The Doratha Morton property encompasses eight contiguous claims and one detached Crown granted mineral claim on the west side of Phillips Arm, 2 kilometres southwest of Fanny Bay.
The area is underlain by a persistent band, greater than 12 kilometres long, of stratified metavolcanic and metasedimentary rocks of the Upper Triassic Quatsino and Karmutsen formations (Vancouver Group). The band trends northwest and separates Jurassic to Cretaceous Coast Plutonic Complex rock of two different compositions, diorite and granodiorite.
The Doratha Morton straddles the sheared contact between diorite to the southwest and metamorphosed rocks to the northeast. The shear zone dips approximately 75 degrees to the southwest and locally truncates the contact. It can be traced from the Alexandria (MINFILE 092K 028) through the Enid-Julie (MINFILE 092K 024) and Doratha Morton, and on to the Commonwealth-Champion (MINFILE 092K 025) for a distance of 6.5 kilometres.
The mine consists of numerous adits, levels and trenches, all located along the shear zone. Pyrite is the dominant sulphide mineral found on the property. It occurs in quartz as disseminated patches and seams parallel to the foliation within the silicified zone and as fracture coatings within both granitic and metamorphosed rocks. The pyrite concentration seldom rises above 5 per cent. Trace amounts of galena, sphalerite and chalcopyrite often accompany pyrite, especially in crosscutting stringers. Tellurium has been detected on fractures in drill core. Gold values appear to have a positive correlation with concentrations of pyrite within or adjacent to quartz veins. Free gold has seldom been observed.
The #250 adit, the most westerly of the underground working, is located at an elevation of 734.6 metres. The adit is driven as a crosscut for 144' (43.9 m) with drifts to the southeast at 50' (15.2 m) for 26' (7.9 m) along the footwall vein and at 132' (40.2 m) for 5' (1.5 m) along the hangingwall vein.
The No. 2 adit is located at an elevation of 740.7 metres, approximately 55 meters south east of the #250 adit, and was driven for 39.6 metres partly as a crosscut and partly to follow a narrow vein and shear which more or less coincide with the hangingwall vein in the #250 Adit. The adit portal is caved for approximately 12.2 metres but the back 27.4 metres is reported to be accessible by climbing down an old stope breakout just past the caved area.
The #100 adit is located approximately 85 metres east of the No. 2 adit portal at an elevation of 738.5 metres and comprises a crosscut for 3.9 metres then a drift for 12.2 metres along a quartz vein.
The No. 1 level is the main level from which production occurred. The main entrance, the #1 East portal, is now caved but access to the western part of the old workings is possible through a breakout some 42.7 metres west of the caved portal.
The No. 4 adit is located approximately 35 metres north of the No. 1 East portal at an elevation of 730.9 metres. The adit was driven as a crosscut for at least 64 metres at which point it intersected the footwall vein of the shear.
The No. 3 adit was originally driven as a main haulage level and is located approximately 116 metres north of the No. 1 East portal at an elevation of 687.9 metres. The adit was driven as a crosscut for at least 164.6 metre where muck from later stoping and crosscutting has been piled. Drifts were driven at 149.4 metres to the west for 10.7 meters and to the east for 22.9 metres along an irregular quartz vein probably representing the shear footwall.
The No. 5 adit is located at an elevation of 761.4 metres and was driven to intersect mineralization found in a shaft further up the hillside at an elevation of 798.6 metres. The adit was driven as a crosscut for 22.9 metres but requires an additional 39.6 metres to intersect the vein as projected.
The Camp zone is located approximately 800 metres north west of the Doratha Morton mine workings. At the Camp zone, trenching and drilling have identified gold-bearing pyrite and sylvanite accompanied by chalcopyrite, galena and sphalerite in high-grade sections in five or six structures (A to F) that occur within a 30 to 50 metres wide zone of shearing which has been traced for 250 metres along strike. In the southeast part of the exposed zone the foliation/structures swing slightly northward striking 140 to 150 degrees and dip 80 to 85 degrees southwest.
In 1981, a grab sample (20752) from Doratha Morton dump assayed 25.0 grams per tonne gold and 48.6 grams per tonne silver (Assessment Report 10399).
In 1984, drilling from two locations near the No. 5 adit yielded intercepts of up to 40.38 grams per tonne gold over 1.4 metres in hole No. 4 (Ostler, J. (2007-06-18): The Thurlow Property and the Doratha Morton Gold Trend Crown-granted Mineral Claims).
In 1986, 15 kilogram surface bulk samples from trenches exposing mineralized quartz veins in the Camp (Area A) area, located approximately 200 metres to the west of the portals, assayed from 18.0 to 23.5 grams per tonne gold and 72 to 109 grams per tonne silver (Assessment 15720):
Selected grab samples from dumps have been recorded as assaying as high as 146.7 grams per tonne gold and 579.3 grams per tonne silver (New Signet Resources, Statement of Material Facts, 1987).
In 1989, sampling of trenches from the Camp zone yielded up to 50.87 grams per tonne gold over 4.3 metres in trench 89-7 on structure C (Ostler, J. (2007-06-18): The Thurlow Property and the Doratha Morton Gold Trend Crown-granted Mineral Claims).
In 1990, diamond drilling (hole 90-6) beneath the western part of the #250 adit intersected a siliceous shear zone beneath the adit level that lined up with the structure exposed in the western drifts of the adit along with two other siliceous structures that were encountered higher in that drill hole with the near surface structure yielding 21.2 grams per tonne gold and 80.0 grams per tonne silver over 0.6 metre (Ostler, J. (2007-06-18): The Thurlow Property and the Doratha Morton Gold Trend Crown-granted Mineral Claims). Drilling on the Camp zone yielded intercepts of up to 14.40 grams per tonne gold over 0.6-metre in hole 90-12 (Ostler, J. (2007-06-18): The Thurlow Property and the Doratha Morton Gold Trend Crown-granted Mineral Claims).
In 1991, sampling of the area around the number 3 and 4 adits yielded (Assessment Report 22515):
Sample No. Gold Silver Copper Lead Zinc
(g/t) (g/t) (%) (%) (%)
JLP-92-56 45.5 41.0 N/A N/A N/A
JLP-92-58 2.3 2.6 N/A N/A N/A
JLP-92-62 6.1 11.0 N/A N/A N/A
JLP-92-64 329.3 >200 0.18 0.83 0.75
In 1998, sampling of new and historic trenches on the Camp zone is reported to have yielded up to 189.1 grams per tonne gold and 651.0 grams per tonne silver from a composite grab sample of a boulder blasted out of trench 89-7 (Ostler, J. (2007-06-18): The Thurlow Property and the Doratha Morton Gold Trend Crown-granted Mineral Claims).
In 2004, sampling of trenches from the Camp zone yielded up to 14.62 grams per tonne gold over 8.30 metres in trench TR04-03, while drilling yielded up to 13.73 grams per tonne gold in hole C04-1 (Ostler, J. (2007-06-18): The Thurlow Property and the Doratha Morton Gold Trend Crown-granted Mineral Claims).
Total production between 1898 and 1934 was 9319 tonnes, yielding 333,923 grams of silver, 143,913 grams of gold and 1094 kilograms of copper.
Drill and drift indicated tonnage was calculated at 18,144 tonnes grading 11.998 grams per tonne gold in 1987 (George Cross Newsletter #68, 1987 and Open File 1992-1).
The property was first Crown- granted to P.J. Chick and C. Moody in 1897 and by late 1898 was placed into production. Ore taken from several adits at an elevation of 792 metres was conveyed down to a stamp mill and Canada's first cyanide vat-leach plant on a 2- kilometre tramline. Fairfield Exploration Syndicate Limited operated the mine until October 1899. Additional claims, including the Eva (Lot 254), Banker (Lot 291), Comox Fraction (Lot 297), Percy (Lot 299), Dorothy Morton Fr. (Lot 300), Chimnang (Lot 319) and Maggie May (Lot 322) were Crown-granted to the company in 1899.
Glasair Mining Corporation Limited acquired the property in 1924. The R. Crowe-Swords interests incorporated Glasord Mining Corporation, Limited, in 1925 to option the property. Work during the year included driving a 15 metre adit some 120 metres east of the old workings. Glasair sold its interest in the property to Morton Wolseley Consolidated Mining, Limited; the property was retained until the end of 1932. The workings at that time included 5 adits totalling 640 metres.
Hercules Consolidated Mining, Smelting and Power Corporation Limited held the property in 1933 and 1934 and opened 3 new adits totalling 76 metres. Santiago Mines, Limited carried out work under a lease agreement in 1935. Pembroke Mining Corporation, of Seattle, held the property in the late 1930's.
In 1980, Corpac Minerals Limited optioned the Alexandra group and the adjacent Enid-Julie property. Work by Corpac in 1980 included a geochemical soil survey (105 samples) and rock sampling. The following year, a program of geological mapping and soil sampling was completed. This work traced the mineralized Doratha Morton vein south east along strike to the Enid-Julie (MINFILE 092K 024) adits and identified quartz veins along strike to the northwest.
Black Pearl Petroleums Ltd. optioned a 60 per cent interest in the property from Stephen Green, of Burnaby, in March 1983. The company name was changed in August 1983 to Signet Resources Inc. Work in 1984 included trenching and 610 metres of diamond drilling. This work indicated a probable 7710 tonnes at greater than 13.7 grams per tonne gold in the No. 1 adit east drift (George Cross Newsletter 12/09/84). Work in 1985 and 1986 included trenching and 1088 metres of diamond drilling in 15 holes.
Work included a VLF electromagnetic survey in 1983, 596 metres of diamond drilling in five BQ holes on surface in 1984, 387 metres of underground diamond drilling in five AQ holes in 1985 with no significant results, and 701 metres of diamond drilling in ten surface holes in 1986. A geochemical soil survey in the Camp area gave values in 6 of 87 samples. Reserves were reported as 9070 tonnes at 14.4 grams per tonne gold (George Cross Newsletter, 1987, No. 2).
The company name was changed in March 1987 to New Signet Resources Inc. In 1987, trenching and soil sampling was carried out along strike on a number of gold-bearing parallel quartz veins within the shear zone.
In 1990, Carracl Gold Resources Ltd. optioned the crown-grants and later that year New Signet Resources Inc. completed 17 diamond drill holes, totalling 1425 metres, along the Doratha Morton gold trend.
The area was prospected as the Cordero property in 1991 and 1992 by Ripple Creek Resources. In 1996 and 1997 Norwood Resources conducted ground electromagnetic and magnetic surveys, soil geochemical surveys, prospecting, trenching and road building on the property. The soil survey on the adjacent Ben claims on the Alexander property tests the area between the Dorotha Morton Mine (MINFILE 092K 023) and the Enid-Julie workings (MINFILE 092K 024). The purpose was to determine if the Dorotha Morton gold trend continues into the Alexandria property.
During 1997 through 2000, Thurlow Resources conducted exploration programs on the area, renamed the DM and Picton properties, on the HY, LO and FILL 2-19 claims. The programs consisted of soil sampling, rock sampling, and geological mapping.
In 2004, Castillian Resources Corp. completed an induced polarization survey on the Doratha Morton mine workings to the Camp zone areas. Also at this time five trenches, two test pits and six diamond drill holes, totalling 1200 metres, were completed on the Camp zone.
In 2008, Cuda Capital completed a 561.4 line-kilometre airborne magnetic survey on the area.