The Lorraine developed prospect is situated in the Swannell Ranges (Omineca Mountains) near the headwaters of Duckling Creek, approximately 40 kilometres west of Germansen Landing and 280 kilometres northwest of Prince George. Malachite mineralization coating several fault-line cliffs near the base of what is now known as the Upper zone was apparently known to local natives for many years before being shown to prospectors during World War I.
The area is underlain by mesozonal plutonic rocks assigned to the Late Triassic to Early Cretaceous Hogem Intrusive Complex, which have been emplaced into volcanic rocks of the Middle Triassic–Lower Jurassic Takla Group, east of the Pinchi fault zone. The plutonic rocks form an elongate batholith, extending from Chuchi Lake north to the Mesilinka River. Garnett (1978) subdivided the southern Hogem Batholith into three distinct phases:
1. Late Triassic–Middle Jurassic Hogem granodiorite and Hogem basic suite,
2. Middle Jurassic Duckling Creek and Chuchi Syenite complexes and
3. Early Cretaceous granite.
The structural setting of the batholith and the intruded Takla Group is one of vertical tectonics associated with graben development (Bulletin 70).
Recent mapping resulted in the division of the Duckling Creek Complex into two distinct phases, and in doing so reassigned the mafic portions, previously thought to be older, to the younger phase of the complex. Phase one consists of feldspathic biotite pyroxenites, mela syenites and, hosting the mineralization, the monzo-syenite. Alkaline minerals such as pseudoleucite, nepheline, melanite, aegirine and augite are noted. Phase two is mainly leucocratic syenites and megacrystic porphyries dikes. The alteration includes strong potassic calc-silicate assemblages followed by minor propylitic or sericitic alteration. Scarce, younger potash feldspar and quartz veins cut rock. The mineralization in the main zone consists of disseminated copper sulphides and minor veinlets. The minerals are chalcopyrite and bornite and minor pyrite. Abundant secondary minerals might include magnetite and hematite, as well as the typical copper alteration minerals. The minor net textured sulphides are thought to have formed as a result of infiltration (Geofile 2003-6).
The deposit is hosted within rocks assigned to the Middle Jurassic Duckling Creek Syenite Complex, although rocks representing all three intrusive phases are present in the area. The complex forms a northwesterly trending, roughly elliptical body approximately 5 kilometres wide and 32 kilometres long. Rocks in the complex vary considerably in texture, mafic content and specific mineralogy, but have been subdivided into two main divisions: pink holofelsic syenite, varying in texture from aplitic to pegmatitic, and pink, fine- to medium-grained syenite migmatite. Copper mineralization (with or without gold) consisting predominantly of disseminated chalcopyrite and bornite occurs in the mafic-rich portions of foliated syenite migmatite adjacent to the northeast contact of the complex with phase 1 monzonite.
The Lorraine deposit consists of two fault-bound mineralized zones (greater than 0.25 per cent copper), referred to as the Upper Main and Lower Main zones. The Upper zone is well exposed and deeply weathered, whereas the Lower zone is concealed and relatively unweathered. The Upper zone consists of one continuous mineralized body; the Lower zone comprises several smaller bodies. Both zones occur in distinctly orange-coloured, foliated syenite migmatite that contains metasomatized relicts of pyroxenite, diorite, monzonite and finely banded, possibly metavolcanics, basement rocks. Aplitic to pegmatitic leucocratic syenite and syenite feldspar porphyry form dikes and sills that are younger than the syenite migmatite. Aplitic to pegmatitic leucocratic granite dikes occur throughout the Upper zone. The dikes parallel well-developed, northeasterly trending, nearly vertical fractures and were emplaced after the period of sulphide enrichment.
A potassium-argon age determination using potassium-feldspathized biotite pyroxenite from the Lower zone yielded an age of 175 ± 5 Ma (Bulletin 70, Appendix 1). This is considered to indicate the minimum age of the syenitic intrusion and the maximum age of the sulphide mineralization (Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Special Volume 15).
The mineralized zones parallel the westerly trend of the foliated migmatite. Erratic mineralized lenses in the Lower zone are controlled by steeply dipping foliation; however, in overall shape, the zones have the appearance of slabs with moderate westerly dips. Thus, the mineralized zones appear to form lenticular bodies that plunge gently west. Taken as one deposit, the Lorraine has a total length of approximately 900 metres, an average surficial width of approximately 240 metres and an average thickness (depth) of approximately 70 metres (measured from Figures 1, 3 and 4, Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Special Volume 15, pp. 398–399).
In the Upper zone, significant copper mineralization appears to be confined to a narrow slab enclosed by relatively unmineralized syenite migmatite. Although the Upper zone has been isolated from the Lower zone by faulting, sulphide deposition in both zones seems to be related to migmatite emplacement.
Three steeply dipping fracture patterns can be distinguished in the general region. The most prominent pattern strikes approximately 285 degrees and is the youngest fracture system. It cuts northeast-trending dikes and fractures. The northeast fracture system strikes from 50 to 75 degrees and is the next most prominent set. A third fracture set strikes north.
Numerous faults disrupt and segregate mineralized segments within the Lower zone. Local faults appear to be related to a major north-trending lineament west of the deposit. Although most mineralization is disseminated, primary sulphides are found less commonly on fractures, and some faults are loci for high-grade zones; however, the major fracture patterns cut the mineralization and offset the youngest dikes.
The best mineralized sections contain disseminated chalcopyrite and bornite, although sulphide-bearing veinlets and fracture-fillings are also present. The Lower zone consists entirely of primary sulphides, erratically distributed in mafic-rich lenses in the syenite migmatite. Within individual lenses, there is a mineral zonation from an outer rim of chalcopyrite with minor pyrite, through a zone of chalcopyrite with minor bornite into a core of bornite with minor chalcopyrite. Magnetite is common in veinlets and stringers and as an accessory mineral throughout the zone.
Although the Upper zone has similar primary sulphide content, mineralization is more homogeneous and the syenite migmatite has less mafic streaking. In addition, the Upper zone is highly oxidized and malachite, azurite, chalcocite, covellite, cuprite and limonite have been recognized.
In both zones, the copper mineralization (from 0.25 to 2 per cent) is associated with high biotite and chlorite content, potash feldspathization, pervasive sericitization and the presence of accessory epidote and magnetite.
To the southwest, mapping (to 2006) extended the main zone alteration and mineralization panel southeasterly to Copper Peak, an extension of 1 kilometre that has seen only minor drilling to 2006. Between the soil anomaly to the northeast on All Alone Dome (MINFILE 093N 225) and the recognition of the main mineralized panel extending to Copper Peak, approximately 2 kilometres of potential main zone panel exists.
The first claims on Lorraine Mountain were made by prospectors in 1931. Consolidated Mining & Smelting Company Limited acquired the property in 1943 but allowed the claims to lapse in 1947. Later in 1947, a predecessor to Kennecott staked the property. By 1949, they had mapped the surface of the main zone and completed five diamond drill holes. In 1961, the property was enlarged and geochemical and geophysical surveys were completed along with two diamond drill holes. Granby Mining Corporation then optioned the property from 1970 to 1973. They also enlarged the property and conducted soil and rock sampling, trenching, mapping, 3992 metres of diamond drilling and 2470 metres of percussion drilling on the main zone.
Indicated potential (possible) reserves based on work by Kennco Explorations and Granby Mining Company through 1976 for the Upper zone are 4.5 million tonnes grading 0.75 per cent copper and 0.34 gram per tonne gold. Similar reserves for the Lower zone are 5.5 million tonnes grading 0.6 per cent copper and 0.1 gram per tonne gold. A 0.4 per cent copper cutoff grade was used for both calculations (Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Special Volume 15, page 397).
Further work and drilling was completed in 1990 and 1993 by Kennecott after the property had been dormant for 15 years.
In 1991, Kennecott resumed management of the property and embarked on a 12-hole (2392-metre) diamond drill program in the Lorraine area, with nine holes drilled in the Lorraine Extension (later called the Bishop) zone (MINFILE 093N 066). Two holes were also drilled in the Weber zone and one hole was drilled in the North Cirque zone. Detailed geological mapping and petrographic studies were begun during this program. The exploration program also extended to the Dorothy-Elizabeth areas. Work consisted of road construction (from the Dorothy Duckling Creek access road to the Elizabeth Breccia area), test pitting, rock sampling, induced polarization surveys and diamond drilling six NQ-size holes for a total of 961.6 metres. The first three holes were drilled at the Dorothy showing in the vicinity of Northwestern’s 1949 drillholes; the remaining three holes were drilled along the Dorothy Duckling Creek road south of Dorel Creek. The most significant intersection was in hole D91-1, which averaged 0.34 per cent copper and 0.12 gram per tonne gold over 121 metres.
In 1990, BP Resources Canada optioned several claims surrounding the Lorraine claims. This option was negotiated following the discovery of platinum- and palladium-mineralized float by prospector Richard Haslinger in 1990. In 1991, BP located the source of the mineralization in a breccia outcropping on a cliff face. In 1991, BP completed geochemical, induced polarization and minor diamond drilling southeast of the Bishop zone in what is now referred to as the 2Good target, as well as completing a detailed airborne geophysical survey. An expanded program was proposed for 1992 but was not completed, owing to the decision by BP’s parent oil company to wind down BP Resources Canada.
In 1993, Kennecott drilled another two holes (the third hole was lost in overburden) on the Lorraine claims and completed detailed rock-chip sampling of the Main and Extension (Bishop) zones.
In 1994, Lysander Gold Corporation drilled a total of 1221.4 metres in ten holes. Seven holes were drilled on the Bishop zone and three in the western part of the Upper zone. Subsequent to the 1994 drilling, five adjacent Boot-Steele claims of 20 units each were optioned to protect the southeastern extension of the Bishop zone and other prospects near the currently known Lorraine deposits. The Boot 6 claim was later added in the Boot-Steele option.
In 1995, with Explore BC Program support, Lysander Gold Corporation diamond drilled 26 holes totalling 3843.53 metres. Twenty-three holes totalling 2903 metres were drilled on the Upper Main zone and proved that the mineralization is more extensive and deeper than previously recognized. Two holes were drilled on the Bishop zone but intersected only barren pyroxenite, confirming the previously held view that the Bishop zone has been displaced by faulting near the property boundary. One hole was drilled on Jeno Ridge near showings of high-grade copper and precious metals, indicating these showings contain significant amounts of precious metals and copper. Overall, the 1995 program highlights the proof that mineralization in the Upper Main zone occurs as steeply dipping irregular masses with considerable vertical extent, not as a gently west-dipping slab, as previously held. The program also indicated that mineralized talus below the Upper Main zone contains important amounts of copper. Several other zones such as Eckland, Weber, North Cirque and others remain to be drill tested (Explore BC Program 95/96-M86).
Recognizing the importance of the Jajay Ring structure led to Lysander optioning the Dorothy and Steelhead properties and staking the PAL claims in 1996 to protect the area of the Jajay Ring. A modest drilling program of 10 holes in 1996 tested extensions of the Upper Main zone at depth, the southward extension of the Bishop zone by 300 metres, and the potential for higher grades gold mineralization in the Eckland zone and the North Cirque zone. Hole 96-44 assayed 1.49 per cent copper over 32.2 metres, open to depth (Cordilleran Roundup Abstracts, 1997, p. 39). Lysander continued drilling in 1997 with an eight-hole (1146.3-metre) program. Four holes were drilled in the Dorothy showing, three holes in the Bishop zone and one hole in the Ato area (Bobinette claim). Three holes were drilled in 1997 on the Bishop zone. Hole 97-47 cut a 64-metre section averaging 0.58 per cent copper and 0.24 gram per tonne gold (Exploration in BC, 1997, p. 28). Additional geochemical surveys also occurred in 1997, 1999 and 2000.
In 1998, G.R. Peatfield, Ph.D., P. Eng., computed a then-current resource for Lysander Gold Corporation (now known as Lysander Minerals Corporation) using all available drill data current to the end of 1996. Dr. Peatfield’s methodology consisted of using a series of level plans constructed on 10-metre increments to compute new resources present within the Upper Main and Bishop zones. The smaller Lower Main zone, with a published resource originating from earlier Granby Mining and Kennco work, was added to his new calculations. Dr. Peatfield’s categories for the resource (measured, indicated and inferred) conform to definitions currently required and are relevant in the opinion of the author. The summary of resources published in the 1997 Annual Report for Lysander Gold Corporation are:
• total measured and indicated (Upper Main and Bishop)—19.61 million tonnes grading 0.68 per cent copper and 0.185 gram per tonne gold, and
• inferred (Upper Main, Bishop, Lower Main)—12.33 million tonnes grading 0.63 per cent copper and 0.14 gram per tonne gold.
Resources likely indicated for Lorraine are 31 million tonnes grading 0.66 per cent copper, 0.17 gram per tonne gold and 4.7 grams per tonne silver (personal communication, T. Schroeter, 1998).
Lysander Gold Corp. completed a prospecting and sampling program on the Jajay (Lorraine) property in 1999. Lysander staked the Duck claims where the Mackenzie showings (093N 223) occur.
In October 2000, Eastfield Resources Ltd. announced its agreement to option the Lorraine-Jajay property from Lysander. Eastfield has the potential to earn a 75 per cent interest in the property. In the late fall of 2000, Eastfield had completed an initial diamond drilling program (351.7 metres in five BQ-size thin wall holes) on the Mackenzie zone, 11 kilometres south of the Lorraine deposits.
Eastfield Resources continued drilling in 2001 (2508 metres in 13 holes), further extending the Lower Main and Upper Main zones. Drillhole 2001-60 intercepted 133 metres grading 0.76 per cent copper and 0.48 gram per tonne gold. Drilling by Eastfield in 2002 (1106 metres in six NQ-size holes) was successful in extending the Lower Main zone further to the southwest. In addition to drilling, 11.6 line kilometres of induced polarization were completed on several targets, including the All Alone Dome (1 kilometre northwest), where a 500 by 500-metre chargeability high that coincides with a large copper soil anomaly was outlined. In 2002, Eastfield completed seven diamond drill holes totalling 1106 metres, repaired the access road to the camp and completed 12 kilometres of induced polarization surveying. New drill targets were defined for the All Alone Dome and Weber Basin areas. Drilling in 2002 resulted in a 51-metre intercept in drillhole 2002-62 of 0.89 per cent copper and 0.61 gram per tonne gold (Press Release, Eastfield Resources Ltd., June 18, 2002).
In 2003, a property tour located a new area of copper mineralization on the north side of the Steelhead area of interest. Later in the year, a second mineralized showing (mineralized talus) was located 500 metres to the west of the new copper mineralization.
The 2004 exploration program by Eastfield Resources included the drilling of 24 holes in the Lorraine area totalling 4439 metres, 28.9 line kilometres of pole-dipole induced polarization and magnetic geophysical surveys in the Lorraine and Mackenzie areas, 14.31 kilometres of soil sampling in the Mackenzie area, geological mapping at 1:2500 scale in the Lorraine area, reconnaissance prospecting and mapping in the Steelhead, Dorothy, Rhonda and Nupal areas, approximately 9.5 kilometres of road rehabilitation and the construction of 2.5 kilometres of ATV trails. The drill work outlined a continuous 4-kilometre-long northwest-trending zone that includes the previously identified Upper Main, Lower Main, Bishop and Weber prospects. This recent drilling and geological interpretation indicates these zones are part of one deposit that is now interpreted to extend four kilometres. The zone is at least 2 kilometres in width and corresponds in part with a weak to moderate induced polarization chargeability anomaly. Three holes (04-71, 04-72 and 04-73) were completed in the All Alone Dome (093N 225) target, which was marked by a 500 by 500-metre induced polarization chargeability anomaly resulting from a geophysical survey carried out by Eastfield in 2002.
Eastfield Resources Ltd. announced in June 2005 that Eastfield and Lysander Minerals Corporation had signed an agreement with Teck Cominco Limited that allowed Teck Cominco to earn a 51 per cent interest in the Jajay property.
The 2005 exploration program included bedrock mapping, sampling of talus fines, several induced polarization surveys and an additional 17 diamond drill holes (totalling 3704 metres), of which five were in the Mackenzie target, (MINFILE 093N 223), three in the Rhonda target (093N 005), nine on the flank of the Lorraine alteration system in the 2Good Target, and two core holes in the Main and Weber zones of the Lorraine mineral occurrence. The program also included 40.3 line kilometres of pole-dipole induced polarization and magnetic geophysical surveys in the Lorraine, Mackenzie, North Dome, Steelhead and Rhonda areas, grid soil sampling totalling 588 samples at 50-metre spacing in the Mackenzie and 2Good areas, the collection of 390 talus and/or soil samples taken at 100-metre spacing along topographic contours in the south-central part of the property, geological mapping at 1:5000 scale in the Lorraine and Dorothy-Rhonda areas, and reconnaissance prospecting and mapping in the Steelhead, Mackenzie and Nupal areas.
The new 2Good (TooGood) target, located two kilometres west of the Lorraine zone, is defined by a magnetic low–induced polarization chargeability high anomaly but lacks a surface showing. Highlight assays from the Upper Main zone drilling include a 30.08-metre intersection grading 1.19 per cent copper and 0.74 gram per tonne gold in hole 05-105. This intersection effectively extends the Upper Main zone an estimated 250 metres westward.
In 2006, Teck Cominco completed seven NQ-size drillholes (totalling 2606 metres) on the Lorraine property. Drilling took place in an area southwest of the Main-Weber zones, in the south Lorraine Ridge, on Copper Peak and in Bishop Bowl. Each hole was successful in intersecting copper mineralization. At Copper Peak, hole L-06-111 intersected 15.2 metres averaging 0.41 per cent copper. Exploration on the property also included detailed (1:1000) mapping in the Main, Bishop, Copper Ridge and Ekland areas, 1:2500 and 1:5000 scale mapping peripheral to the Lorraine deposit area, an airborne gamma ray spectrometer and magnetic gradiometer survey totalling 1031.87 line kilometres, and the collection of 229 soil and/or talus fine samples in the All Alone Dome and West Rhonda areas (MINFILE 093N 105).
In 2007, Teck Cominco Ltd continued exploration on its Lorraine-Jajay and Jan-Tam-Misty (MINFILEs 093N 001, 093N 093) prospects. An extensive drilling program concentrated on testing Jan-Tam-Misty mineralization, with a broader review of Lorraine-Jajay including approximately 24 kilometres of induced polarization and magnetics.
Exploration in 2008 consisted of minor prospecting to the southeast of the Boundary target area and drilling over the Lorraine-Jajay and Jan-Tam-Misty properties. Drilling occurred in the Boundary, All Alone Dome, Main-Bishop, 2Good and Page Bowl zones and targeted integrated geological, geophysical and soil geochemical targets developed from the results of the 2007 exploration program. A total of 19 NQ-size drillholes were completed totalling 6935.5 metres. Drillhole L08-120 confirmed the presence of a lower mineralized zone beneath the Lower Main zone.
In 2010, exploration focused on the Too Good prospect and Bishop zone. A 149-sample deep-penetrating soil survey was completed along with spectral and lithogeochemical surveys of 10 holes of existing drillcore.
Results from the 2008 drill program included 54.8 metres of 0.59 per cent copper in drillhole L08-121 (Assessment Report 30584)