The Harrison Gold occurrence is located at the southeast corner of Harrison Lake, approximately 5 kilometres north of Harrison Hot Springs.
Gold mineralization on the Abo property is identified in nine zones. It occurs within quartz veins commonly associated with pyrrhotite, hosted by quartz dioritic stocks and, to a lesser extent, metasedimentary rocks.
The Harrison Lake shear zone is a right-lateral transcurrent fault that splays northward into an imbricate fan of high-angle brittle faults. In part, it passes along and parallel to Harrison Lake. The Harrison Gold property comprises a stratigraphic succession of sedimentary and volcanic rocks of the Cretaceous Brokenback Hill and Peninsula formations (Fire Lake Group) bounded on the east by the major Harrison fault and Tertiary granodiorite of the ‘Hicks Lake Batholith’. The Harrison fault separates Fire Lake Group rocks from Cretaceous and/or Tertiary, mainly greenschist facies, mafic to intermediate volcanics and phyllite of the Slollicum Schist. The Harrison fault is a 1 to 2-kilometre-wide fracture zone with a well-developed cleavage dipping 50 to 70 degrees east but with no marked linear fabric within it. Several possible fault splays cut across the Harrison Gold property.
The Harrison Gold occurrence is underlain by sediments and volcanics of the Brokenback Hill Formation comprising green crystal tuff, volcanic conglomerate and tuffaceous sandstone in the lower part of the section, and volcanic flows, pyroclastics, argillite and sandstone in the upper parts. This sequence conformably overlies a coquina bed of the Peninsula Formation. The sediments and volcanics have been intruded by numerous quartz diorite stocks that are probably related to the Hicks Lake Batholith (Chilliwack Batholith). The age of one such stock, the Jenner stock, has been dated at 23 to 25 Ma. A feldspar porphyry dike also intrudes the package. Pelites of the Devonian to Permian Chilliwack Group are in fault contact with the Brokenback Hill Formation in the southern parts of the property.
Gold mineralization invariably occurs mainly as free visible flakes up to 2 millimetres in size (generally 0.2 to 0.6 millimetres or less) within quartz veins (approaching a weak stockwork system). The mineralized quartz veins are confined to quartz diorite intrusive bodies (Jenner, Portal, Hill and Lake stocks) or to their immediate periphery. Gold mineralization is not known to occur more than 2 to 3 metres outside the quartz diorite intrusions. Gold also occurs in association with open-space sulphide fillings within a hydrothermally altered breccia pipe (Breccia zone).
The Jenner stock is a small irregular plug or apophysis of quartz diorite that has intruded sedimentary and volcanic rocks of the Brokenback Hill Formation. It is composed of two main intrusive phases: a medium- to coarse-grained hornblende-biotite quartz diorite phase that occupies the central and upper portions of the stock, and a fine-grained biotite-(hornblende) quartz diorite phase found mainly in the lower portions. Numerous thin, high-angle felsic and, less commonly, mafic dikes are present throughout the stock. Disseminated and evenly distributed mineralization within the Jenner stock consists of 1 to 3 per cent pyrrhotite, minor pyrite and chalcopyrite and traces of molybdenite. In its upper levels, the stock is roughly circular to elliptical (80 to 110 metres in plan), becoming more elongated (60 by 150 metres) with depth. It plunges 80 to 85 degrees to the east and its overall 3D shape can be described as pipe-like. Portions of the stock, mainly along its footwall contact, are occupied by a contact breccia phase that is transitional from a breccia containing quartz diorite and country rock fragments in a quartz diorite matrix, to one containing only country rock fragments. Several large xenoliths (40 by 20 by 5 metres) or roof pendants are also found within the stock.
The main deposit is the Jenner stock zone. Gold-bearing vein systems within the Jenner stock are predominantly low-angle structures. The quartz veins containing gold mineralization are associated with gently dipping (15 to 40-degree) veins that form a conjugate set and bisectrix; minor subvertical veins also contain gold. In addition to these low-angle veins, the dominant features are large, low-angle, west- and east-dipping compressive reverse faults that cut both country rocks and the stock. These faults have resulted in thrust development, shearing and localized vein offsets. The higher grade portions of the Jenner stock tend to be at its margins. A northwest-trending, possibly postmineralization fault, the Jenner fault, passes through the stock. Shearing and faulting is commonly associated with an assemblage of pyrite, carbonate and chlorite. Weak to locally strong propylitic alteration of the stock is ubiquitous and consists primarily of chlorite and carbonate.
The veins containing the gold mineralization are composed of a gangue of quartz with minor calcite, chlorite and sericite. The major sulphide mineral is pyrrhotite with minor to trace amounts of pyrite, chalcopyrite, molybdenite, scheelite, arsenopyrite, galena and sphalerite. Bismuth-silver tellurides are present and have been observed as intergrowths with native gold grains. The amount of native gold present in a given vein does not appear to correlate directly with the presence of any sulphide nor with its relative concentration. The highest gold concentrations are found along the mineralized western contact (Footwall zone) of the Jenner stock. Strong sericitic alteration envelopes with widths up to several centimetres are commonly developed around mineralized quartz veins.
The Portal stock is located 300 metres southwest from the Jenner stock. It is separated into two distinct domains: The western portion is a roughly circular body with an average diameter of 140 metres and smooth or regular contacts; the eastern portion is dike-like, narrowing from approximately 100 metres in the west to 40 to 50 metres near the eastern contact, with irregular or bulging contacts. The entire stock is plunging approximately 70 degrees to the east.
Gold-bearing quartz vein attitudes (gold zones) appear to be oriented horizontally to subhorizontally within the Portal stock. Overall, the zones appear to dip 15 to 20 degrees to the west and 5 to 20 degrees to the south. Drilling to date suggests that gold grades within the zones improve toward the intrusive contacts, particularly the northern contact. A drill intersection of a well-mineralized zone averaged 3.17 grams per tonne gold across 30 metres (Assessment Report 19584). The sericite in these veins from the Portal stock adit gives a potassium-argon age of 24.5 Ma +/- 1 Ma (Fieldwork, 1984). Gold mineralization also appears to be associated with the northern contact or footwall of a felsic dike. The dike is a quartz-flooded granite or diorite with intense associated chlorite-sericite-biotite-silica alteration along internal fractures and quartz veins and 2 to 10 per cent disseminated pyrrhotite.
The Lake stock is located 1650 metres south from the Jenner stock and is the largest and best exposed of the gold-bearing diorite stocks. Massive in texture, it varies little in composition from margin to margin except for local variations in the size of amphibole and the amount of biotite. The stock locally contains up to 3 per cent finely disseminated pyrrhotite. Quartz veins are not common and are found predominantly near the margins of the stock. The occasional vein contains visible gold with grades up to 2.24 grams per tonne (Assessment Report 19584).
The Hill stock is located 700 metres south from the Lake stock. Gold-silver mineralization is associated with quartz +/- carbonate-pyrrhotite-pyrite, +/- molybdenite +/- arsenopyrite veins. These veins pass into the sedimentary country rock but the amount of gold and strength of veining generally decreases substantially and finally dies out within a short distance of the host quartz diorite. The mineralized zone containing the veins weakens laterally outward, is relatively flat lying and is controlled by low-angle veining similar to the Jenner-Portal–style mineralization. Gold-silver grades range up to 23 and 57 grams per tonne, respectively, across a 1-metre drill intersection (Assessment Report 20144).
A sulphide-bearing (pyrrhotite-sphalerite-chalcopyrite) breccia pipe (Breccia zone), which is strongly sericitized, chloritized and silicified, is spatially related to the Hill stock. It occurs on the west margin of the Hill stock. The breccia contains fragments of the surrounding country rocks and occasional fragments of quartz diorite. Fragments are mainly 5 to 10 centimetres in diameter with some rotation but no apparent milling or grinding. Sulphide mineralization occurs as open-space fillings. The zone has surface dimensions of 325 by 100 metres. A zone of 29 metres averaging 1.56 grams per tonne gold, 4.4 grams per tonne silver, 0.56 per cent zinc and 0.04 per cent copper, including 7 metres averaging 3.56 grams per tonne gold, 9.3 grams per tonne silver, 1.2 per cent zinc and 0.049 per cent copper, occurs at the margins of the breccia pipe (Assessment Report 20144). Recent drilling has indicated that the strength of hydrothermal alteration and the grade of gold-silver-zinc mineralization has weakened downdip and laterally outward from the aforementioned 29-metre zone of mineralization.
In 1972, 643 tonnes of ore was extracted from surface underground workings and a further 37 tonnes was extracted in 1979. The total production recovered from this came to 31 590 grams gold, 10 139 grams silver and 616 kilograms copper. From 1982 to 1984, Abo Oil Corp. conducted mapping, ground geochemical and geophysical (electromagnetic) surveys, underground exploration and 3582 metres of drilling in 34 holes. From 1984 to 1986, Kerr Addison Mines conducted mapping, geochemical surveys and 3196 metres of diamond drilling in 28 holes. From 1987 to 1988, Kerr drilled more than 1000 metres in 22 holes. From 1987 to 1992, Bema International Resources Ltd. (in agreement with Kerr) conducted geochemical and geophysical (magnetic) surveys, detailed mapping and 9468 metres of diamond drilling in 45 holes. During 1987, a 1053-tonne bulk sample was procured from the Jenner stock underground workings on the 187 level.
In estimating grade and tonnage of the Jenner stock zone, a general assumption was made that the average grade resulting from the underground workings would extend to surface and depth. A grade of 3.2 to 4.1 grams per tonne gold was indicated from underground sampling, with an inferred tonnage of 1.3 million tonnes between surface and 100 metres above sea level and 2.2 million tonnes from surface down to sea level for the ‘Footwall zone’ (Assessment Report 20144).
From 1992 to 1996, Pacific Comox Ltd. drilled 290 metres in two diamond drillholes. Global Gold Inc. purchased the property in 1998 but failed to maintain the option, allowing the claims to lapse in 2000. Late in 2000, Eagle Plains Resources Ltd. acquired the ground within hours after the claims forfeited. In 2001, Eagle Plains had Fugro Airborne Surveys Corp. conduct a 215-kilometre airborne electromagnetic and magnetic geophysical survey.
In 2003, Northern Continental Resources Ltd., under an option agreement with Eagle Plains Resources Ltd., completed a four-hole diamond drilling program totalling 681.3 metres. Drilling further tested the margin of the Hill stock, together with the newly discovered North Hill stock zone. Northern Continental Resources Inc. released resource figures in 2003 for the combined Jenner and Portal zones (Press Release, February 18, 2003). The indicated resource is 1 845 000 tonnes grading 2.79 grams per tonne gold; the inferred resource is 600 000 tonnes grading 2.8 grams per tonne gold. In 2005, Northern Continental drilled a further 2468 metres in 10 diamond drillholes during a two-phase drilling program focused on expanding the resource in areas of known mineralization and testing new zones of interest. Drilling was completed in the Portal stock, Breccia zone, Hill stock and two previously untested areas. Drilling in the Portal stock encountered occasional auriferous veins deemed unsuitable for bulk underground mining, and a new gold zone was discovered on the northwest contact of the Hill stock.
Northern Continental Resources allowed the option to lapse in 2006, shortly after Eagle Plains Resources Limited transferred control of the property to its newly formed subsidiary, Copper Canyon Resources Limited. In 2007, Egoli Resources Incorporated optioned the property; however, the option was terminated in 2009 due to a failure to meet obligations on the property. Copper Canyon Resources Limited resumed work on the property in 2010. The Portal and Jenner adits were surveyed and an airborne photometric survey was conducted for the purpose of orthorectification of an existing terrain resource information management (TRIM) 1:35 000 colour air photo. The photo was then used to generate digital base data, including a digital elevation model (DEM).