Sperrylite Update: A Recent Report from Ontario's Broken Hammer Deposit

Write By: tmmadmin Published In: Mineral Species Created Date: 2014-12-20 Hits: 2368 Comment: 0

10 mm sperrylite crystal, Broken Hammer Prospect,
Val Caron, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

I recently heard from Tom Johnson, the surveyor who works for Wallbridge Mining, who originally found and collected the large sperrylite crystals from the Broken Hammer occurrence in the Spring of 2011. He told me that there actually were a good number of large crystals found in matrix, but that these are still on hold pending resolution of the export situation. He also reported that the lower zone, which produced most of the smaller crystals on quartz/epidote matrix, was actually found before the weathered chalcopyrite material near the top of the wall of the cut. The larger crystals, the "mother load" so to speak, was found by panning the broken material of the pit wall and finding a few large fragments that he traced upwards to where they originated. A few 3-4 mm crystals in the wall in weathered chalcopyrite were the only indication of what was found later.

10 mm sperrylite crystal, Broken Hammer Prospect,
Val Caron, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

One of three zones of large crystals was about a foot into the wall, in broken massive chalcopyrite. Beyond that, and a little higher was another cluster, and then a third. A few more large, single crystals were found beyond that. In the surrounding rock were quite a few smaller crystals as well. The chalcopyrite was about 4 inches thick. Above that was a void filled with the rotted epidote, sulfide mud, which had quite a bit of material in it, and above that was the gossanous sulfide/epidote breccia, again, some large crystals were found in this material. The whole zone was sitting tight to and above a large block of diabase. It started about 3 feet down from the rim of the pit, and went upwards at about a 45 degree angle, to the surface. It was about a foot or so wide.

4.5 mm sperrylite crystal on quartz-epidote matrix

On the last day of bulk sample project, a large tracked excavator was sitting right above the sperrylite zone, reaching down and tearing the wall apart, and loading it into trucks to take to the crusher. Johnson said he has no doubt that large numbers of spectacular crystals went through the crusher and were shipped to the mill. He said he did pan some of the material, which produced about 700 grams of sperrylite in a small glass jam jar - that's about $23,000 worth of platinum! The two loose crystals that we have on eBay right now came from that jar. After he took the better loose crystals out, he was left with about 600 grams or so, which is still in the jar. It gets trotted out to show investors every once in a while, along with a few more of the big crystals on some specimens that haven't been prepared yet.

10 mm sperrylite crystal on quartz-epidote matrix

Specimen photos © www.TreasureMountainMining.com

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