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Ministry of Energy Mines and Responsible for Core Review

Reconnaissance Rock Geochemistry of the Nicola and Kingsvale Groups Between Merritt and Princeton (NTS 092H, 092I)

Paper 1981 - 2

by V.A. Preto


View Paper (PDF, 468Kb)


Paper 1981-02 discusses rock geochemistry of the Nicola and Kingsvale Groups between Merritt and Princeton (92H, 92I) in southcentral British Columbia. The objective was to investigate the relationship between the distribution of mineral deposits and the background metal content of the rock units.


Within the study area, Nicola volcanic rocks comprise three roughly parallel, north-trending, fault-bounded belts. Most mineral occurrences are found in the Central Belt, which consists largely of subaerial and submarine pyroxene and plagioclase-rich andesitic and basaltic flows, breccia, conglomerate, and lahar deposits. Important volumes of diorite and subordinate syenite are comagmatic with this suite. The northern part of the Eastern Belt consists of a succession of submarine volcanic sediments but the southern part is dominated by extensive lahar deposits, some analcite-bearing basalt flows, and several high-level syenitic stocks. In contrast, the Western Belt consists of andesitic to rhyolitic flow and pyroclastic rocks that are interbedded in their upper part with abundant limestone, volcanic conglomerate, and sandstone. The Central and Eastern Belts include is a markedly talc-alkaline assemblage. both alkaline and calc-alkaline rock suites, whereas the Western Belt is a markedly talc-alkaline assemblage.


A later sequence of Cretaceous volcanic rocks with minor associated sedimentary and intrusive rocks unconformably overlies the Nicola Group. It is correlative with the Kingsvale Group. The lavas range from basalt to rhyolite in composition and are almost exclusively subaerial. Apparently these rocks are devoid of mineral occurrences.

Geology of the Upper Triassic Nicola Group between Merritt and Princeton is summarized in Bulletin 69.


This report summarizes the distribution of copper, cobalt, nickel, lead, and zinc in flow, volcaniclastic, and intrusive rocks in each of the three tectonic/lithologic belts and, for comparison, in rocks of the Kingsvale suite. Sample collecting was done during the course of field work and, because background values were sought, only samples that carried no visible sulphides and were minimally altered were analysed. Samples not visibly mineralized but collected near areas of known mineralization were also excluded from the study. For these reasons, the metal distribution maps show large gaps in the vicinity of the Axe deposit and on Fairweather Hills. Other large gaps in coverage reflect extensive overburden, particularly in the Eastern Belt.


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