite, ferberite, chalcopyrite, pyrrhotite and molybdenite. The vein is massive and unsheared, with many small cavities largely filled with quartz crystals. It is 1.2 to 2.8 m wide (4-9'), for at least 60 to 120 m (200-400') along strike, and at least 335 m (1100') down dip (Minfile 093M 067). According to Brown, the tungsten-bearing vein is reportedly of mining width and grade only within the Mine Diorite.
MineralizationAlthough the property was first prospected at the turn of the century for gold and base metals near Red Rose Creek, past exploration work concentrated mainly on the tungsten-bearing quartz vein located further up the same hillside. Historical reports indicate significant gold mineralization, particularly in Adit 1, along the Red Rose Shear, up to 2 oz per tonne. (Minister of Mines Annual Report, 1914; Telfer, 1939).
Exploratory drilling prior to the mine closure resulted in some interesting intersections suggesting another unmined ore shoot in the Red Rose shear system. One drill hole at the southern end of the 300m level intersected 3.9m (12.7') of massive pyrite and chalcopyrite replacement in sheared hornblende diorite grading 0.33% Cu, 41 g/mt (1.2 oz/t) silver and 1.9 g/mt (0.055 oz/ton) gold over 2.8m (9.1') and 0.24% Cu, 31g/mt (0.9 oz/t) Ag and 2.4g/mt (0.07oz/t) Au over the remaining 1.1m (3.6').
A two-hole drill program by Freeport intersected the Red Rose vein at the 1450 level, 100 m (328') below the lowest level (1100 level) of the mine, thus proving continuity of the vein well below the known workings, with interesting copper and molybdenum mineralization (2.7% Cu and 0.08% Mo) encountered over short intervals.
Chalcopyrite content increases with depth and constitutes some 2% of the vein filling on the lowest level. It is distributed within wall rock, sometimes with molybdenite, and within the hanging wall shear. Perkins et al. (1988) note that, "Copper mineralization increases and tungsten mineralization decreases with depth (Cu-W ratio increasing). This suggests that the same zoning pattern noted on the surface also occurs with depth. The tungsten-copper mineralization might therefore change to copper-gold mineralization at the lower levels of the Red Rose shear as seen in the old workings to the south of the mine site." This seems to be confirmed by the very high gold values found in Adit #1, near the valley floor.
Conclusion & RecommendationsThe Red Rose property is highly prospective for tungsten, but its potential for gold, copper, and possibly molybdenum warrants further study. Copper-gold and silver-lead-zinc showings are known along the Red Rose shear. This structure is open to the north and south of the mine, and remains largely unexplored. High gold values within the Red Rose shear provide attractive new drilling targets. Recommended work includes:
The Red Rose gold-silver showing was discovered near Red Rose Creek, with limited exploration of gold/silver until 1919.
Scheelite, a tungsten ore, was discovered in the Red Rose vein further up the same hillside.
Consolidated Mining and Smelting Co. of Canada Ltd., (Cominco) optioned the claims and conducted exploration drilling in 1940.
The tungsten mine and mill were built on the site, operating until November 1943.
The mine and mill were shut down in December due to decrease in tungsten demand.
Freeport completed a two-hole drilling program with recommendations for surface trenching, sampling, soil geochemistry, geophysics, as well as further drilling to more fully test the extent of the Red Rose vein and related structures. The drilling program indicated continuity of the Red Rose vein 100m below the lowest workings in the mine.
Freeport acquires interest, and purchases crown grants.
Photo GalleryClick to enlarge
MapsClick to enlarge
Media: Red RoseBC MINFILE 093M 067 Red Rose
BC Ministry of Energy & Mines, 2006
Red Rose MINFILE Summary, Production & Inventory Reports
NRC Canadian Minerals Yearbook 2005, Tungsten
Natural Resources Canada, Minerals and Metals Sector 2005
BC Dept. Mines, Bulletin 43, Sutherland Brown 1960
Sutherland Brown, A., 1960:
Geology of the Rocher Deboule Range
BC Dept. of Mines, Bulletin 10 (Rev), Stevenson 1943
John Stevenson et al., 1943:
Tungsten Deposits of BC, 1943 (excerpts)
LinksInternational Tungsten Organization