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File Created: 24-Jul-85 by BC Geological Survey (BCGS)
Last Edit:  23-Oct-14 by George Owsiacki(GO)

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NMI 104P5 Au1
Name TAURUS, CASSIAR, CORNUCOPIA, COPCO, HANNA, 88 HILL, TAURUS WEST, HIGHWAY, HANNAH, CUSAC, CASSIAR GOLD, B.M. Mining Division Liard
BCGS Map 104P022
Status Past Producer NTS Map 104P05E
Latitude 59º 16' 28" N UTM 09 (NAD 83)
Longitude 129º 41' 22" W Northing 6570815
Easting 460706
Commodities Gold, Silver, Zinc, Copper Deposit Types I01 : Au-quartz veins
Tectonic Belt Omineca Terrane Slide Mountain
Capsule Geology

The Cornucopia occurrence, now called the Taurus mine, is located on Quartzrock Creek about 9 kilometres east of Cassiar. The property was staked in 1935 and was a producing gold mine from 1981 to March 1988 when it ceased mining; milling operations were halted in April.

The mine is located within the Sylvester Allochthon, which is composed of Devonian-Triassic volcanic, sedimentary and ultramafic rocks. The allochthon is composed of discrete lithotectonic packages, and was initially divided into an upper and lower thrust sheet in an adjacent map sheet (Gordey et al., 1982), but has recently been divided into three divisions (Nelson et al., Fieldwork, 1987). The allochthon is locally bounded by the Cassiar batholith to the west and overlies Paleozoic platformal rocks to the east. The geology around the Taurus mine is composed of massive to pillowed andesite to basalt flows which belong to Gordey's "Lower Assemblage" or the "Division II" of Nelson. These "greenstones" are Mississippian to Permian in age and part of the Upper Paleozoic Slide Mountain Complex.

Gold mineralization at the Taurus mine occurs in east striking quartz veins which dip 50 to 60 degrees to the south. The veins contain some calcite and commonly exhibit graphitic banding. Alteration, characterized by intense silicification, disseminated pyrite and carbonate alteration, forms 1 to 2-metre wide halos around the vein within the wallrock. The vein widths vary considerably but are generally from 50 centimetres to 2 metres. Sulphides occur as bands and blebs within zones 10 to 20 centimetres wide along the vein margins, and consist mainly of pyrite with minor tetrahedrite, sphalerite, arsenopyrite and chalcopyrite. Vein cores contain rare visible gold.

Sampling in 1987 (Exploration in British Columbia 1987) has shown that gold concentrations are greatest in the sulphide bands along the vein margins. The gold occurs as fine inclusions in pyrite, as fracture fillings associated with tetrahedrite, sphalerite and chalcopyrite and associated with graphitic stringers in quartz veins (Grant, D.R., 1981).

The mine was developed on five levels from 1981 to 1988, obtaining ore from at least 6 different veins, with an average grade of 6 to 7 grams per tonne gold.

Estimated reserves are 270,000 tonnes grading 7.2 to 8.6 grams per tonne gold (Information Circular 1993-13, page 17).

An inferred mineral reserve has been calculated from 30 trenches and 19 diamond-drill holes (George Cross News Letter No.237 (December 10), 1993. Total inferred reserves are 436,315 tonnes grading 7.19 grams per tonne gold.

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Zone Tonnage (tonnes) Grade (grams/tonnes)
88-1 63497 8.22
88-1 South 45355 5.48
93-1 181420 6.17
93-1 South 63497 6.85
93-2A 29027 16.96 (cut)
93-2B 27213 5.38
93-2C 15420 8.43
93-2D 10885 7.57
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Cyprus Canada Inc. under a joint venture agreement with International Taurus Resources Inc. and Cusac Gold Mines Ltd., completed a major drilling program (12,670 metres in 78 drillholes) designed to delineate a large tonnage, low grade, bulk mineable (potentially heap leachable) gold deposit in the vicinity of the Taurus, Sable and Plaza underground workings. The gold is contained in three zones (88 Hill, Taurus West and B.M.) of pyritic quartz veins and carbonate altered, fine grained pyritic volcanic rocks approximately 330 metres apart and extending westward onto the property of Cusac Gold Mines.

Results indicate that the mineralization, which is concentrated between a hangingwall basalt and a footwall argillite, is present over a large area, 1.5 kilometres in an east-west direction and 800 metres wide. The mineralized zone, which ranges in thickness from 70 to 150 metres, strikes approximately 070 degrees and dips 20 degrees to the southeast. The quartz vein structures within it (which carry higher grades) trend northerly and are steeply dipping. The "stratabound" zone includes a higher grade portion (2 to 3 grams per tonne gold) within an average grade of 1 gram per tonne gold, based on a cutoff grade of approximately 0.75 gram per tonne gold. Based on results to date, a consultant to the company estimates the size of the gold deposit to be at least 130 million tonnes grading 0.95 gram per tonne gold (Information Circular 1996-1, page 18).

Mineralization at 88 Hill extends at least 1000 metres by 400 metres and includes surface and underground development work on the Sable and Plaza vein systems. This area or system is located in the area where MINFILE occurrence Mack (104P 011) is plotted. Pyritic quartz vein mineralization occurs in swarms or sheets within pyritized and ankeritized basalt. Veins exposed in trenches and underground workings generally strike east-west with steep north and south dips and occur as broad zones of small tensional veins and narrow zones around continuous veins. These mineralized zones are separated by unaltered, unmineralized basalt. Mineralized zones are broadly continuous but individual structures are not correlatable. The 88 Hill zone is open to the east back toward the Taurus mine, and to the north and south. To the north, the zone may continue into the Highway zone. Mineralization in the 88 West zone does not appear to extend beyond the east dipping Taurus West fault.

The Highway zone lies along the north side of the highway between Quartzrock Creek and the Taurus West fault. Geologically, the Highway zone is very similar to the 88 Hill zone, with pyritic quartz vein mineralization in the east to broad quartz-rich zones in the west. The Highway gold zone has been traced by drilling for approximately one kilometre between the Taurus West fault and Quartzrock Creek along a 070 degree strike. Dips are vertical to steep north and widths between 10 and 30 metres. Pyritic quartz vein mineralization previously yielded 1 to 2 grams per tonne (average) gold values over the width of the zone (Assessment Report 27226). The Taurus West zone is located about 500 metres north of the Highway zone which is about 250 metres north of the Hill 88 West zone which itself is about 500 metres west of the Hill 88 area. The Taurus West zone hosts disseminated pyrite-type mineralization. Drilling and limited trenching by Cyprus Canada in 1995 outlined strong fine pyrite mineralization in the Taurus West area with broad intersections such as 2.47 grams per tonne gold over 86 metres in drillhole T95-29.

In July 1996, Cyprus relinquished its agreement as the size of the Taurus deposit failed to meet the company's requirements. International Taurus began an infill reverse circulation program at 25-metre centres on the 88 Hill zone. It also completed further trenching on the zone. Thirty-six reverse circulation and four diamond-drill holes were put down on the 88 Hill zone; drilling extended the zone 300 metres to the west. The zone remains open to the southeast and west.

Close-spaced drilling in the 88 Hill zone during 1996 outlined a drill indicated reserve of 13,725,350 tonnes grading 1.01 grams per tonne gold. In addition, wide-spaced drilling further west of the 88 Hill zone, in the Taurus West zone, has outlined a drill inferred reserve of 25,134,000 tonnes grading 0.67 gram per tonne gold (George Cross News Letter No.78 (April 23), 1997).

Cusac Gold Mines Ltd. acquired the property in 1998. In 1999, they announced a mineral inventory of over 50 million grams of gold. Economic gold mineralization at the surface in six contiguous zones, based on 130 drillholes (18,638 metres), totals 62,397,477 tonnes grading 0.8 gram per tonne gold. Cusac proposes a start-up operation in the central part of the gold deposit (the 88 Hill zone). When grade perimeters are applied cutting high assays and using a minimum cutoff grade, 88 Hill contains a drilled indicated resource of 11,361,095 tonnes grading 1.08 grams per tonne gold. Using a higher minimum cutoff grade, 88 Hill contains a drilled indicated resource of 8,553,087 tonnes grading 1.28 grams per tonne gold. Parts of three zones, including 88 Hill, have a drilled indicated resource of 23,439,899 tonnes grading 1.07 grams per tonne gold (Press Release - Cusac Gold Mines Ltd., June 22, 1999).

In 2003, Navasota Resources Ltd. completed geological mapping and a 13-hole drill program on the Taurus gold prospect under an agreement with International Taurus Resources Inc. The holes tested the bulk-tonnage potential of the 88 Hill area and of the Sable and Plaza vein systems. In the 88 Hill zone, holes COR-03-06 and COR-03-08 intersected 10 to 30 metre long core intervals averaging 0.7 to 1.0 grams per tonne gold and narrow intervals of higher grade material; the best intersection was 4.74 grams per tonne gold over 5.18 metres. In the Taurus West zone, hole COR-03-01 yielded up to 37 metres of core length averaging between 1.0 and 1.7 grams per tonne gold. In early 2004, Navasota announced it would not maintain its option on the property.

See Assessment Report 33501 for a more detailed discussion of the work history of the Taurus area.

Between 2007 and 2010, Hawthorne Gold Corp. consolidated the Cassiar Gold Project by acquiring 46 mineral claims from American Bonanza Gold Corp., 46 mineral claims from Cusac Gold Mines and 124 mineral claims by staking or other mineral claim purchases.

In March 2009, Hawthorne Gold Corp. released an updated mineral resource estimate of 33.055 million tonnes Au grading 0.99 gram per tonne gold based on a 0.50 gram per tonne cutoff grade (Hawthorne Gold Corp. - News Release March 19, 2009).

On April 5, 2011, Hawthorne Gold Corp. was renamed China Minerals Mining Corporation. During 2012, China Minerals Mining Corporation completed drilling campaigns at the Taurus (43 holes) and Table Mountain (104P 070, 10 holes) properties of their Cassiar Gold Project.

Bibliography
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