The Independence prospect is located about 550 metres east of Fitzgerald Creek, on the west side of the Bear River valley, 16 kilometres north of Stewart. These showings are located on the new Big Casino claim, which is different from the Big Casino Crown- granted claim (Lot 4529, 104A 034). The property includes a showing on the Independence 1 claim (104A 132).
The area is underlain by north to northeast striking, steeply dipping andesitic flows and tuffs of the Lower Jurassic Unuk River Formation (Hazelton Group) (Bulletin 58; 63). The volcanics are intruded by several closely spaced north-northwest trending quartz monzonite and andesite dikes that form part of the Portland Canal dike swarm (Bulletin 58).
There are two types of veins on the property: 1) simple - represented by narrow veins such as those seen in adits 6, and 2) complex - represented by mesothermal veins with replacement characteristics such as the main vein or vein 1.
The main vein, exposed in the 190 metre long adit 1 and in trenches above the adit, lies along the footwall(?) of an anastomosing quartz monzonite dike. The vein strikes at 135 degrees and dips 80 degrees east. The vein, 2 to 6.6 metres wide, can be traced nearly continuously for 180 metres. Mineralization comprises banded silica-jasper-barite- magnetite with up to 30 per cent pyrite and lesser sphalerite, galena and argentite(?). The mineralization is variably oxidized; wad, limonite and hydrozincite(?) have been reported from the vein; wallrocks are silicified. The average silver assay from underground samples of adit 1 was 54.2 grams per tonne silver over 2.1 metres (Assessment Report 21950). Adit 2 explored the main vein for a distance of 50 metres.
The main vein is exposed at surface in trench 7 and a weighted average sample assayed 604 grams per tonne silver over 5 metres (Assessment Report 21950). In 1980, one channel sample assayed 0.8 gram per tonne gold, 93.3 grams per tonne silver, 4.66 per cent copper, 0.27 per cent lead and 0.52 per cent zinc across 2.0 metres (Assessment Report 8968).
Vein 2, parallel to the main vein, is exposed in trench 6. A weighted average sample assayed 133.7 grams per tonne silver over 3 metres (Assessment Report 21950).
To the east, a third parallel vein occurs in trench 5. A weighted average sample assayed 104.55 grams per tonne silver over 6.5 metres (Assessment Report 21950).
North of trench 5, about 150 metres, mineralized and silicified breccia zones are exposed in trenches 2, 3 and 4. These zones, in sheared felsic dikes, are parallel to vein 1. A sample, taken across a 2 metre wide breccia zone, assayed 116.5 grams per tonne silver (Assessment Report 21950).
About 220 metres northeast of adit 1, two other adits (adits 3 and 4) have been emplaced on a mineralized zone, flanked by two dikes, in andesitic tuff. Mineralization comprises jasper, pyrite and sphalerite. A chip sample from adit 4 (the upper adit) assayed 4.1 grams per tonne gold and 93.9 grams per tonne silver across 5.0 metres (Assessment Report 15581).
Veins 1 and 2 and the parallel structure to the north were the focus of a 1990 drilling program. Veins 1 and 2 and the parallel structure to the south (104A 132?) were the focus of a 1991 drilling program. The drilling programs outlined the presence of a potential "ore shoot" in the explored portion of the main vein, located in the area north of adit 2. An estimate of the reserves in the area between trench 7 on the surface and adit 1 (95 to 99 metres below surface), which is part of the "ore shoot", was made in 1990. Preliminary possible geological reserves for the main vein were 177,809 tonnes grading 240 to 343 grams per tonne silver (Assessment Report 21950).
The area of the showing may have originally been covered by the Initial claim group (Geological Survey of Canada Map 28A), located before 1913 (Geological Survey of Canada Memoir 32, page 51). The Independent and Independent 1-5 claims were owned by the Fitzgerald brothers from about 1919. The Algunican Development Company Ltd. optioned the property in 1920 and drilled two holes; results were disappointing. In 1921, the owners commenced an exploration adit. In 1924, the Independence Gold Mining Company was formed. Revenue Mining Company Ltd. acquired a majority interest in the company in 1926. In 1928, about 1000 metres of drilling was done on the main vein; the results are not known. Several (four?) exploration adits were driven before 1929. Two adits were driven on the main area; two other adits were emplaced about 220 metres to the northeast. Several opencuts were made above adits 1 and 2 on the main vein. Canex Aerial Exploration apparently did some work in 1965; the results are not available. No further work was reported until 1980 when Tournigan Mining Explorations Ltd. conducted geological mapping in the area of the showings, and underground work on the Independence claims. In 1984, Tournigan conducted further geological mapping and stream sediment surveys in the area; no work was reported on the showing. In 1986, Moche Resources Inc. acquired the Rock of Ages (104A 133-135, 137) group, including the Big Casino and Independence claims. The showings were included in the Big Casino claim. That year Moche Resources flew a heli-borne VLF-EM and magnetometer survey over the area and carried out soil, silt and rock sampling and conducted geological mapping. In 1988, Moche conducted follow-up exploration to increase the strike length of the veins. In 1990, Remington Creek Resources Inc. subsequently acquired the Independence-Big Casino property and entered into an agreement with Armeno Resources Inc.-Armenex Resources Canada Inc. Further exploration work, including diamond drilling, was conducted in 1990. Armenex drilled 11 holes, mapped and sampled the area in 1991.