INVENTORY FILE NO.
NAME OF PROPERTY
Maskwa West (Maskwa Open Pit)
Maskwa Nickel Chrome Mines Limited
P.O. Box 40,
Commerce Court West
The deposit is situated within the "metaperidotite basal unit of the
Bird River sill, a layered ultramafic to gabbroic body intrusive into the
volcanic and sedimentary rocks of the Bird River greenstone belt". The belt,
comprising Archean supracrustal volcanic and sedimentary rocks of the Rice Lake
Group, trends east-west, has a width of 5-10 km and straddles the Bird River for
a strike length of 55 km.
The ultramafic unit of the Bird River sill; covered
by thick overburden in an area of low swampy ground, is about 160 m thick and
The low-grade disseminated sulphide zone within the ultramafic
unit consists of marcasite-pyrite, violarite, pentlandite, pyrrhotite and
chalcopyrite in a matrix of tale, carbonate, chlorite and serpentine minerals
(Coats et al, 1979).
MINERALS OR PRODUCTS OF VALUE
EXPLORATION AND DEVELOPMENT
The deposit is located 5 km west of Bird (Oiseau) Lake, 4 km north of
Bernie Lake, and a few hundred metres south of Provincial Road No. 314.
1920 Annie (30030) and Elizabeth Fr. (30109) were staked over the west and east
portions on the deposit by J.G. Devlin and F. Waters, respectively. The
Elizabeth Fr. was assigned to The Devlin Mining and Development Company, Limited
in 1921; Great Falls Mining & Smelting Limited in 1935; and Stanmore Mining
& Smelting Limited in 1936. Leases Nos. 723 and 255 were issued for 21 years
on the Annie and Elizabeth Dr. in 1926 and 1922, respectively.
wedged-shaped portion of the deposit was restaked many
In 1951 all
three claims were assigned to Maskwa Nickel Chrome Mines Limited. Lease
M3881 was issued for 21 years on Fair 1 Fr. in 1956.
The Maskwa West
zone was discovered by diamond drilling in May 1974. Previous work had been
centered on the adjacent Dumbarton Mine property (52L/6; NI1) located 1.2 km to
the northeast, because of the thick overburden above the deposit (Coats et al,
A decision was made to develop an open pit on the orebody and
Dumbarton Mines Limited, jointly owned by Maskwa Nickel Chrome Mines
Limited and Consolidated Canadian Faraday Limited, was the operator. Production
Lease No. 3 was issued in 1975, and production began in the summer of the same
year. Ore was shipped to the latter's mill at Werner Lake after being crushed at
Dumbarton (Northern Miner, 76 05 13). "Open-pit mining of the upper portion of
the Maskwa deposit produced 365 730 tonnes with average grade of 1.16% Ni
and 0.20% Cu". (Coats et al, 1979). "A further 900,000 tons (816 000 tonnes)
indicated by drilling lies under the open pit and grades around 1.34% Ni and
0.23% Cu", but was not considered to be economic (Northern Miner, 76 06 15). In
June, 1976 the operations were closed down, and in 1978 Production Lease No. 3
was converted into Explored Area Lease No. 39. A new lease is pending on the
Cerny, P., Trueman, D.L., Ziehlke, D.V., Goad, B.E. and Paul,
1981: The Cat Lake-Winnipeg River and the Wekusko Lake Pegmatite Fields,
Manitoba; Manitoba Mineral Resources Division, Economic Geology Report
Coats, C.J.A. and Buchan, R.
1979: Petrology of Serpentinized
Metamorphic Olivine, Bird River Sill, Manitoba; Canadian Mineralogist, Vol. 17,
Coats, C.J.A., Stockford, H.R. and Buchan, R.
1979: Geology of
the Maskwa West Nickel Deposit, Manitoba; Canadian Mineralogist, Vol. 17,
1955: Geology and Mineral Deposits of the Bird
Lake Area; Manitoba Mines Branch, Publ. 54-1.
Karup-Moller, S. and Brummer,
1971: Geology and Sulphide Deposits of the Bird River Claim Group,
Southeastern Manitoba in Geoscience Studies in Manitoba; G.A.C., Special Paper
No. 9, p. 143-154.
Manitoba Mineral Resources Division; Corporation Files:
Dumbarton Mines Limited; Maskwa Nickel Chrome Mines Limited.
D.L. and Turnock, A.C.
1982: Bird River Greenstone Belt, Southeast Manitoba:
Bird River Greenstone Belt, Southeast Manitoba: Geology and Mineral Deposits;
GAC-MAC, Field Trip Guidebook, Trip 9.
1926: Geology and
Mineral Deposits of Oiseau River Map-Area, Manitoba; Geological Survey of
Canada, Summ. Rept for 1924, Pt. B, p. 88-90.
and Mineral Deposits of a Part of Southeastern Manitoba; Geological Survey of
Canada, Mem. 169, p. 95-96.
*Map 52L/6W, Ryerson Lake (Topo.), 1:50 000; Surveys and Mapping
Map 1194G, Ryerson Lake (Aeromag.), 1:63 360; Manitoba Mines
Branch and Geological Survey of Canada.
Map 54-1, Bird Lake Area (Geol.),
1:12 000 - Accomp. Report by Davies (1955).
Map ER80-1-1, Cat Lake-Winnipeg
River Pegmatite Field (Geol.), 1:100 000 - Accomp. Rept. by Cerny et al,
#Fig. 1, Maskwa Portion of Bird River Sill (Geol.), ~ 1:64 000
- Accomp. Publ. by Coats et al, (1979).
Maps NW6, 52L (Claim), 1:31 680
"Circa 1983", Claim Map Series, Mining Recording, Manitoba Mineral Resources
Exact location of open pit was confirmed with Mining Engineering
Section, Mines Branch, Manitoba Department of Energy and Mines.