Seven Below - 2 cell placer claim.

Seven Below Claim


Seven Below - Tenure #1011628

2 cell tenure – 42.23 hectares
Central Coordinate 117° 10' 45.1" W Longitude 49° 08' 44.7” N Latitude

Price: $ 2,200

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The ‘Seven Below’ placer property is located 11 kilometres (6.6 miles) east-southeast from Salmo, in the southern sector of the West Kootenay region of British Columbia. Very little now remains of the once famed Sheep Creek Mining Camp. In its heyday, the camp produced almost two-thirds of the lode gold credited to the Nelson Mining Division. Although it is currently non-productive, it ranks as the sixth camp in British Columbia in terms of total lode gold produced to the end of 1951. The greatest producer in the Sheep Creek camp was that of the historically renowned Queen Mine. In close proximity within this bustling mining community of yesteryear, were a consortium of other high-grade gold/silver ore shoots and mines. Among these were the Kootenay Belle, Goldbelt, Reno, Vancouver, Bonanza, Ore Hill, Summit, Yellowstone, Motherlode, Nugget, Nevada, Midnight, Golden West, Fawn, Cayote, Alexander and Bluestone.

The Queen Mine, nestled on the west side of Waldie Creek immediately prior its confluence with Sheep Creek), began production in about 1900. In 1908 a new 20 stamp mill was built on the property and the Queen crushed about 60 tons of ore per day. In 1935 a new 50 ton mill was put into operation. In its latter years, the ore was treated at the Yellowstone mill. Amalgamation was used to extract the gold from the ore, of which it was reported only about 60 percent was recovered.

Not to diminish the production of the other neighbouring gold mines, focus is hereby placed on primarily one of these historical properties, that of the Queen - - - - - - several ore shoots were developed on the Queen property which produced 653,165 tonnes of ore intermittently from 1902 to 1970. It has been reported that from 1900 to 1938, from the total tonnage mined, 9,453,383 grams of gold, 3,121,527 grams of silver, 7,769 kilograms of lead and 3,063 kilograms of zinc were recovered. Other post 1938 production reports are not included, herein.

From qualified authority, it was calculated in the early 80’s that approximately $15,000,000 in fine gold escaped processing at the Queen Mine, all of which flowed downstream via Sheep Creek. By today’s gold prices, this would easily equate to somewhere between $15,000,000 to $30,000,000 or more. And it is most logical to conclude that at least some admirable portion of that vast amount of lost gold would have been deposited all along Sheep Creek, upstream from its confluence with the Salmo River.

GPEX had researched and tested these properties over several years and subsequently found opportunity to acquire the most significant placer tenures along Sheep Creek. They ranged from and comprised, the lower extremity of Waldie Creek (immediately below the site of the former Queen Mine), to slightly upstream from Sheep Creek’s confluence with the Salmo River. Seventeen individual tenures were acquired, fifteen of which comprised a one cell placer claim (approximately 21 hectares or 52 acres), while the remaining two, two cell placer tenures held (approximately 42 hectares or 104 acres). Currently, only one of these properties remains available, the Seven Below tenure.

The waters of Sheep Creek are rapidly moving during the higher-water periods, leaving way to moderate to low flow during the drier months, as it snakes itself onward to the Salmo River. Each placer claim hosts at least two prime bends in the creek where gold is naturally more apt to concentrate. The creek within the tenures hosts a variance from gravelled bends, midstream boulders, waterfalls and exposed bedrock. All tenures are easily accessed from the gravel road which runs immediately adjacent to all claims. From the upper most tenure, the “Queenie” property, the claims as they ascend toward the Salmo, are named in succession, by example: “One Below,” “Two Below,” & etc. It is projected that no singular claim would prove any greater prospect than the other. However, some seasoned placer miners might somewhat disagree in part. Regardless, with that amount of gold escaping into Sheep Creek, good opportunity on any of these tenures should prevail. And for the metal detecting enthusiast, the valley was once densely populated with miners and their families, in the late 1930’s there was said to be about 111 houses. The town-site of Sheep Creek sat at the confluence of Sheep and Waldie Creeks. It was well equipped with a general store, hotel, pool hall, post office and school.

Road Directions from Salmo to the ‘7 Below’ property along Sheep Creek:

Travel south 5.4 kilometres on the Crowsnest Highway #6, thence once crossing the Sheep Creek bridge, turn east to swing back (northward) onto the Airport Road, the paved road leading back over the second Sheep Bridge (a smaller one) #6, thence East onto Sheep Creek Road for a further 5.9 kilometres to the claim’s western boundary. Salmo is Located at the junction of Highway 3B and Highway 6 in the southern West Kootenays, 26 miles (42 km) east of Castlegar, 29 miles (46 km) south of Nelson, and approximately 50 miles (80 km) west of Creston. The confluence of Sheep Creek with the Salmo, lies approximately 16 kilometres due north of the US border near the extreme north-eastern intersect of Washington State with Montana.

Condensed Bio of : The Queen Mine and the Sheep Creek Mining Camp

The ore shoots on the Queen property were within quartz gangue carrying free gold, pyrite and some sphalerite and galena. Wall rocks are predominantly quartzite. The Queen vein is crosscut by two lamprophyre dykes intruded along fault zones.

The Sheep Creek mining camp consists of auriferous sulphide mineralization within a regional system of quartz veins controlled by faults. The camp hosts four distinct fault/fracture systems. All productive veins are associated with faults trending northeast and dipping southeast. The veins are particularly productive where they cross the axis of the two regional, northerly trending anticlines which dominate the geology of the camp. In addition there are a few northwest trending strike slip faults, north trending normal faults and flat faults, on which the hanging wall has been thrust westwards. Ore occurs in shoots and is almost without exception confined to parts of fault zones in which one or both walls are quartzite.

Other Sheep Creek Camp Mining Production Reports

Kootenay Belle - Between 1904 and 1967, the mine produced a total of 305,610 tonnes of ore. From this, 3,507,079 grams of gold, 1,306,232 grams of silver, 52,517 kilograms of lead and 59,335 kilograms of zinc were recovered.

Reno - commenced production in 1906 and produced intermittently until 1979. In total, 404,472 tonnes of ore were mined from which was recovered 7,270,227 grams of gold, 3,216,394 grams of silver, 2,858 kilograms of copper, 89,056 kilograms of lead and 60,907 tonnes of zinc. Some of this production has come from other nearby workings such as the Donnybrook and the Bluestone.

Gold Belt - A total of 236,502 tonnes of ore were mined between 1934 and 1979, from which was recovered 2,512,906 grams of gold, 1,061,298 grams of silver, 681 kilograms of copper, 10,457 kilograms of lead and 6,605 kilograms of zinc. Some of the ore mined may have come from other nearby sources such as the Bluestone occurrence

Motherlode - Between 1906 and 1985 production amounted to about 67,444 tonnes which contained 1,257,000 grams of gold and 588,000 grams of silver, 3010 kilograms of copper, 11,000 kilograms of lead and 4260 kilograms of zinc. Of the total mined, about 64,760 tonnes was mined between 1906 and 1922. Indicated reserves are reported to total 3,152 tonnes grading 12.0 grams per tonne gold.

Nugget - About 37,000 tonnes of ore was produced from the Nugget and 768,000 grams of gold, 283,000 grams of silver, 3294 kilograms of lead and 1273 kilograms of zinc recovered. Most production took place between 1907 and 1954. Indicated reserves on the Nugget property are 30,089 tonnes grading 16.1 grams per tonne gold; indicated reserves on the Calhoun zone are 15,184 tonnes grading 15.4 grams per tonne gold; indicated reserves on the Fawn zone are 3,882 tonnes grading 28.4 grams per tonne gold.

Yellowstone - In 1900 and 1901 the mine produced about 15,400 tonnes of ore containing 169,000 grams of gold and 86,000 grams of silver.

Ore Hill – This mine is located at about the 1585 metre elevation on Billings Creek, a northerly flowing tributary of Sheep Creek, 12 kilometres southeast of Salmo - October 1936 a 10-ton-per-day stamp mill was installed - Between 1906 and 1940, a total of 2,241 tonnes of ore were mined and 88,612 grams of gold, 168,424 grams of silver, 80,257 kilograms of lead and 75,651 kilograms of zinc were recovered.

Bluestone - This vein was not as productive as other related veins in the area. The tonnage mined to December 31, 1951 was 3174 tonnes, from which 40,435 grams of gold was recovered

Vancouver – Between 1909 and 1933, a total of 347 tonnes of ore were mined from which 29,983 grams of gold and 12,815 grams of silver

Summit - "Glory Hole". Production from 1906 to 1938 totaled about 1094 tonnes which contained 27,059 grams of gold, 37,883 grams of silver, 13,728 kilograms of lead and 12,988 kilograms of zinc.

Midnight - Chip sampling from selected locations returned values as high as 2 to 6 grams per tonne gold and 3 to 8 grams per tonne silver. One sample assayed 12.41 grams per tonne gold and 6.86 grams per tonne silver. No actual production report has been found for this individual occurrence and such may be included in the Vancouver recovery report.

Fawn - Reserves (unclassified) total 3,883 tonnes grading 28.46 grams per tonne gold.

Bonanza – About 17 tonnes were shipped in 1910 but the value of the shipment was not exported. In 1963, a total of 14 tonnes were mined, from which 124 grams of gold, 2,861 grams of silver and 118 kilograms of lead were recovered. Results of 1982 sampling indicate that there is an ore shoot above and below the second level on the North vein. Potential is indicated at depth where the productive horizon is projected to below an elevation of 914 metres. In 1983, 2720 tonnes of proven and possible ore at a grade of 18.86 grams per tonne gold was outlined on the North Bonanza vein (Assessment Report 11249). A later estimate of the ore on the property was reported to be 14,254 tonnes grading 10.28 grams per tonne gold

In 1901, gold was $20/oz, Silver $0.60/oz and Copper $0.16/lb


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