The Ascot property, covering a 5-kilometre belt of mineral showings, is situated in the Babine Mountains 30 kilometres east of Smithers. It is at the topographic divide between Canyon Creek, which flows southwest to the Bulkley River, and Stimson Creek which drains northwest to the Fulton River and Babine Lake. Access is by means of an unmaintained dirt road which leaves the Smithers-Babine Lake road at Kilometre 21 and ascends Canyon Creek. The inactive Dome Mountain gold mine (093L 276) is 8 kilometres southwest of the centre of the Ascot claims.
Galena-sphalerite-barite showings were discovered near the head of Canyon Creek in 1951 but not explored at that time.
Mineralization is hosted in limey siltstone and felsic tuff of the Lower Jurassic Nilkitkwa Formation (Hazelton Group). Underlying the sediments are amygdaloidal basalts. The main showing (Coswan) consists of thin bands of light coloured sphalerite and specks of galena and tetrahedrite in limy siltstone. Pyrite and chalcopyrite are also reported as disseminations and along bedding in limestones. Barite, sphalerite, chalcopyrite, and arsenopyrite occur at the fault contact of amygdaloidal basalt and limy sediments. To the northeast, near the headwaters of Canyon Creek, drilling intersected pyrite, sphalerite, and galena as disseminations and hairline fracture fillings in felsic tuff and siltstone; above the mineralized section a diorite sill intrudes thinly bedded argillites.
Ascot Property Analyses
(all values in parts per million)
Au Ag Cu Pb Zn Mo Hg As
63-1 0.10 <10 17 23 4 0.02 1400
(Fieldwork, 1986, page 217).
A trench (Trench 14) on the north side of Canyon Creek uncovered mineralization grading 6.5 per cent zinc and 50 grams per tonne silver across an estimated true width of 8 metres (Assessment Report 16928).
Mineralization (Texasgulf) near Newell Creek, 3.5 kilometres northeast of the main showing, tested by a Texas Gulf drill hole, consists of finely disseminated sphalerite and galena in felsic tuff. A 14.6-metre composite sample assayed 0.67 per cent zinc and 0.12 per cent lead (Assessment Report 6784). East (1.5 kilometres) of the Texasgulf showing, the Eastern showing contains disseminated chalcopyrite and sphalerite with hornfelsed felsic tuffs and andesite.
In 1967 and 1968, Texas Gulf Sulphur Company (Texas Gulf) completed a reconnaissance stream sediment sampling program and staked the 160-claim Ascot Group to cover silt anomalies in the headwaters of Canyon Creek, Byron Creek and Stimson Creek. In 1968, Texas Gulf carried out property-wide geological mapping (Assessment Report 1702), a reconnaissance ground electromagnetic survey and analyzed 368 soil samples for cold-extractable zinc (Assessment Report 1702).
In 1968, Peatfield and Loudon (Assessment Report 1702) identified and mapped several mineral occurrences, including: five sphalerite-galena plus/minu barite occurrences within impure limestones along Canyon Creek, a small massive pyrite lens at the contact between rhyolite and graphitic argillite in Canyon Creek; and copper showings within rhyolite on Byron Creek and south of Canyon Creek.
In June 1969, Texas Gulf flew an electromagnetic-magnetic airborne survey over 39 square kilometres of the Ascot property (Assessment Report 2139). Selected airborne anomalies were ground-truthed later that year using McPhar IREM and Crone JEM electromagnetic survey equipment and a fluxgate magnetometer. The ground-based geophysical grid, which totaled 43 line-kilometres, was soil sampled at 61 metre intervals on lines 122 metres apart. Soil samples were analyzed for total copper and cold-extractable zinc (Assessment Report 2141). Three diamond drill sites were selected on the basis of the ground-based geophysical surveys, in areas of limited mapping and no known mineralization. Texas Gulf did not report any results for these short holes, but Barry Price (Assessment Report 6784 (1978) re-logged and re-sampled drillhole DDH-1. The top 14.6 metres of this hole assayed 0.67 per cent zinc and 0.12 per cent lead within altered dacitic tuff. Drillholes DDH-2 and DDH-3 were cored through a diorite/argillite contact, apparently without intersecting significant mineralization. Texas Gulf allowed their claims to lapse in 1977.
The main showings were re-staked several times over the next decade, and several modest mapping, prospecting and geophysical programs were conducted. In 1978, Price (Assessment Report 6784) completed detailed geological mapping and a magnetometer survey in the area of Texas Gulf's drillhole DDH-1 and reported three horizons of low-grade, stratiform sphalerite-galena mineralization nearby. He also prospected in the vicinity of Texas Gulf's sphalerite-galena-barite showings in Canyon Creek, discovering several new showings and identifying a felsic breccia with pyrite and sphalerite in the matrix (Assessment Report 6937). One of the limestone-hosted sphalerite occurrences in Canyon Creek was tested by the drilling of three ‘packsack’ holes totalling just 7.0 metres; the best drill intersection graded 1.6 per cent zinc over 3.5 metres (Assessment Report 6937).
In 1981, two days of prospecting were also directed at the Canyon Creek showings (Assessment Report 10076). In 1984, claims covering the main Texas Gulf showings were acquired by Geostar Mining Corporation.
Limited magnetometer and VLF-EM surveys were carried out in October 1984 on reconnaissance lines crossing areas of known mineralization (Assessment Report 14307). The following year, Geostar collected 172 soil samples from two small grids near the headwaters of Byron Creek, north and east of Texas Gulf's drillhole DDH-1. One of the grids was also covered by a reconnaissance VLF-EM survey (Assessment Report 14616). In 1985, Noranda Exploration Company staked the Byron 1 and 2 claims, north and east of Geostar's claims at the east end of Texas Gulf's former Ascot claim group. Noranda collected 313 soil samples at 50 m intervals on lines spaced 500 m apart. The work outlined a cluster of zinc-lead-arsenic anomalies approximately 700 m east of Texas Gulf's drillhole DDH-1 (Assessment Report 14026). Noranda also carried out reconnaissance mapping and collected 28 silt samples.
In 1986, Canadian United Minerals Ltd. (Canadian United) acquired the Byron 1 and 2 claims and the Tony, Harold and Emily claims. Canadian United established an 8200 metres baseline trending 320 degrees with perpendicular cross-lines at 250 metres intervals and collected 1449 soil samples (Assessment Report 15391).
In 1987, Geostar carried out a comprehensive exploration program on the Ascot property, consisting of mapping, soil geochemistry, VLF-EM surveying and backhoe trenching. They extended Canadian United's 1986 grid to the southwest, using the same numbering system and line orientation. Baselines were cut 1000 metres apart with cross-lines spaced at 100 metres intervals. A total of 5473 soil samples were collected at 25 metre intervals along the grid lines. VLF-EM surveying was carried out over 137 line-kilometres of the grid. Fifteen backhoe trenches were excavated in geochemically anomalous areas, revealing several new sphalerite-galena showings (Assessment Report 16928).
Canadian United and Teeshin Resources Ltd. acquired the Ascot property from Geostar in 1989. Geological mapping was concentrated on Ascot Creek, one of the tributaries of Canyon Creek, where a sphalerite and galena-bearing horizon was traced for 250 metres. A further 377 soil samples were collected southeast of the existing grid coverage, but did not identify any new anomalies (Assessment Report 19588). No further work was reported and all claims were subsequently allowed to lapse.
In 1994, the Ascot 1-22 claims were staked by Equity Engineering Ltd. (Equity) to cover the previously reported zinc-lead-arsenic soil geochemical anomalies and several sphalerite-galena-barite occurrences. One day of prospecting and geological mapping was carried out and ten samples of mineralized float and outcrop were collected for analysis and limited thin and polished thin section analysis (Assessment Report 24007).
In 1996, Alliance Mining Inc. staked the Bow 1 and Bolo 1-4 claims to encompass the Ascot 1-22 two-post claims and conducted bedrock mapping, prospecting and sampling. A single horizon, at the contact of a sedimentary rock package with an overlying felsic fragmental unit, was identified as being the most prospective for hosting massive sulphide mineralization (Assessment Report 24957). Magnetic, very low frequency electromagnetic (VLF-EM) and gravity surveys were also completed in an effort to trace the prospective horizon.
In 2013, a two-day exploration program consisted of locating, examining and sampling six known mineral occurrences within a 775 metre section of Canyon Creek. A total of 12 rock samples were collected and submitted for multi-element analysis. Results, particularly at Occurrences 5 and 8, were very encouraging and included values of up to 39.6 grams per tonne silver and greater than 1 per cent lead and 1 per cent zinc (Assessment Report 34155).