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File Created: 24-Jul-1985 by BC Geological Survey (BCGS)
Last Edit:  02-Jul-2019 by George Owsiacki (GO)

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NMI 093L1 Ag2
BCGS Map 093L019
Status Prospect NTS Map 093L01W
Latitude 054º 09' 40'' UTM 09 (NAD 83)
Longitude 126º 17' 00'' Northing 6004857
Easting 677367
Commodities Copper, Silver, Gold, Zinc, Lead, Molybdenum Deposit Types L01 : Subvolcanic Cu-Ag-Au (As-Sb)
L04 : Porphyry Cu +/- Mo +/- Au
Tectonic Belt Intermontane Terrane Stikine
Capsule Geology

The Silver Hope occurrence is located 3 kilometres southeast of Goosly Lake, along Bessemer Creek, approximately 36 kilometres southeast of Smithers.

The Gaul showing area is located within an erosional window of uplifted Cretaceous age sedimentary, pyroclastic, and volcanic rocks near the midpoint of the Buck Creek Basin. The Lower Cretaceous Goosly sequence in the claims area strikes north-northeast and dips moderately to gently west; these may be correlative with the Kasalka or Skeena groups. This sequence consists of three stratigraphic divisions or units as follows: (Unit 1) A lower clastic division is composed of basal conglomerate, chert pebble conglomerate and argillite. A middle pyroclastic division (Unit 2) consists of a heterogeneous sequence of tuff, breccia and reworked pyroclastic debris. This division hosts the main mineral deposits. An upper sedimentary-volcanic division (Unit 3) consists of tuff, sandstone and conglomerate. The inlier is flanked by flat lying to shallow dipping Eocene andesitic to basaltic flows and flow breccias of the Francois Lake Group (Goosly Lake and Buck Creek formations).

The Gaul zone, the most southerly of the Main Horizon mineral occurrences, is hosted by Lower Cretaceous Skeena Group pyroclastic sequence (Unit 2) that underlies the Unit 3 sedimentary sequence. In this area, the Unit 2 pyroclastic rocks consist predominantly of variably bleached (sericite altered?) green-grey ash to dust tuff with local fine interbeds of lapilli tuff. At depth, where less altered, the tuffs are maroon coloured.

The northeast claim area is underlain by an isolated appendage of the Eocene Goosly Lake Intrusion, which is comprised of plagioclase porphyry or syenomonzonite and forms the highest local topographic feature. The monzonite was dated at about 48 million years. Much of the western part of the property is underlain by pyroclastics and sedimentary-volcanic rocks of the Eocene Goosly Lake Formation (Francois Group).

Mineralization occurs as sulphide fracture fillings, sulphides in quartz-carbonate veinlets ranging up to 20 centimetres, and sulphide disseminations. Mineralization is comprised of low grade chalcopyrite and tetrahedrite with occasional narrow sections of high-grade chalcopyrite. Sphalerite and rarely galena occur locally; pyrite is ubiquitous. Sulphide mineralized veins usually form angles of 60 to 80 degrees opposite to bedding. Chalcopyrite mineralization increases locally with tetrahedrite and occasionally sphalerite mineralization usually occurring in the thicker quartz-carbonate veining.

A 1985 drill program intersected mineralization in faults and fractures in argillite with interbedded green tuff and lapilli tuff. Mineralization consisted of pyrite, chalcopyrite, tetrahedrite and sphalerite. An average assay over 36.5 to 99.0 metres was reported to be 2.9 grams per tonne silver, 0.09 per cent copper and 0.05 per cent zinc (Assessment Report 13943).

Higher grade copper-silver mineralization is located adjacent to the north-northeast striking dikes in ash tuffs and also near the base of the interbedded argillic horizon near the top of the ash tuffs. In 1987, drillhole 87TG20 intersected mineralization adjacent to the north-northeast striking dikes. A 65.4-metre intersection assayed 12.9 grams per tonne silver with 0.71 per cent copper. Included within this intersection is a 3.8-metre section which assayed 105.4 grams per tonne silver and 7.88 per cent copper (Assessment Report 16968).

The mineralization adjacent to the andesitic and feldspar porphyry dikes is thought to be related to and may be a southern projection of mineralization associated with the Equity Silver mine (refer to 093L 001).

Work History (1960s to 2013 in whole from Assessment Report 34409)

In the mid- to late-1960s, the Gaul zone, located on the present day Silver Hope property (ca. 2015), was originally staked by Kennco Explorations Ltd. In 1969 and 1970, Maverick Mining conducted geological mapping, geochemical soil and silt surveys, and induced polarization (IP) and magnetometer surveys. In 1971, Maverick drilled six holes totalling 755 metres in the Gaul zone (M1-6). Also in 1971, Teck Explorations Ltd. conducted soil surveys, self potential and VLF-EM surveys along with eight diamond-drill holes (T7-14) totalling 1221.3 metres. Drilling intersected fracture-controlled mineralization (pyrite plus/minus chalcopyrite, sphalerite and galena) as well as steeply dipping siliceous breccias mineralized with pyrite, chalcopyrite and pyrrhotite.

From the 1960s to 1980s, exploration was conducted throughout the region resulting in the discovery of strongly altered and mineralized zones. Among these was the Allin property where geochemical and geophysical anomalies and a prominent gossan zone along Allin Creek spurred on exploration for Equity Silver-type deposits. The property was the subject of several exploration programs by Summit Oil, Normine, Kengold, Bema, Equity Silver (1993) and Hudson Bay Exploration (1996 to 1998). In 1992, G. Klein discovered in a logging disturbed area two sulphide-rich (volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS?)) cobbles containing anomalous amounts of copper (0.6 to 1.15 per cent), lead, zinc, silver (79 to 136 grams per tonne), gold (0.5 to 1.56 grams per tonne) as well as arsenic and antimony. A number of small drilling campaigns were conducted to follow-up on the geochemical and geophysical surveys. None of these yielded any economically significant results.

In 1982, Equity Silver Mines conducted a soil and till survey encompassing much of the current Silver Hope property. This excluded the Gaul claims, which were held by another company at that time. Anomalous copper values were noted in a northeast-trending zone in the Hope area. The following year Equity drill tested this zone to the northeast by drilling two rows of holes (E83-135, 136, 137, 139). These holes were located north of the Maverick holdings at that time.

In 1985, Teck Explorations Ltd. completed a drilling program on the Gaul claims on behalf of a joint venture between Teck (39.1 per cent), Maverick (39.1 per cent), and Equity Silver Mines. Four holes totalling 685 metres were drilled to test geochemical anomalies from the 1982 survey and to follow-up on mineralized intersections reportedly in holes M2 and M4 of the 1971 Maverick campaigns. Hole 85TG-18 returned moderate to high grade copper-silver results over narrow sections of semi-massive pyrite, chalcopyrite plus/minus tetrahedrite, and arsenopyrite. Mineralization was locally concentrated along post-mineral andesitic dikes. In 1986, Equity Silver Mines drilled 21 holes to test geological and geochemical targets over a 1.2 kilometre distance. Drilling intersected mineralization in the Hope and Superstition zones of the current Silver Hope property. In 1987, Teck drilled six diamond-drill holes (1186.4 metres) in the Gaul area to follow up on these intersections. All holes intersected low grade chalcopyrite and tetrahedrite mineralization with occasional narrow sections of high-grade chalcopyrite. Mineralization occurred as fracture fillings, sulphides in quartz-carbonate veinlets, breccias, and massive sulphide veins. The highest values occurred in hole 87TG-20 between 65.7 to 69.5 metres. A 65.4-metre intersection assayed 12.9 grams per tonne silver and 0.71 per cent copper within which a 3.8-metre interval graded 105 grams per tonne silver and 7.88 per cent copper (Assessment Report 16968). In 1988, a third phase of drilling in the Gaul area was completed by Teck to test the downdip extent of mineralization encountered in previous drill holes. Six holes totalling 1236 metres were completed.

Most of the claims in the Hope to Gaul area were allowed to lapse, and in 2001 the Hope group of 2-post claims (Hope 1-27) was staked by Sci-Tek Resources Ltd. During this year, Sci-Tek conducted a program of reconnaissance stream-sediment sampling and prospecting on the Silver Hope property and the surrounding area. A program of soil sampling was also conducted. Results from Equity Silver’s 1982 soil and till sampling program were also reviewed and compared to the results of this survey (Assessment Report 26751).

In 2002 and 2004, Sci-Tek added the 4-post Win 1 and Silver 1-9 claims, respectively, to the Silver Hope property. Canadian Empire Exploration entered into an agreement in 2004 with Sci-Tek Resources Ltd. In 2004, eight diamond-drill holes totalling 2141 metres were drilled on the Gaul and Hope zones. The highlight of the drilling program came from the Hope zone where a 2.4-metre intersection graded 4.1 per cent copper, 637 grams per tonne silver and 1.40 grams per tonne gold.

In March of 2006, Finlay Minerals Ltd. acquired five new tenures (Finlay 1 -5). These are located to the north and south of the Equity mine property. During the summer of 2006, Finlay Minerals contracted the cutting of six lines with one pair over each of the Hope, Superstitious, and Gaul zones. Walcott Geophysics completed a magnetic, gravity IP survey. These surveys were documented in a 2007 report. In June of 2007, Finlay Minerals contracted Driftwood Diamond Drilling of Smithers, to complete a 4-hole 1719.5 metre core drilling program on the Hope zone. In particular, Finlay Minerals was interested in proving geological and grade continuity of copper-silver values in the deep high-grade zone first drilled by Equity Silver Mines and then in 2004 by Canadian Empire Exploration. Two holes yielded significant intersections of copper-silver mineralization including 9.35 metres grading 0.69 per cent copper and 333 grams per tonne silver. In 2008, additional IP and soil geochemical surveys were completed. This and previous surveys identified two distinct IP anomalies, the eastern one of which displayed coincident multi-element soil anomalies.

In 2010, Finlay completed a 6-hole (2036 metre) diamond drilling program in a large IP anomaly referred to as the West Horizon zone (Assessment Report 32162). The program’s objective was to test for “Equity Silver-type” volcanic-hosted copper-silver mineralization west of the “Main Horizon” that hosts the Hope, Superstition and Gaul zones. Instead, the program resulted in the discovery of copper-molybdenum mineralized quartz monzonite porphyry and nearby volcanic-hosted copper-silver mineralization. In 2011, an aggressive exploration program was carried out that included IP surveys, geochemical sampling, access roads and a two-phase diamond drilling program. Twelve holes totalling 6087 metres were completed between March 7 and September 12, 2011 (Assessment Reports 32622 and 34409). Four holes were drilled in the East Horizon zone with the remainder in the Main and West Horizon zones. In the East Horizon zone, anomalous arsenic concentrations were identified in sediments and volcanics containing locally abundant pyrite, pyrrhotite and graphite. The most northerly hole, SH11-08, yielded a 2-metre intercept grading 498 grams per tonne silver thought to possibly represent “leakage” from a buried porphyry system (Assessment Reports 32622 and 34409).

Drilling also resulted in the expansion of the West Horizon zone copper-molybdenum porphyry mineralization and the discovery of deeper volcanic-hosted gold-silver-copper mineralization along the Main Horizon. Three holes intersected long intervals of disseminated and fracture/veinlet-controlled chalcopyrite and molybdenite. DDH11-05, a 603 metre vertical hole, cut virtually continuous mineralized porphyry. Intersections included 182 metres of 0.31 per cent copper and 0.013 per cent molybdenum followed by 364 metres of 0.11 per cent copper and 0.057 per cent molybdenum (Assessment Reports 32622 and 34409). Phase II consisted of eight holes totalling 3602 metres targeting the West, Main and East zones. Drillholes SH11-09, 10 and 13 in the West Horizon zone again intersected long intervals of porphyry copper-molybdenum mineralization. By the end of the 2011 program, eight holes in the West Horizon zone delineated mineralized porphyry for approximately one kilometre from the north property boundary south to hole SH11-13. The porphyry is open to the north, south, and west, and to depth. Significant copper-silver plus/minus gold mineralization also occurs well into the adjacent volcanics and sediments.

Drilling also tested IP anomalies below the depth of historic drilling in the Hope and Superstition zones. So far all holes in these areas have intersected substantial lengths of copper-silver plus/minus gold mineralization. Hole SH11-07 returned a 238.25 metre core length intercept starting at 313.75 metres grading 6.48 grams per tonne silver and 0.25 per cent copper (Assessment Reports 32622 and 34409). Within this interval, 91.25 metres grades 10.81 grams per tonne silver and 0.47 per cent copper. Interestingly, hole SH10-04 located about 75 to 100 metres north, yielded 9.26 grams per tonne silver and 0.51 per cent copper over 82.50 metres that occurs at similar elevations to SH11-07 (Assessment Reports 32622 and 34409). Drillhole SH11-12, located about 800 metres southerly of SH11-07 and tested an IP anomaly well below depths attained by historic holes in the Superstition zone, yielded one of the most significant discoveries to date. Andesitic tuffaceous rocks with numerous zones of bleaching, brecciation and silicification contain abundant pyrite, arsenopyrite, chalcopyrite, sphalerite and minor galena and molybdenite in fractures, tension gashes and veinlets. Beginning at 204.00 metres, this hole yielded 76.00 metres grading 0.43 gram per tonne gold, 29.37 grams per tonne silver and 0.19 per cent copper (Assessment Reports 32622 and 34409). This intersection also contains the highest gold values of the 2010 and 2011 drilling programs with five samples assaying greater than 1 gram per tonne gold and one at 9.4 grams per tonne gold. Most high gold values correlate well with high amounts of silver, arsenic, bismuth, lead, antimony, zinc and tellurium. Three core samples contain over 100 grams per tonne silver with the highest grading 747 grams per tonne silver.

On February 13, 14, 2012, Finlay Minerals contracted Geotech Ltd. of goldrora, Ontario to conduct an airborne ZTEM (electromagnetic) and magnetic survey over a large part of the property. The survey covered 467 kilometres (Assessment Report 33995). The survey was designed to augment existing geophysical coverage over the property in an effort to locate additional porphyry systems, and define structural corridors. Five ZTEM resistivity anomalies and several conductor axes were identified. Two major ZTEM anomalies coincide with the Main Horizon; Hope, Superstition, and Gaul zones and the East Horizon. The results of this work are described in an assessment reports by Peter E. Walcott and Associates from 2013.

In early 2013, Low Profile Exploration of Houston, British Columbia constructed a 1.3 kilometre access road in the East Horizon to provide additional access and expose bedrock to aid in determining the cause of the geochemical and IP anomalies. The program consisted of ground checking five airborne ZTEM resistivity lows (Anomalies 1 to 5) and four areas (Anomalies A to D) selected by geophysicist Alex Walcott. Parts of the Main Horizon (Superstition) and the West Horizon copper-molybdenum porphyry were also examined and soil/rock sampled. In 2013, 64 rock, 19 silt and 241 soil samples were also collected. In early 2013, the Allin claims were acquired immediately east of Silver Hope.

Finlay Minerals Ltd. released results of a three-hole drilling program (1200 metres) conducted in late 2014 on its 100 per cent owned Silver Hope property. Several copper-silver-gold mineralized zones were intersected in drillholes SH14-02 and SH14-03 along the Main and Main Deep horizon in a geological setting similar to the former Equity silver mine. The company's work has extended the strike length of these north-trending zones to 1.73 kilometres. Further drilling is warranted as these mineralized zones are open along strike and to depth.

Drillhole SH14-01 (350 metres) targeted a large, deep IP anomaly along the southern projection of the East Horizon zone. Thick sequences of interbedded, volcaniclastic rocks, pyritic sediments and graphite were intersected. A few (less than five metre) zones of geochemically anomalous arsenic, silver, lead and zinc were identified. The sulphide-graphite content is believed to be the cause of the IP anomaly.

Drillhole SH14-02 (371 metres) tested a strong IP chargeability anomaly delineated from surface to 400 metres deep in the Gaul zone, the southernmost of the three Main horizon mineral deposits. Andesitic volcanic and conglomeratic rocks with variable amounts of pyrite, chalcopyrite and localized tetrahedrite, galena and sphalerite were intersected downhole to nearly 300 metres. Two distinct, wide intervals of copper and silver mineralization, including some higher grade zones were identified. Although the upper half of the hole was situated between two historic holes, SH14-02 yielded a longer and higher grade intercept. The lower mineralized intercept in this hole was below any of the nearby historic holes in this zone. The sulphide content is believed to be the cause of the strong IP anomaly.

Drillhole SH14-03 (473 metres), located 120 metres west of hole SH11-12 (76 metres at 0.43 gram per tonne gold, 29 grams per tonne silver and 0.20 per cent copper), was drilled to test the downdip extent of this new Main Deep horizon mineralization. Sulphide mineralization was found throughout much of the hole. Sulphide-rich breccias were intersected and appear similar, albeit narrower than those updip in SH11-12. Extensive and often intense alteration marked by silicification, quartz veining and sericite are commonly associated with pyrite, chalcopyrite, and localized tetrahedrite, arsenopyrite and sphalerite. The overall extent of mineralization and alteration is, however, substantially more widespread than in SH11-12. This zone is open along strike (north-south) and to depth.

Analytical data reveal multiple zones of mineralization with the most significant beginning at a downhole depth of 251 metres. Gold and silver content was less than in SH11-12 likely due to less extensive sulphide-rich breccia and fractured zones. As with SH11-12, this hole contains anomalous amounts of arsenic, bismuth and tellurium. The bottom 11 metres of this hole differ markedly from SH11-12 due to the distinctly anomalous levels of silver, bismuth, molybdenum, tellurium and tungsten.

Although the early exploration focus was for Equity silver mine-type copper-silver deposits, the company's work in 2010 and 2011 also resulted in the discovery of a previously unknown copper-molybdenum porphyry. In addition, the discovery of mineralization beneath the known mineral occurrences and below historic drilling has identified potential for the discovery of deep polymetallic replacement-type mineralization related to a magmatic (intrusive) source along a five-kilometre mine structure (that is Equity South). The company's discoveries to date have formed a strong basis for future exploration programs (Press Release - Finlay Minerals Ltd., February 26, 2015).

In 2018, Finlay Minerals Ltd. completed deep-penetrating 3-D induced polarization (IP), magnetotelluric and soil geochemical surveys at the Silver Hope property. The focus of the survey was to target the suspected deep source for the known copper-silver-gold occurrences found along a geological trend extending south from the former Equity silver mine deposits. The survey was highly successful in detecting a large, deep, IP zone below known mineralization (Press Release - Finlay Minerals Ltd., April 23, 2019).

EMPR EXPL *1985-C310; 1988-C167
EMPR FIELDWORK 1992, pp. 475-481
EMPR GEM *1969-150; 1971-168
EMPR MAP *11; 69-1
GSC OF 351
EMR MP CORPFILE (Maverick Moutain Resources Ltd.; Silver Standard Mines Ltd.)
N MINER Nov.9, 1987; Jun.2, 2011
EC GEOL 1984, Vol.79, No.5, pp. 947-986
Placer Dome File
PR REL Canadian Empire Exploration Corp. Oct.21, Nov.8, Dec.9, 2004, Jan.27, 2005; Finlay Minerals Ltd. Mar.16, 2006, Oct.25, Dec.6, 2010, Nov.*29, 2011, Feb.*26, 2015, Apr.23, 2019
EMPR PFD 15347, 883263