The Salal Creek molybdenite prospect is located in the headwaters of Salal Creek, a stream which flows into the Lillooet River approximately 70 kilometres northwest of Pemberton. The prospect is mostly above the treeline at altitudes of approximately 2000 metres and higher.
The geology of the region in which the prospect occurs is dominated by felsic intrusions of the Coast Plutonic Complex, which ranges in age from Jurassic to Tertiary. Whereas most of the plutons in this belt are no younger than Eocene, the Salal Creek pluton has been dated as Miocene, making it one of the youngest felsic plutons exposed in the Pacific Ranges. Plutonic rocks of the Coast Plutonic Complex in the Pemberton region have been intruded into Upper Triassic metavolcanic rocks of the Cadwallader Group and, to the west of these rocks, into Lower Cretaceous volcanic rocks of the Fire Lake, or Gambier, Group. Overlying the plutonic and volcanic rocks are basalt flows of the Pleistocene Garabaldi Group.
Regionally, the Salal Creek prospect is underlain by a quartz monzonite body known as the Salal Creek stock, which covers an area of about 60 square kilometres and is both texturally and compositionally zoned. These zones are: i) a coarse-grained marginal phase; ii) a medium-grained intermediate phase; iii) a fine-grained core phase and iv) an irregularly distributed quartz-feldspar porphyry phase. Aplite dykes and irregularly shaped masses of quartz-alkali-feldspar pegmatite occur throughout the stock.
Hydrothermal alteration of the stock comprises an outer chlorite zone assigned to a propylitic alteration facies; an inner chlorite zone, suggested to represent a transition between propylitic and argillic facies; an outer sericite zone representing argillic alteration and an inner sericite zone or potassic alteration facies. Silicification and quartz veining, along with secondary potassium feldspar and biotite, occurs in this inner zone with illite and veins of orthoclase and manganese-bearing epidote.
Superimposed on the above alteration facies is an outer hematite zone, an intermediate hematite-magnetite-pyrite zone and an inner magnetite-pyrite zone.
Molybdenite is concentrated in two zones, one in the northern part of the stock and the other in the southern part. These zones and a number of smaller ones form a discontinuous ring centred on the fine-grained/coarse-grained quartz monzonite contact. Molybdenite occurs as veins associated with quartz and/or pyrite, as veins and joint coatings with no associated gangue minerals and as disseminations. Other minerals present include chalcopyrite, sphalerite, fluorite, galena, specularite and magnetite, generally occurring as fracture fillings with pyrite, K-feldspar and molybdenite.
The Float Creek showing is part of the Salal property, and is approximately 70 kilometres northwest of Pemberton.
Molybdenum mineralization in the form of quartz-molybdenite±pyrite veins occur in a medium-grained, variably quartz-sericite altered quartz monzonite
The area was discovered by Phelps Dodge in 1958 and staked in 1960. Phelps Dodge then conducted prospecting and sampling on a trail from upper Trail Creek toward upper Float Creek.
In 1962, the claims lapsed and were staked by Pemberton Prospecting and Mining Syndicate before Phelps Dodge was able to renew them.
In 1964, Norpax Nickel Mines optioned the property, completed sampling in the Float Creek area and attempted a diamond drillhole, but were forced to abandon it due to rock slides.
From 1965 to 1966, Southwest Potash Corp. optioned the property and staked additional ground. They then completed a program of surveying, geological mapping, reconnaissance geochemistry and diamond drilling. Highlights of this program included sample 7502, which assayed 0.31 per cent molybdenum at the Float Creek showing (Assessment Report 00709).
In 1967, Amax completed eight diamond drillholes totaling 2123 metres on the Salal Creek intrusion.
In 1970, Cerro Mining Company of Canada Ltd. optioned the property and completed silt and talus sampling as well as geological mapping and an airborne magnetometer survey.
In 1971, Silver Standard Mines carried out a helicopter-borne magnetometer survey over Salal Creek.
In 1972, Dr. George C. Stephens published a PhD thesis at Lehigh University on the Salal Creek pluton.
In 1973, BP Minerals Ltd. optioned the property from Salal Molybdenum Mines Ltd.
In 1975, two diamond drillholes totaling 1107.30 metres were completed on the property by BP Minerals Ltd.
In 1976, BP Minerals Ltd. completed IP and magnetometer surveys, as well as a single drillhole.
In 1977, Utah Mines Ltd. optioned the property from BP Minerals Ltd. and explored the property under a joint venture from 1977 to 1979. In that time they created new topographic maps from air photos, conducted detailed mapping over the Salal pluton and completed a single 941.5-metre drillhole.
In 1984, the joint venture filed an application for re-analyses of 354 stream sediment samples to assess the gold-hosting potential of the area.
In 1996, Verdstone Gold Corp. completed an exploration program of geological mapping, soil and rock sampling and diamond drilling on the Salal property. The drilling was focused on the Float Creek showing, but did not intersect any significant mineralization.
In 2007 and 2008, Paget Minerals conducted small exploration programs to confirm past accounts of mineralization on the Salal property. Work included mapping and rock sampling in the Mud Lake and Logan Ridge area in the northern section of the property.
In early 2010, Miocene Metals Ltd. conducted airborne geophysical surveys over the Salal property.
In late 2010 and throughout 2012, Miocene Metals Ltd. completed a program of sampling, prospecting, mapping and drilling on the Salal property. A grab sample from the Float Creek area assayed 0.310 per cent molybdenum (Assessment Report 32913).