INVENTORY FILE NO.
NAME OF PROPERTY
LAGUNA (REX) MINE
1985 - Noranda Exploration
Winnipeg, MB R34 0K1
The property is underlain by stocks of quartz-feldspar porphyry that
intrude Missi Group greywacke, conglomerate and arkose. Gold mineralization
occurs in what Stockwell (1937) termed the “Main vein”. It occurs in a linear
zone of schistose rocks along the western margin of a lenticular stock of
quartz-feldspar porphyry. The vein has been traced in surface trenches for a
distance of 460 m, averages 0.8 m wide, strikes northeast and dips 70°
southeast. The vein consists of white and blue-white sugary and coarse grained
quartz. Fine to coarse grains of gold coat fractures in the quartz, usually in
association with arsenopyrite; other sulphides occur in minor amounts.
Pyrrhotite forms 2.5 m long streaks within quartz. Chalcopyrite is rare and is
found associated with pyrrhotite. Galena forms rare inclusions in arsenopyrite.
Numerous quartz stringers parallel and crosscut the Main vein.
MINERALS OR PRODUCTS OF VALUE
EXPLORATION AND DEVELOPMENT
The deposit was located near the east shore of Wekusko Lake,
approximately 1.3 km north to northeast of the village of Herb Lake and 12.7 km
east of Provincial Road 392.
The major part of the gold-bearing vein was
staked by J.R. Campbell in 1914 as the Rex M.C. (21242). Its northern extension
was staked as Percy M.C. (21334) and Annex Frac. (24902) in 1915 and 1916 by P.
McDavitt and J. Moore. In 1916 the Makeever Brothers of the U.S. took over
unregistered interest in the property. The sinking of two shafts commenced in
1916 and 1917. Stripping and trenching exposed the vein on surface. In the
autumn of 1917 a 27-tonne steam driven mill was set up.
In 1918 the Makeevers
and the original stakers formed Herb Lake Gold Mines, Limited to develop the
property. By the end of that year the two-compartment inclined Rex Main shaft
reached a depth of about 39 m. A total of 104 m of drifting was carried out on
the 34 m level. The mill operated from May to December of 1918, recovering over
$27 000 from the plates. Concentrates were sacked for future treatment. Recovery
was estimated at 30% (Wallace, 1920) though 90% is also mentioned (Manitoba
Mines Branch, Laguna Gold Mines Ltd.). The mill was closed due to labour
conditions and an influenza epidemic (Wallace, Ibid.). The property was dormant
until 1920, when J.R. Campbell operated the mine for six months. In 1921,
21-year leases were issued for Annex Fr. (L-204) and Percy (L-205). Rex was
leased (L-199) one year later. In 1923 the vein was sampled by the Mining
Corporation of Canada Limited. This company optioned the claims as a possible
source of flux for Flin Flon (Winnipeg Free Press, June 6, 1924). Herb Lake
Consolidated Mines, Limited was formed in 1924 to acquire the assets of Herb
Lake Gold Mines Limited. The claims were transferred to the new company that
same year. The Mining Corporation of Canada controlled the property through
shares of Herb Lake and through an agreement between Herb Lake and Manitoba
Metals Mining Company Limited, a subsidiary of the Mining Corporation. Manitoba
Metals operated the mine for several years.
A shipment of 64 kg of ore was
sent to Ottawa for testing in 1924. Bulk assays ranged from 30.86 to 37.58
g/tonne (0.90 to 1.096 oz/ton) gold, with 5.82 g/tonne (0.17 oz/ton) silver.
Tests indicated that 85% of the ore could be recovered by amalgamation and that
tabling after amalgamation and amalgamation of table concentrates would increase
the recovery (Parsons, 1926). Based on these results the mine and mill were
reopened. The Rex Main shaft was deepened to 129 m with levels at 31, 61 and 107
m and some lateral work was done. A raise from the 31 m level to surface was
completed. The Rex No. 1 prospect shaft reached a depth of 37 m. It was 262 m
southwest of the Rex 2 main shaft. The mill processed 8890 tonnes between March,
1924 and December 1925. The average head value was $14.56/tonne ($20.00 gold) or
22.6 g/tonne (0.66 oz/ton) gold.
The property was dormant until Laguna Gold
Mines Limited acquired the claims in 1934. This company, a subsidiary of the
Mining Corporation of Canada, was formed to consolidate the assets and holdings
of Herb Lake Consolidated and Manitoba Metals (Manitoba Mines Branch a). Surface
leases were taken out on Rex (M-38), Percy (M-40), and Annex Frac. (-41). Shaft
sinking commenced again in the Rex Main Shaft. Ore was mined and hoisted on to
In 1935 1360 kg of ore were sent to Ottawa, where it was determined
that 99% recovery could be expected by use of several processes (Parsons, 1936).
A 3-compartment vertical shaft was begun by raising from the 191 m level of the
Rex Main shaft. This vertical shaft, the Laguna shaft, was raised to surface and
completed to a depth of 343 m by the end of 1937. Levels were established at
107, 152, 191, 229, 251, and 343 m. Reported gold values ranged from 13.7 to
24.0 g/tonne gold across 0.6 to 0.9 m for a substantial strike
Reserves, early in 1936, were estimated as follows:
Positive (Proven) 20 680 16.49
Probable 7 084 12.96 (0.41)
On Dump 3 810 8.45 (0.27)
mill, rated at 45 tonnes per day, was brought in. The first gold brick was
poured in September 1936. By 1937 the mill was handling 64 tonnes per day and in
1938 and 1939 it processed 80 to 82 tonnes per day. Diamond drilling continued
intermittently from 1934 through 1936 (Manitoba Mines Branch b, Laguna Gold
The main vein was intersected on the 343 m level in 1937.
Reserves were estimated at:
Positive (Proven) 16 088 tonnes
Broken 8934 tonnes
Total 27029 tonnes at 18.79 g/tonne gold
Source: Manitoba Mines Branch b, Laguna Gold Mines
Early in 1938 the Rex Main shaft was abandoned. It was thought that
a new vein had been found in a crosscut on the east 343 m level. It contained
13.71 g/tonne (0.40 oz/ton) gold over a width of 0.53 m and a strike length of
13 m and 34.97 g/tonne (1.02 oz/ton) gold over a width of 0.67 m and strike
length of 40 m. This resulted in the last phase of shaft sinking, when the 381 m
level was established. The new vein was discovered to be an offset of the main
vein (Manitoba Mines Branch d). Reserves were increased 2721 tonnes by deepening
the shaft. An underground diamond drill program of 12 holes was carried out,
however results were disappointing.
By the end of 1938 stoping had been done
on every level. The ore was intermittent, sometimes continuing between levels,
sometimes not. Its' greatest length was found on the 191 m level. The best
values occurred above the 229 m level where the dip is less than 75°. Drilling
76 m below the 343 m level, totalling 986 m, was disappointing. The exception
was one hole which cut 0.15 m of 95.31 g/tonne (2.78 oz/ton) gold. Other holes
drilled to test for extensions of this rich zone did not yield similar results.
Consultant for extensions of this rich zone did not yield similar results.
Consultant, J.A. Reid examined the deposit toward the end of 1938. Along with
the above findings, he predicted that the reserves of 15 034 tonnes grading
16.80 g/tonne (0.49 oz/ton) gold would be exhausted in May of the following
year, meaning that ore would be depleted above the 381 m level. The mine had
been thoroughly explored below the 107 m level. Above that level earlier
operators had worked with little success (Reid, 1938). At an unknown data before
the end of 1938 an open stope or pit was briefly worked on surface.
that the 1 high-grade zone below the shaft was an isolated occurrence, but he
suggested that a 15 m winze be sunk from the bottom level. He also reported
three showings near the Rex vein, however the grades were considered too low to
be economic. Reid recommended that after known reserves were depleted the mine
should close. Further exploration expenditures could not be financed by
increasing the mill rate because reserves were limited (Reid, 1938). The mine
and company management agreed with Reid’s conclusions (Manitoba Mines Branch
Reserves at the end of 1938 were estimated to be 10 087 tonnes averaging
17.66 g/tonne (0.52 oz/ton). This represented six to eight months mill feed.
Salvage operations resulted in recovery of considerably more than the estimated
reserve. This prolonged mine life to December 1939.
Marshall Ballard staked
Rex (P6691) and Homesite (P6346) in 1944 over the former Rex and Percy claims.
The new Rex claim was assigned to D.A. Hanes in 1950. A two-hole 17 m drill
program was carried out on the claim. Rex was leased as M-2974 and Homesite as
M-2973, both in 1950. The claims were assigned to Homesite Mines Limited in
1953. They were cancelled in 1968.
In 1977 W.B. Kobar sunk a trench on the
In 1978 A.V. Harris Exploration Services acquired the property and
undertook a program of line cutting and sampling from dumps and veins. Results
of the sampling showed considerable variation but were encouraging. Norman Mines
Ltd. acquired the property in 1980. Norman Mines holdings in the area totalled
577 hectares and cost $890 000 for acquisition and development. Work
concentrated on the Laguna mine where a sidewall sludge sampling program was
carried out (Northern Miner, September 7, 1981). Norman encountered financial
problems which caused ownership to revert to A.V. Harris Exploration Services
Limited whom then dealt it to Wekusko Gold Resources Limited. A biogeochemical
survey was carried out in May 1984. In September 1984 Noranda acquired the
property as part of the Laguna-Bingo option. Noranda undertook a $50 000 program
of line cutting, geological mapping, lithogeochemistry soil sampling, and
geophysics. As operator Noranda can earn a 60% interest in the property by
spending $500 000 before December 13, 1986.
Year Tonnes Milled Grade Recoveries
G/tonne (oz/ton) Gold kg
1918 41.5 ( 1 337
1920 387.3 7.4 ( 237)
1921 2.7 ( 87)
1925 6 772.7 136.2 ( 4 379)
1926 12.0 ( 387)
1936 8 176.6 137.7 (
1937 26 888.3 17.40 (0.51) 461.0 (14 822)
1938 29 458.1 17.61
(0.51) 508.9 (16 360)
1939 28 761.4 514.4 (16 540)
Source: Manitoba Mines Branch, Annual Reports.
Alcock, F.J., 1918: Wekusko Lake Area, Manitoba, Geological Survey of
Canada, Summary Report, 1917, Part D, p. 8, 17.
Alcock, F.J., 1919: Wekusko
Lake Area, Manitoba; Geological Survey of Canada, Summary Report, 1918, Part D,
p. 9, 10.
Alcock, F.J., 1920: Reed-Wekusko Map Area Northern Manitoba;
Geological Survey of Canada, Memoir 119, p. 33-5.
Alcock, F.J., 1924: The Pas
Mineral Belt; Canadian Mining Journal, July 25, p. 713-5.
Bailes, A.H., 1971:
Preliminary Compilation of the Geology of the Snow Lake-Flin Flon-Sherridon
Area; Manitoba Mines Branch, Geological Paper 1/71.
Bruce, E.L., 1916:
Amisk-Athapapuskow Lake Area, Northern Saskatchewan and Northern Manitoba;
Geological Survey of Canada, Department of Mines, Summary Report, 1915, p.
Bruce, E.L., 1933: Mineral Deposits of the Canadian Shield, MacMillan,
Campbell, J.A. (Editor), 1917: Northern Manitoba; Province of
Manitoba, Commission of Northern Manitoba, p. 16-17.
Canadian Mining Journal,
1936: November 7, p. 1109.
Cole, G.E., 1932: Progress in Metal Mining in
Manitoba; Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Bulletin,
Cole, G.E., 1938: The Mineral Resources of Manitoba; Manitoba
Economic Survey Board, p. 162, 3.
Cole, G.E., 1942: Manitoba Mines Branch;
Unpublished Information File 63 J/13 SW, Unpublished Untitled Memos.
J.F., Bannatyne, B.B., Barry, G.S., and McCabe, H.R., 1962: Geology and Mineral
Resources of Manitoba; Manitoba Mines Branch, p. 78-84.
Ziehlke, D.V., Franklin, J.M., Ames, D.E., and Gordon, T.M.,
mineralization in the Snow Lake-Wekusko Lake region, Manitoba; in Gold in the
Western Shield (L.A. Clark, ed.); Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy,
Special Volume 38, p. 379-398.
Harrison, J.M., 1951: Possible Major
Structural Control of Ore Deposits, Flin Flon-Snow Lake Mineral Belt, Manitoba;
Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Bulletin v. 44, n. 465, p.
Little, H.W., 1959: Tungsten Deposits of Canada; Geological Survey of
Canada, Economic Geology Series, no. 17, p. 135.
Manitoba Mines Branch:
Annual Report on Mines and Minerals; 1st, p. 65; 6th, p. 64, 5; 8th, p. 86; 9th,
p. 84; 10th, p. 80, 95; 11th, p. 87; 12th, p. 73.
Corporation Files; Crowduck
Bay Mines Ltd., Herb Lake Gold Mines, Limited, Laguna Gold Mines Ltd., Mining
Corporation of Canada.
Gold Exploration Sparked by finds at Hemlo, in: The
Northern Miner, October 18, 1984, p. B24-25.
Mining Engineering Files, Laguna
Gold Mines Ltd., Non-confidential Assessment Files; Rex, File No.
McLaren, A.J., 1932: Gold in Manitoba, in Northern Manitoba
Parson, C.S., 1926: Metallurgical Tests on Gold Ore from the Rex
Mines, Herb Lake, Northern Manitoba; in Investigations in Ore Dressing and
Metallurgy; 1924, Mines and Geology Branch Canada; Publication 643, Report 213,
Parson, C.S., 1973: Gold Ore from Laguna Gold Mine; in
Investigation in Ore Dressing and Metallurgy, July-December, 1935; Mines and
Geology Canada, Publication 771, Report 660, p. 184-7.
Reid, J.A., 1938:
Report on the Property of Laguna Gold Mines Limited; in Manitoba Mines Branch,
Corporation Files, Laguna Gold Mines Limited.
Robinson, A.H.A., 1935: Gold in
Canada, 1935; Mines Branch, Ottawa, Publication 769, p. 54-7.
1972: Rocks and Minerals for the Collector La Ronge-Creighton, Saskatchewan;
Flin Flon-Thompson, Manitoba; Geological Survey of Canada, Paper 71-27, p. 54,
+Stockwell, C.H., 1937: Gold Deposits of Herb Lake Area, Northern
Manitoba; Geological Survey of Canada, Memoir 208, p. 28-31.
and Harrison, J.M, 1948: Structural Control of Ore Deposits in Northern Manitoba
in Structural Geology of Canadian Ore Deposits in Northern Manitoba in
Structural Geology of Canadian Ore Deposits; Canadian Institute of Mining and
Metallurgy Jubilee, V. 1, p. 284-290.
Wallace, R.A., 1919: Mining Development
in Northern Manitoba; Canadian Mining Institute Transcripts, v. XX11, p. 337,
Wallace, R.A., 1920: Mining and Mineral Prospects in Northern Manitoba;
Province of Manitoba, Commission of Northern Manitoba, p. 32-5.
R.A., 1925: Relationships in Mineral Deposits in Northwestern Manitoba; Economic
Geology, v. 20, n. 5, p. 431-41.
Wallace, R.A., 1925: The Mineral Resources
of Manitoba; Industrial Development Board of Manitoba, p. 26-7.
1931: Geology and Mineral Deposits of a Part of Northwest Manitoba; Geological
Survey of Canada Summary Report 1930, Part C, p. 78-81.
Map 63J/13, Herb Lake (Topographic), Scale 1:50 000; Surveys and
Mapping Branch, Ottawa.
Map 2566G, Herb Lake (Aeromagnetic), Scale 1:63 360;
Manitoba Mines Branch and Geological Survey of Canada.
Map 1, Geological
Compilation of the Snow Lake-Flin Flon-Sherridon Area (Geology), Scale 1:253
440; accompanying Paper by Bailes (1971); Manitoba Mines Branch.
Portion of the Rex Groups of Claims (Geology), Scale 1:2400; accompanying Memoir
by Alcock (1920); Geological Survey of Canada.
Map 375A, Herb Lake Area,
Central Sheet (Geology), Scale 1:12 000; accompanying Report by Stockwell
(1937); Geological Survey of Canada.
Map 665A, Wekusko (Geology), Scale 1:63
360; accompanying Marginal Notes by Armstrong (1939), Geological Survey of
Map 1801, Reed and Wekusko Lakes Region (Geology), Scale 1:126 720;
Geological Survey of Canada, 1920.
Maps 63J/13 SW (Claim), Scale 1:31 680;
Circa 1976 Claim Map Series, Mining Recording, Manitoba Mines Branch
The first annual report of the Manitoba Mines Branch (p. 65) mentions
scheelite at the Rex mine, but later reports state that no trace of
scheelite was found (Cole, 1942).
Production figures for 1921, as given in
the Herb Lake Gold Mines Royalty file, are unclear, so the figure used by
McLaren (1932) is listed above.
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