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Red Rose Mine

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Highlights

Red RoseThe 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.

The Red Rose Mine has excellent gold and base metal potential: The 1914 Minister of Mines Annual Report notes 28.8 g/mt gold, 110 g/mt silver, and 3.9% copper over 0.75m (0.91 oz/t Au, 3.21 oz/t Ag, and 3.9% Cu over 2.5 feet). Bonanza values to 63.8 g/tonne gold were reported in Adit 1, near the valley floor (Telfer, 1939). There are known gold and silver showings in this area.

Significant historical gold results from Adit 1 include:
  • 19.2 g/tonne over 0.7 m average width, and strike length of over 49 m (0.56 oz/ton over 2.1' and over 160' length)
  • 49.0 g/tonne over 0.7 m (1.43 oz/ton over 2.2') Telfer 1939)
These values could suggest a new gold-rich ore shoot. Furthermore, historical reports suggest copper and possibly gold may increase with depth. A two-hole drill program by Freeport intersected the vein 100 metres (328') below the lowest level (1100 level) of the mine, proving continuity of the vein well below the known workings. Values to 2.7% copper and 0.08% Mo were encountered over narrow intervals (respectively 0.5 to 0.95m, or 1.6' to 3.1').

Location & Access

The 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.

Geology

The Rocher Deboule Range is a well known mineral camp with mines dating back to 1909, the most important being the Red Rose and the Rocher Deboule. Please see Red Rose History section for more details.

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.

Tungsten

Tungsten 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.

Production

The 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.

Conclusion

The 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)