The Anyox copper mining camp was discovered in 1889 and was explored and brought into production in 1914 by Granby Consolidated Mining, Smelting and Power Co., Ltd. A large, modern and self-sufficient town was built around the mine to accommodate, and care for, a large work force and their families, which reached a population of over 2500.
The property of the Hidden Creek company is located at Goose bay, on Observatory inlet, a branch of the Portland canal, near the boundary line between British Columbia and Alaska, and 60 miles or so from Prince Rupert.
The extent of the ore bodies exposed or developed in the Hidden Creek mine was phenomenal. One of the veins had an average width of from 25 to 40 feet, while the other, so far as known, is 100 feet wide. The smaller vein was of much higher grade than the large one.
Hidden Creek Ore Train
Two electrical generating powerhouses were built, one coal fired and the other hydroelectric, to operate the mine, mill and smelter complex that produced blister copper (~99% purity). Over 21.73 million tonnes of copper ore was treated and smelted between 1914 and 1935 to produce 321 546 tonnes of copper, 206 309 kg (6.6 million oz) of silver, and 3773 kg (121 300 oz) of gold. Considering the remoteness of the mine and the technologies available at the time, this was a remarkable achievement.
Steam Shovel At Work
The operation closed permanently when the copper market was decimated by the Great Depression, and whatever was salvageable was dismantled and shipped out. Since then, the area has seen episodic exploration activities and received scientific studies that have led to a modern understanding of the geological setting and origin of the Anyox copper deposits.
The mafic volcanic and sedimentary host rocks at Anyox are assigned to the Upper Triassic to Upper Jurassic Hazelton and Bowser Lake groups, respectively. The stratigraphic setting, hydrothermal alteration, style of mineralization and geochemistry of the mafic volcanic rocks are all consistent with the deposit having formed in a sediment-covered, spreading-ridge setting, such as Middle Valley on the northern Juan de Fuca Ridge, off the coast of British Columbia.
It is noteworthy that the Hazelton Group also hosts the famous Eskay Creek gold deposit, which is about 200 km north of Anyox. Eskay Creek is a precious metal-rich variant of the VMS family and correlations between Anyox and Eskay Creek may stimulate additional phases of exploration and possibly further the exploration history of Anyox.