Unlike the other showings on Dome Mountain which occur in foliated and altered tuff, the Free Gold veins are hosted in massive dark green andesite which is only slightly altered and lacks foliation. Interbedded andesite, tuff, and breccia of the Lower Jurassic Nilkitkwa Formation (Hazelton Group) strike northwest and are intruded by irregular dike-like quartz porphyry bodies and several small diorite plugs and dikes. The andesitic tuffs exhibit moderate chlorite alteration with minor epidote along fractures. The quartz feldspar porphyry intrusive shows weak potassium feldspar flooding and clay alteration.
Structurally, the rocks are cut by high angle faults and shears oriented from 290 to 330 degrees. The shears host narrow bands of intense chlorite alteration and orange limonitic weathering associated with smooth slickensided surfaces. The slickensides show many stages of movement at variable orientations. The faulting and shearing is believed to be the main control for the quartz veining.
Five major veins have been discovered and many smaller quartz veins, varying from a few centimetres to 2 metres in width. Most dip steeply northeast, east of the main showings some shallow- dipping veins are also present. Some of the veins may merge at depth as indicated by conveying strike and dip directions. The veins contain up to 20 per cent finely disseminated or banded pyrite, with minor amounts of sphalerite, galena, tetrahedrite, and chalcopyrite and rare free gold. The gold occurs mainly as grains in galena and chalcopyrite and microveinlets in fractured pyrite.
Prospectors first staked claims on Dome Mountain in 1914 to cover several showings of gold bearing quartz veins. In 1933, underground development began on the Free Gold showing. A test shipment of 680 pounds from vein #3 in 1938 averaged 61 grams per tonne gold, 75 grams per tonne silver, 1.54 per cent lead, 5.87 per cent zinc, 0.15 per cent copper, 0.02 per cent arsenic, 10.38 per cent sulphur. In 1940 another 2715 tonnes of high grade ore was shipped. In 1981, 186 tonnes was shipped which returned a grade of 47.3 grams per tonne gold.
Free Gold Analyses
(all values in parts per million)
Au Ag Cu Pb Zn
84 31.5 34 1400 4600 56000
85A 18.5 105 1300 4700 12400
84- quartz vein from trench with sphalerite, trace galena, and chalcopyrite 85A-quartz vein with sphalerite, trace of galena (D. MacIntrye, 1987).
In 1983, Reako Exploration and Panther Mines reported 8.75 kilograms of gold and 16.1 kilograms of silver had been produced from the Free Gold showing (Property File Rimfire Canadian-United Minerals, 1986). Noranda Exploration Corporation Limited consolidated all the claims on Dome Mountain in 1984 and conducted a program of soil geochemistry surveys, geological mapping, trenching and 33 diamond-drill holes. Canadian-United took over the operation in 1985 and proceeded with a drill program in 1986, which led to the discovery of the Boulder Creek zone (093L 276).
The Chance group of claims, owned in 1923 by Alex Chisholm and associates, was optioned by the Trites-Wood Syndicate and some exploration work carried out. The location of the Chance group is not known other than that it adjoined the Dome Mountain property. In September 1923 Chisholm discovered and staked the Free Gold showings. No further activity was reported until 1931 when Alex and Angus Chisholm, of Smithers, carried out some work on the Free Gold and Iron Mask claims. The 16 claim property was optioned to the firm of W.R. Wilson and Sons, who incorporated Babine Gold Mines, Limited, in March 1932. A program of underground development was begun and continued into 1935. The workings at that time included about 550 metres of stripping and trenching, 170 metres of crosscut and 125 metres of drifts in one adit, 19 metres of raising, and 5 shallow shafts. A small amount of ore was shipped to the Provincial Government sampling plant at Prince Rupert in 1940.
The claims lapsed and the ground was restaked in 1942 by the original owner, Alex Chisholm, and Arthur J. Cope, both of Smithers. The property comprised 8 claims, including the Joe, Sally, Gold Rock, Fur, etc.
Privateer Mine Limited optioned the property in 1943 and out further drifting; this work extended one ore shoot to a length of 28 metres with an average width of 30 centimetres and an average grade of 75.4 grams per tonne gold uncut. The company held the option until 1946.
Trans-American Mining Corporation Limited optioned the property in 1947 and carried out trenching, stripping, and sampling. The option was subsequently given up.
Joseph T. Mandy, of Vancouver, optioned the claims in 1951 and by an agreement assigned his interest in the property to Lake Surprise Mine Limited. The company reopened the underground workings for mapping and sampling. Some dump ore was shipped during the Year. In 1952 the option was assigned to The Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited
Dome Babine Gold Mines Ltd., incorporated July 7, 1967 and changed to Dome Babine Mines Ltd. on July 20, 1967 optioned 64 claims in the SK group. Work included a geochemical survey, bulldozer trenching, and exploration diamond drilling, mainly outside of the main vein systems; the claims subsequently reverted to owners A. Cole and M. Mesich.
Amoco Canada Petroleum Company Ltd. held the property in 1972 as the E 1-32 and Gold Rock 1-6 claims. Work during the year included geological mapping, an induced polarization survey over 21 line-kilometres, a ground magnetometer survey over 21 line-kilometres, and a geochemical silt, soil, water, and rock survey (370 samples) covering all claims.
The showings were held in 1976 and 1977 by Paul Plicka as the Mona claim (20 units); trenching was reported.
Around 1979, Kryco Mines Ltd. acquired the Lucky Gold (Free Gold) property and constructed a 2.5 kilometres access road from the Fulton Lake main logging road and the old workings were rehabilitated. The company continued drifting along vein 3 to hook up with the workings below shaft 2. Approximately 45 tonnes of ore mined in the 1930s ate stockpiled outside the portal (main dump) and another 45 tonnes broken in 1979 were stockpiled (new dump) from a surface exposure located approximately 55 metres south of the portal. Another 45 to 91 tonnes are in a number of small dumps along the surface expression the vein system which has been traced by trenches and shafts over a length of 180 metres.
In 1980, there were shipped to Trail 295 tonnes of vein material reportedly averaging 41.83 grams per tonne gold and 85.71 grams per tonne silver; there are an estimated 1814 tonnes of dump material at the portal of the Free Gold adit and there are 10500 tonnes grading 21.26 grams per tonne gold, 26.74 grams per tonnes silver, 0.39 per cent lead and 0.99 per cent zinc in the No. 3 and 4 veins. (Panther Mines Ltd., SMF 162181 (as reported in National Mineral Inventory card 093L/15 AU 1)). At this time the main quartz veins were mapped and chip sampled. During 1981 Panther-Reako diamond drilled 7 holes totalling 3,025 feet and a 45 tonne per day portable concentrator was operating intermittently. In a period in October 1981 it was processing 63 tonnes per day. Panther and Reako purchased Kryco Mines in 1981 or 1982. In August 1982, open cut mining of a zone 3 metres wide, 7.6 metres deep and 76 metres long was being done.
Panther Mines Ltd optioned the property from Lorne Warren in 1980 and subsequently entered into a 50-50 joint venture with Reako Explorations Ltd. Work in 1981 included 990 metres of diamond drilling in 7 holes, 1714 metres of percussion drilling in 225 holes, a survey of 367 metres of underground workings, and trenching; some 10884 tonnes were mined from one of the trenches, A 90.7 tonne per day portable mill was installed some 10 kilometres northwest of the property and operated in the fall of 1981 and in July-October 1982, milling approximately 5314 tonnes of ore (BC government (MINFILE)). A total of 11665 grams of gold, 20034 grams silver 6906 kilograms of zinc and 1849 kilograms of lead were recovered ((BC government (MINFILE)).
Noranda Exploration Company, Limited optioned the property from Panther and Reako in April 1986. A reconnaissance soil geochemistry program was undertaken to cover areas of Dome Mountain peripheral to the Noranda grids. As a part of that program much of the Free Gold property was sampled. A total of 8 multi-element soil geochemical anomalies were identified but were never followed up.
In 1997, Panther Mines conducted a program that consisted of geochemical sampling in the area of the Free Gold showings (Assessment Report 25397). The sampling program targeted anomalies which had been identified by Canadian United Minerals in their 1986 sampling program on the property and which had never been followed up. A total of six (6) anomalies were tested. Sampling was completed on mini-grids established over the anomalous sites.
In 2000 and 2001 a total of 14 rock samples were collected by Lawrence Hewitt (Assessment Report 26788).
In 2006, Christopher James Gold Corp was operator of the Dome Mountain property, including the Free Gold, and conducted some work on the Free Gold showing (Assessment Report 28891). At the time, Guardsmen Resources Inc was listed as the owner.
In 2013, Metal Mountain Resources Inc., wholly owned subsidiary Gavin Mines Inc, conducted a soil sampling program over the Chance (093L 278) and Free Gold (093L 023) occurrences and the area between, resulted in the collection of 745 samples (Assessment Report 33666).