The Wisconsin occurrence is located at 1889 metres elevation on the south side of Seeman Creek, a tributary of Midge Creek, approximately 39 kilometres east-southeast of Nelson.
The Wisconsin property is located near the southern end of the Kootenay Arc, a generally north-trending, west-dipping arcuate zone of metavolcanics and metasediments. The area is underlain by successively younger strata from east to west, ranging from the middle Proterozoic (Helikian) Purcell Supergroup in the east (by Kootenay Lake), through the late Proterozoic (Hadrynian) Windermere Supergroup and late Proterozoic (Hadrynian)-lower Cambrian strata of the Hamill Group (Badshot and Mohican formations) and lower Cambrian and younger Lardeau Group to the west. All successions are cut by middle to late Mesozoic intrusive rocks.
The base of the Windermere assemblage unconformably overlies the Purcell Supergroup and is marked by a distinctive polymict conglomerate of the Toby Formation. Conformably overlying the Toby Formation are mafic volcanics of the Irene Volcanic Formation consisting of green mafic tuffs and massive to schistose greenstone. The upper Windermere succession, in conformable contact with the Irene Volcanic Formation, is made up of Horsethief Creek Group rocks consisting predominantly of argillite "grit" and phyllite with interbeds of grey limestone, quartzite and conglomerate or diamictite. Some workers divide the Horsethief Creek Group into two formations: the basal Monk Formation, consisting of two phyllitic units divided by a grey limestone member, is overlain conformably by the Three Sisters Formation, which consists of grits, quartzite and conglomerate. An upper grit unit of the Three Sisters Formation is thought to form the top of the Horsethief Creek Group locally, marking the boundary with the conformably overlying Hamill Group (Assessment Report 14265).
The Wisconsin property is host to a stratabound sulphide horizon, occurring within the basal Horsethief Creek Group (Monk Formation) at the gradational contact between it and the underlying upper part of the Irene Volcanic Formation, a couple of hundred metres below the postulated fault contact with the Hamill Group. Hamill Group quartzites appear to be in fault contact with the lower Horsethief Creek Group immediately to the west of the Main zone sulphide horizon. Previous work shows the property to contain five or more arsenical base metal massive sulphide zones enriched in gold and silver. The mineralization shows evidence of recrystallization and local shearing in the Main zone area it is located within, or at the contact between, granodiorite and metasediments of the Horsethief Creek Group.
The Main zone is characterized by the presence of minor limestones, on the sulphide footwall, combined with a thicker and more extensive ankerite-dolomite-barite horizon at the southern extension of the sulphide horizon. The hangingwall to the sulphides are quartzites and sillimanite muscovite schists. The central portion of the sulphide zone has been extensively recrystallized and remobilized by a lobe of intrusive granodiorite that lies east of the main showings. In the vicinity of the sulphide horizon, at the main showing, the granodiorite exhibits crosscutting relationships to the sulphides and the host sediment-volcanic stratigraphy. All rock types are cut by late-state quartz veining. The granodiorite close to the main lobe of the intrusion has been incorporated as a complex system of sills within the host quartzites and volcanics. The footwall of the Main zone sulphides is formed by an interbedded sequence of quartzitic sediments and basaltic volcanics of the Irene Volcanic Formation.
The mineralization varies from massive to semi-massive, with varying proportions of arsenopyrite and pyrite making up the majority of the sulphides and lesser amounts of barite, galena, sphalerite, chalcopyrite, pyrrhotite and valleriite making up the remainder. Metallurgical examinations indicate that most gold is found as inclusions in chalcopyrite or within galena fracture fillings in pyrite and arsenopyrite. Thin section study of drill core indicates that alteration of the metasedimentary host rock is composed of muscovite, chlorite, sericite and carbonate. Further evidence in drill core shows at least two phases of mineralization: massive arsenopyrite-pyrite mineralization and lesser amounts of galena, sphalerite, arsenopyrite, pyrite and pyrrhotite associated with quartz veining (Assessment Report 14265).
Certain aspects of the Wisconsin deposit bear a striking similarity to the J & L "Sedex" deposit (MINFILE 082M 003) north of Revelstoke, including mineralogy, structure and a roughly similar position within the Horsethief Creek-Hamill sedimentary pile. It is probable that the Wisconsin deposit is a Sedex (sedimentary exhalative) type that has been remobilized in the vicinity of the later granodioritic intrusion and re-deposited along shears developed along the granodiorite-metasediment contact (Assessment Report 14265).
The Main zone consists of five mineralized zone, with the No.1 zone being the most significant. The zone occurs as a complex of lensoidal sub-zones of variable width, up to 9.5 metres, and dips 45 degrees to the north west. It has been traced along surface for a strike length of at least 300 metres and to a depth of 150 metres by drilling. The No. 2 zone, exposed by a short adit, consists of narrow limonitic shears near the contact between quartz diorite and siliceous schist. The No. 3 zone follows a narrow, 0.2- metre wide, but persistent shear in quartz diorite. The No. 4 zone occurs at the contact between quartz diorite and a marble horizon over 300 metres along strike with widths up to 3 metres. The No. 5 zone has been traced on surface for 45 metres with widths up to 4.4 metres.
Mineralization at Wisconsin has been extended by drilling 300 metres along strike and approximately 200 metres down-dip on the Main zone with indications of increased grade and thickness to the north (Assessment Report 14265).
In 1986, sampling yielded up to 46.6 grams per tonne gold with 108.3 grams per tonne silver over 2.0 metres from the No. 1 adit (No. 1 zone); 0.75 gram per tonne gold with 133.7 grams per tonne silver from a caved portal on the No. 2 zone and 7.6 grams per tonne gold with 787 grams per tonne silver over 1.7 metres from a trench on the No. 5 zone (Property File - C.J. Westerman [1986-06-05]: The Wisconsin Property).
In 1988, diamond drilling on the Main zone yielded intercepts up to of 6.5 grams per tonne gold with 30.8 grams per tonne silver over 8.1 metres, including 11.6 grams per tonne gold with 78.7 grams per tonne silver over 2.76 metres from hole 88-1 and 3.4 grams per tonne gold over 5.34 metres from hole 88-3 (Property File - Dutch Creek Resources [1988-04-25]: No. 79 (1988) - Drill Progress Reviewed).
In 1984, inferred reserves at the Wisconsin property were reported as 136, 065 tonnes grading 11.99 grams per tonne gold and 171.4 grams per tonne silver (Northern Miner, November 1, 1984).
In 1986, based on data from 1984 and 1985 diamond drilling, an indicated mineral reserve of 338, 921 tonnes grading 6.02 grams per tonne gold and 51.5 grams per tonne silver over an average width of 1.34 metres and to an (open) depth of 150 metres was reported in the Main (No.1) zone (Property File - C.J. Westerman [1986-06-05]: The Wisconsin Property).
The property originally consisted of two claims, the Wisconsin (Lot 2928) and Lucky Strike (Lot 2929), which were Crown-granted to C.A. Fleming & associates in 1899. Details of early activity are lacking but development work prior to 1903 included trenching, two crosscut adits and drifts totalling approximately 131 metres and a winze from No. 1 adit. By 1903, five mineralized zones were being explored, with the No. 1 zone exposed over 244 metres in 13 surface cuts and by 56 metres in two crosscut tunnels, 13 metres of crosscuts and drifting on the No. 2 zone, a short shaft and open cut on the No. 3 zone and 11 surface cuts on the No. 4 and 5 zones. During 1903 through 1915, 244 metres of crosscutting and 75 metres of drifting were completed on the No. 3 adit in the area of the No.3 and 5 zones.
The property remained idle for many years, possibly due to the complex nature of the ore. The Porcupine Goldfields Development & Finance Company, Limited examined the property in 1926. Interior Mine-Development Company, Limited was incorporated in May 1928 by O. Frith and associates, of Nelson, to acquire a lease on the property. An electrical survey was carried out late that year by the Radiore Company of Canada. Eastern Canadian Interests examined the property in 1930 and identified a 500 metre long conductive zone, associated with the No. 1 zone. A Spokane company, General Mining, Milling & Leasing Company, reportedly held the property for a short period. In 1933, Vancouver interests, under the name Lucky Strike Mining Syndicate, carried out trenching, sampling and approximately 305 metres of diamond drilling in three holes.
In 1935, A.C. Frost and associates, of Seattle, acquired a lease on the property from the owners, C. Hussey and A. Fleming, of Spokane, and the H. Stambaugh Estate, of Youngston, Ohio. Sixteen adjacently located claims in three groups were acquired: the Aerielle and Belkap groups by staking and the Strathcona group by lease from E.C. Wragge & associates, of Nelson. Work to mid- 1937 included deepening the winze to 49 metres and drifting on the 46-metre level of the No. 1 zone. Samples were sent to the Mines Branch, Ottawa, for tests.
A lease on the property was acquired in approximately 1939 by E. McQuade, of Ymir, apparently under the name Vendors, Limited. Canadian Exploration, Limited optioned the property in 1940 and carried out 76 metres of drifting and 55 metres of crosscutting on No. 1 level. The workings to date included numerous open cuts, a 34-metre shaft, and five adits. No. 1 adit was composed of approximately 192 metres of drifts and crosscuts and a 49-metre winze; approximately 229 metres of drifting and crosscutting was done from the 46-metre winze level. Adit No. 3 was composed of approximately 296 metres of drifts and crosscuts and was located down slope to the east- south east of the No. 1 and 2 adits on the former Kaslo mineral claim. Adits No. 2, 4 and 5 were together composed of approximately 61 metres of drifts and crosscuts; No. 5 adit is located roughly between adits No. 1-2 and adit No. 3. The No. 4 adit is located to the northwest, near the border of the former Strathcona and Nelson mineral claims, on the other side of the ridge to the north east.
Esperanza Explorations Ltd. optioned the property in 1980 from owners Fleming, Stambaugh and associates. Work that year included geological and geochemical surveys. In 1984, BP Selco Inc. optioned the property. Work in 1984 and 1985 included geological mapping, an electromagnetic survey over 24 kilometres and 2618 metres of diamond drilling in 14 holes. In 1987 and 1988, Dutch Creek Resources Ltd., under an option agreement with Esperanza Explorations, carried out geophysical surveys and diamond drilling. Ronald Granger conducted geochemistry, geological work and prospecting on the DI claims in 1997.