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ROCK ROOM

Smithers Exploration Group's Collection of Cordilleran Rock Suites

Welcome to Smithers Exploration Group’s Rock Room, home to our classic collection of Cordilleran rock suites. This extensive collection of rock samples, once complete, will be representative of deposits and rock types from across British Columbia, with a focus on the northwest. It’s an important resource for the development of expertise on the geology of northern BC and the discovery of the next mines.

The collection was begun in the 1970s by local geologists and prospectors, as well as the BC Ministry of Mines, and was updated under the direction of former regional geologist Paul Wojdak. It is designed to give hands-on examples of the rocks that make up the regional geological framework of northern British Columbia.  We are working hard to complete our collection: if there is a particular suite you are keen to see but we do not yet have, please let us know and we will prioritize the aquisition of those samples.  If you have a suite that you would consider donating to help us fill in the gaps, we would very much like to hear from you!

The Rock Room occupies a spacious classroom at the Smithers Exploration Group office at #101 3423 Fulton Avenue in Smithers. We have almost 2000 rock samples catalogued, clearly labelled and stored in trays that can be removed for handling and close examination. The room is heated, well-lit and spacious enough to allow field crews to use it is a starting (or ending) point for the field season. It is equipped with regular and zoom stereomicroscopes for detailed investigation.

The rock suites cover:

Call 250-877-7883 or email Anastasia Ledwon at  rockroom@smithersexplorationgroup.com if you have questions about the Rock Room or the donation requirements for samples.

SEG’s Rock Room with its Cordilleran Rock Suites will make Smithers home to a unique tool for explorationists.  It will attract industry and government attention to Smithers as a community committed to the growth of the minerals industry in BC.

Browse the Rock Room Collection

Library No.Suite NameLocationCollectorRock NameAgeDescriptionCart
D36-06Brucejack Gold MineP2 PorphyryCoarse-grained porphyritic rocks have small (<0.75 cm) phenocrysts, and are suspended in a groundmass that is generally masked by strong sericite-chlorite-carbonate alteration; feldspar phenocrysts are replaced by sericite and calcite and pyrite (up to 10%) commonly accompanied by rutile occurs as replacements along cleavage planes of relict mafic phenocrysts. Volcanic host rocks at Brucejack are plagioclase feldspar ± potassium feldspar ± hornblende-phyric latite lava flows of the Early Jurassic Hazelton Group, and are described in the field on the basis of their phenocryst mineralogy and grain-size.
D36-05Brucejack Gold Mine1440-XC14ANDX w/ Vn1Vn1 is the term used to describe the first stage of epithermal veining. They have consistent mineralogical features. Quartz is the dominant vein mineral (>80%), and occurs as coarse-grained (typically 1–2 mm), equigranular, mosaic style crystal masses. Calcite (with minor dolomite) generally fills fractures between large quartz crystals, and fine-grained calcite is associated with vein sericite and microcrystalline quartz. Electrum is common in this vein generation, where it is intergrown with vein quartz and sericite.
D36-04Brucejack Gold Mine1440-XC14ANDXVolcaniclastic fragmental. The matrix of this rock ranges from fine ash to coarse ash, and when present without volcanic fragments these rocks are massive and very well sorted. The groundmass is composed of fine grained quartz and plagioclase feldspar, with sericite, carbonate, silica, and chlorite alteration products. Sericite alteration is common throughout the matrix, where the rocks are usually greenish grey in colour. Pyrite alteration is also common throughout this lithology, where pyrite is disseminated throughout the groundmass. Pyrite crystals can be up to 0.5−0.75 cm, although are typically ~0.25 cm, where matrix replaced pyrite alteration is typically 2-5 %, but can exceed 15 %. Lapilli to block-sized fragments are typically angular to sub-angular and are poorly sorted. These fragments are very common, where they represent between 5−45 % of the total unit.
D36-03Brucejack Gold Mine1200-XC25DykeThese dikes cut across all lithologies and ore zones, but commonly follow fluid pathways in the ore zones, and are cross-cut by late-stage, barren calcite veins. They are commonly a dark olive green color and contain small (<4 mm) calcite- filled amygdules. The fine- to medium-grained groundmass is pervasively altered to sericite and carbonate, and minor chlorite, euhedral pyrite, and anhedral rutile are also variably present. These dikes provide a minimum age for gold mineralization, and a maximum relative age for the cessation of hydrothermal activity.
D36-02Brucejack Gold Mine1230-XC20Sil-CapQuartz (or silica) alteration occurs in host rocks and is texturally destructive. Most host rocks at Brucejack are weakly silicified, where polylithic conglomerate and locally volcanic siltstone, sandstone, and argillite lithologies are often moderately−strongly altered. Local volcanic sedimentary rocks have been exposed to localized zones of intense silica- flooding, where protolith textures are pervasively destroyed and obscured. Silica ponding locations occur in pods throughout the Valley of the Kings and are generally composed of massive, microscrystalline thin, finely banded, siliceous laminations. These laminations are discordant to host rock stratigraphy, and thus do not represent relict bedding, but may suggest silica sinter formation. Massive, microcrystalline silica is cut by sheeted sets of subhorizontal, fine-grained, clear quartz veinlets.
D36-01Brucejack Gold Mine1320-XC15Electrum - Vn1 ANDXIn this sample, dendritic electrum is observed in the centre of a Vn1, in ANDX host rock. The electrum is a much more dull colour than the disseminated pyrite seen in the host rock.
D15-09Mesothermal VeinsCache Creek GroupJ NelsonCarbonate altered ultramaficintense orange-brown iron-magnesium carbonate with 15% dark green chrome mica (mariposite); veinlets to 1 cm of calcite-ankerite-quartz; mariposite vein selvage. Parent rock was likely serpentinite
D15-08Mesothermal VeinsBralorneJ NelsonQuartz-carbonate veinwhite quartz vein (3 cm), with minor orange-brown ankerite-siderite and dark green lineated chlorite; wallrock is listwanite
D15-07Mesothermal VeinsJ NelsonSilicified ultramafic (listwanite)light grey to light brown with cross-cutting fractures of chalcedonic quartz; 2% py and 2% shiny black hematite?
D15-06Mesothermal VeinsTelegraphJ NelsonSerpentinized peridotitelight and dark green; weakly foliated; strongly magnetic; slickensides
D15-05Mesothermal VeinsCache Creek GroupJ NelsonArgillitefine grained; dark grey-black; weakly laminated; hairline fractures perpendicular to laminations
D15-04Mesothermal VeinsJamestown, CaliforniaJ NelsonQuartz vein in brecciated listwanitegrey; schistose; well laminated quartz-mariposite (green)-ankerite (brown) rock; bands of pyrite. White-grey quartz vein (>5 cm wide) with fragments of wallrock to 4 cm and very minor pyrite
D15-03Mesothermal VeinsJ NelsonQuartz veinmassive white-pale grey quartz; subhedral crystals and brecciated fragments 0.5 - 3 mm; fracture filling laminations of grey-green sericite, chlorite and orange siderite; blebs to 2 mm of pyrite, chalcopyrite, arsenopyrite and 3 pinhead flakes of gold (circled in pencil)
D15-02Mesothermal VeinsJ NelsonListwanite (siderite-sericite-mariposite rock) with quartz veining1/3 orange-brown, roughly laminated siderite, fine to medium grained and schistose; 1/3 light brown to silvery grey sericite; 1/3 brilliant green mariposite; minor pyrite, to 2 mm. Two veins of warpy quartz and minor siderite (2 cm and 3 mm wide). Listwanite alteration near quartz vein
D15-01Mesothermal VeinsJ NelsonAnkerite with quartz-mariposite blebsmassive orange-red ankerite; 25% quartz-mariposite blebs aligned in rough laminations (see weathered surface); cavities may represent weathered sulphides; minor magnetite; wallrock is altered ultramafic

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