AU 7
1985 - Highmark Resources Ltd.
Homestead Resources Inc.
810 – 625 Howe Street
Vancouver, BC V6C 2T6
Solo Shaft
50° 53.10’
95° 15.00’
Uncertainty (m)
100 m
UTM Zone
L.S./Quarter Section
The deposits are situated within the Oro Grande shear zone which strikes 330°/60-70°NE. Early workers believed the shear zone lay in a 122 m broad sill of meta-diorite close to its east or upper contact. The sill intruded andesite flows and tuffaceous sediments of the Rice Lake Group. The flows and sediments strike 340°/70°NE. The deposits are located on the northeast limb of a large anticline.
The shear zone has been traced in prospect pits for about 122 m, pinching out to the N and passing beneath swamp to the south. In the pits, the zone varies from 1.8 to 6.1 m wide and consists of dark green chlorite schist derived from the meta-diorite. Quartz lenses and stringers are sporadically distributed across a part or the full width of the shear zone for a strike length of 76.3 m from the edge of the swamp. The lenses are up to 0.6 m wide and 6.1 m or more long. The quartz is chiefly a grey sugar-grained variety containing a little carbonate, scattered flakes of chlorite, and disseminated grains of pyrite and pyrrhotite. Small bodies of quartz were reported to assay very high in gold. The grey quartz is cut at right angles to the strike by short gash veinlets of milky white quartz carrying patches of fine-grained chlorite, flakes of biotite, and a few blebs of pyrite. The wallrock is partly altered to rusty weathering carbonate and carries many grains and cubes of pyrite, but in most places not enough gold to be of economic importance (Stockwell and Lord, 1939).
The shear zone continues to at least 153 m in depth, but quartz bodies are narrow and discontinuous. The grey quartz carries pyrite, chalcopyrite, pyrrhotite, sphalerite, and gold.
The deposit is located 0.4 km west of Beresford (formerly Bulldog) Lake, and 6.4 km E of the former community of Wadhope and Provincial Road No. 304. A branch road runs to the mine site.
In 1919 D.E. Smith staked Oro Grande M.C. (27543) over part of the deposit and four years later Solor M.C. (32854) was staked over the rest of the deposit by R.H. Little. In 1923 and 1924, A.D. Miles optioned both claims for Anglo-Canadian Explorers, Limited. Delury (1927) reported that this company installed a plant, including two boilers, an air compressor, hoist and assay office. A shaft was sunk to a depth of about 43 m. At the 38 m level a cross-cut was driven W to cross the vein. Drifts were driven 18 m to the south on the Solo claim and another 38 m north into the Oro Grande. The vein was traced for a distance of about 152 m on the surface. The cross-cut established its continuity to a point underground, 122 m farther south than was known from the surface outcrops on the Oro Grande. Diamond drilling established the presence of the vein 61 m farther south than the end of the 18 m drift. A 15 m prospecting shaft was sunk on the Oro Grande at a point 122 m north of the shaft. Additional work was done in stripping the outcrop and sinking test pits.
Where exposed or developed the Oro Grande-Solo vein shows a width varying from a few cm up to 1.8 m. Ore averaging over $14 a tonne was said to occur in the vein for a length of at least 310 m. In most of this distance it was probably of workable width. Work was suspended on the property late in 1926 and the entire plant was removed for use on the Kitchener group (52 L/14, Ref AU 10).
In 1925 Lease No. 561 was issued on Oro Grande M.C. and Lease No. 562 on Solo M.C. The Solo M.C. was assigned to the Solo Mining Company, Limited (75% controlled by Central Manitoba Mines, Limited) in 1926.
Late in 1927, Oro-Grande Mines Limited was formed and optioned (unrecorded) the Oro Grande M.C. and Solo M.C. The company began development work in February 1928, deepening the No. 1 shaft on the Solo M.C. to 161 m with stations cut at 76, 114 and 153 m; and the No. 2 shaft on the Oro Grande M.C. to 55 m. Results were not encouraging, the company dropped its options, and the workings allowed to fill with water.
The Oro Grande Development Company Limited optioned Oro Grande M.C. and in July 1932 installed a 3-tonne per day mill to process development ore. A total of 715 g (23 oz.) of gold were secured from the first 11 tonnes put through the mill. In 1933, the Oro Grande shaft was deepened from 55 to 78 m, with levels at 38 and 69 m. The 38 m level was connected to the Solo shaft 122 m to the south. A mill with an installed capacity of 68 tonnes per day was completed in September 1933 and put in operation treating 32 to 36 tonnes per day. Results of the milling were not up to expectations and milling was suspended in February 1934.
In October 1934 the Oro Grande Development Company Limited optioned Solo M.C. from Central Manitoba Mines, Limited. At the same time the Oro Grande Development Company Limited sold all its property and assets to Beresford Lake Mines Limited.
Beresford Lake Mines Ltd. started work on the property in June 1936. On the 69 m level two sections were opened up. The first of these showed a length of 49.41 m and averaged 14.06 g/tonne (0.41 oz/ton) gold across 1.30 m. Muck samples averaged 6.75 g/tonne (0.49 oz/ton) the last 46 m of this distance. The second section was opened up for 34 m and back samples showed an uncut average value of 10.33 g/tonne (0.30 oz/ton) across 1.1 m. Chip face samples averaged 8.47 g/tonne (0.24 oz/ton) across 1.4 m while muck samples from the drift averaged 5.48 g/tonne (0.16 oz/ton, $35 gold).
The shear zone on the 3rd level was wide. Exploration at the 114 m level failed to reveal the downward extension of the two ore-shoots and in May 1937 work was suspended.
J.D. Shannon and his associates leased the property as a salvage proposition in November 1937. A consulting mining geologist, T.L. Gledhill reported that during 1937 J.D. Shannon worked the property on lease and in the course of his operations mined out a stope between the second and third levels lying between the Oro Grande and the Solo shafts. He took out about 9000 tonnes of ore within this block of ground and demonstrated an ore-shoot that had a length of 92 m and an average width of 0.9 m, and grade somewhere between 13.7 g/tonne (0.4 oz/ton) and 16.65 g/tonne (0.49 oz/ton) (Northern Miner; August 10, 1939). Shannon's lease expired on May 15, 1939.
In 1940 a new showing was found 194\m north of the Oro Grande shaft. After a program of surface assaying and diamond drilling, a decision was made to extend the 69 m level of the Oro Grade shaft another 76 m to penetrate the new zone. Some good values were reported but assays were erratic and it was difficult to calculate the grade of the ore. The company suspended operations in October 1940.
Twenty-one year leases on the Solo M.C. and Oro Grande M.C. were renewed in 1946, but were cancelled in 1950. A. VanderBrink immediately staked Solo M.C. (W 18336) over that part of deposit but two years later it was also cancelled. In 1959 E.A. Carlson staked Key No. 2 (W 30924) on the former location of Solo M.C. Shortly after he assigned it to A. VanderBrink who held it until 1960. Two years later A.L. Gaffray staked Vault No. 2 (35199) over the deposit. It was later assigned to A. VanderBrink.
In 1962 both Oro Grande M.C. and Vault No. 2 (formerly Solo M.C.) were optioned to Central Manitoba Mines, Limited. This company carried out a 15 hole 1116 m drill program on the claims. A seven hole 612 m drill program tested the extensions of the mined orebody. The results were disappointing and no further work was undertaken (Manitoba Mines Branch d). Oro Grande M.C. and Vault No. 2 were cancelled in 1966 and 1973 respectively.
Mel Linnell staked Oro Nos. 3, 4 (W 44792,44793) over the deposit in 1972.
There is no record of work being carried out by Linnell and the claims lapsed in 1978.
In 1978 M. Linnell staked the claims again (W 45961). Cash payments were made in lieu of work requirements until 1984 when Highmark Resources Ltd. acquired the property. In June 1984 Highmark Resources Ltd. and Homestead Resources Inc. agreed to a 50-50 joint venture to explore four contiguous claims, CB 8218, CB 8219, CB 9593, CB 9594, and claims W 45961, and W 50608 which cover the Solo Oro Grande Mine, and Gunnar Mines, respectively. They carried out a program which consisted of detailed sampling of tailings sites, VLF-EM and MAG surveys, soil sampling, and detailed prospecting. The companies are currently trying to interest a "major" company to assist in financing the next exploration phase (pers. comm. Highmark Resources).
The mill operated from 1932 to 1934 and from 1938 to 1940 with a total of 165 kg (5 305 oz) gold and 16.3 kg (525 oz) silver produced. From 1932 to 1934 the production was:

Year Tonnes Milled kg (oz) Gold kg (oz) Silver
1932 32 1.52 (49)
1933 272 2.78 (89.481) 0.60 (19.35)
1934 406 4.55 (146.2) 0.74 (23.8)
Cole, G.E., 1938: Mineral Resources of Manitoba; Manitoba Economic Survey Board.
Davies, J.F., Bannatyne, B.B.; Barry, G.S.; and McCabe, H.R., 1962: Geology and Mineral Resources of Manitoba; Manitoba Mines Branch Publication, p. 52.
De Lury, J.S., 1927: The Mineral Resources of Southeastern Manitoba; Industrial Development Board of Manitoba, p. 33.
Financial Post Survey of Mines: 1928, p. 119; 1929, p. 85, 87.
Manitoba Mines Branch:
a. Annual Report on Mines and Minerals: 1st-p. 143; 5th-p. 18; 6th-p. 46; 7th-p.28; 10th-p.26; 11th-p.39; 12th-p.40, 13th-p. 31; 14th-p. 28.
b. Corporation Files; Beresford Lake Mines Limited, Oro-Grande Mines Limited, The Oro-Grande Development Company Limited.
c. Mining Engineering Files; Beresford Lake Mines Limited, Oro-Grande Development Company Limited.
d. Non-confidential Assessment Files; File No. 91347, 91399.
McRitchie, W.D., and Weber, W. (Editors), 1971: Geology and Geophysics of the Rice Lake Region, Southeastern Manitoba (Project Pioneer); Manitoba Mines Branch, Publication 71-1.
Russell, G.A., 1952: Structural Studies of the Long Lake-Halfway Lake Area; Manitoba Mines Branch, Publ. 49-6, p. 8.
Stephenson, J.F., 1972: Gold Deposits of the Rice Lake-Beresford Lake Area, Southeastern Manitoba; University of Manitoba, Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, p. 262-263.
Stockwell, C.H., and Lord, C.S., 1939: Halfway Lake-Beresford Lake Area, Manitoba; Geological Survey of Canada, Memoir 219, p. 38.
Theyer, P., 1983: Geology of Gold Deposits in the Bissett/Wallace Lake Portion of the Rice Lake Greenstone Belt; in Mineral Resources Division, Report of Field Activities 1983, Report GS-17, p. 101-109.
Theyer, P., 1984: Mineral Deposit Investigations in the Rice Lake Greenstone Belt; in Mineral Resources Division, Report of Field Activities 1984, Report GS-23, p. 87-90.
Wright, J.F., 1938: Geology and Mineral Deposits of a Part of Southeastern Manitoba; Geological Survey of Canada, Memoir 169, p. 61.
Map 52 L/14, East, West, Garner Lake, (Topographic), Scale 1:50 000, Mines & Technical Surveys, Canada.
Map 4048 G, Garner Lake, (Aeromagnetic), Scale 1:63 360, Manitoba Mines Branch & Geological Survey of Canada.
Map 280 A, Wadhope Area, (Geology), Scale 1:24 000, Geological Survey of Canada.
Map 535 A, Halfway Lake-Beresford Lake, (Geology), Scale 1:12 000-Accompanying report by Stockwell and Lord (1939), Geological Survey of Canada.
Map 809 A, Beresford Lake, (Geology), Scale 1:63 360, Geological Survey of Canada.
Map 49-6, Structural Geology of Long Lake-Halfway Lake Area, (Geology), Scale 1:15 840-Accompanying report by Russell (1952), Manitoba Mines Branch.
Map (Unpublished) Oro Grande M.C. (27534), Lot 285, Group 124 (Survey, 1924), Scale 1: 2400, Mining Recording, Manitoba Mines Branch.
Map (Unpublished) Solo M.C. (32854), Lot 313, Group 124, (Survey, 1925), Scale 1:2400, Mining Recording, Manitoba Mines Branch.
Claim Map Series 52 L/14NE,NW, Scale 1:31 680, circa 1950, Mining Recording, Manitoba Mines Branch.
A series of pits and a prospect shaft were sunk 122 m north of the Oro Grande shaft. There may be another shaft 192 m noth of the Oro Grande shaft. A shaft is on the Mirage No. 1 (52 L/14, Ref. AU 3) immediately to the N of the Solo and Oro Grande M.C.'s.
The Solo-Oro Grande is situated on the same shear as the Mandalay M.C. (see AU 8).
Compiled/Revised by:
05-67 12-73 06-85