Renewed interest in garnet mining near Apex Mountain Resort - InfoNews

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Renewed interest in garnet mining near Apex Mountain Resort

Garnet is pictured in this Wikimedia Commons photo. There has been renewed interest recently in the garnet deposits on Mount Riordan near Apex Mountain Resort.
Image Credit: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
March 29, 2019 - 4:31 PM

PENTICTON - Rekindled interest in garnet mining in the vicinity of Apex Mountain Resort in the South Okanagan has not gone unnoticed by members of the local property owners association.

A post to the Apex Property Owners Association’s website stated they were informed in a March 24 meeting that Mount Riordan could be mined again with test holes to be dug in May.

Property association spokesperson James Shalman says the group is seeking more information before commenting on the issue.

B.C. Minfile records show a group of claims totalling 84 hectares was recently staked and recorded on March 27 in the vicinity of the Crystal Peak garnet deposit on Mount Riordan by Bill Yeomans of West Kelowna.

Yeomans said it was “premature right now to talk" about plans for his claims.

“It’s a long ways from having anything to talk about,” he said, adding it was far too early to say what his plans were or "what might happen up there.”

Yeomans noted most of the ground has been staked and held in the area for more than 20 years.

Map showing heavily staked areas around Apex Mountain.
Map showing heavily staked areas around Apex Mountain.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/B.C. Minfile

Yeomans said garnets are a commodity in increasing demand as a filtration medium for turbid water and wastewater treatment, in addition to their use as an abrasive.

Ironically, he said the only garnet mine presently in operation in North America is located in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State, and operates right next door to one of the state’s largest ski hills. He said the Barton Garnet Mine on Gore Mountain has operated continuously beside the ski hill for more than 100 years and the ski runs are within 400 metres of the mine property.

Interest in mining on Mount Riordan is not likely to disappear anytime soon due to the high quality of the garnet.

Yeomans says Barton's garnet grade is 20 per cent, while many mining experts rate the Crystal Peak property as the largest, richest garnet deposit in the world at 80 per cent.

Interest in mining the Crystal Peak garnet deposit on Mount Riordan peaked in the early 1990s when a proposal by Polestar Exploration to build an open pit garnet quarry within two kilometres of Apex village proved unsuccessful. The proposal met with strong opposition from the Apex community and other environmental groups.

According to B.C. Minfile reports, the Crystal Peak deposit contains 17,955,000 tonnes grading 80 per cent garnet with further reserves of 1,848,200 tonnes grading 78 per cent garnet and indicated reserves of 10,663,380 tonnes grading 77 per cent garnet.

Mount Riordan is the site of a large, high grade garnet deposit. Garnets are used in water and wastewater filtration and as abrasives.
Mount Riordan is the site of a large, high grade garnet deposit. Garnets are used in water and wastewater filtration and as abrasives.
Image Credit: GOOGLE EARTH

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