The Pasayten prospect is situated 400 to 800 metres west of the confluence of the Similkameen and Pasayten rivers, 34 kilometres south-southwest of Princeton.
Exploration work has been conducted in the Bell Creek area since 1900. Most of this work has been focused on a couple of showings near the eastern boundary of Manning Provincial Park, just north of Eastgate, British Columbia. The Redstar (092HSE067) has received the most exploration attention, although the Knob Hill (092HSE097), Golden Crown (092HSE191) and Paw (092HSE093) have also been explored. Several adits were excavated on the better showings by early workers, extending up to 332 metres in length. The Paw prospect was intermittently explored between 1900 and 1927. Between 1967 and 1970, Spheno Mines Ltd. carried out an exploration program over the Knob Hill and Red Star claim area. Cominco Ltd. optioned the claims covering the Red Star occurrence in 1980 and conducted a comprehensive exploration program for volcanogenic massive sulphide deposits. In 1986 and 1987, Bukara Resources Ltd. completed additional exploration including 1100 metres of trenching, focused on gold-bearing pyritiferous schists in the Red Star horizon. In 1990, the Red Star occurrence and surrounding area were restaked by Pamicon Developments Ltd. in 1990. In 1992, Westmin Resources Ltd. optioned the claims from Pamicon Developments Ltd. and conducted two phases of comprehensive exploration. In 1993 and 1994, exploration was continued by Westmin Resources Ltd.
The area is underlain by Upper Triassic Nicola Group volcanics which consist of a varied assemblage of volcanic flows, pyroclastics and associated clastics with minor limestone. To the northwest these rocks are unconformably overlain by andesite and basalt flows of the Eocene Princeton Group. Greenschist facies metamorphism has affected the Nicola sequence in a northeast-trending belt, 5 to 6 kilometres wide, that parallels the eastern margin of the Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous Eagle Plutonic Complex. The resulting chloritic and sericitic schists strike 165 to 180 degrees with an average dip of 65 degrees west.
Old workings on the property consist of an adit about 51 metres long and another about 40 metres, with some shallow opencuts and trenches. Mineralization is hosted in numerous narrow quartz veins in foliated mafic volcanics. The veins outcrop over a 400 by 300 metre area lying within and east of Lot 229.
Strong carbonate alteration accompanies the various quartz veins. Ferruginous carbonate is developed throughout the schist in the vicinity of the above vein.
Much of the trenching and tunnelling has concentrated on a narrow quartz vein, 5 to 31 centimetres wide, which follows a major fissure in chlorite and sericite schists. The vein strikes 085 degrees for at least 14 metres and has been traced over a vertical distance of at least 8 metres. The structure of the vein is complicated by postmineral faulting. Intense crossfaulting at one point has segmented the vein into a series of lenses.
The trenched and tunnelled vein contains pyrite, chalcopyrite, bornite, tetrahedrite and azurite. The presence of native gold and a telluride was reported but not confirmed. Strongest mineralization occurs at or near the crossfaults. The various other quartz veins are mineralized with disseminated tetrahedrite, chalcopyrite, bornite and malachite.
A selected grab sample from the lower tunnel of the faulted vein assayed 4.8 grams per tonne gold, 20.6 grams per tonne silver and 4.5 per cent copper (Minister of Mines Annual Report 1927, page 250). Ten grab samples of selected material from the veins assayed 0.03 to 30.65 grams per tonne gold, 1.1 to 13.6 grams per tonne silver, 0.12 to 1.39 per cent copper and nil to 0.14 per cent lead (Assessment Report 21491, Figure 5, samples 95818 to 95827).
The area surrounding the Paw prospect, referred to as the Roche grid area by Westmin Resources Ltd., was soil sampled in 1994 to test for base metal, massive sulphide mineralization associated with felsic volcanics and for gold-copper mineralization associated with quartz veins. The results were the delineation of a copper-zinc soil anomaly striking 175 to 180 degrees. Copper values ranged up to 520 parts per million and zinc concentrations up to 370 parts per million (Assessment Report 23981). This zone is also locally anomalous in barium (up to 1720 parts per million).