The MAPLE LEAF past producer is located on the east side of Mount Franklin, approximately 1 kilometre east of the summit.
The principal mineral showing occurs in a small tectonic lens of coarse-grained syenite, part of the middle Jurassic Averill Complex. This lens is contained within hornfelsed metasediments of the Devonian-Triassic Harper Ranch (Franklin) Group. Several hundred metres to the east there is a cover of Eocene Kettle River and Marron Penticton Group) volcanic rocks. Coryell Intrusions, exposed father east, are believed to be co-magmatic with the Marron Formation volcanic rocks. Andesite dikes are noted in several locations.
The MAPLE LEAF claim was located by H.W. Young on October 14, 1902. In 1906, the claim was bonded to the Dominion Copper Co., who carried out a program of stripping and trenching which revealed rich exposures of chalcopyrite. A 1913 report describes a 6-metre shaft sunk on a contact between limestone (later described as a grey, fine-grained, siliceous intrusive) and a quartz porphyry intrusion. Also exposed in the shaft is a barren fault zone. This area is referred to as the upper workings in later reports. Approximately 225 metres to the south, a 45-metre crosscut was driven, without success. This adit became known as the MAPLE LEAF adit.
In 1915, Maple Leaf Mines, Ltd. was incorporated to develop the property. During the period 1915-16, they produced 36 tonnes of hand sorted ore which yielded 62 grams of gold, 6200 grams of silver and 2735 kilograms of copper. It is reported that the 2 train-cars of ore averaged 5.6 and 9.6 per cent copper respectively, and approximately 8.0 grams per tonne platinum, although no smelter credit was given for platinum (Thomlinson, 1920).
Platinum, associated with chalcopyrite, was investigated on the MAPLE LEAF property in 1918. Three samples assayed 5.1, 5.8 and 13 grams per tonne platinum respectively; the latter sample was almost pure chalcopyrite (Minister of Mines Annual Report 1918, page K206). The average of 2 high-grade samples collected from the upper workings assayed 1.36 grams per tonne gold and 5.47 grams per tonne platinum (Thomlinson, W. (1920): Mineral Investigations - Platinum, Munitions Resources Commission, Canada, Final Report, page 162).
In 1921, a stock market promotion of Maple Leaf Mines collapsed, leaving a 104-metre tunnel on the adjacent BEAVER L.1611 (082ENE080) Crown grant, and a partly constructed 45-tonne smelter.
In 1927, the MAPLE LEAF property was bonded to the Hecla Mining Company. It is not recorded if Hecla carried out any work on the property.
In 1932, the MAPLE LEAF property, now owned by Bartell and associates of Oroville, Washington, was bonded to J.F. McCarthy, the owner of the adjacent UNION mine (082ENE003). In 1932, the MAPLE LEAF adit was extended, and a new crosscut was begun on a level 30 metres below the adit. Only pyrite was found in the new crosscuts. Diamond-drilling in 1933 also failed to identify any new ore.
By 1965 Franklin Mines Ltd. had acquired most of the Franklin camp, including the MAPLE LEAF area. They carried out geological mapping, detailed channel sampling and magnetometer surveys over several mineral occurrences in this area. Channel sampling in the MAPLE LEAF area returned average assays of 0.187 per cent copper over an aggregate length 127.25 metres and 6.02 grams per tonne platinum over an aggregate length of 106.8 metres (Assessment Report 637). Channel sampling in the MAPLE LEAF adit over an aggregate length of 23.9 metres assayed 0.067 per cent copper and 0.034 gram per tonne platinum (Assessment Report 637). Two diamond drillholes were drilled near the MAPLE LEAF adit in 1965. One hole intersected 30 centimetres of massive pyrite and chalcopyrite near the collar (Minister of Mines Annual Report 1965, page 173). This intersection reportedly assayed 8.25 grams per tonne platinum, and elsewhere, drillhole intersections assayed up to 8.86 grams per tonne platinum and 1.36 per cent copper over 4.26 metres (Property File - McDougall, J.J. (1985): Report). Details of this drill program are not on record.
In 1966, Geofax Surveys Ltd. carried out an induced polarization survey for J.A. McDougall over the PAR claim, which had been staked over the MAPLE LEAF adit. Adjacent parts of the DODGE and KINGFISHER claims were also covered. High chargeability readings were found several hundred metres to the north and east of the upper workings.
In 1970, La Mota Mt. Industries Ltd. carried out an exploration program over the KINGFISHER claim group, which included the PAR claim. Some geological mapping, soil sampling and trenching were carried out in the MAPLE LEAF adit area, but most of the work was carried out to the north and east of the adit. Additional mapping, sampling and a magnetometer survey were carried out by La Mota Mt. Industries in 1971-72. Only a few soil sample lines were filed for assessment work and no anomalies are indicated.
In 1984, Pearl Resources Ltd. optioned the PAR and KINGFISHER claims as part of a large property position they had assembled around the UNION (082ENE003) mine. Most of the work was directed at the UNION mine and no work was recorded for the PAR and KINGFISHER claims.
In 1985-86, Longreach Resources Ltd. staked and optioned much of the Franklin camp area, including the MAPLE LEAF showing. Longreach carried out an extensive program in 1986 which, in the MAPLE LEAF area, included geological mapping and geophysical surveys. Several magnetic highs were found in the area but not over the adit. A weak VLF-EM conductor was found to cut through the MAPLE LEAF adit. A 16-hole diamond-drill program was carried out on the MAPLE LEAF property in 1986; 7 holes were drilled in the adit area. Drillhole DDH-12 intersected 0.61 metre, between 1.82 metres and 2.43 metres, which assayed 3.52 per cent copper, 1.52 grams per tonne platinum and 2.84 grams per tonne palladium (Assessment Report 15746). The MAPLE LEAF adit was blown-up by Longreach while trenching at this site.
In 1987, Longreach's property, now known as the PLATINUM BLONDE property, was optioned to Placer Dome Inc. who proceeded to carry out a major exploration program in this area. A grab sample (No. 22026) collected by Placer assayed 2.6 per cent copper, 1.02 grams per tonne platinum and 2.55 grams per tonne palladium (Assessment Report 17273). Placer drilled hole number PDI 87-40 (90.22 metres) a short distance south of the MAPLE LEAF adit. The hole encountered a thick package of unmineralized hornfelsed sedimentary and volcanic strata.
Placer drilled 2 holes near the upper workings, known as the MAPLE LEAF crush zone. Earlier drilling in 1986 by Longreach had intersected a thick section of crushed, oxidized and weakly mineralized trachytic syenite. The fault zone consists of a thick section of crushed trachytic syenite which is cut by andesite dikes. The zone is locally silicified and/or cut by quartz veins. The more highly deformed sections contain disseminated pyrite and are auriferous where accompanied by intense silicification. Hole number PDI 87-38 intersected a 36.58 metre section from 120.69 to 157.27 metres which assayed 0.166 gram per tonne gold (Assessment Report 17273).
Sample with elevated PGE noted above is from chalcopyrite bearing syenite at the maple leaf adit in the Averill Plutonic complex. The samples are said to represent Early Mesozoic mineralization at Maple Leaf (greater than 150 Ma) (GeoFile 2002-2). This age assignment is at odds with the Coryell assignment usually given.
Detailed mineralogical work indicates that mertietite (Pd11(Sb,As)4 is present (GeoFile 2002-2).