About five kilometres northwest
of the town of Ladysmith is the rounded summit of Mount Hayes. Logging
roads circumvent the mountain and clear-cuts are the dominant feature
scarring the landscape. One kilometre west of the mountain FortisBC Energy,
Inc., formerly known as Terasen Gas, has constructed a storage facility
that holds 1.5 billion cubic feet of Liquified Natural Gas which was completed
in 2011 and can be seen from the summit, however, the surrounding views
are not very exciting as the mountain is under 600 metres in elevation.
Fortunately, of historical interest is the old Thistle claim located 1.5
kilometres northeast of the summit of Mount Hayes which dates back to
description of the site and mineral composition of the Thistle claim is
from the Ministry of Energy Minfile No. 092GSW020:
showing consists of a mineralized vein, traceable over 31 metres and
from 5 to 305 wide hosted in granodiorite. The vein is coarsely crystalline,
composed mainly of quartz irregularly intergrown with feldspar and minor
mica. The vein is reported to to host up to 10 per cent chalcopyrite,
bornite and molybdenite make up perhaps 10% of the vein matter. Development
consists of two short adits, one 8 metres above the other, connected
by a short inclined level and a stope. [A stope is the open space left
behind after the removal of the wanted ore from an underground mine.]
This work, done by the Vancouver Exploration and Development Company
in 1904-05, showed the vein to be too small and too low grade to be
of economic importance.
was restaked in 1939-40 as the Duff and Good Strike mineral claim, registered
in the name of H.C. Duffus. In 1942 these were leased to the Ladysmith
Copper Syndicate, but apparently no further development work was carried
In the 1963
Minister of Mines Report, four claims on Mount Hayes were owned by F.W.
Wilson and M. Keeble and called "Molly" #1-4 (former Thistle
claim). By the end of the 1965 season, H. Laanela wrote a report on the
Mount Hayes Copper Showing which was published in February 1966 and printed
are located on steep cliff facing northerly north of Mt. Hayes, south
of an old logging road (washed out culverts) from Ladysmith to Halsam
Creek. Access via a road just south of Cassidy airport on main highway.
rock is altered, in place gabbroic, diorite, with some andesite volcanic
rocks (Sicker group) nearby. This diorite stock forms the mass of Mt.
Hayes; around its margins much dark, coarse gabbroic rock can be found;
near summit it consists of hybridized and mixed intrusive with cherty
sediments. There seem to be sets of long SE-NW trending faults in Nanaimo
sediments on either side of the intrusive body.
outside the lower adit some quite rich looking massive bornite, with
chalcopyrite and molybdenite in quartz matrix was seen. Some copper
stain was seen on cliff above adit, but no vein was seen.
it was revisited with T.F. Schorn, the lower adit was entered and the
upper adit, directly above the lower one, was entered by crawling up
a stope. A sketch map was made of the workings. The vein, which the
workings follow, was very good grade of massive ore, but rather narrow,
averaging 2-6 inches in workings, and seemingly pinching out to almost
nothing in most cases. In the end of southerly cross-cut in lower adit
it is still 6 inches wide in the bottom of a shallow stope, general
dip of vein is 30? or less westerly, into the mountain side. Another
shallow stope was filled with water. Stoped out part of the workings
follows the vein into the upper adit.
I.F. claim posts were in front of adits: staked on July 3 and 4, 1964
by C. Klemm, with location line running NW-SE along the base of the
cliff. Adit is apparently in "Molly" #4 claim, driven WSW.
blazed trail, hard to follow, was found on road below, leading to showing
530' above the road in elevation. Adits are in good shape, no timbering.
Parts of the old rails are still found in adit. An old steam-boiler
was seen below the adit and remnants of old corduroy-road, all possibly
50-60 years old.
Thistle claim, which comprises of two adits, can be reached from the end
of a logging road by a short trail which climbs steeply up to the lower
portal. Old rail tracks can still be seen on the floor of the lower adit
and veins of copper are easily recognized on the walls. At the water-filled
stope at the end of one on the adits branches, another steep stope angles
up to the upper adit, but it is very slippery. The upper adit can be reached
from the outside by the use of a rope up the steep rock wall from the
lower adit. Outside the lower entrance is the dump where rock from the
claim was emptied out by the ore carts. By sifting through the rock interesting
specimens can be found by rock hounds and lower down the slope in a clearing
in the forest are the remains of where a cabin once stood and an old ore
to Thistle claim
tracks in lower adit
display in adit
leading to upper adit