The McDougall River placer occurrence is located along McDougall River, about 425 metres southeasterly of the Bench Creek confluence with the river, approximately 40 kilometres south of Mackenzie.
The McDougall River placer deposit is underlain mainly by Mississippian Slide Mountain Group metasedimentary rocks of the Omineca Belt. The Slide Mountain Group consists of mafic volcanics, chert, argillite and greywacke which have been variably deformed and metamorphosed. Placer gold and platinum occur in shallow gravels along both banks of the McDougall River and in cracks and crevices in bedrock underlying the gravels.
The amount of placer gold, much of which is wiry or angular, present along the McDougall River indicates a localized source for the gold. The presence of geophysical anomalies plus the sheared rocks and quartz veining which represents the fault zone may indicate a source for the placer gold in the McDougall River (Assessment Reports 12164, 13215, 13750, 15879, 16629 and 16880). See Ruby (093J 042) for information on nearby hardrock mineralization.
In 1933 and 1934, the McDougall River was extensively worked by Cariboo Northern Development Co. Ltd. and Northern Reef Gold Mines Ltd. These two companies held much of the mineralized ground east of the Reed Creek-McDougall River confluence. In 1933, Cariboo Northern Development tested their property and obtained encouraging results. The company manager reported that several low gravel benches ran as high as $3.15 per cubic yard at 1934 prices.
In 1934, Northern Reef Gold Mines continued the work begun by Cariboo. Additional work included the construction of a 26 kilometre tractor trail from McLeod Lake, ditch and dam construction, and underground workings. A 16-metre adit with a 8.5 metre-winze at the end of it was driven in 3 metres above the river. Placer testing was carried out in 1934 at four points adjacent to the river with results averaging $1.87 in 1934 ($42.00 in 1989 prices) per cubic yard. Hydraulic mining started early in 1935 but the operation was short lived, since only a small amount of ground was worked and recorded production from 1931-35 totalled 62 ounces.
Ezekiel Explorations Ltd. conducted extensive exploration in this area from 1981 to 1989. The work included prospecting; heavy mineral, soil, silt and rock sampling; geological mapping; airborne VLF and magnetometer surveys; and ground VLF and magnetometer surveys.
In 1981, detailed heavy mineral sampling was carried out along all streams and rivers draining the property. A total of 66 samples were taken during the survey. Heavy mineral samples collected from the lower McDougall River contained very high concentrations of gold. Substantial part of the placer gold particles was angular and wiry indicating very little transport and thus a local source.
In 1983, a soil sampling survey consisted of 57 samples and a heavy mineral sampling program consisted of 27 samples. The heavy mineral sampling program was carried along the last six kilometres of McDougall River. Very high gold values of up to 20,000 parts per billion were obtained from this survey. In addition, very high silver values of up to 200 parts per million were also obtained.
A total of 350 line-kilometres of airborne magnetics and EM surveying was flown in May 1984, for Noranda Exploration Company Limited. The G North and GN mineral claims, collectively known as the G North Property were included in the survey area. The survey outlined several coincident EM and magnetic anomalies. A total of 33 heavy mineral concentrates were analyzed and a total of 92 silt samples were collected. Twenty-eight rock samples were taken in the LS2 grid area.
In 1986, Ezekiel Explorations Ltd. collected a total of 726 soil samples and 7 heavy mineral samples and completed a ground VLF-EM and magnetometer survey. In 1987, a total of 645 line-kilometres of airborne magnetic and electromagnetic surveying was completed. In 1989, 739 soil, 89 rock, and 30 heavy mineral samples were collected by Ezekiel. After 1989, the GN group of claims was allowed to lapse and there was no reported exploration activity in the area until 2001 when the McDougall River Syndicate staked the Carp, Nuts and Jack mineral claims as well as Boot placer claims. In 2001, the McDougall River Syndicate carried out heavy mineral sampling along McDougall River. In March 2003, the claims were acquired by Mountain Boy Minerals Ltd.
In 2004, Mountain Boy Minerals conducted rock and silt sampling program. In March 2004, Tercon Placers entered into an agreement with Mountain Boy Minerals to prospect for placer gold and other precious metals on 20 placer claims (Boot 1 to 20) located on McDougall River. In 2006, Mountain Boy attempted a drillhole designed to test for a Tertiary channel on the Boot 18 claim but it was lost at 24 metres.
In 2007, ATW Ventures Ltd. (presumably for owner Mountain Boy Minerals) completed a geochemical and trenching program on the Nickel-1, Nut 2-5, and Jack 3,5,7,9,11,13,15 and 17 as well as Carp 11-15 mineral claims. The Jack claims covered the area of the McDougall River placers and the Ruby showing (093J 023). A total of 1035 soil and silt samples were collected from grid lines as well as along logging roads from the various claim groups. A total of 60 rock samples were taken, mainly from four trench areas and over the nickel showing on the Nickel 1 claim.