AU 1
1985 - Noranda Exploration
Company (NPL)
4-2130 Notre Dame
Winnipeg, MB R34 0K1
Mine shaft
The Pas
54 47.17’
99 46.05’
Uncertainty (m)
100 m
UTM Zone
L.S./Quarter Section
15 WPM
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.
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 the dump.
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 length.
Reserves, early in 1936, were estimated as follows:

Category Tonnes Cutgrade
g/tonne (oz/ton)
Positive (Proven) 20 680 16.49 (0.54)
Probable 7 084 12.96 (0.41)
On Dump 3 810 8.45 (0.27)

A new 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 Mines Ltd.).
The main vein was intersected on the 343 m level in 1937. Reserves were estimated at:

Positive (Proven) 16 088 tonnes
Probable 2007 tonnes
Broken 8934 tonnes
Total 27029 tonnes at 18.79 g/tonne gold (0.60 oz/ton).

Source: Manitoba Mines Branch b, Laguna Gold Mines Ltd.

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.
Reid felt 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 b).
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 property.
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 (oz.)
1918 41.5 ( 1 337
1920 387.3 7.4 ( 237)
1921 2.7 ( 87)
1924 2 420.9
1925 6 772.7 136.2 ( 4 379)
1926 12.0 ( 387)
1936 8 176.6 137.7 ( 4 428)
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)
1940 6 623

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. 130.
Bruce, E.L., 1933: Mineral Deposits of the Canadian Shield, MacMillan, p. 403.
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, February.
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.
Davies, 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.
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, 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. 5-10.
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. 90120.
McLaren, A.J., 1932: Gold in Manitoba, in Northern Manitoba Papers.
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, p. 58-61.
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.
Sabina, A.P., 1972: Rocks and Minerals for the Collector La Ronge-Creighton, Saskatchewan; Flin Flon-Thompson, Manitoba; Geological Survey of Canada, Paper 71-27, p. 54, 5.
+Stockwell, C.H., 1937: Gold Deposits of Herb Lake Area, Northern Manitoba; Geological Survey of Canada, Memoir 208, p. 28-31.
Stockwell, C.H., 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, 8.
Wallace, R.A., 1920: Mining and Mineral Prospects in Northern Manitoba; Province of Manitoba, Commission of Northern Manitoba, p. 32-5.
Wallace, 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.
Wright, J.F., 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.
Map 1763, 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 Canada.
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.
Compiled/Revised by:
02-73 04-76 06-85