INVENTORY FILE NO.
NAME OF PROPERTY
SAN ANTONIO MINE
2000- Wildcat Explorations
115 Pulford St.
Winnipeg, MB R3L
Shaft No. 1 San Antonio M.C.
The Rice Lake area was described by Reid and Kennedy (1933) as
consisting of an irregular, wedge-shaped roof pendant of metamorphosed
sedimentary and igneous rocks, enclosed within granite and granite gneiss.
Locally, the most important rock type is a band of metamorphosed basic igneous
rock, which strikes NW46°NE.
The gold-bearing quartz veins occur in the
thickest part of a north-dipping diabase sill, intruding tuffaceous rocks of the
Rice Lake group (Davies et al, 1962). The veins occupy shear zones striking
northeast and fracture zones striking northwest that, along with the veins,
pinch out at the upper and lower contacts of the diabase:other veins appear down
dip in the sill. The northeast veins are in shear zones dipping about 60°NW. The
northwest veins occupy fracture zones that dip steeply northeast, or are near
vertical.The wallrocks consist of pyritized chlorite schists and are intensely
albitized and carbonatized. The zones consisting of networks of veins and
stringers contain small pieces of grey, altered wallrock.
interpreted the host rocks of the San Antonio mine to be mafic volcanic flows,
grading into layered mafic tuffs, magnetite bearing tuffs, and intermediate to
felsic tuffs. This diabase sill was renamed the San Antonio mine unit (SAM).
Mapping on the 26th level of the San Antonio mine revealed mafic volcanic rocks
similar to the SAM unit, but occurring on the footwall side of the unit. Theyer
(1983) interpreted unit A as a possible repetition of the SAM unit, due to
The results of Theyer's studies prompted Lathwell Resources to
negotiate an option agreement with Brinco. Dr. Furnival, of Lathwell Resources,
felt that the gold deposition may be syngenetic and added significantly to the
exploration potential of the area.
MINERALS OR PRODUCTS OF VALUE
EXPLORATION AND DEVELOPMENT
The deposit is located in the town of Bissett, on the north shore of
Rice Lake and can be reached by Provincial Road No. 304. The San Antonio M.C.
(16863) was one of the first claims staked in the Rice Lake area. It was staked
on May 17, 1911, by Alex Desautels, who immediately assigned the claim to E.A.
Pelletier. Pelletier staked the original gold discovery in the area, on the
adjoining Gabrielle claim, in early 1911.
Very little development work was
done on the claim until after World War I, with money paid in lieu of assessment
work. The San Antonio M.C. was patented on September 14, 1921, and Gabrielle in
1919. The Wanipigow Syndicate was formed in 1926, to explore the San Antonio
M.C. and adjoining claims.
Shaft sinking began in 1927, and the same year,
Wanipigow Mines Limited was incorporated to develop the properties. In late
1927, the name was changed to San Antonio Mines Limited. A further name change
occurred in 1931, when the property was re-financed and incorporated as San
Antonio Gold Mines Limited.
By the end of 1928, the No. 1 shaft had been
completed to a depth of 50 metres (m), with about 305 m of lateral work on the
46 m level. The No. 2 shaft had reached a depth of 187 m, with over 1220 m of
drifting and crosscutting on four levels. In 1929 to 1930, winze No. 1, inclined
at 60°, was sunk from the 183 m level, at a point 139 m northeast of No. 2
shaft, was completed in 1930, with stations at the 260 and 290 m levels. Work
started late in December 1933, on the No. 3 (main production) shaft of three
compartments. In 1936, a 547 m crosscut to the Gabrielle workings was completed.
In 1938, the No. 3 shaft was completed to a depth of 498 m. It was connected; on
the 366, 412, and 458 m levels; to winze No. 2, which was sunk, in 1937, from
the 320 m to the 473 m level. The No. 3 winze (a 3-compartment internal shaft)
was begun in 1939, at a point 275 m northeast of the No. 3 shaft on the 456 m
foot level. It was completed in 1940, to the 763 m horizon, opening up 6 new
levels at intervals of 46 m. In 1947, No. 4 winze, located 275 m east of No. 3
winze, was sunk from the 16th level, 732 m to 1256 m below surface. Ten levels
were established; with the deepest (26th) level at 1179 m.
No. 5 winze,
completed in 1960, is located on the adjoining leased property of Forty-Four
Mines Limited. It was sunk to develop an entirely new deep ore zone, revealed in
drilling from the 26th level. The winze extends from this level for 372 m, to
1546 m below surface.
The mine was in production from the early thirties
until 1968, when a fire destroyed the main surface hoist room. An excellent
record of dividend payments was maintained from 1932 to 1955. Financial problems
followed, the company was placed in receivership, and its assets purchased in
1969, by 3 of the former directors.
After closure of the mine in 1968, the
ore reserves were estimated at 186 490 tonnes (t) grading over 8.23
g/t(grams/tonne) (0.24 oz/ton) gold (Au) (Canadian Mines Handbook, 1967-68). An
estimate of ore made by an independent consultant indicated that deep drilling
would show 1.8 million t of ore grading 10.63 g/t (0.31 oz) (Northern Miner,
April 12, 1973).
In 1972, Chemalloy Minerals Limited took out a 60-day option
for a feasibility study to include diamond drilling, limited underground work,
and ore reserves evaluation. The option was not exercised.
In 1980, Brinco
and New Forty-Four Mines entered a joint venture agreement, whereby Brinco could
earn a 50% interest by conducting a reserves and feasibility study (Northern
Miner, August 28, 1980). The 7-month study confirmed mineable reserves of 725
680 t of ore with an average grade of 6.51g/t (0.19 oz/ton) Au. During the
program, surface mine plant facilities, 4 hoists, a surface shaft, and 3
underground winzes were rehabilitated and reactivated, to allow access to levels
down to 1586 m. In April 1981, work commenced on a $13 million program, under
the direction of Brinco Mining's engineering group. A 408 t/day concentrator was
designed and built, replacing the one destroyed by fire in 1968. Employee
quarters and underground rehabilitation was completed in December 1981, at a
cost of $12.5 million (Northern Miner, Dec. 16, 1982).
The mine re-opened in
January 1982, designed to produce 684 kg (22 000 oz.) of gold per year with
mining activity taking place in the upper levels only. By July 1982, production
levels had reached 49.76 kg (1600 oz) of gold per month (Northern Miner, Dec.
In late 1982, Brinco Mining renegotiated its joint venture
agreement with New Forty-Four Mines, with Brinco's working interest rising from
50% to 100%. New Forty-Four Mines held a 10% interest in the net profits
payable, after Brinco recovered all of its costs associated with the project
(Mining Journal, November 12, 1982). Grades of ore from the upper levels proved
disappointing at 4.8 g/t (0.14 oz/ton) Au, compared to a projected 6.51 g/t
(0.19 oz/ton) Au. The decision was made to terminate operations, from the upper
levels, in May 1983.
The same year, an exploration drilling program began,
with Phase I completed on June 30, 1983. The principal target, the downward
extension of the 97 stockwork vein, was intersected by 9 holes. Average
corrected thickness of the vein below the 33rd level, was 3.45 m averaging
9.26/t (0.27 oz/ton). A preliminary estimate of tonnage was in excess of 200 000
In 1983, Lathwell Resources Ltd. negotiated an option agreement with
Brinco. Lathwell could earn a 50% interest in the mine for expenditures, on
exploration and development, of $7.5 million over 4 to 5 years (Northern Miner,
May 24, 1984). Lathwell completed Phase I exploration in September 1984
(Northern Miner, September 20, 1984). The program was designed to test the
potential and cost of preparing the 33 and 34 levels for an extended underground
program of drifting and cross cutting. Lathwell estimated D shaft ore reserves,
between the 26 and 36 levels, as 1 203 161 t averaging 7.89 g/t (0.23 oz/ton)
Au. A 598 t bulk sample removed from the D shaft returned a weighted average
assay of 12.58 g/t (0.367 oz/ton) gold. Lathwell concluded that very little
development work would be required in order to put the mine into production.
Phase I exploration also collared 3 horizontal diamond drill holes (ddh) from
the east face of the 97 vein in the 3397 drift. The holes determined the bounds
of the 97 vein and confirmed the presence of several new stockwork veins on the
33 level. Assays from DDH 33-84-10, combined with back assays, brought the
weighted average grade of the 97 vein, at one location, to 8.16 g/t (0.238
oz/ton) Au over 8.54 m. DDH 33-84-02 confirmed the presence of a new stockwork
type vein, parallel to the 97 vein. Assays averaged 6.86 g/t (0.20 oz/ton) Au
over 3.05 m, and 10.29 g/t (0.3 oz/ton) Au over 1.83 m. DDH 33-84-03 was drilled
alongside of the 97 vein on the hangingwall side. It intersected the stockwork
vein, from 15.86 to 17.69 m, averaging 5.14 g/t (0.15 oz/ton) Au, and from 32.94
to 34.77 m averaging 12.69 g/t (0.37 oz/ton) Au. After completion of Phase I
exploration, Lathwell Resources decided to drop the option.
In November 1985,
the mine was optioned to San Antonio Resources, a company jointly owned by Quest
Resources, Inco Mines and various private investors. From November 1985 to March
1986, an underground drilling program consisting of 22 drill holes (6737m) was
carried out. A “defined mineral resource” was calculated below the 27th level,
indicating 1 773 374 t grading 7.4 g/t (0.215 oz/ton) Au. 130 gold intersections
were calculated between the 26th and 30th levels their breakdown
Category Grade Tonnes Milled Au
(kg) Au (oz)
Proven 8.7 0.254 503 685 3980 127 360
Probable 7.0 0.204 1
038 505 6612 211 584
Possible 6.6 0.193 413 018 2465 78 880
Resource 7.4 0.215 1 773 374 13 058 417 856
Approximately 40 % of the
total reserve (727 498 t grading 7.4g/t, 0.215 oz/ton gold) occurs in the 97
In 1986, San Antonio Resources dropped their option and
Brinco mining was later alamagated with Cassiar Mining Corporation. Cassiar
hired Killborn Engineering Ltd. to carry out a feasibility study on the San
Antonio Deposit, the results indicated a proven and probable reserves at 1.3
million t grading 7.7g/t (0.223 oz/ton). Killborn recommended extending the
shaft 275 m into the 28th level, as they felt there was a possibility of 1244 kg
(40 000 oz) Au
per year. In 1987, Cassiar’s plans to reopen the mine were
stopped by the stock market crash, which sent the price of gold plunging.
Gold Corporation bought the San Antonio mine for $3.2 Million and shares from
Cassiar in 1989 (Northern Miner, February 1989). Rea Gold’s reviews of the
previously gained data showed the mine reserves at 1.2 million t grading 7.5 g/t
(0.22 oz/ton) Au, below the 26th level and 301 400 t grading 6.6 g/t (0.192
oz/ton), above the 26th level. Capital costs were put at $18.8 million and
operating costs were estimated to be $86/t (or $78.53/ton), with increases
expected due to plans for additional shaft sinking and new mining, milling and
hoisting equipment (Northern Miner, June 5, 1989).
In 1994, Rea announced a
$3 million exploration and development plan for the mine, assisted by a grant
from the Manitoba Government for $743 000 and a “new mine status” designation,
which would allow them concessions in payment of taxes. The first phase of the
revitalization was completed April 1994. Exploration and development continued
until November 1995, when Rea announced that it would go ahead with production
based on a feasibility report concluding that 900 t/day was reasonable. By 1996,
the mine was determined to have a gross reserve of 3.4 million t grading 9.5
g/t. This was a conservative estimate, as it was statiscally calculated that
grades as much as 4 times higher might be reliable (Northern Miner, February 12,
1996). Production started in the first quarter of 1997, with plans to improve
ventilation with the construction of 750 new raises. In December 1997, Rea Gold
Corporation and it’s subsidiary Bissett Gold Mining Company Ltd. filed for
bankruptcy after failing to reach an agreement with their principal lender, N.M.
Rothschild & Sons Ltd, regarding the US$23 Million debt owed to Rothschild.
After bankruptcy papers were signed, the directors of Rea Gold and Bissett Gold
Mining resigned and operations at the San Antonio mine ceased. Rea Gold was
delisted from the TSE December 23, 1998.
In June 1998, South Africa’s Harmony
Gold Mines bought the San Antonio property for $14 million, from the receivers
handling the bankruptcy of Bissett Gold Mining. The mine was renamed Harmony
Gold mine, and capital expenditure and development programs were started.
Production began in the 4th quarter of 1998, with the expectation of a
production of 30 000 t/month Au to be reached by 2000, as proven reserves
estimates have been confirmed by extensive drilling and development (Canadian
Mines Handbook, 2000-2001).
By 2001, with production lagging and gold prices
dropped to US$271/oz Harmony Gold Mines Ltd. is closed the mine. In February
2002, Wildcat Explorations picked up the property from Harmony. Wildcat paid $5
million in up front costs, with an additional $4 million to be spread over 4
years. As of 2002, Wildcat is conducting EM and Mag surveys of the
1932-1968: produced approximately 37,320.4 Kg (1.2 million oz) of gold
and 5971 kg (192,000 oz) of silver.
1982: produced 348.66 kg (11\210 oz)
gold, 59.13 kg (1901 oz) silver
1983: produced 126.2 (4057) gold 22.084 g
(710 oz) silver, May 1983 production ceased.
2000: 38 311 oz Au
Canadian Mines Handbook 2001: Harmony Gold Mines; 2000-2001 Canadian
Mines Handbook, p. 195.
Canadian Mines Handbook 2001: Rea Gold
Corporation; 2000-2001 Canadian Mines Handbook,
1950: Geology of the Wanipigow Area, Rice Lake Mining Division; Publication
Manitoba Mines Branch.
Davies, J.F., Bannatyne, B.B., Barry,
G.S., and McCabe, H.R. 1962: Geology and Mineral Resources of Manitoba; Manitoba
Duval, D. 1984: San Antonio mine aims for production; The
Northern Miner, Vol. 69,
No. 45, p. 1, 2.
Financial Post Survey of
Mines 1969: Maclean-& Hunter Ltd., Toronto, p. 195.
Branch: Annual Report on Mines and Minerals; 1st-p. 146; 2nd-p.44;
4th-p.42; 5th-p.44; 6th-p.49; 7th-p.72; 8th-p.92; 9th-p.96;
10th-p.117; 11th-p.101; 12th-p.82; 13th-p.73; 14th-p.58; 15th-p.73; 16th-p.74;
17th-p.63; 18th-p.54; 19th-p.67; 20th-p.83; 21st-p.73; 22nd-p.73; 23rd-p.78;
24th-p.76; 25th-p.76; 26th-p.74; 1982-83-p.17, 1983-84-p.17.
Mines Branch: Corporation Files; Gabrielle Gold Mines Limited,
Mines Branch: Corporation Files; San Antonio Gold Mines
Manitoba Mines Branch: Corporation Files; Scarab Mines
Manitoba Mines Branch: Mining Engineering Files; Gabrielle Gold
Manitoba Mines Branch: Mining Engineering Files; San
Antonio Gold Mines Limited.
Manitoba Mines Branch: Mining Engineering
Files; Scarab Mines Limited.
McRitchie, W.D., and Weber, W. (Ed) 1971:
Geology and Geophysics of the Rice Lake Region, Southeastern Manitoba (Project
Pioneer), Publication 71-1; Manitoba Mines Branch.
Mineral Policy Sector:
Corporation Files: Brinco Limited; Energy, Mines and Resources,
Mineral Policy Sector: Corporation Files: Lathwell Resources
Limited; Mines and Resources, Canada
Mineral Policy Sector: Corporation
Files: New Forty Four Mines Limited; Mines and Resources, Canada
Policy Sector: Corporation Files: San Antonio Mines Limited; Mines and
Mines Branch, 1932: Investigations in Ore Dressing and
Metallurgy; Report 724
(No. 367), p. 116-122; Report 771, 1937, Ottawa, p.
Northern Miner 2000: The Northern Miner, November 6-12,
Northern Miner 2001: The Northern Miner, September 17,
Northern Miner 2002: Wildcat Buys Bissett Mine; The Northern Miner,
February 18, 2002.
O'Keefe, D. 1984: New government geology survey spurs
Lathwell Resources to rework
Manitoba's legendary San Antonio gold mine;
International Prospector and Developer, Vol. 7, No. 1, Jan/Feb,
Reid, J.A., and Kennedy, D.J. 1933: The San Antonio gold mine;
Canadian Institute of Mining
and Metallurgy Bulletin, August,
Richardson, D. J and G. Ostry: 1996: Gold Deposits of Manitoba;
Department of Energy
and Mines, ER86-1, pp.14-17
1935: Gold in Canada, Publication 769; Mines Branch, Ottawa.
Staff of San
Antonio mine: The San Antonio Mine and Mill, Transcript; Canadian Institute
Mining and Metallurgy.
Stephenson, J.F. 1972: Gold deposits of the
Rice Lake-Beresford Lake area, Southern
Manitoba; University of Manitoba,
(Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis).
Stockwell, C.H. 1938: Rice Lake-Gold Lake
area, southeastern Manitoba; Memoir 210,
Geological Survey of Canada, p.
Stockwell, C.H. 1945: Rice Lake (Marginal Notes); Geological
Survey of Canada.
Stewart, J.W. 1980: Gold Mines of Manitoba, ES 80-1;
Mineral Resources Division,
Department of Energy and Mines.
1983: Geology and gold environments in the Bissett/Wallace Lake portion of the
Lake greenstone belt, in Manitoba Mineral Resources Division, Report on
Field Activities 1983, p. 101-106.
Whyte, J. 1996: Rea Gold brings San
Antonio into the 1990s; Northern Miner, February
J.F. 1932: Geology and mineral deposits of a part of south east Manitoba, Memoir
Geological Survey of Canada, p. 80-86.
Manitoba Mines Branch: Map 52 M/4SE, circa 1974, Claim Map Series;
Mining Recording, Manitoba Mines Branch, claim map, scale 1:31
Manitoba Mines Branch: Map (Unpublished), Gabrielle M.C., 16852, Lot
5, Group 124; Mining
Recording, Manitoba Mines Branch, survey, scale
Manitoba Mines Branch & Geological Survey of Canada 1966: Map
4073 G; Wanipigow;
Manitoba Mines Branch & Geological Survey of Canada,
scale 1:63 360.
McRitchie, W.D., and Weber, W. 1971:
Map 71-1/4,: Geology of the Wanipigow River-
Manigotagan River Region; 1:63
360 scale, geological map, accompanying report by McRitchie and Weber
Mining Recording, Manitoba Mines Branch: Map (Unpublished), San
Antonio M.C., 16863, Lot 46, Group 124; Mining Recording, Manitoba Mines Branch,
survey, scale 1:2400.
Stockwell, C.H. 1945: Map 810 A, Rice Lake Area;
1:63 360 scale, geological map,
accompanying Marginal Notes by Stockwell
(1945), Geological Survey of Canada.
Surveys & Mapping Branch 1966:
Map 52M/4, Wanipigow; Surveys & Mapping Branch,
Ottawa, topographic map,
scale 1:50 000.
Wright, J.F. 1932: Map 195 A, Beresford and Rice Lakes
Area; 1:63 360 scale, geological
map, accompanying Geological Survey of
Canada, Memoir 169.
The original exploratory work on Gabrielle M.C. was done by Gabrielle
Mines Limited. In 1935, the company sold its claims to San Antonio M.C. Some
exploration took place from 1914 to 1930. San Antonio Mines Limited, which later
became San Antonio Gold Mines, acquired the property in 1930. Ore-bearing
quartz veins were found in metasediments (andesite, quartzite
andesite-porphyry). The veins were continuous for over 610 m and cross
GGS; HRW; JR; JJJ
06-62 01-74; 05-74; 03-84, 06-85; 06-02