The Copper Crown and Ruby zones occur in Middle to Upper Jurassic Hazelton Group rocks of the Ashman Formation. This formation is comprised mainly of a sedimentary sequence hosting marine black shale, argillite, siltstone and greywacke with intercalated tuffs and breccia (Fieldwork 1988, Figure 1-23-2).
The more competent units are well jointed or cleaved and often display tectonic breccias in the vicinity of faults. Alteration has mainly affected the feldspar and ferromagnesium minerals producing mica and clay minerals, chlorite, limonite, and less commonly epidote.
The Hazelton rocks on Grouse Mountain are intruded by dikes and small stocks which strike north-northwest and dip south-southwest, and range between 10 to 60 metres in width. These include feldspar porphyry, biotite-feldspar porphyry and aphanitic basic dikes.
A large dike on the west side of the mountain hosts bladed feldspar porphyry with large plagioclase phenocrysts in the order of 4 centimetres in length and 0.5 centimetre thick. A second tablet porphyry dike parallels and locally crosscuts the bladed feldspar porphyry. A number of large dikes exposed in the north and central parts of the map area are possibly related to the bladed and tablet porphyries. The dikes are considered post mineralization as they crosscut areas in the Ruby zone. In addition to these intrusions, the area is traversed by numerous aphanitic mafic dikes which are light grey in color, granular in texture, and seldom more than 4.6 metres wide.
Mineralization consists of fine-grained sphalerite and chalcopyrite as breccia fillings in the northeast trending zones which are subparallel to the strata comprised of minor fossiliferous limestone and mainly a coarse tuff sequence. Also, in some areas there are massive sulphide fracture-fillings.
The Copper Crown zone is a dilated segment, 122 metres in length, of an extensive system of sulphide-bearing gash fractures which include the Ruby zone 366 metres to the southwest. Mineralization consists of subparallel lenses and joint fillings of sphalerite and chalcopyrite which crosscut bedding and are distributed in varying concentrations over 15 metres.
In 1985 a sample from a 2.0 metre open cut assayed 0.137 gram per tonne gold, 125.48 grams per tonne silver, 5.62 per cent copper, 0.01 per cent lead and 0.05 per cent zinc. Another sample, from a backhoe trench, covering 0.4 metre, assayed 0.069 gram per tonne gold, 367.54 grams per tonne silver, 12.6 per cent copper, 0.11 per cent lead, and 3.57 per cent zinc (Assessment Report 14256).
The Ruby zone which continues to the southwest more or less from where the Copper Crown zone ends, dips steeply to the northwest and is divided into three southwest shoots over a strike length of approximately 335 metres. The shoot furthest to the southwest appears to be the best mineralized. It is terminated against the large bladed feldspar porphyry dike and is crosscut by the younger tablet feldspar porphyry. The showing is banded, displaying a layer adjacent to the footwall composed mainly of quartz with blebs of pyrite and chalcopyrite, and toward the hangingwall, masses of pyrite, chalcopyrite, and sphalerite alternating with solid and brecciated country rock. To the northeast the zone widens to a multi-vein system hosting disseminated mineralization comprised mainly of sphalerite.
In 1985, samples from open cuts assayed 0.03 gram per tonne gold, 505.7 grams per tonne silver, 3.84 per cent copper, 0.03 per cent lead, 7.72 per cent zinc over 2.3 metres and 0.06 gram per tonne gold, 294.17 grams per tonne silver, 1.72 per cent copper, 0.68 per cent lead, and 15.42 per cent zinc over 1.2 metres (Assessment Report 14256).
Inferred reserves of the Ruby zone are 317,485 tonnes grading 30.16 grams per tonne silver, 0.38 per cent copper and 4.23 per cent zinc; probable reserves of the same zone are 453,550 tonnes grading 25.71 grams per tonne silver, 0.32 per cent copper and 4.35 per cent zinc (Northern Miner - November 17, 1986, page 13). Unclassified reserves of Copper Crown are 653,112 tonnes grading 13.71 grams per tonne silver, 0.42 per cent copper and 0.3 per cent zinc (Northern Miner - March 29, 1984). This mineralization is contained in a structure averaging 4.5 metres in width over a strike length of 320 metres and down interval of 53 metres.
From 1914 to 1915, a 17 metre shaft and short adit was developed on the Copper Crown, an adit was started on the Lakeview showing and surface trenching was done on mineralized veins. Work was conducted on or near Copper Crown, Lakeview and Schorn.
The earliest references of exploratory work on the Grouse Mountain property are described in the Minister of Mines annual reports for 1914 when Louis Schorn and Samuel Bush discovered chalcopyrite and sphalerite on the mountain. Following the discovery, from 1914 to 1915, the Cassiar Copper Crown Company carried out extensive underground development work including a long crosscut with many short drives, crosscuts and raises on two different levels in the Ruby Zone. From 1915 to 1928 the property was explored by numerous shallow pits and open cuts resulting in the discovery of several new showings and documented in the Minister of Mines Annual Reports. Work was conducted on or near Copper Crown, Ruby, Eureka, Lakeview, Hidden Treasure and Solo. Two levels of underground development occurred in the Ruby zone consisting of 1150 metres of drifting and raises. Drifting advanced 9 metres on the Lakeview showing. Prospecting and trenching occurred in search for mineralized veins.
In 1926, a sample of the mineralized zone at the Solo showing assayed 10.2 grams per tonne gold, 75.4 grams per tonne silver and 26.5 per cent zinc (Minister of Mines Annual Report 1926, page 38).
No further work was recorded until 1951 when Copper Ridge Silver Mines Ltd. acquired the property and reopened the underground workings completing over 4,600 metres of drilling on surface and underground, mostly at Ruby and Copper Crown zones (part of the same MINFILE occurrence). The company also advanced underground development 1,300 metres which was accessed by adits in the Ruby zone.
From 1964 to 1977 various operators conducted prospecting, geological mapping, geophysical surveying, road building and bulldozer trenching on or near various zones including: Copper Crown, Ruby, Eureka, Lakeview, North Lake and Rainstorm.
A period of intermittent exploration from 1952 to 1977 included mainly road building and bulldozer trenching until Ramm Venture Corporation acquired the crown grants in 1979. A review, at that time, of the extensive drilling in the Ruby Zone estimated a resource of 292,507 tonnes of 30.17 grams per tonne silver, 0.38 per cent copper and 4.25 per cent zinc (private report for Ramm Venture Corp by Borovic, 1981 (reported in Assessment Report 32238)).
Ramm Ventures completed VLF-EM surveys over the Ruby, Copper Crown and Lakeview claims in 1980 and followed up resulting anomalies with 1282 metres of diamond drilling in 1981. Work was conducted on or near Copper Crown, Ruby, Eureka and Creek zones.
In 1984, Teck Corporation began a comprehensive exploration program of the crown grants and surrounding property which included work on or near the Crown, Ruby, Eureka, Creek, North Lake, Schorn and Rainstorm zones. Teck was operator of the property which was owned by Ramm Ventures. The program began with geophysical and geochemical surveys followed by geological mapping, mechanical trenching and sampling of trenches and showings. A total of 1260 soil geochemical samples, 109 rock chip samples were collected and analyzed. Trenching of anomalous areas with a backhoe totaled 442 metres and 1896 metres of diamond drilling was completed in 19 holes. The results of the drilling confirmed narrow vein mineralization (6.1 per cent zinc over 1.2 metres) in the Rainstorm Zone at depth in two holes spaced 300 metres apart (Assessment Report 14256).
The Rainstorm Zone was the focus of a diamond drill program carried out by Swift Minerals Ltd. in 1990 following the recommendations by Peto (Assessment Report 14256) in his final report for Teck. Six holes (1326 metres) were drilled on the Rainstorm zone and all intersected narrow widths of massive sulphide consisting of pyrite, sphalerite and chalcopyrite hosted in quartz carbonate veins and stringers; total drilled in 7 holes was 1783.1 metres(Assessment Report 20665). The sulphide stringers intersected in the Rainstorm Zone contain high base metal values over narrow widths. They do not coalesce at depth. One hole totaling 457.2 was drilled to intersect and prove the continuity of the Ruby zone at depth. Mineralization in that hole returned values consistent with assays from the underground workings and shallow drill holes in the Ruby zone and adds an inferred depth continuity of 250 metres to the lowest workings of the Ruby zone. Sulphides are massive over narrow widths and consist of pyrite, sphalerite and chalcopyrite with minor tetrahedrite in a quartz-calcite gangue. These stringers and veins range in width from a few centimetres to 1.29 meters, and are found within larger zones of fractured rock.
In 2005, Ranex Exploration Ltd conducted prospecting along with owner Steve Soby. The areas prospected including the Copper Crown, Ruby and Rainstorm showings. Rock samples were taken. The prospecting program was successful in locating and confirming historic showings on the property. The program identified the highest gold numbers on the property to date in sample GTJ-05-11 taken from exposed rock in old trenches in the Rainstorm zone (Assessment Report 28003).
In 2007, Bard Ventures Ltd entered an option agreement with property owner Stephen Soby and completed a 3D Induced Polarization survey over the main showings in July of 2007. The program was contracted to SJ Geophysics who carried out the survey over seven 1800 metres lines totalling 12.6 line kilometres of mapped data. The 3D Induced Polarization survey was successful in confirming the known mineralized zones. The survey also provided support for under explored showings not within the main workings (Hidden Treasure, Solo). Another anomalous result of the survey was a poorly defined mineralized dike or fault system trending north of the Copper Crown Zone and east of the Rainstorm Zone (which was out of the surveyed area) (Assessment Report 29505). The 2007 IP work appears to have been conducted over the Copper Crown, Rainstorm, Eureka and North Lake zones.
In 2009 Bard Ventures Ltd expanded on the work done in 2007 by launching a grassroots exploration program on the largely underworked southwest-facing slope of Grouse Mountain. This program included a newly established grid system, analytical soil geochemistry and reconnaissance geological mapping. Eight grid lines totaling 16.85 kilometres were established and 356 soil samples and 6 rock samples were collected. Reconnaissance outcrop mapping was conducted.
The combined 2009 and 2010 soil sample program of , Bard Ventures Ltd consisted of the collection of 758 soil samples on northwest trending grid lines that covered the Copper Crown and Rainstorm zones (Assessment Report 31153 and 32238). The combined two year program resulted in the clear definition of several anomalous multi-element soil geochemical trends for copper, zinc and silver which closely approximate the linear orientation of the major mineralized zones identified central to and north of Coppermine Lake. The linear trends comprise a combination of both single and multi-element anomalies interpreted to extend intermittently from 200 metres up to 1000 metres in length and are concentrated in the northern half of the geochemical grid.