INVENTORY FILE NO.
NAME OF PROPERTY
1994 Hudson Bay Mining and
Smelting Co. Ltd.
Winnipeg, MB, R3B 3K6
The Photo Lake Cu-Zn-Au-Ag-Pb volcanogenic, base metal, massive
sulphide deposit is located 6-km southwest of Snow Lake. The deposit occurs in
the southeastern Flin Flon greenstone belt and is hosted by rhyodacite/rhyolite,
which forms part of the mature arc section of the Snow Lake arc assemblage
(Bailes, 1997). This unit consists of a monotonous sequence of relatively
uniform felsic volcanic rocks and derived gneisses (Bailes,
Mineralization occurs as three distinct lenses, the first lens is
dominantly Zn-rich at depth, but becomes Cu-rich in the upper levels. The second
lens is also Zn-rich, but the third lens is uneconomic and undeveloped. The
sulphide mineralization of these lenses has an overall east-west strike; 40° to
60° north dip and a 40° to 45° northeast plunge (Fedikow, 1999).
MINERALS OR PRODUCTS OF VALUE
Zinc (Zn), Gold (Au), and Silver (Ag).
EXPLORATION AND DEVELOPMENT
The Photo Lake deposit was discovered in 1994, as a result of a
diamond-drill testing of an airborne-electromagnetic anomaly found by SpecTrem
Air, on behalf of the Hudson Bay Exploration and Development Co. Ltd. (HBED).
Reserves were outlined to 533 600 tonnes grading 4.5% Cu, 6% Zn, and 4.7 g/t
HBED began development of the mine in 1995, with a 140-m decline from the
surface, and a single raise to surface serving as both an airway and an
escapeway. A driverless, trackless, optical tracking system for guiding haulage
trucks was installed, and resulted in a production of 500 tonnes per day, when
the mine opened for commercial production in late 1995. Ore was mined using a
cut-and-fill method, stopes were backfilled with waste rock. Ore, crushed on
site, was sent to the Snow Lake mill for processing resulting in a 95% recovery
rate (Whyte, 1995).
Until 1998 the mine workings were accessible, this,
combined with the small size of the deposit, led to several geologic
investigations (Bailes, 1996, 1997, Fedikow, 1999) on the assemblage that hosted
the deposit. The area was ideal for establishing methodologies for undertaking
similar projects in the Flin Flon and Snow Lake areas (Heine and Prouse,
Photo Lake completed mining in September 1998, but stockpiled
ore continued to feed the Stall Lake mill until November 1998 (Heine and Prouse,
In 2000, Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Co. Ltd. (HBMS) began a
development program for the nearby Chisel North deposit (See: Mind No. 1046).
The program involved driving a decline from Photo Lake’s 140-m level to
the Chisel North orebody. The Photo Lake infrastructure is currently
being used to truck ore out of the Chisel North deposit.
Bailes, A.H. 1996: Setting of Cu-Zn-Au mineralization at Photo
Lake (Part of 63K/16SE); in Manitoba Energy and Mines, Minerals Division, Report
of Activities, 1996, p. 66-74.
Bailes, A.H. 1997: Geochemistry of
Paleoproterozoic volcanic rocks in the Photo Lake area, Flin Flon belt
(Part of NTS 63K/16); in Manitoba Energy and Mines, Minerals Division, Report of
Activities, 1997, p. 61-72.
Fedikow, M.A.F. 1999: Vertical Zonation of
Elements in Glaciofluvial Sands and Gravels Overlying the Photo Lake
Cu-Zn Massive Sulphide Type Deposit (Snow Lake Area): Preliminary Results of a
Mobile Metal Ion Process Survey; Manitoba Energy and Mines, p.
Heine, T.H., and Prouse, D. 1998: Photo Lake Mine Project
(NTS 63K/16SE); in Manitoba Energy and Mines, Geological Services, Report of
Activities, 1998, p. 23-24.
Whyte, J. 1995: Photo Lake leaves Snow
Lake smiling; Northern Miner, October 9, 1995.
Bailes, A.H., Simms, D. Galley, A.G. and Young, J. 1997: Geologic
Setting of the Photo Lake Massive Sulphide Deposit, Snow Lake, Manitoba
(Part of 63K/16SE); Manitoba Energy and Mines, OFR 97-95, geological map, scale
Surveys and Mapping Branch 1985: 63 K/16, File Lake; Surveys and
Mapping Branch, Ottawa, topographic map, scale 1:50 000.