|Latitude & Longitude (WGS84):||50° 47' 0'' North , 122° 50' 16'' West|
|Latitude & Longitude (decimal):||50.78342,-122.83805|
|Owned/operated by:||Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd|
|Köppen climate type:||Dsc : Dry-summer subarctic climate|
Most of the claims in the Bralorne-Pioneer mine camp were staked in 1897. The Pioneer mine began in 1900 as a one-man operation, when F. W. Kinder single-handedly mined and processed the ore at a rate of 400-500 pounds per day. He continued his operation, making a comfortable living, for eleven years before selling the property. The mine became a major producer of gold when Dave Sloan, a mining engineer, came on board as managing director in 1924. Within four years the recovery of gold had reached more than $100,000 of bullion per year (Cairnes 1937).
Gold and sulfide mineralization (pyrite, arsenopyrite, sphalerite, galena, chalcopyrite, pyrrhotite, and tetrahedrite) occurs in epigenetic mesothermal quartz-carbonate veins hosted in serpentinite and diorite.
Most surviving specimen material consists of “sponge” gold frozen in quartz matrix, some in sulfide matrix. Good representative specimens of this type reside in the collections of the Royal Ontario Museum, the Provincial Museum of Alberta, and the University of British Columbia. The Braelorne mine closed in 1971. A number of large specimens were rediscovered in an office filing cabinet after a company take-over in the late 1980s. In 1990 Braelorne Resources sold these specimens of sponge gold in quartz to Rod Tyson and Frank Melanson. They etched them and produced 15 specimens ranging from 4x3 cm to 12 x 20 cm (Robinson and King 1990).
Well-crystallized gold is reported to have been encountered in carbonate quartz veins during operations in the 1930s and 1940s (Rod Tyson, pers. comm., 2005). One significant surviving specimen of this era is in the collection of the Canadian Museum of Nature. Another was sold at a Sotheby’s auction in Toronto in 1988. The following is from the Sotheby’s auction catalog 84 (1988):
"A Spectacular Gold Specimen, of self-supporting dendritic and platy gold veinlets with arsenopyrite crystals etched from a calcite vein in a calcite and grey rock matrix, the specimen mounted in plaster and housed within a wood and glass display case, length 5 in. (12.7 cm.), height 2 3A in. (7.0 cm.), width 4 in. (10.2 cm.).
This gold specimen originates from the Pioneer Gold Mines property near Lillooet, located approximately 100 miles north of Vancouver. It was acquired in the 1930’s by Colonel J.V.N. Spencer, the proprietor of the mine.
Provenance: Private Collection, British Columbia."
A specimen exhibiting reasonably developed gold micro-crystals in vugs in massive quartz is also known from the Coronation mine, which was eventually incorporated into the operations of the Bralorne mine. The gold crystals are rounded and complex, appearing to exhibit a highly modified tetrahexahedral form.
Commodity ListThis is a list of exploitable or exploited mineral commodities recorded at this locality.
17 valid minerals.
This geological map and associated information on rock units at or nearby to the coordinates given for this locality is based on relatively small scale geological maps provided by various national Geological Surveys. This does not necessarily represent the complete geology at this locality but it gives a background for the region in which it is found.
Click on geological units on the map for more information. Click here to view full-screen map on Macrostrat.org
|Jurassic - Mississippian|
145 - 358.9 Ma
|Paleozoic-Mesozoic sedimentary rocks|
Age: Phanerozoic (145 - 358.9 Ma)
Lithology: Sedimentary rocks
Reference: Chorlton, L.B. Generalized geology of the world: bedrock domains and major faults in GIS format: a small-scale world geology map with an extended geological attribute database. doi: 10.4095/223767. Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 5529. 
|Middle Jurassic - Mississippian|
163.5 - 358.9 Ma
|Bridge River Complex|
Age: Phanerozoic (163.5 - 358.9 Ma)
Stratigraphic Name: Bridge River Complex
Description: Undivided ribbon chert, argillite, phyllite, quartz phyllite and pillowed to massive greenstone, with lesser amounts of limestone, gabbro, diabase, serpentinite, sandstone and pebble conglomerate; locally includes minor amounts of Cayoosh Assembla
Comments: P. Schiarizza and B. N. Church, 1996, The Geology of the Thompson-Okanagan Mineral Potential Assessment Region (East Part), OF 1996-20, BCGS
Reference: B.C. Geological Survey. British Columbia Digital Geology.