INVENTORY FILE NO.
NAME OF PROPERTY
2002 High River Gold
1700-155 University Ave.
Toronto, ON M5H
Location #70, Geological Survey of Canada, 1993.
The Nor-Acme property is underlain by Amisk Group mafic to
felsic fragmental rocks, massive and pillowed flows, biotite schist and
staurolite schist. These rocks are intruded by dykes and irregular bodies of
post-Amisk intrusive group gabbro and pyroxenite.
Galley et al. (1986)
observed that the gold-bearing zones occur subparallel to the Nor-Acme
fault (formerly called the Howe Sound fault), an arcuate, brittle, ductile shear
fault that splays off the McLeod thrust fault. The Nor-Acme fault strikes
southwest at its western end and southeast at its eastern end. The fault
approximately parallels the contact between felsic pyroclastic rocks and mafic
massive to pillowed flows.
Gold mineralization forms an elongate body, 300 m
long on surface; however, at depth it occurs in four separate zones: the Toots,
Dick, Ruttan and Hogg. The mineralization is associated with zones of intensely
silicified, carbonatized, sheared or brecciated mafic and felsic rock around
part of the Nor-Acme fault. The zones strike in an easterly direction,
dip 045° north and plunge 030° to the northeast. Harrison (1949) suggested that
the mineralized zones occur where the Nor-Acme fault truncates the nose
of the Nor-Acme anticline.
Mineralization consists of 2% arsenopyrite,
less than 1% pyrrhotite, and less than 0.25 % pyrite. Small amounts of
chalcopyrite, cubanite, sphalerite, galena, ilmenite, and scheelite are also
present. Gold occurs as minute lenticular masses and veinlets in openings on
crystal boundaries and fractures in arsenopyrite. Galley et al. (1986) reported
that the highest gold contents occur where acicular arsenopyrite forms radiating
masses around wallrock fragments.
Froese and Moore (1980) stated that the
localization of ore along the contact between felsic pyroclastic rocks and mafic
flows suggests a syngenetic origin. Accordingly, they viewed the quartz and
carbonate as products of chemical sedimentation rather than hydrothermal
alteration. Galley et al. (1986) suggested that the gold mineralization was
deposited during the waning stages of regional metamorphism and that large
faults, such as the McLeod fault, acted as conduits channeling gold bearing
fluids into secondary splay faults, such as the Nor-Acme
MINERALS OR PRODUCTS OF VALUE
Silver (Ag), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), zinc (Zn), titanium (Ti), and
EXPLORATION AND DEVELOPMENT
The deposit is located at the northeast end of Snow Lake, just north
of the present Snow Lake townsite. The orebody is covered by two claims, the
Chums (37305) recorded in 1925, by W.R. Henderson, and the Toots (37306) by C.R.
Parres. Later the Chums was transferred to C.R. Parres. In 1941 the claims were
transferred to Nor-Acme Gold Mines Limited. During 1941 to 1942, 15 250 m
of diamond drilling was done on the property by Howe Sound Exploration Company
Ltd., a subsidiary of Howe Sound Company. This work outlined two orebodies
containing an estimated 4 409 320 tonnes (t) with an average grade of 5.14 g/t
(0.15 oz/ton) Au to a depth of 305 m (Northern Miner, May 31,
Nor-Acme took out lease M-1274 on the Chums M.C. and lease
M-1275 on the Toots M.C. in 1943. In the same year, Nor-Acme sublet the
property to the Howe Sound Exploration Company (HXPC).
During the war,
underground development lagged due to government policies, which were designed
to control the number of gold mines in production. Finally in 1946, a headframe
was erected and a 5-compartment shaft sunk. During this period, construction was
underway on the mill and townsite. Electrical power was brought to the site by a
transmission line from the Churchill River Power Company Ltd. A 59-km road was
built from Wekusko at mile 82, on the Hudson Bay Railway. In 1949, the 1814 t
per day flotation-cyanidation mill was completed and ready for
Production started on June 1, 1949, and reached 2199 t per day by
the end of the year. From June to December 1949, the company milled 328 782 t of
ore averaging 4.87 g/t (0.14 oz/ton) Au. During 1950, an overall extraction of
80% was obtained by cyaniding and flotation. The cyanide residues which averaged
10.3 g/t (0.3 oz/ton) to 13.71 g/t (0.4 oz/ton) were stockpiled. Ore reserves in
the main (Dick) orebody as of January 1, 1950 were calculated at 2 394 437 t
averaging 5.18 g/t (0.15 oz/ton) Au to the 233 m level (Northern Miner, June 25,
1950). The Toots orebody was reported to contain 181 329 t averaging 6.17 g/t
(0.18 oz/ton) gold to the 92 m horizon (Northern Miner; May 25, 1945; March 21,
In 1955 operations were transferred to Britannia Mining and Smelting
Company Limited, a subsidiary of the Howe Sound Company.
ceased in July 1958, the shaft had reached a depth of 600 m with eight operating
levels between 98 and 543 m inclusive. Drifts on several of these levels appear
to extend into the Toots orebody as shown on plan and sections (Hogg, 1957). On
September 1, 1959, the property reverted to Nor-Acme Gold Mines Limited
under the terms of the 1943 royalty-lease agreement with Howe Sound Exploration
Company, Ltd. Tests were carried out, in 1961, on a 227 000 t stockpile of
arsenic concentrates which had an average grade of 9.60 g/t (0.28 oz/ton)
Tonnage and grade figures from the Nor-Acme GML 1974 Annual Report
Toots zone: An indicated 425 500 t at 5.49 g/t (0.16 oz/ton) Au,
open to depth.
Main zone: 2 286 000 t at 4.80 g/t (0.14 oz/ton) Au possible
below the 543 m level.
Stockpile: 227 000 t at 9.60 g/t (0.28 oz/ton) Au, as
In 1965 Nor-Acme GML renewed the lease, which in
1976 was being converted to Explored Area Lease 14 (EAL 14).
In 1980, Hudson
Bay Exploration and Development Co. Ltd (HBED) obtained a 2-year option to
acquire a 75% interest in the property. Plans were made for installation of a
new head-frame and hoist, and regutting of the old mill building. The 227 000 t
of tailings were optioned to Bulora Corporation Limited and the option
subsequently taken over by Comiesa Corporation.
In 1981, HBED drilled 3880 m
to test the downward extension of the deposit. Significant drill intersections
were as follows:
NA-236...........5.58 m...........3.09 (0.09)
NA-236 W-1..1.53 m............3.43 (0.10)
W-1..1.83 m............6.17 (0.18)
N-236 W-2.....5.80 m............7.78
(Source: Northern Miner; April 9, 1981; October 22; November 12,
On completion of the drilling, the total indicated reserves were 2
510 889 t grading 5.49 g/t (0.16 oz/ton) Au (Northern Miner, July 22,
In July 1982, HBED exercised its option on the Nor Acme
mine through payment of a non-deductible installment of $100 000. The
option was dropped in 1986.
In 1986 Comiesa announced that an agreement was
signed with Cobra Emerald Mines to build a gold recovery facility that will
utilize bacterial leaching to process gold-cyanide-arsenic residues (Northern
Miner, June 16, 1986).
In 1987 Nor-Acme completed an agreement,
whereby High River Resources can earn 60% interest in Nor-Acme
Mine by spending $6 million over the next four years on extensive
underground exploration (Northern Miner, June 5). The partners proceeded to
dewater the mine to 558-m, over the next year. High River completed it’s
part of the agreement and earned 60% interest in the mine.
and Inco Gold Ltd. entered an option agreement in late 1988. Inco could earn a
50% interest in the property by providing capital to finance the cost of putting
the deposit into production (Northern Miner, October 12, 1988). Shortly
afterward, Nor-Acme Mines and High River Resources amalgamated to form
High River Gold Mines Ltd. In December 1988, Inco, the project manager,
announced reserves of 2.2 million tonnes grading 5.0 g/t Au below the 1780-m
level (Northern Miner, December 19, 1988)
In 1989-1991, the deposit
exploration program was abandoned. TVX Gold Ltd. took over the Inco option in
1991, but allowed it to lapse. In 1994, however, TVX and High River Gold entered
a joint venture agreement, which brought the mine to the feasibility
stage, renaming it the New Britannia Project. To increase their reserve base,
High River optioned a group of claims from W.B. Dunlop, the Snow Lake Group
(See: Mind No. 797), which contained known gold reserves and adjoined the
In 1994, TVX continued to work on the New Britannia
project, driving a decline into the No. 3 zone on the Dunlop property, and
rehabilitating underground workings. A used carbon-in-pulp mill facility was
delivered and erected at the site. The purchase of used equipment from Asamera
Minerals’ Cannon mine in Washington, saved the partners $4 million and
six months construction time. In 1995, reserves were estimated at 4.96 million
tonnes grading 5.7 g/t Au (Esposito and Prouse, 1995).
The New Britannia
mine opened on the Nor-Acme Property in November 1995. The
existing 600 m (1960 ft.) shaft was deepened to 1000 m (3300 ft.), extensions
off the new shaft to the 912 m level have been driven for development and at the
942 m level for a crusher station. A pair of used hoists from the Denison
mine at Elliot Lake, ON, were bought for 20% the cost of new
The deposit is chiefly mined by open-stope longhole blasting, with
waste rock being backfilled into areas previously mined out. The mine
produced about 1680 tonnes per day in 1995 and 1996 (Whyte, 1995).
In 1997, a
$3 million exploration program confirmed the Dick and Ruttan zones to the 945 m
level, both zones open at depth. The Hogg zone was also drilled to 700 m.
1999, TVX Gold Inc. joined with Normandy Mining Limited to form a new company
TVX Normandy Americas which would hold several of their shared interests
including TVX’s 50% interest in New Britannia. TVX Gold held a 50.1% interest in
the new company and Normandy Mining held a 49.9% interest (Canadian Mines
In 2002, TVX announced a merger with Kinross Gold
Corporation and Echo Bay Mines formed a new company to be referred to as New
Kinross. Upon finalization of the deal in late 2002, New Kinross will become the
holder of TVX’s 50% share of the deposit and will most likely become the
mine operator (Jackson, 2002).
Milled..............................Gold Produced Tonnes (oz)
1949-September 1958..................4 933
Bailes, A.H. 1971: Preliminary Compilation of the Geology of the Snow
Lake-Flin Flon-Sherridon Area; Manitoba Mines Branch, Geological Paper
Canadian Mines Handbook 2002: TVX Gold Ltd.; Canadian Mines
Davies, J.F., Bannatyne, B.B., Barry, G.S., McCabe,
H.R. 1962: Geology and Mineral Resources of Manitoba; Manitoba Mines Branch, p.
Ebbutt, F. 1944: The Nor-Acme Property of the Howe Sound
Exploration Company; The Precambrian, V. 17, No. 7, p. 6-11.
and Prouse, D.E. 1995: Exploration 95’ Manitoba mineral exploration expenditures
on rise; Northern Miner, March 6, 1995.
Froese, E. Moore, J.M. 1980:
Metamorphism in the Snow Lake area, Manitoba; Geological Survey of Canada Paper
Galley, A.G., Ziehlke, D.V., Franklin, J.M., Ames, D.E., and
Gordon, T.M. 1986: Gold mineralization in the Snow Lake-Wekusko Lake region,
Manitoba; in Gold in the Western Shield . L.A. Clark; Canadian Institute of
Mining and Metallurgy, Special Volume 38, p. 379-398.
1949: Geology and Mineral Deposits of File-Tramping Lake Area, Manitoba;
Geological Survey of Canada, Memoir 250, p. 68-73.
Hogg, N. 1957: The
Nor-Acme Mine, in Structural Geology of Canadian Ore Deposits;
Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Vol. II, p. 262.
2002: New owner for mine at Snow Lake; Flin Flon Reminder, June 14, 2002,
Manitoba Mines Branch: Corporation Files, Nor-Acme Gold
Mineral Policy Sector: Corporation Files; Nor-Acme
Gold Mines Ltd.
Northern Miner 1945: Northern Miner, May 25,
Northern Miner 1949: Northern Miner, May 31, 1949.
Miner 1950: Northern Miner, June 25, 1950.
Northern Miner 1968: Northern
Miner, May 21, 1968.
Northern Miner 1986: Northern Miner June 16, 1986,
Northern Miner 1987: Northern Miner, June 5, 1987, p.
Northern Miner 1988: Old gold mine gets new hope; Northern
Miner, October 12, 1988.
Northern Miner 1988: Northern Miner, December
Russell, G.A. 1957: Structural Studies of the Snow Lake-Herb
Lake Area, Herb Lake Mining Division, Manitoba; Manitoba Mines Branch,
Warren, H.V. 1943: The Distribution of Gold in a Sample
from a Prospect in the Herb Lake Area, Manitoba; The Miner, V. 16, No. 1, p.
Whyte, J. 1995: Manitoba cheers New Britannia opening; Northern
Miner, November 27, 1995.
Wright, J.F. 1931: Geology and Mineral Deposits
of a Part of Northwest Manitoba; Geological Survey of Canada, Summary Report
1930, Part C, p.93-95.
Harrison, J.M. 1949: Map 929 A, File Lake; 1:63 360 scale,
geological map, accompanying Geological Survey of Canada Memoir
Harrison, J.M. 1949: Map 930 A, Nor-Acme Mine Area;
1:12 000 scale, geological map, accompanying Geological Survey of Canada Memoir
Manitoba Mines Branch and Geological Survey of Canada 1970: Map 8455
G, File Lake; Manitoba Mines Branch and Geological Survey of Canada,
aeromagnetic map, scale 1:63 360.
Mining Recording, Manitoba Mines
Branch: Map 63 K/16NE, Claim Map Series; Mining Recording, Manitoba Mines
Branch, claim map, scale 1:31 6780
Surveys and Mapping Branch 1985: Map
63 K/16, File Lake; Surveys and Mapping Branch, Ottawa, topographic map, scale
This deposit, as of 2002, is 50% owned by High River Gold, and 50%
owned by New Kinross Gold.
RM HRW JR JJJ
11-75 02-82 08-87 08-02