The Pellaire occurrence is located on a ridge east of Falls River, approximately 3 kilometres west of the north end of the lower Taseko Lake.
In the Upper Taseko Lakes area, south of the Tchaikazan fault, strata are comprised of intimately interbedded volcanic, volcaniclastic and clastic sedimentary rocks of the Lower Cretaceous Taylor Creek Group. Intrusive rocks of the Jurassic to Tertiary Coast Plutonic Complex truncate the stratified rocks to the south and southwest.
The Pellaire occurrence area covers a contact zone between Coast Plutonic Complex biotite-hornblende granodiorite and volcanic and sedimentary rocks of the Taylor Creek Group. Auriferous quartz veins are primarily within a lobe of granodiorite extending northwards into both flows and pyroclastics that are well- altered to a siliceous hornfels over a distance of approximately 800 metres. Sedimentary lithologies are similarly hornfelsed but are not as extensive. The quartz veins extend beyond the volcanic/ intrusive contact for only a short distance in the volcanics but their associated fault/shear structures extend a considerable distance.
A total of at least 10 veins (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, A, B, South, South East and Zero) have been discovered in the area. Veins 1 through 5 and the A and B veins are located with in the main mine area and extend for a distance of approximately 1000 metres south to the Zero vein. Two other veins, the East and South East, have been identified on a ridge to the east. The No. 3 vein (750 metres long by 3 metres wide) is the main structure; the No. 4 and No. 5 veins are splays off it. The main veins strike east or northeast with 30 to 60 degree dips to the north or northwest toward the volcanic/intrusive contact. On surface, vein widths vary from 0.3 to 7.7 metres and are exposed for up to 225 metres strike length. Drilling has indicated that some veins extend at least 182 metres down-dip.
The quartz veins are found along steeply dipping, southeast- verging reverse faults that juxtapose rocks of the Taylor Creek Group against the granodiorite. Extreme sericitic alteration of both the Taylor Group and the adjacent granodiorite occurs around the veins and is likely related to vein formation rather than to intrusion. Quartz veins are hosted by granodiorite. Basic dikes cut, and are cut by, veins. Grade increases where veins or dikes intersect veins or dikes.
The veins are composed of limonite and occasionally malachite-stained friable quartz with voids of weathered-out sulphides, dominantly pyrite with lesser chalcopyrite. Fault gouge selvages are common as is gouge within the veins. Gouge most often appears to have been granodiorite but occasionally appears to have been quartz. As reported by Warren (1947), the veins carry less than 3 per cent metallic minerals, which include in approximate order of abundance: pyrite, chalcopyrite, galena, sphalerite, arsenopyrite, tetrahedrite, hessite, altaite, pyrrhotite, magnetite, bornite, gold, tetradymite, cosalite, antimony and wehrlite. The hessite, which carries the bulk of the precious metal, occurs veining quartz, pyrite and chalcopyrite, and as disseminations in these minerals and in galena, tetradymite and wehrlite. Some of the gold is residual and has been left behind in veins and pockets after hessite.
Associated with each vein is a wide sericite alteration zone. Pervasive sericitization is very strong near veins with a decrease to weak sericite development in feldspars in the outer fringes of the zone. In places wallrocks are intensely silicified and carry pyrite. Carbonate is common in minor quartz veins but weathering has obscured whether it was present in the main veins.
In 1987, diamond drilling (DDH 87-7) intercepted the No.5 vein and averaged 1.8 grams per tonne gold and 11.3 grams per tonne silver over 0.39 metre (Assessment Report 16864).
In 1996, a bulk sampling program from the 731 adit, extracted 1,270 tonnes and delivered a 858.74- tonnes sample to the Trail smelter that yielded 46.5 grams per tonne gold, 152.5 grams per tonne silver and 88.7 per cent silica (Assessment Report 25959)
In 1998, a 0.635- tonne surface bulk sample from the No. 3 and 5 veins yielded an average of 70 grams per tonne gold, while diamond drilling intercepted values up to 32 grams per tonne gold over 2.0 metres (Assessment Report 25959).
Results of four bulk samples (5 kilograms each) from the No. 3 vein ranged from 40.47 to 386 grams per tonne gold and 184 to 1407 grams per tonne silver (Press Release, International Jaguar Equities Inc., July 8, 1999). Approximately 800 tonnes of high grade ore was mined from the No. 3 vein.
In 2008, sampling of the veins yielded up to 90.0 grams per tonne gold, greater than 100 grams per tonne silver, 0.013 per cent molybdenum and 0.11 per cent copper from the No.1 vein; 0.2 to 1.1 grams per tonne gold with 5 to 18 grams per tonne silver from the No.2 vein; greater than 100 grams per tonne gold and silver with 0.39 per cent copper from the No.3 vein and 63 grams per tonne gold with greater than 100 grams per tonne silver from the No.4 vein (Assessment Report 30536).
In 2008, sampling on the “East Ridge” area, located approximately 1.2 kilometres to the east of the main workings, yielded values up to 0.3 gram per tonne gold and greater than 100 grams per tonne silver from a quartz diorite with minor sulphides (Sample D8-E3R; Assessment Report 30536). The following year, sampling of the “Zero” veins in the “Red Rock” area, located approximately 800 metres to the south of the main workings, yielded up to 0.53 gram per tonne gold, 9.1 grams per tonne silver and 0.133 per cent copper from a quartz- veined granodiorite that has been intruded by a porphyritic diorite (Sample WP39C-4806; Assessment Report 31319). In 2010, two rock samples (WP458 and WP466) from the “Zero” vein area assayed up to 0.808 gram per tonne gold, 8.8 grams per tonne silver and 0.643 per cent copper (Assessment Report 32006). Also at this time, a sample (WP373) of andesite with quartz veins and disseminated pyrite-chalcopyrite from the “North” zone, located approximately 3 kilometres to the north- north east, yielded up to 6.0 grams per tonne silver and 0.464 per cent copper (Assessment Report 32006).
Probable geological reserves are 30,841 tonnes grading 22.9 grams per tonne gold and 78.8 grams per tonne silver; possible geological reserves are 36,284 tonnes with the same grade respectively (Statement of Material Facts 50/88, Lord River Gold Mines Ltd., June 1, 1988).
The occurrence was originally discovered in 1936 and, during the following year, a number of trenches were completed and the “Pellaire” adit was driven on the No.1 vein. In 1945, Pellaire Mines completed three diamond drill holes and over the next two years four adits (744, 734, 748 and 738) were driven on the No. 1, 4, 3 and 5 veins, respectively. In 1973, Silver Standard Mines completed a program geochemical sampling and geological mapping. In 1981, Lord River Gold Mines drove two adits (734A and 731) for a distance of 66 metres. In 1987, Cathedral Gold and Lord River Gold Mines completed 12 diamond drill holes, totalling 1335.1 metres, and 48.8 metres of underground development.
In 1995, International Jaguar Equities Inc. acquired the property and completed 200 metres of raise, crosscut, sub-drift and stopes in the 731 adit during the following year. A bulk sampling and exploration program was also completed at this time. The balance of 450 tonnes of the approximately 2000 tonnes of high-grade ore (e.g., 34.2 grams per tonne gold and 102.9 grams per tonne silver), mined during 1996 from two adits and raises on the No. 4 and 5 veins, was scheduled to be delivered to the Trail smelter during November 1997. During that year, the company carried out a program of mapping, trenching and sampling on eight of the known veins on the property. The company also completed an engineering report on the 1997 underground operation. The following year, International Jaguar drilled nine underground and two surface holes, totalling 600 metres, conducted a minor bulk sampling program and completed 11.1 metres of underground development. Zelon Chemicals acquired the property in March 2000 and over the next year 14,500 tonnes of rock was reportedly extracted from open cuts on the No.3 and 4 veins, producing 1080 tonnes of ore of an unknown grade.
During 2005 through 2016, Valor Resources, in conjunction with Zelon Chemicals, completed programs of silt, soil, rock, biogeochemical, metallurgical and bulk sampling, trenching, a 4.8 line-kilometre ground geophysical survey and an 89.0 line-kilometre airborne geophysical survey on the area. Anomalous gold and silver values were identified on a ridge 1.2 kilometres to the south east.