The Walloper showing is located northwest of Lac le Jeune and the Coquihalla highway, approximately 20 kilometres east of Logan Lake and 25 kilometres southwest of Kamloops.
Outcrop is generally sparse on the Walloper or Melba property, with the southern portion mainly covered with accumulations of overburden and glacial till up to 40 metres in thickness; however, the eastern portion of the south grid contains exposures of outcrop. Mapping has indicated that Upper Triassic Nicola Group basaltic tuffs, tuffaceous sediments and possibly mafic volcanic rocks are intruded by a 12-square-kilometre Triassic intrusion varying in composition from gabbro to diorite to monzonite to monzonite-diorite breccia. The Nicola rocks are generally grey to green in colour and vary from blocky to schistose in nature and are cut by narrow quartz and carbonate veinlets in a number of outcrops. A coarse-grained, grey, metamorphosed intrusion varying from granite to quartz diorite in composition intrudes a tuff unit along the eastern boundary of the property and has been dated Early Jurassic.
Four types of mineralization have been identified on the property. The two main types of mineralization are lead-zinc–bearing mesothermal quartz veins, and precious metal–bearing epithermal quartz veins and chalcedonic breccia associated with pyritic sericite-carbonate alteration zones. Porphyry copper-gold and precious metal–bearing mesothermal quartz veins are also present on the property.
A trench (Trench H) was excavated during 2001 and intersected a number of narrow quartz veinlets with minor galena and sphalerite. The quartz veinlets are from 1 to 10 centimetres wide, strike northerly and dip steeply east and west. They occur with narrow shears and follow the foliation in the host Nicola rocks and form a weak quartz stockwork, with veinlets occurring at one to two-metre intervals in some sections. Traces of pyrite and galena occur along rusty fractures at surface outcrop. Significant amounts of the galena-bearing quartz vein float exist in the eastern portion of the property. The float pieces are up to 0.5 metre in size and contain up to 3 per cent galena with trace pyrite and sphalerite.
Exploration in 2008 identified three separate showings: the Melba, Tent and Vein showings. The Vein showing is a precious metal–bearing mesothermal quartz vein, and the Tent and Melba showings occur within the chalcedonic breccia zone.
At the Vein showing, a one-metre-long section of white to translucent quartz vein is exposed in outcrop along a cat trail. The vein varies from 30 to 70 centimetres in width, strikes at 207 degrees and has an apparently vertical dip. Scattered mesothermal quartz vein float occurs over a 150-metre strike length. The float is up to 0.75 metre in size. The quartz is weakly fractured and varies in colour from translucent to rose. Trace pyrite and chlorite are present, along with minor rusty boxworks scattered throughout.
A 2001 trenching program exposed chalcedonic breccia along a strike length of approximately 28 metres at Trench B. The breccia zone consists of angular fragments of white to translucent chalcedonic quartz and green, silicified gabbro occurring in a matrix of fine-grained, chalcedonic quartz and/or white quartz stockwork. A number of generations of veining are evident along with minor amounts of pyrite and magnetite. Contact with the wallrock is not usually sharp, but gradational. The breccia zone occurs along a major structural feature, with foliated Nicola rocks on the hangingwall and gabbroic rocks on the footwall. The hangingwall consists of a 1 to 2-metre-wide fault with varying amounts of chalcedonic quartz, silicified gabbro and carbonate breccia fragments in green, chloritic gouge. The footwall tends to contain the strongest zone of chalcedonic breccia, with the remainder of the breccia zone made up of narrow faults, unaltered gabbro, silicified gabbro with a white quartz stockwork and other narrow sections of chalcedonic breccia.
On surface, the chalcedonic breccia zone ranges from 3 to 5 metres wide, strikes northerly and dips from 45 to 60 degrees west. The breccia zone was tested and intersected by eight drillholes collared at Trench B in 2001 and an additional six drillholes in 2008. The drilling extended the strike length of the zone to a minimum of 43 metres and a vertical depth of 45 metres. In drill intersections, the zone width varies from approximately 6 metres in DDH-O1 (21001 in Assessment Report 30636) to 2 metres in DDH-05 (21005), indicating the zone may be narrowing at depth. The breccia zone was also intersected in DDH-11 (21011), approximately 350 metres south of Trench B; this intersection was approximately 3.8 metres in width. Drillcore samples yielded gold values in the 20 to 110 parts per billion range, with a maximum value of 665 parts per billion across 0.65 metre (Assessment Report 26775).
The Tent showing consists of gold mineralization within a weak stockwork of mesothermal quartz veins hosted in strongly carbonate altered Nicola Group rocks. Quartz veinlets are generally narrow (5 to 30 millimetres in width), make up less than 5 per cent of the rock and contain minor pyrite. The veinlets strike approximately 300 degrees and dip vertically. The showing was first identified in drillhole 21009 (DDH-09 in Assessment Report 26775) and later intersected in drillholes 28017 and 28018 during the 2008 drill program.
The first documented exploration in the area took place in the early 1970s; however, several historic hand-excavated pits of unknown age have been located on the property. From late 1970 to 1971, Canadian Johns-Manville Company Limited carried out an extensive exploration program of grid preparation, electromagnetic and magnetic geophysical surveying, 12.9 line kilometres of induced polarization surveying, geochemical sampling and diamond drilling on the Pine, Fir and Hill claims situated to the east and covering the eastern portion of the GA claims. In total, 1084 soil and 98 twig samples were collected and four diamond drill holes were completed. Four small, moderate induced polarization anomalies were delineated in the area of the M-8 claim; several small, weak soil and twig geochemistry anomalies were delineated in the area of the GA claims.
In 1972, Texal Development Limited carried out a 249-sample soil geochemical survey on the WT claims situated in the western portion of the Melba property.
Between 1977 and 1978, Cominco Limited carried out extensive exploration programs on the Chum claims, staked over a previously unrecognized alkaline stock bearing pyrite and trace chalcopyrite. The Chum claims were situated over the M-2 to M-5, GA-7 and GA-8 claims on the Walloper property. During that time, Cominco completed geological mapping, prospecting, 71 kilometres of grid, 6 kilometres of magnetic surveying and 25 kilometres of induced polarization surveying.
In 1987, the M & R claims were staked by the Afton Operating Company to cover the ground previously held by Cominco Limited. The following year, Afton Operating Company completed a program of reconnaissance soil sampling and percussion drilling. Three percussion drill holes were completed on the northern portion of the M-2 claims over a previously identified magnetic anomaly. An additional six-hole, 250-metre reverse circulation drill program was carried out in 1991 to test the southern portion of the alkaline intrusive.
In 1992, three diamond drill holes totalling 383 metres tested aeromagnetic and ground magnetic anomalies on the M & R claims on behalf of Teck Corporation.
In 1996, Walloper Gold Resources Corporation focused on the precious metal potential of the M and GA claims area and discovered mesothermal and epithermal quartz vein and breccia float with anomalous gold values (up to 700 parts per billion). The mineralized float was found over a 400-square-metre area on the south grid and contained up to 3 per cent galena with trace pyrite and sphalerite. Work that year consisted of geological mapping, very low-frequency electromagnetic (85.5 kilometres) and ground magnetometer (90.3 kilometres) surveys, grid work (94 kilometres), and soil (1281 samples), rock (115 samples) and silt (19 samples) geochemistry.
Between 1998 and 2000, minimal work programs were carried out for assessment purposes. These programs consisted of establishing grid lines (8.5 kilometres) and very low-frequency electromagnetic (7 kilometres) and ground magnetic (6.8 kilometres) surveying. A newly discovered showing consisting of carbonate and quartz flooding within a fault zone was sampled.
In 2001, Walloper Gold Resources Limited completed nine mechanical trenches totalling 2822.1 square metres and11 NQ2 diamond drill holes totalling 484.58 metres, constructed and rehabilitated 1.2 kilometres of road and analyzed 1783 soil samples collected during the 1996 exploration program. In total, 217 rock and 221 core samples were collected and sent for analysis. Eight of the 11 drillholes tested the chalcedonic breccia zone exposed during trenching.
By 2008, the property was held by HTI Ventures Corporation and known as the Melba property. That year, an eight-hole NQTK diamond drill program totalling 780.75 metres tested the north and south ends of the chalcedonic breccia zone.
Rock samples collected from Trench H in 2001 yielded up to 0.23 per cent lead and 0.2 per cent zinc (Assessment Report 26775). Rock samples from Trench B, excavated and sampled in 2001, yielded gold values generally in the 20 to 340 parts per billion range, with a maximum value of 2 grams per tonne gold across 0.75 metre (Assessment Report 26775). The best result from Walloper Gold Resources’ 2001 drill program was DDH-07 (drillhole 21007 in Assessment Report 30636), returning 0.665 gram per tonne gold over 0.65 metre (Assessment Report 26775, page 27).
The most significant results obtained from the Melba showing during HTI Ventures’ 2008 program were drillhole 28011, returning 1 metre of 0.14 gram per tonne gold, and drillhole 28016, returning 1.09 metres of 0.135 gram per tonne gold (Assessment Report 30636, pages 19 and 23). At the Tent showing, drillhole 28017 returned 23.1 metres averaging 0.416 gram per tonne gold, including 5.79 metres averaging 0.416 gram per tonne gold and including 1 metre of 0.97 gram per tonne gold (Assessment Report 30636, page 26).