Manitoba

Growth, Enterprise and Trade

Mineral Commodities in Manitoba

Copper-Zinc in Manitoba

Copper-zinc production from volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) deposits in Manitoba dates back to the first discovery at Flin Flon in 1914. Since then, the Paleoproterozoic Flin Flon domain has been firmly established as one of the most prolific VMS districts worldwide. Despite nearly a century of systematic exploration, new VMS deposits continue to be found, including the world-class Lalor deposit of HudBay Minerals Inc., which saw initial production in August 2012.
The total resource at Lalor stands at over 27 million tonnes grading 0.9% Cu, 5.1% Zn, 2.8 g/t Au and 28.2 g/t Ag, further demonstrating the exceptional potential of the district.

In Manitoba, world-class polymetallic (base- and precious-metal) VMS deposits are clustered in several significant mining districts around the margins of the Kisseynew domain in the Paleoproterozoic Trans-Hudson orogen. This provides considerable scope for both regional and district-scale exploration.

 

2016 HIGHLIGHTS

  • Drillhole 284-3-93 DPN at the Pine Bay project of Callinex Mines Inc. intersected a new zone of VMS mineralization that returned 10.3 m of 6.0% Zn, 1.8 g/t Au, 60.4 g/t Ag, 0.7% Cu and 0.4% Pb (13.1% Zn eq.)

  • Rockcliff Copper Corp. continued to expand the Talbot VMS deposit, with drillhole TB-13 intersecting 7.06 m
    of 4.1% Cu eq. mineralization

  • Royal Nickel Corp. completed the acquisition of VMS Ventures Inc.

  • The Manitoba Geological Survey continued to support VMS exploration in the Flin Flon belt with bedrock mapping
    in the Reed Lake area and beneath the Paleozoic cover to the south

Figure 1: Geological map of Manitoba showing locations of selected VMS deposits

 

FLIN FLON DOMAIN

The Paleoproterozoic Flin Flon domain contains 31 developed VMS deposits, from which more than 170 million tonnes of sulphide ore have been mined or are under development. The well-documented association of these deposits with isotopically juvenile, 1.92-1.88 Ga, volcanic arc assemblages provides a powerful predictive tool for exploration. Exceptionally high Au contents of many of these deposits, including Flin Flon (62.4 Mt @ 2.6 g Au/t) and Lalor (8.8 Mt @ 4.6 g Au/t in the Au zone), make them particularly attractive exploration targets. In addition, recent discovery of high-grade zinc-copper-gold mineralization by extending a historical drillhole past the 1000 m level in the Pine Bay area further demonstrates the deep exploration potential of the belt.

The exposed portion of the Flin Flon domain is 250 km long by 75 km wide, but extends over 150 kilometres further south beneath a thin, geophysically transparent cover of Paleozoic sedimentary rocks. The sub-Paleozoic portion of the belt, which is at least twice the size of the exposed portion, contains along-strike equivalents of VMS hosting assemblages and is believed to have similar mineral potential. Exploration in this portion of the belt has led to several high-grade VMS discoveries, including the Tower deposit and the currently producing Reed Lake deposit.

Figure 2: Geological map of the Flin Flon domain

 

LYNN LAKE DOMAIN

Juvenile volcanic-arc assemblages in the Paleoproterozoic Lynn Lake domain are similar in age, chemistry and tectonic affinity to those hosting major VMS deposits in the Flin Flon domain. Historical production includes 12 Mt from the Fox Lake deposit in the Lynn Lake belt and 55 Mt from the Ruttan deposit in the Rusty Lake belt. Several smaller deposits, such as Barrington Lake and Frances Lake, have been delineated, but have seen limited recent exploration.

Figure 3: Geological map of the Lynn Lake domain

 

KISSEYNEW DOMAIN

Turbiditic metasedimentary rocks of the Kisseynew domain were deposited in the back-arc basin to the volcanic arc represented by the Flin Flon and Lynn Lake domains. Toward the northern and southern margins of the Kisseynew domain, these metasedimentary rocks are thrust-imbricated with high-grade volcanic arc assemblages of the adjacent domains, which locally include significant VMS deposits, most notably in the Sherridon district. Although complicated by the intense structural and metamorphic overprint, the margins of the Kisseynew domain remain very attractive targets for VMS exploration.

 

SUPERIOR PROVINCE

The northwest portion of the Archean Superior province in Manitoba contains extensive greenstone belts of similar age, chemistry and tectonic affinity to those hosting major VMS deposits elsewhere in the Superior province, including the world-class Noranda and Kidd Creek camps. However, this area has not seen any systematic VMS exploration in recent years, despite containing significant occurrences of base metal sulphide mineralization, most notably at Oxford Lake. These belts are considered to be relatively under-explored in comparison to major greenstone belts elsewhere in the Superior province.

 

SELECTED COPPER-ZINC (GOLD, SILVER) DEPOSITS IN MANITOBA

Deposit
District
Ownership
Discovery
Resource*
Resource Grade
 
(year)
(Mt)
(% Cu)
(% Zn)
(g Au/t)
(g Ag/t)
Flin Flon (PP)
Flin Flon
HudBay Minerals Inc.
1915
62.5
2.2
4.1
2.7
41.3
Triple 7 (P)
Flin Flon
HudBay Minerals Inc.
1993
21.9
2.6
4.4
2.1
26.9
Trout Lake (PP)
Flin Flon
HudBay Minerals Inc.
1976
21.6
1.7
5.0
1.6
16.0
Hudvam (AP)
Flin Flon
Alexandria Minerals Corp.
1926
1.5
1.0
1.5
3.3
4.5
Callinan (PP)
Flin Flon
HudBay Minerals Inc.
1984
7.8
1.4
4.0
2.1
24.6
Pine Bay (PP)
Flin Flon
Callinex Mines Inc.
1967
1.1
2.8
-
-
-
Stall (PP)
Snow Lake
HudBay Minerals Inc.
1956
6.4
4.4
0.5
1.4
12.3
Lalor (P)
Snow Lake
HudBay Minerals Inc.
2007
27.1
0.7
5.1
2.8
27.3
Chisel (PP)
Snow Lake
HudBay Minerals Inc.
1956
7.2
0.5
10.6
1.8
44.8
Reed Lake (P)
Snow Lake
HudBay Minerals Inc./
Royal Nickel Corp.
2007
2.2
3.6
0.6
0.4
5.7
Dickstone (PP)
Snow Lake
Glencore Canada Corp.
1935
1.1
2.4
3.4
0.3
12.0
Spruce Point (PP)
Snow Lake
HudBay Minerals Inc.
1973
1.9
2.4
2.1
1.7
19.5
Watts (AP)
Snow Lake
HudBay Minerals Inc.
1995
6.6
1.9
2.6
0.7
25.6
Tower (AP)
Snow Lake
Akuna Minerals Inc.
2000
2.4
2.8
1.1
0.4
13.2
Talbot (AP)
Snow Lake
HudBay Minerals Inc./
Rockcliff Copper Corp.
2003
2.2
2.8
2.2
2.4
54.5
Rail (AP)
Snow Lake
Rockcliff Copper Corp.
1958
0.8
3.0
0.9
0.7
9.3
Bur Zone (AP)
Snow Lake
Rockcliff Copper Corp./
HudBay Minerals Inc.
1984
1.1
1.9
8.6
0.1
12.1
Ruttan (PP)
Rusty Lake
Trevali Mining Corp.
1969
82.8
1.4
1.6
0.5
13.1
MacBride (AP)
Lynn Lake
Rockcliff Copper Corp.
1975
1.8
0.3
8.8
0.3
4.2
Fox Lake (PP)
Lynn Lake
open
1961
13.2
2.0
2.4
0.3
10.3
Sherridon (PP)
Sherridon
Sendero Mining Corp.
1922
7.7
2.4
2.3
0.6
19.0

* Resource estimates include past-production, current reserves and resources as applicable; users should verify critical information
ABBREVIATIONS: AP, advanced project; g Ag/t, grams silver per tonne; g Au/t, grams gold per tonne; Mt, million tonnes; P, producer; PP, past-producer

CURRENT PRODUCERS

  • 777 (HudBay Minerals Inc.)

  • Lalor (HudBay Minerals Inc.)

  • Reed (HudBay Minerals Inc., Royal Nickel Corp.)

 

ADVANCED PROJECTS

  • Tower (Akuna Minerals Inc.): 2.4 Mt resource

  • Talbot (HudBay Minerals Inc., Rockcliff Copper Corp.): 2.2 Mt resource

  • Rail (Rockcliff Copper Corp.): 0.8 Mt resource

 

MANITOBA EXPLORATION AND MINING ADVANTAGES

  • Diverse, dynamic $59 billion economy — one of Canada’s strongest and most stable

  • Flexible transportation infrastructure for shipping by rail, air, road and sea

  • Supportive business climate and highly competitive mining tax regime

  • Easily accessible geoscience and exploration data

  • World-class deposits and high mineral potential in large underexplored regions

For more information, visit the Manitoba Mining Sector Profile.

back to top

Share This