The Poplar occurrence is located on the northeast side of Tagetochlain Lake, 48 kilometres south-southwest of Houston.
Andesitic volcanics are intruded by Late Cretaceous Bulkley Plutonic Suite intrusions or the Late Cretaceous Kasalka Plutonic Suite. In 2007, the volcanic rocks around the Poplar deposit were reassigned to the Cretaceous Kasalka Group. The rocks are comprised of massive andesite, tuff, lapilli tuff, agglomerate, flow breccia with narrow bands and interbedded argillite. This group is overlain by sediments which are estimated to be 400 metres thick. The basal unit is comprised of gritty argillite overlain by sorted to unsorted medium to coarse-grained sandstone and conglomerate. The average bedding strikes 035 degrees and dips 60 degrees to the southeast.
The Bulkley Plutonic Suite rocks are comprised of a granodiorite to biotite monzonite porphyry which is aplitic near the contact margins. The stock is weakly mineralized with chalcopyrite, molybdenite and pyrite in fracture fillings. As well, the biotite porphyry hosts an estimated 1.5 per cent of disseminated sulphides, mainly pyrite with minor chalcopyrite.
A 200-metre-wide dike swarm associated with the biotite porphyry stock crosscuts the volcanics which have undergone considerable fracturing/faulting and hornfelsing throughout. Mineralization in the quartz veins and dike swarms is comprised of pyrite with minor chalcopyrite. A 1.0-metre-wide quartz-carbonate vein hosts chalcopyrite and sphalerite with associated malachite and azurite. Minor molybdenite occurs in gypsum and quartz veins.
There is a well-developed hydrothermal alteration facies concentric to the biotite porphyry which includes potassic, phyllic, argillic and propylitic zones. There is weak hornfelsing throughout the volcanics and it is strongest near the contact with the granodiorite stock. Mineralization in the hornfelsed aureole consists mainly of disseminated pyrite with very minor chalcopyrite.
Chalcopyrite occurs most commonly as disseminations and less commonly as 1 to 5 millimetre veinlets associated with quartz. Chalcopyrite also has been observed as minute inclusions with pyrite in magnetite grains. Molybdenite mineralization is largely restricted to quartz veins. The veins are either ribboned with alternating bands of quartz and coarse-grained molybdenite, or as dark bands of quartz with fine grained disseminated molybdenite. Bornite appears as fine-grained disseminations with chalcopyrite and specular hematite. Covellite has been observed as iridescent tarnish on chalcopyrite and bornite.
The sulphide mineralization is contained within broad envelopes of propylitic, argillic, phyllic and potassic alteration. The potassic alteration zone is characterized by envelopes of salmon pink orthoclase around quartz, quartz-molybdenite and chalcopyrite veinlets, and as groundmass flooding in the hostrock. Secondary biotite also occurs in the potassic alteration zone, imparting a dusty brown hue to the rock. Magnetite accompanies the secondary biotite in disseminations with chalcopyrite. Phyllic alteration is the most extensive, and is characterized by sericite and pyrite. Pyrite content locally reaches 10 per cent. Quartz, gypsum and anhydrite accompany these minerals.
Argillic and propylitic alteration are present, but are volumetrically not as important as the potassic and phyllic alteration. The potassic alteration envelope to the deposit has been defined for approximately 2000 metres east-west by 1000 metres north-south, with the argillic alteration zone enclosed within the potassic zone.
Unclassified ore reserves down to the "624 bench" are 144,117,000 tonnes grading 0.368 per cent copper and 0.011 per cent molybdenum at a strip ratio between 1:1 and 2:1 (George Cross News Letter No.162, 1991).
In 1983, reserves were estimated at 75,000,000 tonnes at 0.35 per cent copper, 0.06 per cent molybdenum (0.1 per cent MoS2) and 2.8 grams per tonne silver (CIM Special Volume 37, page 185).
In 2011, Lions Gate Metals Inc. drilled the Poplar property (42 holes totalling 16,481 metres), intercepted broad intervals of copper-gold-molybdenum mineralization and generated an inferred resource. In 2012, Lions Gate Metals Inc. released results from the re-assay of a 3-metre sample from Silver zone drillhole 11-PC-113, resulting in a 53 per cent increase in silver grade over the 75.15 metre length of the hole. Overall silver values were shown to be 17.89 grams per tonne (Press Release - Lions Gate Metals Inc., May 3, 2012).
In 2012, Canadian Dehua International Mining Inc. entered into an option agreement with Lions Gate Metals Inc. to acquire the Poplar deposit. An updated resource estimate was released in February, which included the 2011 drilling results. In 2012, Lions Gate Metals Inc. announced a new indicated resource of 171.3 million tonnes grading 0.28 per cent copper, 0.008 per cent molybdenum, 0.08 gram per tonne gold and 2.30 grams per tonne silver (0.40 per cent copper-equivalent), plus an inferred resource of 209.0 million tonnes grading 0.23 per cent copper, 0.004 per cent molybdenum, 0.06 gram per tonne gold and 3.62 grams per tonne silver (0.33 per cent copper-equivalent). These resources are at a 0.15 per cent copper cut-off (Press Release - Lions Gate Metals Inc., February 27, 2012).
In 2013, a geochemistry survey was completed on the Poplar claims to follow up on select priority targets that were generated by doing advanced 3D processing on the 2009 Aeroquest airborne survey by Mira Geoscience. A total of 18 till samples were collected during the program. Sampling was focused along the corridor between the Poplar Deposit and Pimpernel Mountain. Later that year, Canadian Dehua International Group Inc. spent 11 days performing a “B” horizon geochemical sampling program over the central portion of the Red Pine target. The grid was located in an area that returned anomalous results from till samples in 2011 and contained three of the advanced 3D geophysics targets that were developed by Mira Geoscience in 2012 from the Aeroquest airborne survey. A total of 180 samples were collected. Significant anomalous copper results were not returned from this program.
There has been considerable historic exploration on the Poplar group of claims. Exploration began in 1969 and has sporadically continued to the present day (ca. 2013). The areas of exploration are sub-grouped into three main areas for the purposes of discrete work history. These areas will be referred to as the Eastern Claims, the Southern Claims, and the Northwestern Claims.
The Eastern Claims consist of the area between the western shores of Owens Lake to the eastern shore of Poplar Lake; this includes the Duck Lake area which is referred to the Red Pine area in other locations in this report. The Southern Claims consist of the area to the north of Nadina Lake along the road that runs on an approximate east-west orientation north of Nadina Lake. Areas discovered during this historic exploration include the Ida/Nadi area which encompasses the Copper Pond deposit (093E 071) and Camp Lake work, the area of the Thira-Dual-Con-Lily showings (093E 097, 53) and the Hill showing. Overlapping programs in these areas were common as claims shifted names and owners. Little historic work has been recorded on the Willow target in the southeast and the claims that are located in the northwestern quadrant of the claim block which include the Aspen, Pimpernel, Hemlock and Birch targets. The main area of interest in the claim block is the Poplar deposit which is located to the north of Poplar Lake. Considerable exploration has been done on this deposit from 1973 to 2011.
In 1969, Arcadia Exploration Ltd. performed geochemical and geophysical surveys in what was referred to as the Ark claims which were located to the west of Owen Lake; high anomalous silver results were returned from soil sampling. Further exploration was performed in the eastern part of the Poplar claims. In 1970, Summit Oils Ltd. conducted a program of geochemistry, geology, and geophysics to the northeast of Duck Lake. Coinciding copper and zinc anomalies occurred over a fault which was suggested by the geophysics. Delbrook Mines Ltd. also ran an induced polarization (IP) survey to the northeast of Duck Lake in 1970 and positive undefined chargeability zones were located. In 1977, Gold River Mines Ltd. and Dual Resources Ltd. performed an airborne magnetic survey over the Tagetochlain Lake properties which were to the immediate east of Poplar Lake; no new intrusions were located with the magnetic survey and anomalous geochemistry zones were encountered. In 1978, Gold River Mines and Enterprises Ltd. performed a soil geochemistry survey over the claims to the southeast of Poplar Lake which resulted in multiple small anomalous zones. In 1979, Artillery Resources had a seven drillhole program to the southwest of Duck Lake on the Nettie property; no mineralization was intercepted. In 1980, Sutherland Resources Ltd. performed a seismic survey and drilling to the southeast of Poplar Lake in the Bonnie property; no bedrock was intercepted. In 1980, Celebrity Mining Corp. performed an inconclusive geological and magnetometer and VLF-electromagnetic (EM) survey on the Dilys group to the northeast edge of Poplar Lake. In 1983, Noranda Exploration performed an EM and magnetic geophysics survey to the southwest of Nadina Mountain on the Hari and Shawn claims; anomalies were located on the Hari claims. In 1983, Noranda Exploration also performed an EM and magnetic geophysics survey on the southeastern flank of Nadina Mountain on the Vampire and Henk claims; anomalies were located on the Henk claim. In 1984, Noranda Exploration performed a follow-up two-drillhole program on the Henk and Vampire claims; no mineralization was encountered and the anomaly was determined to be a clay-rich pocket of overburden. In 2009, Lions Gate Metals flew a detailed airborne electromagnetic and magnetic survey over much of this area. In 2011, Lions Gate Metals sampled 95 till sites over the Red Pine Target and 50 Ah soil sample sites over the Willow Target to test for geochemical anomalies; anomalous results were outlined at the Red Pine target.
In 1971, Passport Mines performed a geochemistry survey on the Con group of claims to the south of Hill-Tout Lake and Jorax Ltd. performed a geochemistry survey to the northeast of Camp Lake in the Nadi area. In 1972, Quintana Minerals Corporation performed mapping, soil and rock sampling over the AFT and HT claims in the Lily area. Jorax performed IP and resistivity surveys over the Nadi claims as well as an EM and magnetics survey in the Copper Pond area. In 1973, Jorax Ltd. and Dome Exploration Ltd. performed additional geophysics as well as soil sampling around the Copper Pond and Camp Lake areas. In 1973, Dome Exploration Ltd. drilled 14 diamond-drill holes over the Copper Pond area and two at Camp Lake. A zone roughly 120 by 275 metres with an average grade of 0.16 per cent copper was outlined at Copper Pond. In 1974, Quintana Minerals Corp. performed an IP survey over the Lily and Hill Lake areas as well as a percussion drill program in the Hill Lake area. In 1982, Newmont Exploration of Canada Ltd. performed a magnetic and IP survey over the Nadina claims which were centred on Hill Lake. In 1990, Swift Minerals Ltd. performed a six-hole diamond drill program on the Hill property to the southwest of Hill Lake where minor copper (0.18 per cent over two metres) was encountered. Also, during this year, Placer Dome Inc. and Canadian Jorax Ltd. performed IP and stream sampling over the Thira claims which cover the old Nadi and Ida claims over the Camp Lake area. Results included 1135 parts per billion gold from a moss mat sample. In 1994, Cominco performed one line of IP and resistivity on the Thira to the southeast of Camp Lake. Soil sampling was also performed to the west of Hill Lake. In 1995, Cominco performed soil sampling and 8 percussion-drill holes on the Thira Property from Hill Lake to Camp Lake; one hole intersected 0.18 per cent copper over 67 metres. In 1996, Cominco performed a followup diamond drill program on the Thira property. In 2008 and 2009, Lions Gate Metals performed minor prospecting and sampling along the lower road; strong alteration and minor elevated metals were returned. In 2009, Lions Gate Metals flew a detailed airborne electromagnetic and magnetic survey over this area. In 2011, Lions Gate Metals performed a geochemical soil sampling program with 403 B-horizon sites over the Copper Pond East Target showing three areas of anomalous (greater than 100 parts per million) copper.
In 1983, Noranda Exploration Company Ltd. performed a geology, geochemistry and VLF-EM survey over the Bittern claim located 4 kilometres to the north of the western shores of Poplar Lake; areas of anomalous concentrations of copper, zinc and silver were revealed. In 2009, Lions Gate Metals Inc. performed a till sampling and prospecting program over many of the Poplar claims targeting areas of interest that were exposed during the Geoscience BC Quest West airborne survey. In 2009, Lions Gate Metals flew a detailed airborne electromagnetic and magnetic survey over much of this area. In 2011, Lions Gate Metals Inc. sampled 45 geochemical till samples over the Alder, Aspen and Hemlock targets; anomalous samples were returned. During 2011, Lions Gate Metals drilled 42 NQ diamond-drill holes on the property totalling 16,483 metres in two phases of drilling. Drilling was focused on the Main zone of the Poplar deposit, the 61 zone, the Eastern zone, as well as exploratory drilling to expand the 0.1 per cent copper grade shell. In 2012, Mira Geoscience was contacted to do advance processing on the Aeroquest helicopter-borne AeroTEM System electromagnetic and magnetic survey that was flown in 2009 over the Poplar claims. Other local and regional geological, geophysical and geochemical information was also used to help focus exploration efforts, locate potential targets that appear similar to other porphyry targets in the region, as well as determine which airborne EM anomalies were potentially caused by swamps; final results were delivered in August 2012 and a corridor of high potential was outlined between the Poplar deposit and Pimpernel Mountain. Other areas of interest included Red Pine, south of Copper Pond East, Spruce, west of the Duel Lakes, and southeast of Poplar Lake. In August to October 2012, spot till geochemistry samples were taken over easily accessed specific priority targets along the Poplar to Pimpernel corridor that were developed by this advanced processing.
In 2018 and 2019, Universal Copper Ltd. completed programs of geochemical sampling (rock, silt and soil) and four diamond drill holes, totalling 1648.97 metres, on the area as the Poplar property.