Skarn mineralization in the Deer Lake area occurs where Upper Triassic limestone of the Nicola Group is cut by gabbro and diorite of the Triassic-Jurassic Dum Lake Intrusive Complex. Lakeview, the most significant of these showings, is located near the southwest corner of Deer Lake.
The property lies within the Quesnel terrane and covers Upper Triassic Nicola Group volcanic and sedimentary with numerous intrusions. The area is strongly faulted with a general northwest strike. Intrusive rocks are granitic to mafic in lithology.
The skarn alteration and mineralization at the main Lakeview prospect is well exposed in a series of trenches, pits and small adits. The area contains very little natural bedrock exposure, but local outcrops and trenches indicate that similar alteration and mineralization occurs, at least locally, for several hundred metres to the south and north, defining a northerly trending belt more than 1 kilometre long (Assessment Report 20014). At the Lakeview occurrence, garnet-pyroxene exoskarn and endoskarn are developed.
Mineralization associated with the skarn includes massive to semimassive lenses, pods and veins of magnetite or pyrrhotite, containing variable amounts of pyrite and chalcopyrite, and arsenopyrite. Westerman (Assessment Report 16223) reported high gold values in an old opencut above the main adit. The gold occurs within a silicified and pyritized skarn unit 3.9 metres wide, located between two massive pyrrhotite units, each approximately 1 metre wide. Westerman chip sampled the entire 3.9-metre width of the silicified skarn zone and obtained an average value of 6.61 grams per tonne gold. Chip samples of the bounding pyrrhotite skarn units yielded assays of 2.84 grams per tonne gold and 2.2 grams per tonne gold, respectively, across 1-metre widths. The Lakeview occurrence is bounded to the south by a large diorite stock. Limestone and skarn are also exposed at two locations along the southeastern margin of this stock. In one of these areas, 2 kilometres south of the Lakeview occurrence, Westerman reported that a pyritic zone between limestone and skarn near the diorite contact assayed 1.01 grams per tonne gold across 1 metre.
Mineralization was discovered on the Fort 7 claim adjacent to Deer Lake in 1930 (Annual Report of the Minister of Mines, 1930) and continues to receive attention, in part because of its high gold content. This property has been explored intermittently by various companies since 1930. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, the area was explored for porphyry copper mineralization by Anaconda American Brass, Rio Tinto and United Copper Company. Work included soil geochemistry, magnetometer, very low-frequency electromagnetic (VLF-EM) and induced polarization surveys, trenching and drilling. Anaconda completed six diamond drillholes for approximately 610 metres in the Deer Lake, Nora Lake and Laurel Lake areas during 1967 and 1968. Rio Tinto completed nine percussion holes for a total of 460 metres in the Goose Lake, Laurel Lake and Deer Lake areas during 1974 and 1975, without intersecting significant copper mineralization. None of these programs did systematic gold analyses. In 1977, Meridian Resources completed soil geochemistry and magnetometer surveys around McLeod Lake, No Fish Lake and Deer Lake, and two percussion holes totalling 455 metres within the Fort 9 claim, west of Deer Lake. Tunkwa Copper Mines Ltd. conducted geochemical and geophysical surveys over the area in 1980, which outlined several linear coincident gold and arsenic anomalies. Tunkwa Copper also drilled seven diamond drillholes close to the original Deer Lake showings. In 1988, Vital Pacific Resources Ltd. completed geophysical surveys over the Lakeview showing, followed by 1462.8 metres of diamond drilling in 14 holes on geophysical anomalies on the Lakeview and nearby showings. Drilling on the Lakeview skarn intersected 3.6 grams per tonne gold over 4 metres in skarn at 16 metres depth (Assessment Report 20014). Teck Exploration completed geochemical, geological, geophysical, trenching and diamond drilling in the area in 1989 and 1990. The Deer Lake skarn prospect is an area of current active exploration.
The BC Geological Survey conducted a regional till geochemistry program over NTS map sheet 092P08W and 092P09W in 1999 (Open File 2000-17). Electrum Resources Corporation conducted a prospecting and stream sampling program in the Deer Lake area in the fall of 1999 and during 2000 followed up anomalous areas by stream sampling, prospecting and mapping. Sulphide-rich rock samples from the Lakeview showing contained up to 11.87 grams per tonne gold and 3.87 per cent copper (Assessment Report 26223). In 2002 and 2006, Electrum Resources performed geochemical and geophysical surveys, mapping and prospecting in the area south of Hook Lake, to the southeast of the Lakeview prospect. Candorado Operating Company optioned the property in 2007 and continued exploration with soil sampling, trenching and 1290 metres of diamond drilling in the Hook Lake area and on the EC60 occurrence to the southwest.