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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 is 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, please contact us.

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 .It is equipped with regular and zoom stereomicroscopes for detailed investigation.

The rock suites cover:

Call 250-877-7883 or email 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
V6-22PorphyriesT RichardsGranodiorite porphyry25% plagioclase, 0.5-1 cm; fine crystalline matrix of quartz, feldspar and 15% hornblende
V6-21PorphyriesT RichardsFeldspar porphyry rhyolite or rhyodacite25% K-feldspar; 75% pink, microcrystalline matrix of quartz-feldspar-biotite; probably sub-volcanic
V6-20PorphyriesOotsa Lake GroupT RichardsPorphyritic rhyolite5% K-feldspar, pink, bladed; 5% plagioclase, euhedral, white, equant; 1% quartz, sub-mm size; 1% biotite, sub-mm size; 90% pink matrix; minor patchy kaolinite
V6-19PorphyriesT RichardsFeldspar porphyry andesite or dacite25% plagioclase, 3-8 mm; sparse quartz phenos on cut surface (1-2 crystals); possible hornblende; grey matrix; sub-volcanic or extrusive
V6-18PorphyriesT RichardsQuartz-eye rhyolite (felsite)ivory white colour; 5% quartz eyes; massive; strong limonite developed on weathered surface
V6-17PorphyriesT RichardsFeldspar porphyry andesite30% plagioclase, 2-5 mm, grey-white colour; K-feldspar, one pinkish, corroded crystal, 1 cm size; 65% light grey-brown matrix; high-level intrusion or flow
V6-16PorphyriesT RichardsFeldspar porphyry andesite30% plagioclase, mm size; 70% brown-grey matrix
V6-15PorphyriesT RichardsFeldspar porphyry andesite50% pinkish plagioclase (probably) or K-feldspar, 1-4 mm, moderately flow aligned; 1% hornblende; sparse vesicles indicates extrusive rock
V6-14PorphyriesT RichardsAndesite5% euhedral augite to 5 mm; 5% plagioclase,1 mm and smaller; plagioclase crystals are smaller but more abundant than augite; medium green matrix
V6-13PorphyriesT RichardsFeldspar hornblende porphyry25% feldspar, 1-5 mm, variably pink but appears to be plagioclase "dusted" with hematite to appear like K-feldspar; 5% euhedral hornblende, 1-2 mm; light grey, microcrystalline matrix indicates a sub-volcanic intrusion
V6-12PorphyriesT RichardsAugite porphyry basalt25-30% augite, 2-6 mm, best seen on weathered surface; 70% nearly black matrix
V6-11PorphyriesT RichardsBladed feldspar porphyry25% plagioclase, 0.5-1 cm, strongly trachytic; 1% pyroxene, 1 mm; 75% dark grey matrix, not green indicating no alteration to epidote, this rock is fresh; andesite or basalt flow or dike
V6-10PorphyriesT RichardsNepheline(?) porphyry50% nepheline, 1-3 cm, zoned hexagonal (but not equant shape as in V6-06); 50% grey microcrystalline matrix; probably a high-level intrusion
V6-09PorphyriesT RichardsK-feldspar porphyry granite25% K-feldspar, 1-3 cm; 25% quartz; 40% plagioclase; 5-8% hornblende and biotite; distinctive rock from Fourth of July pluton, Atlin
V6-08PorphyriesT RichardsK-feldspar porphyry granite10-15% K-feldspar, 1-3 cm; matrix of 40% plagioclase, 35% quartz, 5% biotite
V6-07PorphyriesT RichardsFeldspar biotite porphyry25% plagioclase, 2-10 mm; 1% biotite, mm size; very fine grained pink matrix rich in K-feldspar; random crystal alignment suggests it
V6-06PorphyriesT RichardsPseudoleucite(?) porphyry65% hexagonal pseudoleucite, 3-4 mm, closely packed; equant size; 35% grey matrix; intermediate alkalic composition; from Galore Ck?
V6-05PorphyriesT RichardsBladed feldspar porphyry35% plagioclase, 1-2 cm; prominent trachytic texture; strong sausserite (epidote) altereation; 65% dark green matix; basalt or andesite flow or dike
V6-04PorphyriesT RichardsAugite porphyry basaltdark green; 40% crowded black augite phenocrysts, euhedral; <5% interstitial plagioclase
V6-03PorphyriesT RichardsBladed feldspar porphyry30% plagioclase, euhedral, 1-2 cm, weakly flow aligned; dark green matrix; prominent epidote vein; flow or dike of andesite/basalt composition
V6-02PorphyriesT RichardsDacite porphyry dikepink to grey matrix; massive, no crystal alignment; 5% plagioclase to 0.5 cm; 5% K-feldspar 1-2 mm; 5% euhedral hornblende; 0.5% biotite;
V6-01PorphyriesT RichardsFeldspar-quartz porphyry20% feldspar (plagioclase) 1-2 cm; 5-7% quartz, 0.5 cm; 1-2% biotite or hornblende, 1-2 mm; 70% light grey matrix; likely a subvolcanic intrusion of rhyodacite composition
V5-03Submarine BasaltVolcanic siltstoneDark grey, v. fine grained, x-cut by Fe carb rimmed calcite veining with grey cores, smaller orange calcite-Fe Carb veinlets parallel to bedding, faint phyllic appearance.
V5-06Submarine BasaltBasalt brecciaTriassicscoraceous; amygdaloidal; fine grained; limestone fragments in basalt, complex texture due to chemical reaction of hot basalt with limey mud; a pepperite
T-362 (missing)Submarine BasaltVesicular microporphyritic basaltTriassic
V5-05Submarine BasaltTerrace areaScoriacous basalt brecciaTriassicbreccia includes limestone clasts, with poor fossil impressions (collector)
V5-04Submarine BasaltPillow basaltTriassicpillow is not vesicular, suggesting deep water eruption; chilled rind around the pillow is altered to chlorite on the outer part and inwards to epidote
S5-05 (missing)Submarine BasaltF FerriVolcanic sandstoneTriassicdark reddish grey; similar to QL-1 but finer detrital grains only visible on cut surface and that mainly cannot be identified; 10% rounded volcanic cobbles that are same composition as the matrix
V5-02Submarine BasaltHorsefly, Quesnel LakeT RichardsAugite-feldspar basalt/ andesiteTriassic25-30% augite; 25-30% augite; reddish colour; even grained chilled matrix suggests this might be subaerial, where Takla/Nicola Group volcanic rocks built up volcanic islands
V5-01Submarine BasaltHorsefly, Quesnel LakeT RichardsVolcanic sandstoneTriassic25% detrital pyroxene; 25% detrital feldspar; 10% rounded amygdaloidal volcanic pebbles up to 4 cm; the remainder is too fine to identify; could easily be mis-identified as volcanic rock
V4-14Rhyolite & DaciteTopaz(?) rhyolitemedium grey; massive; 1% pale amber, vitreous, translucent phenocrysts - topaz(?) to 1 mm; wide-spaced 2 mm vugs, but much more fine open-space visible under hand lens; very fine grained matrix possibly containing feldspar; fine porosity enables interaction between solid and vapour phase, a necessary requirement to fix fluorine from volcanic gas into the rock as topaz
V4-13Rhyolite & DaciteQuartz - feldspar porhyry rhyoliteivory to pale pink; massive; 5% euhedral K-feldspar to 2 cm; 5% rounded, resorbed quartz to 0.5 cm; similar to S1-18A, probably Shingle Creek porphyry
V4-12Rhyolite & DaciteDacitelight grey; massive, no texture; very fine grained except for 2 possible phenocrysts (very sparse); can be scratched, not a rhyolite
V4-11Rhyolite & DaciteT RichardsFeldspar porphyry dacite25% feldspar phenocrysts; trace-1% biotite; crowded texture; flow banded; absence of quartz suggests this rock is dacite, not rhyolite as submitted
V4-10Rhyolite & DaciteChilcotinT RichardsPorphyritic rhyolitepale pink; massive; sparse (5%) phenocrysts of quartz, feldspar and biotite; pink matrix; probably a flow rock
V4-09Rhyolite & DaciteT RichardsGreen lapilli lithic tuff20% grey, aphanitic rhyolite or dacite fragments; unsorted; <%5 quartz, feldspar and biotite clasts; light green matrix (celadonite?) that is probably devitrified glass
V4-08Rhyolite & DaciteOotsa LakeT RichardsFlow banded rhyoliteTertiaryzebra appearance caused by anastamosing cream and wine coloured flow bands; small spherules that cross (post-date) primary flow bands; aphanitic matrix with onion-skin perlite cracks
T-419 (missing)Rhyolite & DaciteSE YukonS GordeyFlow banded rhyoliteTertiarycolour banded; irregular bands indicate turbulent flow; small phenocrysts of quartz, biotite and feldspar; layering bends around crystals
T-0020 (missing)Rhyolite & DaciteK-feldspar porphyrybimodal K-feldspar phenocrysts in ultra fine grained matrix
V4-07Rhyolite & DaciteCascade Mtns, USAFeldspar porphyry dacite15% white feldspar (plagioclase), 1-3 mm, subhedral; 2% black, elongated amphibole; trace light brown mica; light grey, fine grained matrix; likely a flow
V4-06Rhyolite & DaciteShingle Creek, PentictonQuartz - feldspar porhyry rhyoliteTertiary5% quartz eyes, terminated and corroded, to 1 cm; 6-8% pink K-feldspar to 1 cm size; minor biotite, <1%; high level rhyolite dike, feeder to eruptives
V4-05Rhyolite & DaciteNazko RiverT RichardsFlow banded rhyolitebands of glassy obsidian alternate with reddish, oxidized and devitrified glass and clay altered glass
V4-04Rhyolite & DaciteSE YukonS GordeyVesicular rhyoliteTertiaryhematite-red colour; 20% grey silica-lined vesicles
T-498 (missing)Rhyolite & DaciteSE YukonS GordeyFlow layered rhyoliteTertiary
V4-03 (2 samples)Rhyolite & DacitePumicelarger specimen has 2% quartz crystals and abundant minute, crystal-lined cavities that likely are result of volcanic gas; the smaller specimen has sparse quartz crystals and a chalky texture
V4-02Rhyolite & DaciteNevadaWelded ash flow tuffcrystal, lithic and vitric fragments; 5% quartz and K-feldspar crystals; 10% flattened pumice fragments (vitric, fiamme, i.e. welded); 50% lithic (rock) fragments
V4-01Rhyolite & DaciteMexicoD EthierObsidianblack, glassy; conchoidal fracture
V3-14Subaerial BasaltVessicular basaltDark brown, red or grey in color. Vessicular to scoriaceous. 5 samples
V3-12Subaerial BasaltKlastline PlateauJ SoutherPalagonite basalt breccia with large olivine nodulebreccia fragments to 1 cm size; 1% broken feldspar crystals; one 5 by 10 cm nodule of medium grained olivine, 5-8% chromite and several grains of emerald-green chrome diopside
V3-11Subaerial BasaltCalcite amygdule basaltdark grey; 25% calcite-filled amygdules that are leached to voids on weathered surface; 5% of amygdule filling is green montmorillonite or chlorite

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