The Deer Horn property is located 1.5 kilometres north of Lindquist Lake and 49.5 kilometres southeast of the community of Kemano.
Regionally, the Deer Horn property is located in the Intermontane Belt. The area is underlain by quartz diorite and mafic volcanics of the Gamsby Group which have been thrust over sedimentary and volcanic strata of the Lower Cretaceous Skeena Group and volcanic strata of the Lower to Middle Jurassic Telkwa Formation (Hazelton Group).
The quartz veins occur mainly within foliated diorite and associated metavolcanic rocks tentatively assigned to the pre-Lower Jurassic Gamsby Group. The foliated diorite and metavolcanics have been thrust over Lower Cretaceous Skeena Group sediments composed of black argillite, siltstone and sandstone. The thrust fault trends west and dips south. Granodiorite stocks and dikes of the Mesozoic-Cenozoic Coast Plutonic Complex cut these rocks and metamorphose pelitic sediments to andalusite hornfels.
The Deer Horn property hosts a gold-silver-tellurium vein system that developed within and in the immediate hangingwall of a local thrust fault. The vein system is comprised of two principal mineralized structures, the Main vein and the nearby Contact zone, that are thought to coalesce with depth, and a series of associated narrow veins and stringers. The veins occur mainly in foliated quartz diorite up to 250 metres south of the thrust fault, and at its contact with the underlying clastic sedimentary rocks. The Main vein occurs 100 to 250 metres south of the thrust fault, generally strikes west and, where exposed at surface, dips from 20 to 45 degrees to the north. However, underground mapping indicated that the dip of the Main vein reverses to a shallow southerly dip as it encroaches on the Contact zone, perhaps as a result of drag folding that occurred in response to normal movement along the reactivated thrust fault. ‘Main-type’ vein mineralization consists of pyrite, sphalerite, galena, scheelite, pyrrhotite, chalcopyrite, and the telluride minerals tetradymite, hessite, tellurobismuth and altaite that typically occur as small patches, blebs and disseminations in a gangue of white quartz.
The Contact zone occupies an area immediately above and sub-parallel to the thrust fault, striking to the west and dipping 55 to 60 degrees to the south. The veins have an apparent genetic and spatial association with an Eocene granodiorite stock. The vein system is offset by a number of northwest and northeast-trending post-mineral faults that create a number of individual vein segments. Gold-silver grades are erratic in both the Main vein and Contact zone. The highest grades of gold-silver vein mineralization are associated with consistently elevated levels of tellurium and commonly elevated levels of copper, zinc and lead. The Contact zone is comprised of individual quartz veins up to 1.8 metres wide and bands of quartz stringers up to 4.6 metres across within a band of quartz-sericite altered quartz diorite located just above the thrust fault. It has similar mineralogy to the Main vein and has been traced by surface work, including prospecting, trenching and diamond drilling for 1650 metres and up to 150 metres downdip.
In 1943, tungsten in the form of scheelite was discovered in dioritic and volcanic talus. Six claims were staked at this time forming the Harrison property, which is now known as the Deer Horn property (see also Deer Horn showing, 093E 020). Gold-bearing telluride veins were discovered the following year, with additional ground being staked.
From 1944 to 1946, Pioneer Gold Mines Limited conducted surface trenching and diamond drilling (3900 metres) on the property. The property was dormant from 1947 until 1950.
In 1950, the property was sold to Deer Horn Mines Limited and preparations for active development were carried out over the next three years. Underground development began in late 1954 and continued for approximately one year. This included 600 metres of underground crosscuts, drifts and raises and 2010 metres of surface diamond drilling. By 1954, underground work had defined a 330-metre section of the Main vein averaging 7.7 grams per tonne gold and 216 grams per tonne silver over a vein width of 2.9 metres, while a 221-metre-long section of the Contact zone averaged 13.9 grams per tonne gold and 420 grams per tonne silver over 2.7 metres (Western Miner - Buckles, 1954).
The property was dormant from 1955 until 1967 when Granby Consolidate Mining, Smelting and Power optioned the property and completed road work and extensive trenching.
In 1975, the property reverted to the Crown, and became a possible addition to Tweedsmuir Provincial Park. This prevented exploration in the area until 1989, when the provincial government decided the area was highly prospective and put the property up for bid. A bulk sample of ore, collected in 1983 from the mine site, assayed 8.6 grams per tonne gold and 189.2 grams per tonne silver (Property File Placer Dome - Fairbairn, D.W.L., 1983).
The claims were purchased by Golden Knight Resources Inc. Through 1989 and 1990, Golden Knight Resources Inc. completed extensive exploration programs, including prospecting, geological mapping, soil and rock sampling, VLF and magnetometer surveys, environmental water sampling, metallurgical testing and surface diamond drilling. Highlights of the drill program include drillhole 89-02, which intersected 42.53 metres grading 2.88 grams per tonne gold and 84.68 grams per tonne silver (Assessment Report 19966).
In 1990, Repadre Capital acquired the assets of Golden Knight Resources Inc. and later sold the claims to Guardsman Resources Inc. in 2000. In 2000, Guardsman Resources Inc. completed a field review of the Deer Horn property. In 2006, Guardsman Resources Inc. optioned the property to Christopher James Gold Corp. who completed reconnaissance geochemical sampling programs in 2006 and 2007. Christopher James Gold Corp. later dropped their option.
In 2009, Golden Odyssey Mining Inc. optioned the Deer Horn property from Guardsman Resources Inc. and completed an exploration program of rock sampling and diamond drilling. Highlights of this drill program include drillhole DH09-068, which intersected 2.05 metres grading 28.83 grams per tonne gold, 890.4 grams per tonne silver and 665 grams per tonne tellurium (Assessment Report 31511).
In 2010, Golden Odyssey Mining Inc. released a NI 43-101 compliant resource estimate which had indicated resources of 129,000 tonnes grading 5.71 grams per tonne gold and 182.27 grams per tonne silver based on a 1.0 gram per tonne gold cut-off containing 680,000 grams of gold and 21,545,000 grams of silver, and inferred resources of 202,000 tonnes grading 6.06 grams per tonne gold and 186.39 grams per tonne silver based on a 1.0 gram per tonne gold cut-off containing 1,105,000 grams of gold and 34,300,000 grams of silver (Press Release - Golden Odyssey Mining Inc., June 15, 2010).
In 2011, Golden Odyssey Mining Inc. was renamed to Deer Horn Metals Inc. and completed 3772.5 metres of diamond drilling in 55 holes on the Deer Horn property as well as limited prospecting and excavator trenching. Prospecting, trenching and limited diamond drilling also confirmed the presence of important concentrations of scheelite (tungsten) mineralization on the property. The elevated levels of tungsten occur in the vicinity of the historic Harrison Scheelite mineral occurrence (093E 020) and locally in drill core over an east-west distance of at least 550 metres. The mineralization appears to be particularly concentrated in altered sedimentary rocks in the footwall of the regional thrust (and Contact Zone). Highlights of the 2011 drill program include drillhole DH11-110, which intersected 10.5 metres grading 10.89 grams per tonne gold, 297 grams per tonne silver and 329 grams per tonne tellurium (Press Release - Deer Horn Metals Inc., January 5, 2012). This work partly defined the extent of the Main vein and associated Contact zone that together comprise the Deer Horn deposit. The deposit remains open to the west, to the east and downdip, and there are several internal gaps that require drilling.
In 2012, a ten-day prospecting program was conducted on the Deer Horn property. It successfully accomplished its main goals and discovered several significant mineral showings. The western extension of the Deer Horn gold-silver-tellurium vein system is expressed by the Saddle, New Vein, Pry Bar and New West zones which extend the overall strike length of the Deer Horn gold-silver-tellurium vein system to more than 2400 metres; and it remains open to the west. Deer Horn Metals Inc. released a National Instrument (NI) 43-101 compliant resource estimate, which had indicated resources of 414,000 tonnes grading 5.12 grams per tonne gold, 157.5 grams per tonne silver and 160 grams per tonne tellurium based on a 1.0 gram per tonne gold cut-off containing 1,920,000 grams of gold, 59,500,000 grams of silver and 66,000 kilograms of tellurium, and inferred resources of 197,000 tonnes grading 5.04 grams per tonne gold and 146.5 grams per tonne silver based on a 1.0 gram per tonne gold cut-off containing 907,000 grams of gold, 26,300,000 grams of silver and 27,000 kilograms of tellurium (Press Release - Deer Horn Metals Inc., April 11, 2012). Deer Horn Metals Inc. also completed airborne geophysical surveys and prospecting later in the year.
In 2013, Deer Horn Metals Inc. released a NI 43-101 preliminary economic assessment (PEA) report for the property. This report indicated a potential 14-year mine life that could produce 1,900,000 grams of gold, 598,700,000 grams of silver and 63,000 kilograms of tellurium (Press Release - Deer Horn Metals Inc., March 13, 2013).
In May 2018, an updated resource was released with the same tonnage and grades as the previous 2012 resource but included copper, lead and zinc values with an indicated resource of 414,000 tonnes grading 5.12 grams per tonne gold, 157.5 grams per tonne silver, 160 grams per tonne tellurium, 0.19 per cent copper, 0.038 per cent lead and 0.39 per cent zinc and an inferred resource of 197,000 tonnes grading 5.04 grams per tonne gold, 146.5 grams per tonne silver, 137 grams per tonne tellurium, 0.16 per cent copper, 0.039 per cent lead and 0.34 per cent zinc (Meintjes, T., Lane, B. (2018-05-13): NI-43-101 Technical Report on the Preliminary Economic Assessment for the Deer Horn Gold-Silver-Tellurium Property).