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File Created: 30-Mar-2014 by Nicole Barlow (NB)
Last Edit:  26-Jan-2018 by George Owsiacki (GO)

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NMI
Name WAPITI PHOSPHATE, WAPITI, TUNNEL, ROAD Mining Division Liard
BCGS Map 093I047
Status Prospect NTS Map 093I07E
Latitude 054º 28' 59'' UTM 10 (NAD 83)
Longitude 120º 39' 40'' Northing 6039787
Easting 651519
Commodities Phosphate Deposit Types F07 : Upwelling-type phosphate
Tectonic Belt Foreland Terrane Ancestral North America
Capsule Geology

The Wapiti Phospate occurrence is located near Red Deer Creek approximately 1.6 kilometres south west of Red Deer Falls, about 75 kilometres south of Tumbler Ridge.

The region is underlain by an assemblage of sedimentary rocks consisting mainly of continental margin and shelf facies rocks. This assemblage was deposited on and to the west of the ancestral North American craton. These sedimentary rocks, for the most part typical miogeoclinal facies, range in age from Hadrynian to Upper Cretaceous. Structurally these rocks are part of the Foreland Thrust and Fold Belt of the North American Cordillera.

Phosphatic units occur mainly within the Whistler Member of the Triassic Sulphur Mountain Formation (Spray River Group). The Whistler Member is dominated by cycles of algal laminated silty limestones grading into massive calcareous siltstone. Silty shales, pelletal phosphorite and phosphatic pebble conglomerates form important but minor interbeds. The basal three metres of the Whistler Member contains a concentration of pelletal phosphatic material culminating in a phosphatic conglomerate. The basic structural style in the area consists of northwest to southeast trending tight anticlines with relatively broad box-like synclines. Minor structures are responsible for both removal and repetition of the phosphatic section and therefore influence the distribution of the phosphatic units.

Locally a zone, 1 to 3 metres wide, hosts phosphate mineralization over a strike length of 4.2 kilometres.

In 2008, chip sampling yielded up to 34.7 per cent phosphate over 2 metres (Assessment Report 30717). Previous drilling and trenching in the area, completed by Esso in the late 1980s, is reported to have yielded an average of 22.1 per cent phosphate over 1.0 metre to a depth of 90 metres and yielding 23.5 per cent phosphate over 1.2 metres (Assessment Report 30717).

The 2008 exploration program has identified widespread sedimentary or "blanket-type" and laterally continuous phosphate mineralization. The exploration program also outlined five additional targets where thicker and higher grade zones of phosphate are exposed.

The Wapiti zone, located within the southern portion of the property, consists of an 18 kilometre length of exposed phosphate-bearing strata with higher than average grade mineralization. Pacific Ridge sampled and trenched a 4.9 kilometre long portion of the 18 kilometre zone with trench values reaching to 29.1 per cent P2O5 over 3 metres (Press Release - Pacific Ridge Exploration Ltd., March 17, 2009).

The Tunnel zone, located in the northern portion of the property, covers a 900 metre length of the regional phosphate horizon where seven trenches excavated across the zone and spaced roughly equidistant along the 900 metre length of mineralization, averaged 16.1 per cent P2O5 over 3.6 metres (Press Release - Pacific Ridge Exploration Ltd., March 17, 2009).

The area has been explored in conjunction with the nearby Wapiti occurrence (093I 008) of similar description. In 2008, Pacific Ridge Exploration and Lateegra Gold completed a program of prospecting and rock sampling. The Wapiti phosphate prospect has now been included in a larger claim holding referred to as the Tumbler Ridge Project which was assembled by Pacific Ridge Exploration Ltd. during April of 2008. Pacific Ridge now controls an accumulative length of 127 kilometres of prospective sedimentary phosphate-bearing stratigraphy covering 137 claims and 585.3 square kilometres of which 88 per cent is 100 per cent owned. The Wapiti prospect became part of the Tumbler Ridge Project after Pacific Ridge optioned the claims from Lateegra Gold Corp. in July 2008.

In March 2012, Fertoz International Inc. optioned the claim package and in the same year completed an air photo interpretation program and surface work which included checking the status of previous geological mapping with particular attention to fold structures and local stratigraphy, prospecting, rock sampling along the known phosphorite horizons, orientation soil sampling and channel sampling at the Road showing. The Road showing is an opencut along an exploration access road where the bedded phosphate is about 1.5-2.0 metres wide, strikes 325 degrees and dips 45-50 degrees to the west and forms part of an east limb of an open syncline. The phosphate is hosted in brown greyish, bluish tinge, finely laminated sediments that display rip-up clasts and ripple marks characteristic of tidal zone depositional environment. A chip sample was collected from this site and assayed 14.7 per cent P2O5 (Assessment Report 35221).

In 2013, drilling concentrated on three areas along two main phosphate ridges. The initial focus was the west limb (Area 1) of the Red Deer syncline where there are several parallel phosphate zones. The phosphorite zone in Area 1 is extremely uniform over the strike length tested. It appears that the structural stresses in the Area 1 horizons have largely been localized in a persistent mylonite zone and the phosphate mineralization is relatively undeformed. The Area 1 zone has a strike length of 340 metres drilled but when combined with mapping along the open, well-defined synclinal fold of mineralization which connects Area 1 and Area 4, the total strike length is approximately 9 kilometres (Assessment Report 35221).

The 2014 exploration program consisted of road upgrading (10.1 kilometres), road construction (2.2 kilometres), trenching and minor bulk sampling (800 tonnes). The bulk sample trench was approximately 1.3 metres wide by 85 metres long by 6 metres deep. The bulk sample was shipped to farms in the La Glace area of Alberta for crop trials.

Bibliography
EMPR ASS RPT 8407, *30717, 33612, 34007, *34627, *35221
EMPR PF (Coburn, S.S. (1954): Wapiti River area, B.C. and maps)
GSC BULL 247
GSC MAP 1424A
GSC P 71-30
PR REL Pacific Ridge Exploration Ltd., Mar.17, 2009

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