The HB / Garnet mine was the 3rd highest producing metal mines in BC history next to the Sullivan & Jersey-Emerald Mines and is the 2nd highest Zinc producer with over 600 million pounds of Zinc.
The H.B. Mine and concentrator is situated on the North side of the Sheep Creek valley some six miles south-east of the village of Salmo, B.C. in the Nelson Mining District. Access to the property is by way of a 2 1/2 mile long, gravel road off Highway 3, three and a half miles south of Salmo.
The property was originally staked by Horton and Benson, and was purchased by Cominco in 1927. Intermittent work was carried out until 1946. Later an extensive diamond drilling program was undertaken followed by underground exploration.
With sufficient ore outlined, construction of a 1,200 ton-a-day concentrator was started in April of 1952 and completed in the spring of 1953. Due to unfavourable metal prices, operations did not commence until May, 1955 and was suspended in October 1966. Production was resumed at the mine in February 1973.
David Minerals Ltd. by an agreement dated May 8, 1981 purchased the mine, mill and adjacent properties from Cominco Ltd. for $750,000; a 20 acre parcel was subsequently sold to Gold belt Mines Inc. for a mill site. Renovation of the H.B. mill was carried out to prepare a flotation circuit to custom mill gold-bearing sulphide ores, and a second circuit to treat molybdenite-gold ore from the company’s Rossland properties. The gold circuit was put into operation on ore from the Gold Belt property in December 1981.
The HB mine produced a total of 6,656,101 tonnes of ore in 29 years between 1912 and 1978. Recovered from this ore were 29,425,521 grams of silver, 49,511,536 kilograms of lead, 260,431,646 kilograms of zinc, 2,019,586 kilograms of cadmium, 105,412 kilograms of copper and 6,159 grams of gold. Measured and indicated reserves published December 31, 1978 by Canadian Pacific Limited were given as approximately 36,287 tonnes grading 0.1 per cent lead and 4.1 per cent zinc.