The Bugaboo ore deposits are located in the head waters of Bugaboo Creek, approximately 11.5 kilometres north west of the Gordon River mouth.
The deposits consist of massive magnetite occurring within zones of pyroxene skarn formed along the contact of diorite of the Mesozoic and/or Paleozoic Westcoast Complex and a limestone roof pendant of similar age. The skarn appears to be of two phases. The first is an older garnet-epidote assemblage found only as a remnant within the massive magnetite; the second is the later pyroxene skarn that surrounds the magnetite body. Actinolite is a minor constituent in the zone of alteration.
The magnetite occurs as large, irregular massive bodies entirely surrounded by skarn. It is essentially free of impurities and has only a small percentage of included sulphides. Assays of magnetite yielded grades up to 69.2 per cent iron with 0.5 per cent sulphur (Minister of Mines Annual Report 1902, page H220). The only sulphides present are pyrite and pyrrhotite.
Two relatively high-grade orebodies, the Daniel and the Conqueror, have been located.
The shape of the Daniel orebody resembles a flattened cylinder with its axis oriented east of north and plunging about 20 degrees to the north. The orebody is apparently limited on all sides by extensive intrusions of dioritic and porphyritic rocks, with limestone found at depth below the ore. In 1957 through 1960, Noranda Exploration Company completed thirty drill holes, totalling 1893.4 metres, on the Daniel deposit. The drill indicated tonnage of the Daniel orebody is 1,537,000 tonnes. Additional probable ore of 508,000 tonnes raises the Daniel ore potential to 2,045,000 tonnes. The average grade of the Daniel ore is 55.67 per cent iron and 3.61 per cent sulphur (Menzies and Nicolls, 1960).
The Conqueror orebody strikes northwest and, on the surface is divided into the "West" and "East" pipe-like orebodies. Conqueror East plunges steeply west while Conqueror West appears to dip steeply south and thus may join the East body at depth. These orebodies are surrounded by recrystallized limestone, cut by porphyry dykes, and contain inclusions of unreplaced skarn. A large mass of diorite lies 60 metres to the south. In 1957 through 1960, Noranda Exploration Company completed thirty-one drill holes, totalling 2286.6 metres, on the Congueror deposit. The drill indicated reserves were reported to be 1,069,000 tonnes. Additional possible reserves of 1,252,000 tonnes have also been reported, of which 454,000 tonnes are probable ore. Conqueror ore averages 54.31 per cent iron and 2.21 per cent sulphur (Menzies and Nicolls, 1960).
A combined total indicated, possible and probable ore in the Daniel and Conqueror ore zones of 4.4 million tonnes magnetite is calculated (Property File - Noranda Mines Report 1960, Menzies, M. and Nichols).
In 2003 through 2011, Emerald Fields Resource and Pacific Iron Ore Corporation completed various exploration projects in the area as apart of the Pearson Project. These included prospecting, diamond drilling, ground and airborne geophysical surveys, geological mapping and geochemical sampling. In 2008, 51 NQ diamond drill holes, totalling 7872.26 metres, were completed on the Bugaboo deposits (Daniel, Conqueror and David (MINFILE 092C 023) zones). Multiple layers of magnetite with significant thicknesses and grade were intersected in 33 of the 51 Bugaboo drill holes (Assessment Report 30640). In 2009 through 2011, a further 66 drill holes, totalling 20,523.7 metres, were completed to upgrade the resource.
In early 2011, Pacific Iron Ore released an updated NI43-101 compliant inferred resource of 14.324 million tonnes inferred grading 60 per cent magnetite using a 20 per cent magnetite cut-off value (Assessment Report 32175).