I’ve found it interesting that in the mining industry, large-sized deposits are often referred to as elephants. Like the animal, these deposits aren’t all that common. But also like the animal, they can still be found.
As elephants usually are found in herds, miners tend to gravitate towards areas that gold has already been found. And one of the world’s most prolific gold herds is found in British Columbia’s Golden Triangle.
The Golden Triangle, also known as the Stewart district, is located in northwestern BC. Depending on which site you look at, the area maps are all drawn somewhat different.
However, the consensus seems to be the area with the long end stretching south to north from the town of Stewart to Dease Lake, roughly 300km.
The Golden Triangle resides in what is known as the Stikine terrane.
In the central portion of the province there are currently two types of deposits attracting the lion’s share of interest:
- Porphyry copper/gold deposits
- Sediment Hosted Vein (SHV) deposit’s
In Canada, British Columbia enjoys most of this type of deposit, and they contain the largest resources of copper, significant molybdenum and 50% of the gold in the province.
It is generally believed that this terrane’s hydrothermal systems were seasoned longer than most. And the effect is a cornucopia of mineralized deposits including the volcanogenic massive sulfide, alkaline porphyry copper-gold, and transitional epithermal intrusion-related precious-metals types. This favorable geology has yielded several elephants.
The Golden Triangle has seen mineral exploration for over a century. And modern methods over the last half century or so have unearthed some of its greatest treasures.
The BC government recently built a $700 million – 287 kilowatt hydroelectric power line to run through this area…GAME CHANGER!! This has been built over a period of three years, and went fully operational in July of 2014. Mining is POWER HUNGRY. And the power line bring infrastructure and “civilization” to this remote area of the world. The goal is to encourage and facilitate economic development in the northwestern corner of the province by bringing grid-based and grid-priced electricity to this underserviced region.
If development proceeds, Red Chris will be the first new metal mine in BC in a decade, and the largest new metal mine in North America. This project could be the sign of good faith that many of the major mining companies are watching for before they begin to invest much larger dollars in BC. Again…elephants usually are found in herds, and the Golden Triangle is shaping up to provide the perfect environment for the herds to flock.