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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
T12-18Industrial MineralsK-feldspar porpyry granite (decorative stone)20% K-feldspar phenocrysts to 5 cm; 30% coarse plagioclase (1 cm) and 1% hornblende (1 cm); 50% medium grained matrix of quartz, plagioclase, K-feldspar and mafic (hornblende?)
T12-17Industrial MineralsD LefebureCarbonatitegrey-brown; fine grained; featureless calcite / dolomite; widely dispersed purple fluorite
T12-16Industrial MineralsLempiereD LefebureSovite (medium to coarse calcite rock with variable accessory amphibole, biotite, pyrite, pyrochlore and fluorite)light brown; massive; fine grained calcite matrix; 5% light green to grass-green acicular amphibole(?) phenocrysts; 3% clots of magnetite
T12-15Industrial MineralsLempiereD LefebureIntrusive dolomite (carbonatite)Second piece of T12-15; light brown; massive; reacts to acid when powdered; 10% green-black pyroxene(?) which weathers brown; interstitial, patchy, white unknown mineral
T12-15Industrial MineralsAley prospect, Northern RockiesD LefebureIntrusive dolomite (carbonatite)light brown; fine grained; reacts to acid when powdered; 5% dark green pyroxene(?); 3% white patchy (interstitial) unknown mineral
T12-14Industrial MineralsunknownD LefebureBentonitesoft; crumbly; in plastic bag
T12-13Industrial MineralsunknownD LefebureSerpentinenear black on cut surface; foliated; slippery to touch
T12-12Industrial MineralsNicholson mine prospectsD LefebureQuartzitewhite and pale grey alternating beds; bedded on cm scale
T12-11Industrial MineralsQuesnel areaD LefebureTalclight grey to white; foliated; soapy (slippery) to touch
T12-10Industrial Mineralsa) Texada Island b) Lost Ck, KootenaysD LefebureLimestonea) grey; massive; fine grained; featureless; a few white calcite veinlets b) white; massive; medium grained; high purity
T12-09Industrial MineralsCrawford BayD LefebureDolomitewhite; massive; medium grained
T12-08Industrial MineralsQuesnel areaD LefebureDiatomitechalkly, crumbly; layered; very light; accumulation of marine diatoms
T12-07Industrial MineralsParsonD LefebureBarite veinwhite; coarse grained; massive; high density
T12-06Industrial MineralsEmpire Valley, BCD LefeburePerlite5% light brown feldspar; pearly lustrous matrix of hydrated glass
T12-05Industrial Mineralsa) Rock Candy b) Oliver c) AleyD LefebureFluorspar (fluorite)a) light, bright green; very coarse; euhedral; drusy cavities b) clear, colourless, coarse, associated with quartz c) purple, medium grained in dark green ultramafic (hornblendite or pyroxenite?)
T12-04Industrial MineralsTexada IslandD LefebureWollastonitewhite to pale green rock; wollastonite is white, very coarse, acicular, somewhat radiating crystals; pale green colour may be from a calc-silicate such as diopside
T12-03Industrial MineralsBaymag mine, KootenaysD LefebureMagnesitewhite to light grey; coarse grained; massive; moderate high density
T12-02Industrial MineralsLussier River, KootenaysD LefebureGypsumlight grey and darker grey laminae (beds) on mm to cm scale; one carbon stylolite
T12-01a T12-01bIndustrial MineralsFalkland BCD Lefeburea) Anhydrite b) Gypsumanhydrite is laminated with alternating pale grey and white bands, 1 cm thick; gypsum is white and massive
T11-19Porphyry depositsBell mine, Babine districtD LefebureBiotite feldspar porphyry granodiorite50 Ma?Fresh rock, unaltered; 40% plagioclase phenocrysts, 1-2 mm; 3% biotite phenocrysts; rare hornblende; 60% fine groundmass assumed to contain quartz and feldspar
T11-18Porphyry depositsWhiting Creek, Tahtsa areaD LefebureAndesite, stockwork veinedhost rock is dark green, very fine grained; stockwork veins of K-feldspar, quartz and pyrite
T11-17Porphyry depositsGranisle mineD LefebureBiotite hornfels argillitedark brown; very fine grained; stockwork of fractures, some narrow core of pyrite, have bleached, biotite-destructive envelopes; contact metamorphic biotite converted to clay, in the fringe of the copper deposit
T11-16Porphyry depositsPoplar, Houston areaD LefebureGranite'primary minerals are altered, rock name is approximate; 60% feldspar altered to sericite; 25% quartz; no mafic minerals remain; veinlet of quartz and chalcopyrite
T11-15Porphyry depositsClimax, ColoradoD LefebureBrecciatwo stages of silica introduction; early silica is fine grained and cements wallrock fragments; fragments exhibit pervasive K-feldspar alteration; late silica occurs as vein of coarse grained quartz, muscovite and biotite, the biotite is altered to chlorite
T11-14Porphyry depositsEndako mineD LefebureGranite'140 Ma ?vein of magnetite and chalcopyrite with envelope of pervasive K-feldspar alteration; no molybdenite, therefore atypical of the deposit
T11-13Porphyry depositsGlacier Gulch, SmithersD LefebureIntrusive Rhyolite50 Ma?fine-medium grained, quartz-rich; veinlets of quartz, molybdenite, magnetite and pyrite
T11-12Porphyry depositsGranisle mineD LefebureGranite'50 Ma?coarse grained; 20% quartz; 80% feldspar, much is hydrothermal K-feldspar so that rock cannot be properly named; 1 cm veins of quartz, K-feldspar, chalcopyrite, pyrite; cpy is also disseminated, 6% total chalcopyrite
T11-11Porphyry depositsWhiting Creek, Tahtsa areaD LefebureQuartz eye porphyrywhite, fine grained groundmass of 60% quartz and 40% feldspar but very difficult to estimate; no mafics; fracture veinlets of quartz, molybdenite, minor pyrite
T11-10Porphyry depositsBell mine, Babine districtD LefebureBreccia50 Ma?completely clay altered fragments, cannot determine original rock; a few fragments contain narrow quartz veinlets; cement is fine quartz and pyrite
T11-09Porphyry depositsPoplar, Houston areaD LefebureBiotite hornblende granodiorite10% quartz; 80% feldspar; 10% chloritized hornblende and biotite; no significant alteration
T11-08Porphyry depositsGlacier Gulch, SmithersD LefebureHigh silica alteration zone50 Ma?95% quartz; 4% molybdenite on fractures; 1% pyrite
T11-07Porphyry depositsGranisle mineD LefebureBiotite feldspar porphyry granodioritePaleozoicgrey BFP, details obscured by weathering; wide-spaced network of hairline pyrite fractures with 0.5-1 cm clay alteration envelopes
T11-06Porphyry depositsPoplar, Houston areaD LefebureGraniticbuff to pink; medium grained; pervasive sericite alteration; quartz-pyrite-chalcopyrite veinlet with narrow K-feldspar halo in wallrock; later cross-cutting kaolinite-clay fracture
T11-05Porphyry depositsClimax, ColoradoD LefebureHigh silica alteration zone80% quartz, all introduced?; 20% altered wallrock fragments; 2% molybdenite; trace pyrite
T11-04Porphyry depositsWhiting Creek, Tahtsa areaD LefebureGranitic, altered and mineralized70% feldspar; 20% quartz; 10% chlorite after mafics; patchy biotite may be relict primary or hydrothermal; quartz-chlorite veinlets; pyrite on fractures
T11-03Porphyry depositsEndako mine, Main zoneD LefebureQuartz monzonite140 Ma ?coarse grained; 25% quartz; 40% plagioclase; 30% K-feldspar; 5% hornblende plus biotite; molybdenite fractures
T11-02Porphyry depositsGranisle mineD LefebureBiotite feldspar porphyry granodiorite50 Ma?medium grained; 25% plagioclase feldspar, 2-3 mm; 2% biotite, 2 mm; rare hornblende; veinlets of quartz - K-feldspar - chalcopyrite
T11-01Porphyry depositsBell mine, Babine districtD LefebureVein stockwork in unknown rock50 Ma?veins of coarse pyrite and chalcopyrite cut a fine grained, pervasively sericite altered rock that does not appear to be intrusive, could be sedimentary or volcanic
I1 01 (missing)Porphyry depositsEndako mineD LefebureBiotite granodiorite140 Ma ?
T10-12Base metal veinsGrouse Mtn, Houston areaD LefebureBladed feldspar porphyry dike50 Ma?20% plagioclase laths, 1 cm size; fine grained dark grey groundmass; distinctly similar to Goosly Lake trachyandesite lava flows south of Houston
T10-11Base metal veinsSilver Queen, Houston areaD LefebureFeldspar porphyry dike60% feldspar altered to clay; rare biotite phenocrysts; 40% fine groundmass, presumably containing quartz
T10-10Base metal veinsGrouse Mtn, Houston areaD LefebureDiabase dikemedium gray; salt-and-pepper texture; fine grained mesh of 50% feldspar and 50% hornblende(?)
T10-09Base metal veinsCronin, Smithers areaD LefebureGossansurface weathered rock; decomposed
T10-08Base metal veinsDuthie mine, SmithersD LefebureGranite'25% sericite-altered feldspar;75% very fine matrix of quartz-feldspar
T10-07Base metal veinsCronin, Smithers areaD LefebureRhyolite (two pieces)aphanitic host rock to Cronin veins; sulphides as disseminations and weak veinlets, galena and pyrite
T10-06Base metal veinsCronin, Smithers areaD LefebureBreccia veinclasts of volcanic rock and early stage quartz vein, in second stage quartz-sphalerite-pyrite vein
T10-05Base metal veinsDuthie mine, SmithersD LefebureBreccia veinwallrock fragments of bleached, sericitic volcanic rock; cemented by coarse sphalerite, pyrite and quartz
T10-04Base metal veinsNew Moon, Nanika areaD LefebureQuartz-galena veinno host rock; mainly galena, subordinate pyrite
T10-03Base metal veinsDuthie mine, SmithersD LefebureSphalerite veinvery coarse grained; minor quartz and pyrite; no wallrock
T10-02Base metal veinsGrouse Mtn, Houston areaD LefebureAndesitegreen; fine grained; vein of chalcopyrite, sphalerite, bornite, pyrite, quartz and calcite; no wallrock alteration

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