David K. Joyce

Recent Activities -BBC Mine, La Paz County, Arizona

Recently, I visited the BBC Mine, near Bouse, in La Paz County, Arizona. The BBC Mine is also called the BCC Mine and I've heard both used regularly. The goal was to find some good hematite crystals. I was introduced to the the locality a couple of years ago by my friend Paul Wray and was encouraged by the nice quality of hematite crystals we found in a relatively short period of time. The crystals were not stupendous but enough to make me want to go back and try a little harder! So Paul agreed to go back again. He has a great, roomy pick-up truck that has been on trips to many,many old mines over the years both in the Yukon, Canada and around Quartzite, where Paul lives during the winter. He and his wife Liz operated the Yukon Rock Shop near Whitehorse, Yukon, the rest of each year. Daniel Joyce and John Krenzel went with us this time.
The BBC Mine consists of a number of small underground and surface workings that was developed as a copper property years ago. I believe the idea was to mine coper rich mineralization and heap leach it to recover the copper. There was at least one small leach pad constructed, probably for metallurgical testing. It is a small leach pad and doesn't seem like it would be associated with an economic operation.
The BBC Mine mineralization is hosted by iron formation. The beds of hematite are laced with secondary copper mineralization on surface and, I expect sulphide mineralization at depth. It is easy to find malachite and chrysocolla all through the area. We were after nice hematite crystals but also found some very good goethite pseudomorphs after pyrite crystals that we were not expecting.

 

Recent Activities -BBC Mine, La Paz County, Arizona

This is the view of the road to the BBC Mine, looking back towards Bouse, AZ. Rough road, mostly following washes.

Recent Activities -BBC Mine, La Paz County, Arizona

A pic of yours truly checking out an adit on the BBC claim. Didn't go in. I was looking at the surrounding rock which is largely iron formation laced with secondary copper mineralization. We didn't find much of interest here, other than very rich massive and veinlets of chrysocolla in hematite. Photo by D.D. Joyce

Recent Activities -BBC Mine, La Paz County, Arizona

This is a view of the trench where we found the best crystals. Not much to look at but seems to be an excavation on a bedded iron formation. Not as much copper mineralization here but more open spaces with hematite and quartz crystals. We didn't do any heavy excavating but broke open boulders in and around the trench. That is Daniel, in the photo, checking things out.

Recent Activities -BBC Mine, La Paz County, Arizona

Daniel checking out the rocks, near the trench with fairly desolate desert in the background.

Recent Activities -BBC Mine, La Paz County, Arizona

This is what the east side of the trench looked like. The idea was to see what we could find in surface material and possibly return at some future time for more serious digging in the actual deposit, if warranted.

Recent Activities -BBC Mine, La Paz County, Arizona

View from the adit area at BBC Mine.

Recent Activities -BBC Mine, La Paz County, Arizona

There are a couple of small buildings located a short distance from the workings. The one that is set in a dug-out area inthe ground looks like it was the explosives magazine and the other the blasting cap magazine. The powder mag is now filled with diamond drill cores in boxes. No particularly interesting core that we could see, though!

Recent Activities -BBC Mine, La Paz County, Arizona

Here is the team; Paul, Steve and Daniel, gathered around Paul's truck just prior to leaving.

Recent Activities -BBC Mine, La Paz County, Arizona

A particularly nice late winter view of the landscape from near the adit showing the beautiful "desert poppies" that start to bloom that time of year.

Recent Activities -BBC Mine, La Paz County, Arizona

A 15mm hematite crystal on matrix associated with small quartz crystals. Individual hematite crystals can be nice here but I didn't find any "specimens" that stand-up as a display example.

Recent Activities -BBC Mine, La Paz County, Arizona

Another nice hematite crystal, 14mm tall, with brilliant luster. It is not damaged but is a sort of composite crystal with suturing and stepped growth.

Recent Activities -BBC Mine, La Paz County, Arizona

A nice 20mm vug of hexagonal hematite crystals in quartz-hematite matrix. Most of the crystals are encrusted with what I think is caliche and are actually difficult to expose, unless etched out of calcite or revealed in a closed cavity.