The Carbo property is located southeast of Wicheeda Lake and lies between the Parsnip River and Wicheika Creek, approximately 80 kilometres northeast of Prince George and 50 kilometres east of Bear Lake.
The Wicheeda Carbonatite Complex is located in the Foreland Belt, a trend of imbricated and folded miogeoclinal rocks that form the eastern mountain ranges and foothills of the Canadian Cordillera. The carbonatites and alkaline complexes of the belt are dominantly Mississippian to Devonian and include the Aley, Kechika, Bearpaw, Ice River and Rock Canyon occurrences.
The carbonatite intrudes the sediments subparallel to a central limestone unit and has been traced intermittently for a distance of 2700 metres. The carbonatite composition and thickness varies along its strike. Generally, it is medium to coarse grained, quartz-free, with intergrowths of feldspar, carbonate, pyroxene and micas. Fine-grained pyrochlore has been identified by scanning electron microprobe and is the source mineral for the anomalous niobium found in assays. Petrographic analysis indicates up to 3 per cent apatite. Pyrite is a common accessory mineral. Best assays returned values of 0.19 per cent niobium and 8.4 per cent phosphate.
A syenitic plug exists immediately to the west of the carbonatite zone. Soil geochemistry indicated this intrusion to be roughly circular with an approximately 400 metre diameter. Rare earth elements, lanthanum and cerium, are significantly anomalous in the syenitic rocks at this occurrence. Best assays are 0.5 per cent lanthanum and cerium, respectively (Assessment Report 15944).
In 1961, the Geological Survey of Canada completed a 1:63,360-scale aeromagnetic survey across parts of British Columbia, including the Wicheeda Lake district. This survey showed a magnetic anomaly around the district.
From 1976 to 1977, Kol Lovang prospected and staked two claims in the area based on minor base metal showings. No follow up on these showings occurred until 1986, when Teck Corporation assayed the samples and they showed anomalous niobium. Teck Exploration Ltd. entered a prospecting agreement with Lovang in 1986 and proceeded to stake the Ole claims in April. Teck personnel explored the main intrusion by geological mapping, soil sampling, hand trenching and geophysics. Results from the season included a sample from Trench Pit 6, which contained 0.955 per cent niobium, and three samples from Trench Pits 5-7, which contained high concentrations of niobium and rare earth element values.
Jody Dahrouge acquired the bulk of the property in 2005 and 2006 on behalf of Commerce Resource Corp. Soil sampling, rock sampling and geophysical surveys were completed by Dahrouge Geological Consulting Ltd. for Commerce. Exploration focused within the Carbo 2 and 3 claims included 291 soil samples collected at 50-metre stations on 150-metre grid lines, 40 rock samples taken from intrusive outcrops, bedrock and float, and 15 kilometres of scintillometer and magnetometer surveys at 12.5-metre stations on 150-metre grid lines. Results from rock samples averaged 1741.84 parts per million (ppm) total rare earth oxide plus yttrium and 708.72 ppm niobium.
In February 2009, Commerce entered into a joint venture with Canadian International Minerals Inc. (CIM). Under this joint venture, CIM acquired a 75 per cent interest in the Carbo claims. In April 2009, Michael Guo, P.Geo., summarized the work on the property in the form of a National Instrument (NI) 43-101 compliant technical report for CIM.
Exploration in 2009 and 2010 consisted of rock, silt and soil sampling as well as an airborne radiometric-magnetic-EM survey. In 2010, CIM contracted Mackevoy Geosciences Ltd. to conduct exploration on the claim block and fieldwork included soil sampling, prospecting and reconnaissance work in June, August and September. A total of 420 soil, 21 rock and 10 silt samples were taken. Results from the sampling included soil samples returning maximum concentrations of 7620 ppm cerium, 2670 ppm lanthanum and 9564 ppm total rare earth oxide plus yttrium, and rock samples returning values up to 4875 ppm total rare earth oxide plus yttrium. The report also stated that total rare earth element values and lanthanum show strong correlations with cerium and rough correlations with niobium (Assessment Report 33231).
In 2010, Bolero Resources Corp. is involved in an eighth block (5 claims, 2156 hectares) in the Wicheeda Lake area north of the Main Claim Block through a Joint Venture with Alix Resources Corp.
A limited airborne geophysical survey was also flown on part of the property in the fall of 2010. Aeroquest Limited was contracted to conduct a magnetic, gradiometer and radiometric survey over two blocks. Block A to the southeast was designed to cover the ground near Spectrum's Fluorite South zone, whereas Block B to the northwest covered the 911 Grid. A total of 438 line-kilometres was flown. In the summer of 2011, a larger airborne geophysical survey was flown by Aeroquest, consisting of a North Block (2228 line-kilometres), a South Block (1661 line-kilometres) and a C Block (145 line-kilometres), for a total coverage of 4156 line-kilometres. In April 2012, a review of the survey data by a geophysicist was carried out. The technique involved the use of profiles of various ratios of potassium, thorium and uranium. Six priority areas defined as clusters of point anomalies were produced, based on a similar radiometric signature as the signature found in the area known to contain numerous carbonatite float boulders. A further 13 spot anomalies targeted areas of high uranium/low potassium signatures (Assessment Report 33169).
In 2010, a 1939 metre diamond drilling program was conducted for a total of nine NQ holes. Results included 4.1 per cent total rare earth oxides (TREO) across 2.1 metres; and 1.4 per cent TREO across 37 metres (values given as the oxide phase TREO gives slightly higher values than as reported as the elemental phase total rare earth elements). The company continued to drill in 2011 on targets defined by airborne magnetic and radiometric anomalies, coincident rare earth element and pathfinder soil geochemical anomalies and geological mapping of carbonatite exposures. Best intervals include 60 metres of 0.3 per cent TREO and 25 metres of 0.3 per cent TREO (Assessment Report 33169).
In 2011, fieldwork was focused on soil sampling to help identify prospective areas for further evaluation. During the 2011 field season, 98 samples were collected from one grid on the TREO claims. Results showed that the element distribution over the sampling area does not appear to be significantly concentrated in one particular location on the grid. The rare earth elements were weakly concentrated through the centre of the grid with a few elevated samples in the southeast corner, whereas thorium was spread fairly evenly throughout (Assessment Report 33231).