The Blackdome Mine is a permitted mine and milling facility located in southwestern British Columbia, approximately 230 kilometres north of Vancouver and 100 kilometres south of Williams Lake. The 34,794-hectare property is situated west of the Fraser River, near the summit of Blackdome Mountain, in the Camelsfoot Mountain Range at between 1,760 and 2,050 metres in elevation. Access to the mine is from either the town of Clinton or the city of Williams Lake, via the village of Dog Creek and then west across the Churn Creek Bridge.
Blackdome Mountain is an extinct volcano on the southwest edge of the vast Cariboo plateau. Rising to 7,000 feet on the west side of the Fraser River it is a prominent, well-named feature.
Since the 1960’s, people have visited this remote area seeking agate, jasper, thundereggs and precious metals. Blackdome Mine operated from 1986 to 1991 and produced over 6,300 kilos of gold and 19,000 kilos of silver from an epithermal deposit located near the top. Mineralized quartz veins carried native gold, electrum, native silver and silver sulphosalts as well as the usual sulphide minerals.
Sona Resources (then Claimstaker Resources) since acquiring the mine in 1995 has carried out geotechnical surveys, exploration drilling and small-scale mining. The Blackdome Gold Mine is 100 percent owned by Sona with no underlying royalties and consists of 45 mineral claims, 10 Crown-granted mineral claims and two mining leases. The property has a modern, well-maintained flotation and gravity mill with a current design capacity of 200 tonnes per day. All of the project’s mining permits are in good standing.
The Blackdome Gold Mine has a resource estimate of 144,500 tonnes Indicated grading 11.29 g/tAu containing 52,000 oz gold/ 232,300 oz silver and 90,600t Inferred grading 8.79 g/tAu containing 25,900 oz gold/ 54,400 oz silver.
Placer mining on the Fraser River at locations such as Big Bar, French Bar, Crows Bar and High Bar led to a placer gold discovery on Poison Mountain in the early 1930’s. The source of the placer gold was a large, low-grade copper-gold porphyry system. Considerable sluicing for gold was done on Fairless Creek, which drains the west slope of Blackdome Mountain.
In the 1950’s surface work and two audits were completed by Empire Gold Mines. In 1977 Barrier Reef Resources completed soil and rock sampling, trenching, drilling and underground development. After an extended period of exploration starting in 1978, Blackdome Mining Ltd. brought the outlined gold deposit into production in 1986. The initial 140 tonne per day production rate increased to 200 tonnes per day, but the mine was shut down in January 1991.
During its five-year life, a total of seven million grams of gold (225,000 ounces) and 17 million grams of silver (547,000 ounces) were recovered from 338,000 tonnes (373,000 tons) of ore.