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File Created: 24-Jul-85 by BC Geological Survey (BCGS)
Last Edit:  03-Mar-18 by George Owsiacki(GO)

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NMI 093H4 Au1
Name CARIBOO GOLD QUARTZ, COW MOUNTAIN, PINKERTON, RAINBOW, GOLDFINCH, SANDERS, BUTTS, B.C. VEIN, BC VEIN, BONANZA, WELLS, HUESTIS, CGQ, THE TAILINGS, NEW ZONE, BONANZA LEDGE, COW MOUNTAIN (CARIBOO GOLD), CARIBOO GOLD, CARIBOO Mining Division Cariboo
BCGS Map 093H003
Status Past Producer NTS Map 093H04E
Latitude 53º 05' 23" N UTM 10 (NAD 83)
Longitude 121º 33' 41" W Northing 5883219
Easting 596343
Commodities Gold, Silver, Tungsten, Bismuth, Lead, Zinc Deposit Types I01 : Au-quartz veins
I02 : Intrusion-related Au pyrrhotite veins
I03 : Turbidite-hosted Au veins
Tectonic Belt Omineca Terrane Barkerville
Capsule Geology

The Cariboo Gold Quartz mine property extends southeasterly from the town of Wells, covering the north spur of Cow Mountain, Lowhee Creek, and the westerly slopes of Barkerville Mountain. The mine workings extend southeasterly from the north end of Jack of Clubs Lake through Cow Mountain to the Cariboo claim (Lot 93) at the head of Lowhee Creek, a distance of 3 kilometres.

The Cariboo Gold Quartz deposit lies within the Barkerville Terrane of the Omineca belt. The Barkerville Terrane is in thrust contact with Triassic Quesnellia Terrane rocks to the west and Hadrynian to Lower Paleozoic Cariboo Terrane rocks to the east. The Barkerville Terrane in this region is underlain by the dominantly metasedimentary rocks of the Proterozoic-Early Paleozoic Snowshoe Group. In this area the Snowshoe Group comprises limestone, phyllite and quartzite. These rocks have been regionally metamorphosed to greenschist facies.

The deposit consists primarily of quartz-pyrite veins. A series of north striking, east- dipping faults and auriferous quartz veins are associated with fracture zones. The veins may contain cosalite, bismuthinite, arsenopyrite, ankerite, scheelite, galena, sphalerite and possibly tetrahedrite. The veins occur in a sequence of black and grey clastic sediments referred to as the Rainbow Member.

A relatively small amount of ore has been taken from stratabound, massive auriferous pyrite lenses. This has been called replacement ore. The lenses occur at the contacts and within certain limestone beds in what has been called the Baker Member. The limestone beds are called the Main Band and the Aurum. The Main Band limestone was the historic producer at the nearby Mosquito Creek mine (093H 010) and it is presently being investigated for potential at the adjacent Island Mountain mine (093H 006).

New mineralization was discovered in the Wells zone grading 1.71 grams per tonne gold over 10 and 14.9 metres respectively (George Cross New Letter No. 169, 1989).

Known reserves at the Sanders zone are 689,396 tonnes grading 3.83 grams per tonne gold based on previous work by Wharf Resources and Pan Orvana Resources (George Cross News Letter No. 114 (June 14), 1995).

Production from the Cariboo Gold Quartz Mine was obtained from several zones including the No.1, Tailings, Rainbow, Sanders and Pinkerton zones.

Gold-bearing quartz veins on the property were examined repeatedly from the 1870s. Most of the early work was done on the B.C. Bonanza Vein (093H 139), on the American (Lot 92), Cariboo (Lot 93), and St. Laurent (Lot 94) claims, but some was done on the Pinkerton and Enterprise veins (both on the Pinkerton claim Lot 356). Some 36 claims were reported located in 1877. At that time the Cariboo Quartz Mining Company, Limited, was driving an adit on the Cariboo claim. The American and St. Laurent claims were reported under development by the St. Laurent Co.; no record has been found of this incorporation. A 4-stamp quartz mill was operated part-time during 1877. The B.C.M. & M. Co., which was apparently the British Columbia Mining and Milling Company, of Spokane, brought a 20-stamp mill to the B.C. Vein in 1878 but did not erect it. In the next ten years this company sank an inclined shaft in the vein approximately 46 metres, drove a few hundred metres of drift, and did some drilling but mined little ore. The American, Cariboo and St. Laurent claims were Crown granted to the company in 1889.

Work on the Pinkerton and Enterprise veins was reported from 1877. The Enterprise Gold and Silver Mining Company, Limited, drove a 107-metre adit to develop the Enterprise vein. During the 1878-88 period the "Victoria Company" is reported to have carried out some underground exploration on the Pinkerton and Enterprise veins, sinking a 46-metre shaft on the former. During this same period Jack Pinkerton and associates washed considerable gold from the surface showings, and experimented with gold recovery by rough crushing. In 1897, a 30-metre adit was reported on the Gold Finch claim (Lot 318), which adjoins the Pinkerton claim on the east; the claim was Crown granted in 1898 to The Oriole Syndicate, Limited, of London, England. Messrs. Baker and Atkin held the Pinkerton and Cariboo claims under option during 1902-03. The underground workings to that date totalled about 305 metres.

From the 1900s little was done until the early 1920s when A.W. Sanders located the Rainbow (Lot 7794) and two adjacent claims, extending westerly from the Pinkerton claim. During the period 1922 to 1926 he was able to recover considerable gold by panning from the surface showings, and by rough crushing.

Fred M. Wells, confident that the rich placer deposits emanated from the immediate area, was instrumental in incorporating The Cariboo Gold Quartz Mining Company, Limited, in February 1927. The Pinkerton group of five claims was purchased from Clarke and Law, and the Rainbow group from A.W. Sanders. Several groups of claims were staked on behalf of the company. In 1932, the Apex group was purchased from Wells and associates. The Cariboo, and adjacent claims on the B.C. Vein, were purchased in 1934. The claims staked by the company were Crown granted during the period 1935-39, and included Lots 5862-5867, 5878-5890, and 7798-7805.

In 1927, a crosscut adit was driven from Lowhee Creek towards the downward projection of the showing on the Rainbow claim (Sanders zone); this was abandoned in 1930 before the objective was reached. In 1931, an adit (1500 level) was begun on the Telluride claim (Lot 7798) at a point about 30 metres above Jack of Clubs Lake and driven southeasterly. Mineable veins were encountered before the Sander zone was reached and a mill was put into production in January 1933. The initial capacity of 50 tons per day was increased in several stages to 350 tons per day by 1940. By 1942, four interval shafts had been sunk and the 1500 level extended over 3 kilometres to meet the B.C. shaft, opening up six mineralized zones. Ore from the veins was mined by cut-and-fill and shrinkage-stoping methods. The mine workings are extensive, totalling more than 40 kilometres. Operations were continuous until September 30, 1969, when the mine closed. Reserves at that time were reported at 42,300 tonnes averaging 9.25 grams per tonne gold and 68,410 tons averaging 12.685 grams per tonne gold.

Cariboo Gold Quartz Mining Company, Limited, in June 1972 amalgamated with Coseka Resources Limited under the latter name. Coseka in February 1973 incorporated a wholly owned subsidiary, French Exploration Limited, to receive all its mineral property interests. In March 1973, French Exploration amalgamated with Wharf Resources Ltd. under the name Wharf Resources Ltd.; Coseka was allotted 80.4 per cent of the issued shares of Wharf Resources Ltd.

By 1980, Wharf had 100 per cent interest in the property and Coseka a 32.1 per cent interest in Wharf. Exploration of the property resumed in 1980 with most of the work directed towards surface showings worked in the 1920s on the Rainbow claim. Diamond drilling on this claim in 1980-81 located the Sanders zone; 70 holes were drilled on the zone in 1981. This work indicated approximately 907,000 tonnes of open pit material averaging about 3.42 grams per tonne gold (Coseka Res L, 1981 AR); or probable 326,600 tonnes at 4.11 grams per tonne gold (Mosquito Creek Gold Mining CL, Filing Statement 24/86).

By a February 1985 agreement with Wharf Resources, Mosquito Creek Gold Mining Company Limited acquired 100 per cent interest in the property in exchange for shares of the company. In February 1986, Hecla Mining Company obtained from Mosquito an option to earn a 50 per cent interest in the property, then dropped it. In 1987, Mosquito Creek changed its name to Mosquito Consolidated Gold Mines Limited. In 1988, Pan Orvana Resouces Inc. optioned the property to obtain 50 per cent interest. They carried out soil geochemical, magnetic and VLF-EM surveys. From this and earlier work, a geological resource of 1,090,000 tonnes of 4.11 grams per tonne gold were indicated in the Sanders zone to a depth of 91 metres (Pan Orvana Resources Inc. 1989 Annual Report).

From 1933 to 1987, the Mosquito Creek (093H 010), Cariboo Gold Quartz and Island Mountain (Aurum) (093H 006) mines were reported to have recovered about 1 million ounces (37,300,000 grams) of gold from 2.75 million tonnes of ore. Two types of ore were mined: quartz veins and narrow stockworks hosted in meta-quartzite and meta-pelite grading 13 grams per tonne gold; and pyrite replacement ore, hosted in matrix of carbonate, dolomite and silica grading 21.6 grams per tonne gold. The Island Mountain and Cariboo Gold Quartz mines accounted for 97 per cent of the total production.

International Wayside Gold Mines Ltd. optioned the Cariboo claims in 1994 from Mosquito Consolidated Gold Mines and staked addtional contiguous claims. Exploration to the end of 1995 on the Rainbow zone has partially defined a zone 120 metres long, 36 metres wide, over a 60 metre vertical height from the 1300-level to the surface. The company estimates "reserves" at 907,000 tonnes grading 4.53 grams per tonne gold (Information Circular 1996-1 page 24).

In 1996, the 1200 level adit was extensively rehabilitated providing access to the Rainbow zone through to the Sanders zone and Pinkerton zone. Drilling tested these zones along a strike length of approximately 730 metres and a width of 120 metres. The Huestis zone was discovered in 1996 and occurs between the Rainbow and Sanders zone. Surface exploration was carried out on the B.C. Vein.

International Wayside Gold Mines Ltd. has released the results of a recently completed geological mineral inventory calculation. Holes prior to July 31, 1997 were used in the calculation. The results indicate a geological mineral inventory, at a 1.02 grams per tonne gold cut off, of 3,084,140 tonnes grading 3.49 grams per tonne gold uncut and 3.29 grams per tonnes gold when composite assays are cut to 17.14 grams per tonne gold (T. Schroeter, personal communication, 1997).

In 1997, International Wayside Gold Mines Ltd. conducted a major surface and underground exploration program. This work is in preparation for entering the pre-application process with the Cariboo Mine Development Review Committee. To December 1997, the company had completed 193 holes, including 78 holes drilled during 1997. The company purchased the remaining 50 per cent of the Cariboo Gold Quartz mine, the Island Mountain mine (093H 006) and the permitted Mosquito Creek Gold mine (093H 010) and formed the Cariboo Gold project. The permit application under the Environmental Assessment Act will encompass all three former producing gold mines, expand the existing permit to increase daily tonnage milled and include relocating the mill to a more advantageous site.

Programs during 1997 included grid-style surface diamond drilling above the previously productive Pinkerton zone, and underground percussion drilling from the 1200 level across the Baker-Rainbow contact near the Sanders zone. Drilling has focused on the Rainbow, Sanders and Pinkerton zones. The objective is to define a mineable open-pit reserve. A geochemical survey was completed over the Barkerville, Cow, Richfield and Island Mountain areas. Trenching tested the new, 1.4 kilometre long Wells trend, a northwest trending zone that lies southwest of and subparallel to the Sanders-Rainbow-Pinkerton trend.

In January 1999, a combined resource was reported as 6,747,188 tonnes grading 4.63 grams per tonne gold at a cut off of 1.03 grams per tonne. This includes a measured resource of 5,402,393 tonnes grading 4.8 grams per tonne gold, an indicated resource of 904,092 tonnes grading 3.53 grams per tonne gold and an inferred resource of 440,706 tonnes grading 5.0 grams per tonne gold (George Cross News Letter No. 16 (January 25) 1999). Calculations using other cut offs are reported in International Wayside's January 21, 1999 Press Release. In 1998 and 1999, International Wayside drilled over 30 holes on the B.C. Vein. They calculated a preliminary mineral resource on a 232-metre section between the BC Shaft and the Goldfinch fault gap, and a portion of the American extension to a vertical depth of roughly 37 metres from surface. The 232-metre section represents 25 per cent of the surface exposure of the B.C. Vein. The resource, classified as drill indicated, totals 55,836 tonnes grading 9.84 grams per tonne gold (Press Release November 15, 1999).

In early 2000, International Wayside drilled the "New" zone located in the footwall of the B.C. Vein. A 25.8-metre intersection averaged 24.65 grams per tonne gold, including a 13.6-metre intersection grading 42.92 grams per tonne gold (International Wayside Press Release, April 9, 2000). Drilling by International Wayside in 2002 to test the northwest extension of the Bonanza Ledge/B.C. Vein mineralization intersected 15.8 metres grading 22.97 grams per tonne gold in the B.C. Vein in diamond-drill hole BC02-03 (Press Release, June 18, 2002).

The B.C. Vein is exposed on surface for a continuous length of 730 metres and averages 6 metres in width. The vein strikes northwest and dips 70 degrees north. Drillholes testing the eastern extension of the vein cut into the phyllitic footwall and found it to contain a distinct type of ore. Gold is reported to be associated with pyrite-enriched zones within tan coloured micaceous mudstone and gritty quartzites. These rocks are strongly folded and crenulated. This new footwall zone has been named the Bonanza Ledge (093H 140).

The Bonanza Ledge is 30 metres across and occurs within an overturned, northeast dipping sequence of metamorphosed turbidites, carbonates and tuffaceous rocks of the Snowshoe Group. Bonanza Ledge mineralization consists of multiple semi-massive to massive bands of fine to medium-grained pyrite that has preferentially replaced the carbonate layers within laminated, tan coloured muscovite-rich phyllite.

As of April 2000, International Wayside had completed 12,344 metres of drilling in 238 holes on the Cariboo property and has reported a preliminary open pit "resource estimate" above the Rainbow, Sanders and Pinkerton zones of 10 million tonnes grading 3.36 grams per tonne gold (Northern Miner, April 24). The company has submitted an application to the BC Environmental Assessment Office to develop a 3000 tonne per day open-pit operation.

A consultant in a May 18, 2000 report calculated from 376 drillholes an inferred mineral resource of 7.9 million tonnes grading 2.03 grams per tonne gold in the Sanders, Pinkerton and Rainbow zones (George Cross News Letter No. 107, June 5, 2000).

An independent consultant as defined in National Instrument (NI) 43-101 combined new B.C. Vein and Bonanza Ledge resource estimates with the Cow Mountain resource estimate, completed in 2000, and released new estimates. The total indicated resource is estimated to be 6,647,000 tonnes grading 2.67 grams per tonne gold, which has 17,748 contained kilograms above the 0.685 gram per tonne gold cut off in the three zones. The total inferred resource is estimated to be 1,859,000 tonnes grading 2.02 grams per tonne gold, which has 3776 contained kilograms above the 0.685 gram per tonne gold cut off in the three zones (Press Release - International Wayside Gold Mines Ltd., December 3, 2002).

In 2002, drilling of the Bonanza Ledge zone produced moderate to high grade gold intersections. As in other recent programs, drillholes were oriented to intersect projections of both the B.C. Vein and the Bonanza Ledge zone where possible. The best assay came from hole BC02-03 that intersected the B.C. Vein about 180 metres north of the BC Shaft; it averaged 22.97 grams per tonne gold over 15.8 metres and included a 1.15 metre interval that graded 108.25 grams per tonne gold. Approximately 120 metres further north, hole BC02-02 intersected a 4.7 metre segment of the B.C. Vein that averaged 13.16 grams per tonne gold.

In 2003, International Wayside commenced development of a 140 metre long decline to access the high grade Bonanza Ledge gold zone. The exploration program involved 70 metres of trenching in six trenches and 3037 metres of diamond drilling in 26 holes. In 2004, International Wayside Gold Mines Ltd. extracted a 10,000 tonne underground bulk sample on the high grade gold Bonanza Ledge zone. The head grade of the bulk sample was approximately 23 grams per tonne gold. The company also continued to drill the Bonanza Ledge zone from an underground exploration drift and from surface using a tightly-spaced pattern. In all, 14,142 metres of drilling was completed on the Bonanza Ledge trend.

In 2005, International Wayside Gold Mines Ltd. drilled along the Bonanza Ledge and Wells trends near the Bonanza Ledge gold deposit on its Cariboo Gold Quartz property. Drilling targeted both mesothermal vein and replacement-style mineralization that are known to host moderate to high gold grades. Late in the year the company announced its desire to mine the Bonanza Ledge deposit by open-pit methods. The deposit was previously defined by a systematic diamond drilling program and mining of a 10,000 tonne underground bulk sample. Internatinal Wayside reported 4518 metres of drilling in 26 holes.

Also in 2005, on tenure enclosing the former Mosquito Creek Gold mine (093H 010), Island Mountain Gold Mines Ltd. explored for similar style mineralization in impure limestones. In December, the company announced its plan to sell all of its tenure in the Wells- Barkerville area to sister company International Wayside Gold Mines.

The 2006 exploration program of Wayside focused mainly on Mucho Oro zone which is about 213 metres directly mine-grid-east of the Bonanza Ledge open pit. The Mucho Oro diamond drill program was initiated in order to test a known gold-bearing structure, and favorable stratigraphy, east of the Waoming fault and Bonanza Ledge gold deposit. The favorable stratigraphy is that which hosts the pyrite replacement-type gold mineralization in the proposed Bonanza Ledge open pit to the immediate mine-grid-west. A total of 4682.1 metres drilling in 31 surface diamond-drill holes were completed on Mucho Oro zone in 2006. Of all the 31 drillholes, 26 returned anomalous gold results and 18 of these returned significant (greater than 1 gram per tonne) gold assays (Assessment Report 28990B).

Past work in the Mucho Oro area was limited to the mine-grid-west boundary of the area, which includes some diamond drilling, soil sampling, SP geophysics, ground magnetometer and VLF surveys. The SP geophysics outlined a very similar signature to that of the Bonanza Ledge gold deposit, and the ground magnetometer survey indicated the presence of the important marker horizon (magnetic porphyroblastic phyllite of Rainbow 4 Sub-unit) which is in close proximity to the favourable stratigraphy for pyrite replacement type gold mineralization.

In 2007,International Wayside Gold Mines Ltd. continued work on its Bonanza Ledge gold deposit, including the Mucho Oro zone along strike. Drilling of 787 metres was reported.

In 2008, International Wayside Gold Mines Ltd. continued work on its Bonanza Ledge mesothermal vein gold deposit, completing some 2740 metres of drilling in 10 boreholes on the Goldfinch zone extension and nearby Cow Mountain. The company intends to develop a seasonally-operated small open-pit mine at Bonanza Ledge. Meanwhile, the Environmental Assessment process for International Wayside’s nearby proposed Cariboo Gold mine remains underway. Cariboo Gold is a vein and replacement gold deposit also proposed for exploitation by open-pit mining.

In January 2010, International Wayside Gold Mines Ltd. changed their name to Barkerville Gold Mines Ltd. In 2010, Barkerville Gold Mines Ltd. completed drilling to expand current resources and define a new gold mineralized zone discovered northwest of the proposed open-pit mine. To facilitate mining of its many resources in the camp, Barkerville Gold Mines Ltd. has signed a letter of intent to purchase the Goldstream mill currently located north of Revelstoke. If completed, the company would relocate it to Cow Mountain, refurbish it and increase the capacity to 2000 tonnes per day with an eye to bringing it on stream in 2013.

In 2012, Barkerville Gold Mines Ltd. drilled their Cariboo Gold gold project (approximately 58,000 metres) and announced a new resource with an increase in contained gold, supplemented by a report substantiating the release. A regulatory review cited technical disclosure concerns and the company reported that it has been working to prepare a satisfactory report. The company has since drilled a further fourteen holes, many of which twinned previous holes, toward resolving this issue.

In June 2012 Barkerville Gold Mines reported updated resource estimates for the Cow Mountain area of the Cariboo Gold project. Indicated resources are 62,631,000 tonnes grading 5.28 grams per tonne gold using a cut off of 0.857 grams per tonne gold (Press Release - Barkerville Gold Mines Ltd., June 29, 2012).

In 2013-14, refinancing and restructuring brought new management and technical staff to Barkerville Gold Mines Ltd. and revived its Cariboo Gold project. In 2015, Barkerville Gold Mines Ltd. concentrated on an aggressive exploration program to better assess the potential of their Cariboo Gold project. In June 2013, Barkerville Gold Mines reported updated resource estimates for the Cow Mountain area of the Cariboo Gold project. Indicated resources are 16,100,000 tonnes grading 2.00 grams per tonne gold and Inferred resources are 44,600,000 tonnes grading 2.74 grams per tonne gold, using a cut off of 0.411 grams per tonne gold (Press Release - Barkerville Gold Mines Ltd., June 18, 2013).

In 2016, Barkerville Gold Mines Ltd. completed Phase 1 drilling (242 holes; 32,290 metres) at Cow Mountain to increase confidence in mine data and to upgrade resource categories. Cow Mountain is the site of the past-producing Cariboo Gold Quartz mine. This work discovered a new, undrilled zone of ore-grade mineralization between the Sanders and Rainbow zones within the old mine. The 2016 exploration program also comprised two helicopter-borne geophysical surveys which included a versatile time domain electromagnetic (VTEM) system and a horizontal magnetic gradiometer. A total of 1308 square kilometres of geophysical data were acquired during the surveys over the entire project area.

Barkerville Gold Mines Ltd. planned to drill up to 160,000 metres in 2017 on their Cariboo Gold project and came close by December. Most drilling was in the Island Mountain area, northwest of Cow Mountain and Barkerville Mountain, which were also target areas.

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