Au 1
Island Lake Mine
1987 - W. Bruce Dunlop Limited
201 – 2639 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Main Shaft
53 47.0’
94 12.6’
Uncertainty (m)
100 m
UTM Zone
L.S./Quarter Section
22 EPM
The deposit is situated in altered sedimentary and volcanic rocks of the Precambrian Hayes River Group, which are locally intruded by granitic and porphyritic bodies. McMurchy (1944) was the first to describe the mineralization in the mine area; the underground workings were inaccessible and many of the trenches had collapsed, limiting his mapping to outcrops. He observed several sulphide-bearing quartz veins up to 1.5 m wide, an "area" with numerous lenses and stringers of quartz, and two "large masses" of "sparsely mineralized" quartz. More recently, Theyer (1981) mapped the surface geology and described several zones of intense silicification, pyritization and carbonatization.
Mineralization consists predominantly of pyrite and pyrrhotite with lesser amounts of galena, arsenopyrite and locally sphalerite. Muckpiles by the shaft contain some visible gold. According to Parsons et al. (1934), the quartz contains pyrite, galena, freibergite, chalcopyrite, gold, and silver, in order of deposition. "The spectrographic analyses detected.... the silver occurs mainly in freibergite usually within the galena; that probably most or all of the gold occurs in the native state in the sphalerite; and small amounts of cadmium are present in the freibergite and sphalerite.".
The rocks in the mine area are tightly folded and display a well developed axial planar foliation. Godard (1963) reported that the deposit occurs "on the south limb of the major east-trending syncline of the area and on the extension of a strong northeast-trending anticlinal cross-fold. Numerous small drag-folds and faults with displacement of a few inches were encountered in the mine workings (McMurchy, 1944). Much of the rock was strongly fractured and sheared, a condition which interfered with stoping efforts at the mine. One of the quartz veins on Gold Island and on the island to the west appears to have been cut off by faulting. On and between two small islands south of the mine site there are a great many quartz stringers which follow the drag-folds in the sedimentary rocks." Theyer (1981) suggested that the gold might have been concentrated in quartz veins in the hinges of folds.
Silver, lead, zinc, copper, cadmium
The deposit is located on the east shore of Gold Island, about 1.6 km west of Heart Island in Island Lake, about 241 km southeast of the Hudson Bay railway line. This was the original discovery in the Island Lake area.
H.S. Cowan and J.G. Reahill made the original discovery in 1931. I.H. Wass, J.S. Reahil, and A.S. Bellingham staked the Jack of Diamonds (W 249-54), Lucky Shamrock (W 264, 5) and Billy Boy (W 282-8) Groups of claims that year on a group of islands near Sagawitchewan Bay. A vein was apparently traced over 1372 m (4500 ft) across three islands and was 1.8-3.6 m (6-12 ft) wide. Pilot samples from this group of claims averaged $150 gold/ton. On the Billy Boy claims, two grab samples of blue quartz ran $196 and $12.23 gold per ton (Newspaper clipping December 24, 1931 in Island Lake Mines Limited, Corporation File). Several claims were optioned to Ventures Limited which carried out a sampling program on Gold Island in 1931. Results were as follows (Manitoba Mines Branch, 4th Annual Report):

Vein Width Sampled Gold value per ton*
1 0.5 m (1.5 ft) $12
2 1.5 m (5 ft) $26.40
3 1.4-4.6 m (4.5-15 ft) in 10 samples $0.20-46.60
4 1-18 m (4-60 ft) in 3 samples $11.70-52.80
*calculated at $20.67/oz.

Island Lake Mines Limited was incorporated on August 4, 1932, under control of Ventures Limited, to explore this group of claims.
In 1931, 31 holes were drilled with a total footage of 1755 m (5759 ft). These were spaced at about 7.6 to 15 m (25 to 50 ft) and covered the length of the ore zone for 518 m (1700 ft) along the strike. Trenching amounted to 306 m (1005 ft). In 1932, samples of ore sent to the Ore Dressing laboratory returned the following assays (Parsons et al., 1934):

Lot Weight Au Ag Cu Pb Zn Fe As
kg (lbs) g/t (oz/ton) g/t (oz/ton) % % % % %

1 299 (660) 49.0 (1.43) 101.8 (2.97) 0.18 3.35 2.75 3.55
2 190 (420) 47.9 (1.40) 135.7 (3.96) 0.28 3.63 2.95
3A 372 (820) 58.9 (1.72) 154.2 (4.50) 0.28 1.74 2.14 0.25
4 440 (970) 23.3 (0.68) 63.7 (1.86) 0.07 0.90 1.50 3.50
5 154 (340) 15.7 (0.46) 48.7 (1.42) 0.09 0.47 1.80

A two-compartment shaft had been sunk to 9.7 m (32 ft) by the end of 1932. "An additional 3,094 feet (943 m) of drilling was done ... on the West Island zone about 2,000 feet (610 m) northwest of Gold Island and on the J.D. group of claims to the east. ... (In 1933) shaft sinking was continued to a depth of 259 feet (79 m). Levels were established at 140 feet (43 m) and 240 feet (73 m).... By the end of December 1933, 3,195 feet (974 m) of development work, 3,412 feet (1040 m) of surface diamond drilling and 3,552 feet (1083 m) of underground diamond drilling had been completed." (Godard, 1963).
In 1934, at the first level 277 m (910 ft) of cross-cutting and raising and at the second level 131 m (429 ft) of drifting and cross-cutting, and 481 m (1577 ft) of diamond drilling was completed. A 45.4-tonne (50-ton) cyanide mill began operating in April 1934 with an average rate of 31 tonnes (34.25 tons) per day. A shipment of 500 bags of gold concentrate (up to 27.2 tonnes) was apparently lost through the ice on March 18, 1934 (Winnipeg Free Press, August 22, 1980 and June 22, 1981; The Tribune, July 12, 1980).
During 1935, at the first level there were 41 m (135 ft) of raising and 122 m (399 ft) of diamond drilling and at the second level 121 m (398 ft) of drifting and cross-cutting and 248 m (813 ft) of diamond drilling completed. Surface work consisted of 463 m (1518 ft) of diamond drilling on West Island and in the vicinity of the mine (see Remarks). Some lead and silver were apparently recovered from concentrates shipped to the smelter in 1935 (see Remarks and History of Production).
"In March 1935, the company reported that it had obtained no ore below the first level of the mine and that it had milled all immediately available material. It was the intention of the company to suspend operations in March 1935 but following this decision the company announced that diamond drilling from a crosscut on the first level of the mine would be done as a last resort." (Godard, 1963).
A 5-hole underground drill program was carried out to locate more ore; the results were as follows:

Set Up Hole No. Direction Width Assay g/t (oz/ton)
1 1 +45/N 1.07 m 104.57 (3.05)
2 +30/N 0.09 m 68.57 (2.00)
0.52 m 3.43 (0.10)
0.79 m 1.71 (0.05)
0.15 m 335.99 (9.8)
0.18 m 4.11 (0.12)
3 0/N 1.22 m 8.57 (0.25)
2.14 m 7.54 (0.22)
2 1 +45/N 0.76 m 17.14 (0.5)
2 +30/N 1.16 m 6.17 (0.18)
(Source: Manitoba Mines Branch Annual Report 1934-1935, p. 60-61)

"Following diamond drilling early in 1935 to the north of the previous workings, operations were continued for a time on what appeared to be a downward extension of the vein. Results were not conclusive and this together with the financial position of the company resulted in suspension of operations at June 13, 1935." (Godard, 1963).
Insert figure on page 4 and page 5

Oliver (1952) visited the property in 1951. The following sample assays were reported:

Sample No. Au Ag
g/t (oz/ton) g/t (oz/ton)
036 18.51 (0.54) 92.57 (2.70)
037 trace 488.6 (14.25)
038 38.4 (1.12) 67.2 (1.96)
039 trace Nil
The following restakings have occurred:

Year Claim Name Claim Number Staker
1959 Phil Nos. 1-12 W 31046-57 P. Smerchanski
1960 Phil Nos. 1-12 W 32739-50 "
1961 Phil Nos. 1-12 W 34188-99 "
1963 Hammy Nos. 1-10 W 36349-58 T. Hamilton

On Hammy Nos. 1, 6 and 7, between 1964 and 1969, 140 m3 (4960 cu ft) of rock was trenched on Gold Island.
1970 McKenzie Nos. 1, 2 W 43059, 60 R. McKenzie
1972 CB 5283 C.E. Wass
-assigned P.D. Holden in 1973.
-cancelled in 1974.

The area was examined by the Manitoba Government in 1976 (Chastko and Gibson, 1976). In 1978 Walter A. Miller staked CB 8486. The claim was held by Wambel Gold Ltd. in 1980. CB 8486 was cancelled in 1981.
In the summer and fall of 1980, a recovery scheme to dredge up 500 bags of gold concentrate that had been lost through the ice in 1934, was started by Don McIvor, Bruce Kondratuk, Wayne Wamboldt and Abraham McPherson (the only person who knew where the concentrate was). Nine tonnes of concentrate were recovered from a depth of 21 m during four months of dredging (Winnipeg Free Press, June 22, 1981). In October 1980, 140 bags of concentrate were flown to Thompson. This shipment was sent to Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Company, Limited in Flin Flon in November 1981 for processing (Winnipeg Free Press, January 4, 1982).
In 1981, W.B. Dunlop staked the former mine area as CB 13189 (Pet 1) and optioned it to BP Minerals Limited. BP, in joint venture with St. Joe Canada Inc., carried out diamond drilling in 1982, 1983 and 1984. The option was dropped in 1985.
Year Ore milled Grade Production kg (oz) gold
tonnes (tons) g/t (oz/ton)

1934 6338 (6984) 20.92 (0.61) 133.36 (4287.6)
1935 1483 (1635) *52.84 (1699)
Total 7821 (8619) 186.2 (5986.6)
*estimate based on bullion and concentrate receipts of $59 483 (Manitoba Mines Branch, Annual Report, 1935).

According to previous Mineral Inventory card 53E/16 AU 1 (circa 1974): 955 oz gold and 460 oz. silver were produced in 1935 from 1483 tonnes (1635 tons) of ore milled. It was also reported that 1898 oz of gold were produced in the first six months of 1935 from an unknown amount and grade of ore (Northern Miner, September 12, 1935 in Island Lake, Corporation File). According to another report dated March 27, 1935 (in Island Lake Mines Limited, Mining Engineering File): in 1935, 1251 tons (1135 tonnes) were milled and 536.7 oz were recovered in bullion, 254.8 oz in concentrate (average recovery was 0.63 oz/ton (21.59 g/t)).
Some lead may have been produced (see Remarks).
Chastko, L.C. and Gibson, J.C., 1976: Precious metals exploration; in Manitoba Mines, Resources and Environmental Management; Mineral Resources Division, Mineral Evaluation & Administration Branch, Exploration Operations Branch, Report of Field Activities, 1976, p. 74-75.
Cole, G.E., 1938: (June), The Mineral Resources of Manitoba; Province of Manitoba, Economic Survey Board, p. 166.
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. 53.
Gilbert, H.P., 1984: Island Lake project; in Manitoba Energy and Mines, Mineral Resources, Report of Field Activities, 1984, p. 120-125.
Godard, J.D., 1963: Island Lake-York Lake area; Manitoba Mines Branch, Publication 59-3, p. 38-40.
Manitoba Mines Branch:
a. Annual Report on Mines and Minerals; 4th, p. 10, 46-47; 5th, p. 36-39; 6th, p. 41-43; 7th, p. 59-62; 8th, p. 2, 80.
b. Mining Recording Files; Hammy Nos. 1-10, File Nos. 61810-18; Jack of Diamonds M.C., Nos. 1-5, Files Nos. 8272-77; Lucky Shamrock M.C. and No. 1, File Nos. 8305, 06; Billy Boy M.C., Nos. 1-3, File Nos. 8320-22, 26.
c. Corporation Files; Island Lake Mines Limited; Island Lake "concentrate"; Ventures Limited (Third Annual Company Report, 1931).
d. Mining Engineering Files; Island Lake Gold Mines Limited; Island Lake Mines Limited.
e. Non-confidential Assessment Files; File Nos. 91159, 91162, 91550.
f.Unpublished Information Files; 53E/15; 53E/16.
McMurchy, R.C., 1944: Geology of the Island Lake area; The Precambrian, v. 17, No. 9, p. 4-9, 17.
Neale, K.L. and Weber, W., 1981: Island Lake (parts of 53E/15 and 16); in Manitoba Energy and Mines, Mineral Resources Division, Report of Field Activities, 1981, p. 42.
Oliver, T.A., 1952: Island Lake area (field notes and report); in Manitoba Mines Branch, Unpublished Information Files (53E/16).
Parsons, C.S., Anderson, A.K., Johnston, J.D., and Jenkins, W.S., 1934: The recovery of gold from the ore of Ventures Limited, Island Lake property, Manitoba; Reports of Investigations 1932; Metallic Ores Section; Report No. 454, p. 144-156; in Investigations in Ore Dressing and Metallurgy, No. 736; Mines Branch, Ottawa.
Phillips, K.A., 1978: Minerals of Manitoba, Volume II: Metallic Minerals; Manitoba Mines, Natural Resources and Environment, Mineral Resources Division, MRD Educational Series 78/2, p. 57-58.
Quinn, H.A., 1960: Island Lake, Manitoba - Ontario (Descriptive Notes); Geological Survey of Canada, Map 26-1960.
Quinn, H.A. and Meinert, R.S., 1959: The Island Lake Series; The Precambrian, v. 32, No. 4, p. 16-25, 34.
Richardson, D.J. and Ostry, G., 1987: Gold deposits of Manitoba; Manitoba Energy and Mines, Economic Geology Report ER86-1, p. 31-35.
Robinson, A.H.A., 1935: Gold in Canada; Mines Branch, Ottawa, Report 769, p. 61-62.
Theyer, P., 1978: Stratigraphic position of ultramafic lenses in the Island lake area; in Manitoba Mines, Resources and Environmental Management, Mineral Resources Division, Report of Field Activities, 1978, Report MEA-2, p. 106-108.
Theyer, P., 1980: Stratigraphic setting of selected ultramafic bodies in the Superior and Churchill Provinces and certain aspects of nickel copper deposits in the Thompson Nickel Belt; Manitoba Energy and Mines, Mineral Resources Division, Economic Geology Report ER79-2, p. 50.
Theyer, P., 1980: Stratigraphic investigations of the Island, Stevenson, Ponask, Bigstone and Knight Lakes areas and of the Island Lake gold mine; in Manitoba Energy and Mines, Mineral Resources Division, Report of Field Activities, 1980, p. 38-42.
Theyer, P., 1981: Mineral deposit studies-Superior Province: a) Island Lake, and b) Bird River sill; in Manitoba Energy and Mines, Mineral Resources Division, Report of Field Activities, 1981, Report GS-16, p. 74-77.
Theyer, P., 1982: Mineral deposit investigations-Superior Province, I) Island Lake area, II) Bird River Sill (southeastern Manitoba); in Manitoba Energy and Mines, Manitoba Mineral Resources Division, Report of Field Activities, 1982, Report GS-9, p. 55-57.
Theyer, P., 1985: Ultramafic rocks of the Island Lake area; Manitoba Energy and Mines, Geological Services, Geological Paper GP84-1, 29p.
Wright, J.F., 1928: Island Lake area, Manitoba; Geological Survey of Canada, Summary Report 1927, Part B, p. 54-80.
Wright, J.F., 1932: Geology and gold prospects of the areas about Island, Gods, and Oxford Lakes; C.I.M.M. Bulletin, v. 35, No. 8, p. 440-454.
Map 53E/16, York Lake, (Topography), Scale 1:50 000, Mines and Technical Surveys, Canada.
Map 4023G, York Lake, (Aeromagnetic), Scale 1:63 360, Manitoba Mines Branch and Geological Survey of Canada.
Map 94-1986, East-Central Manitoba, (Lake sediment and water geochemical survey), Scale 1:250 000; GSC Open File 1358, Geological Survey of Canada (1986).
Map 35553G, Island Lake, (Airborne Gamma Ray Spectrometry), Scale 1:250 000, Province of Manitoba, Province of Ontario, Geological Survey of Canada (1978).
Map 211A, Island Lake, (Geology), Scale 1:126 720; accompanying Report by Wright (1928), Geological Survey of Canada.
Unpublished Map Island Lake Series, (Geology), Scale 1:31 680 by Meinert, R.J., Unpublished Information Files (53E/16), Manitoba Mines Branch (1956).
#Map 59-3B, York Lake, (Geology), Scale 1:63 360; accompanying report by Godard (1963), Manitoba Mines Branch.
Map 26-1960, Island Lake, (Geology), Scale 1:253 440; accompanying Descriptive Notes by Quinn (1960), Geological Survey of Canada.
Map ER79-2-5, Island Lake area, (Compilation of Geology and Exploration work), Scale 1:50 000; accompanying Report by Theyer (1980), Manitoba Mineral Resources Division.
Map 1646A, Island Lake (Geology), Scale 1:250 000, by R.K. Herd, K.L. Currie, I.F. Ermanovics, Geological Survey of Canada (1987).
Preliminary Map 1985 I-3, Loonfoot Island, (Geology), Scale 1:20 000, by H.P. Gilbert, Manitoba Mineral Resources Division (1985).
Claim Map Series SE 16, 53E, Scale 1:31 680, Mining Recording, Manitoba Mines Branch.
"There has been one recorded production of lead in Manitoba - that from the Island Lake Mine in 1935." (Cole, 1938). Manitoba's lead production that year was 7.8 tonnes (19 179 lbs) (Manitoba Mines Branch, 8th Annual Report). According to D.F. Parrott, concentrate was sent to Tacoma, Washington, U.S.A. to be smelted into "metal, gold & silver" (Island Lake Mines Limited, Mining Engineering File).
Two of three holes completed on West Island by Ventures Limited in 1934-35, encountered three sections of ore varying from 7.6-31 cm (3-12") in width and carrying 34.3-102.86 g (1-3 oz) of gold (Island Lake Mines Limited, Mining Engineering File; March 27, 1935 Report by J.M. Cunningham-Dunlop, in Manitoba Mines Branch, Unpublished Information File, 53E/15). McMurchy (1944) noted quartz veins, well mineralized with pyrite and galena, on this island.
Gold occurrences were reported 3.7 km SW, 2.5 km west-northwest and 800 m southwest, respectively, of the Island Lake Mine (Newspaper clipping, December 24, 1931 in Island Lake Mines Limited, Corporation File): on the Bellton Group (on which there are two showings, an iron dyke and a blue quartz vein), two samples ran $16.80 and $53.20; on the Casl Group, samples from two islands assayed $164 and $41.20 gold (see 53E/16 AU 4); on the Sparrow Group, blue quartz and galena showings and a 12 m (40 ft) wide iron dyke were reported.
On the larger of two small islands (1.6 km north of the Island Lake Mine), a grab sample of a quartz vein, 20 cm (8") wide and exposed for 9 m (30 ft), returned an assay of $4.37 gold/ton (McMurchy, 1944).
Compiled/Revised by:
12-63 03-74 09-87