The Ideal 3 occurrence area is underlain primarily by basaltic lavas of the Upper Triassic Karmutsen Formation, Vancouver Group. These rocks are mostly massive flows and pillow lavas of partly amygdaloidal basalts, with minor tuffs, volcanic breccias and agglomerates. A major unconformity separates the Karmutsen Formation from the overlying Upper Cretaceous Nanaimo Group. The Nanaimo Group (Comox Formation) consists of fine to coarse-grained detrital sedimentary rocks. The Benson Member is a basaltic pebble-cobble- boulder conglomerate which marks the unconformity in some areas. Diorite and granodiorite of the Tertiary Mount Washington Intrusive Suite have intruded the above rocks, forming stocks, sills and dykes.
The main showing consists of a 1 to 8 centimetre wide, 230 degree striking shear zone, with 10 to 20 degree northwest dips. The zone is hosted within the Benson conglomerate, about 1 metre above the unconformity with the Karmutsen Formation. The shear zone contains quartz and calcite veinlets up to 1.5 centimetres in width and locally up to 4 centimetres in width. The veins and adjacent rocks contain pyrite, sphalerite, galena and chalcopyrite. The wallrock is moderately to strongly iron-carbonate altered.
A composite of grab samples of the veinlets (1 to 3 centimetres wide) assayed 9.87 grams per tonne gold, 24.6 grams per tonne silver, 0.05 per cent copper, 0.8 per cent lead, 1.2 per cent zinc and 0.4 per cent arsenic (Assessment Report 16412).
A quartz-pyrrhotite-chalcopyrite veinlet occurs in a shear zone in basalt, on the east wall of Murex Creek about 1.5 kilometres upstream from the above occurrence. A sample (Sample 49A) assayed 0.42 per cent copper and 2.43 per cent zinc (Assessment Report 16412).
Realgar and arsenopyrite occur as disseminations and lenses in calcite veins. This showing is located about 2 kilometres to the northwest of the main showing on a southern branch of McKay Creek.
History in the Dove property area began in the 1940s. Early exploration concentrated on high-grade gold-bearing quartz veins. For the next three decades, the area underwent intense exploration for low-grade or porphyry-style copper deposits, with little attention given to high-grade veins. This work led eventually to the formation of the Mount Washington Copper Company Ltd., which mined approximately 362 873.9 tonnes (400 000 tons) of ore from two small pits, 4.5 kilometres west of the Dove property. This ore had an average recovered grade of 1.16 per cent copper, 0.283 gram gold per tonne (0.01 ounce per ton), and 14.17 grams silver per tonne (0.5 ounce per ton). In the mid-1970s, Esso Minerals begun work in the Meadows zone, also on Mount Washington, and by 1982 they had outlined 0.45 to 0.91 million tonnes (0.5 to 1 million tons) of material grading 0.5 per cent copper (Assessment Report 22975).
The 1980s saw a return to exploration for epithermal, high-grade precious metal deposits. Better Resources Ltd. approached the Meadows zone as such a target. In 1987, they had outlined approximately 88 859 tonnes drill-indicated at 4.44 grams per tonne gold and 20.9 grams per tonne silver in the Lakeview-West grid and Domineer zones. This project included some underground development consisting of 300 metres of adits and crossdrifts (Assessment Report 22975).
Better Resources also drilled the Upper Murex Creek Breccia, a magnetite-copper body located just west of the Dove property. They drilled one intersection of 15.9 metres of 5.56 grams per tonne gold plus 2.7 metres of 2.5 grams per tonne gold and 3 metres of 3.44 grams per tonne gold (Assessment Report 22975).
The Dove property itself has had sporadic exploration throughout the area’s history. Since 1987, Westmin Resources Ltd. has conducted several exploration programs on the property. These programs involved airborne geophysical surveys, systematic geological mapping, linecutting, induced polarization, very low-frequency electromagnetic ground surveys, soil geochemistry and diamond drilling.
In 1993, work consisted of establishing a small grid for an induced polarization survey. A total of 7.65 line kilometres were cut, including an 800-metre baseline. The results of the survey indicated a small chargeability anomaly near the Paquet showing; however, the location of the anomaly and its discontinuous nature suggested the improbability of developing a significant deposit. As a consequence, no further work was recommended for the target (Assessment Report 22975).