The Wagner deposit is at 2450 metres elevation near the summit of "Duncan Knob" a ridge in a glacier at the head of Miller Creek, a minor tributary of Stevens Creek, which flows into the Duncan River. The property is on the west side of Similarity Mountain. It is on the Duncan (L.3472) tenure, which is part of a major northwest trending cluster that includes the Lardeau (L.3470), McCartney Fr. (L.3471), Duncan (L.3472), Ould Jim Fr. (L.3473), Ella (L.3474) and Lardeau Fr. (L.3477) crown-granted mineral claims. The neighbouring Sheep Creek [082KNW050] prospect is on the Lardeau Fraction and is part of the same tenure group.
The original Wagner Group claims (Lardeau, McCartney Fr., Duncan, Ould Jim Fr., Ella and Lardeau Fr.) were owned by C.T. Porter and Associates from about 1893. They collared a portal above a glacier, at about 2450 metres elevation on the Duncan claim, and drove 50.9 metres of drift and crosscuts and sunk a 16.7 metre winze prior to crown-granting the claims, in 1900. C.T. Porter, one of the original owners, incorporated Wagner Mines Limited in 1903 but little work of importance was done on the property at that time. However, the Princess Marie (L.3475) and Queen Mary (L.3469) claims were added to the tenure package. They cover the Princess Marie [082KNW225] showing, which is on strike to the southeast.
Leadridge Mining Company Limited, a subsidiary of St. Joseph Lead Company of New York, held the Wagner in 1949. It trenched the property and diamond drilled 6 holes in the vicinity of the workings and to the southeast; two intersected mineralization but core recovery was poor and no worthwhile results were obtained. Sheep Creek Mines Limited optioned the property in 1951 and, the following year, the company drove a new adit at 2225 metres elevation on the Lardeau claim (See Sheep Creek [082KNW050]). This adit is on the far side of the glacier, approximately 900 metres southeast of the original workings. The adit was driven as a crosscut and drift for 184 metres to explore what was presumed to be the same vein. Granby Consolidated Mining, Smelting and Power Company Limited optioned the Wagner and adjacent tenures (totalling 76 claims) from J. Gallo of Howser, in 1955; however, no work was reported and the agreement terminated at the end of the year. In 1958, Mr. Gallo carried out some surface stripping on a portion of vein exposed by recession of the glacier.
Silvex Resources Corporation optioned the property in 1981 and drove a lower drift adit (Silvex adit) into the "Duncan Knob" at about 2470 metres elevation, 38 metres below the original adit. At that time, the adit was driven 39.6 metres, a raise was begun and 6 holes were diamond drilled for an aggregate length of 330 metres. This enabled the company to establish a prelimiary resource estimate. In 1982 the raise was extended 12.1 metres and a small ore shipment made by lessees. Following several years of negotiation, Turner Energy & Resources Limited acquired the Wagner property from a diverse ownership, in 1985, and, by joint venture agreement farmed 70 percent interest in the property to Mikado Resources Limited. That year, work on the property included trenching, sampling, development in the Silvex adit, rehabilitation of the Sheep Creek adit, and shipment of high-grade development ore. Silver State Resources Incorporated held the adjacent Redcliff 1 and 2 claims (among others) in 1985 and carried out geological mapping and geochemical rock sampling programs. Turner Energy & Resources acquired the Silver State's (S.M.R. Technologies Limited) properties in October 1985. Work in the Silvex adit in 1985-86 included 14.3 metres of drifting, 10.7 metres of raising and the drilling of 7 underground diamond drill holes. The "Sheep Creek" adit was also rehabilitated. In 1989, 2500 tonnes of development ore was shipped to Trail. The Trout Lake area is underlain by a thick succession of sedimentary and volcanic rocks of the Badshot Formation and Lardeau Group near the northern end of the Kootenay arc, an arcuate, north to northwest trending belt of Paleozoic and Mesozoic strata that is now classified as a distinct, pericratonic, terrane. The arc rocks are bordered by Precambrian quartzite in the east and they young to the west, where they are bounded by Jurassic-age intrusive complexes. They were deformed during the Antler orogeny in Devonian-Mississippian time and were refolded and faulted during the Columbian orogeny, in the Middle Jurassic. A large panel, the "Selkirk allochthon", was later offset to the northeast by dip-slip motion along the Columbia River Fault.
The Badshot Formation is composed of a thick Cambrian limestone that is a distinctive marker horizon in the Trout Lake area. It is underlain by Hamill Group quartzite and it is overlain by a younger assemblage of limestone, calcareous, graphitic and siliceous argillite and siltstone, sandstone, quartzite and conglomerate, and also mafic volcanic flows, tuffs and breccias, all of which belong to the Lardeau Group. The rocks are isoclinally folded and intensely deformed, but only weakly metamorphosed. They occur as intercalated beds of marble, quartzite and grey, green and black phyllite and schist. Fyles and Eastwood (EMPR BULL 45) subdivided the group into six formations (Index, Triune, Ajax, Sharon Creek, Jowett and Broadview) of which the lowermost (Index) and uppermost (Broadview) are the most widespread. The Triune (siliceous argillite), Ajax (quartzite) and Sharon Creek (siliceous argillite) are restricted to the Trout Lake area. The Jowett is a mafic volcanic unit.
The Wagner property is underlain by deformed, isoclinally folded, northwest striking, southwest dipping calcareous and carbonaceous phyllite and phyllitic schist of the basal part of the Index Formation and limestone of the upper part of the Badshot Formation. The mineralization is located in quartz-carbonate veins in the phyllites and schists close to the limestone contact. Near the mine, the rocks strike at 130 degrees and dip from 40 to 70 degrees to the southwest. The limestone contact is 183 metres east of the upper adit on the Duncan claim. The only intrusive rock in the area is an aplite sill, 150 metres northeast of this adit.
There is a 3.0 metres wide banded quartz vein with abundant inclusions of phyllilte exposed on the top of a knoll that juts out of Wagner glacier and an adit was driven 76 metres below the crest of the ridge, in 1897. The adit was driven in a major mineralized shear zone which is between 9 and 123 metres wide, strikes 115 degrees and dips 65 degrees southwest. The zone is comprised of mixed quartz veins, veinlets and phyllite fragments. It approximates the strike and dip of the enclosing phyllites. The quartz veins are commonly fractured and average 1.5 to 3.0 metres wide. They are associated with minor amounts of calcite, ankerite and graphite. Some of the smaller veinlets are extensively boudinaged. The vein on top of the knoll lies on strike with the adit vein and dips steeply west. It contains a lens of "heavy" galena-sphalerite mineralization, 0.6 metre wide, near its hanging wall. Fifteen metres to the west, there is a small band of galena. The main vein can be traced on the surface 18 metres to the top of the glacier. At that level, and 7.6 metres southwest, there is another, irregular, 1.5 metre wide quartz vein that is slightly mineralized with pyrite and galena. Below the glacier, at the 2133 metres elevation and approximately 1000 metres along strike to the southeast, there are similar quartz veins and mineralization in the Sheep Creek [082KNW050] area.
The quartz veins generally contain disseminated sulphide. However, they are cut by massive veins of pyrite, galena, sphalerite and tetrahedrite, with lesser amounts of chalcopyrite. These veins occur throughout the area of quartz veining and range in width from 7.0 to 91 centimetres. Discrete high-grade shoots, varying from 1.0 to 2.4 metres in width and having 24 to 30 metres of strike length, also occur. Polished sections show that rounded grains of pyrite and dark brown or black sphalerite are cut and replaced by agentiferous tetrahedrite and galena. Chalcopyrite is found as rare disseminated specks in the sphalerite. The gangue is quartz with minor calcite. Spectrographic analysis indicates the presence of tin (George Cross News Letter #163, 1981).
Silvex's work in 1981, gave indications of at least 20,000 tonnes averaging 15 per cent lead and 685.7 grams per tonne silver (Northern Miner October 10, 1981, page 20). However, in 1985, Mikado extracted some as development ore from the Lower (Silvex) adit. The company planned to drive the adit through the knob and day-light out on the other side. It also planned to construct a raise to the upper adit and drill off the vein to depth. Recoveries from custom ore from 1982 to 1989, totaled 198,484 grams silver, 622 grams gold, 160,484 kilograms lead and 83,620 kilograms zinc from 2654 tonnes. Measured "reserves" for the Wagner property are reported to be 99,802 tonnes grading 8.75 per cent lead, 3.70 per cent zinc, 0.3 gram per tonne gold and 416.5 grams per tonne silver. Indicated "reserves" for the Wagner property are 25,887 tonnes grading 4.58 per cent lead, 4.78 per cent zinc, 0.10 gram per tonne gold and 234.8 grams per tonne silver. Indicated "reserves" for the Wagner property are also 23,287 tonnes grading 8.71 per cent lead, 2.24 per cent zinc, 0.13 gram per tonne gold and 302.6 grams per tonne silver (Filing Statement 99/89, Golden Arch Resources). At that time, Silver Peak Resources Limited held 70 per cent and Golden Arch Resources Limited helds 30 per cent of the joint Abbott [082KNW056] and Wagner [082KNW212] property.