British Columbia Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas and Responsible for Housing
News | The Premier Online | Ministries & Organizations | Job Opportunities | Main Index

MINFILE Home page  ARIS Home page  MINFILE Search page  Property File Search
Help Help
File Created: 24-Jul-1985 by BC Geological Survey (BCGS)
Last Edit:  27-Mar-2022 by Nicole Barlow (NB)

Summary Help Help

NMI 104B1 Au1
BCGS Map 104B010
Status Past Producer NTS Map 104B01E
Latitude 056º 03' 30'' UTM 09 (NAD 83)
Longitude 130º 00' 42'' Northing 6213033
Easting 437001
Commodities Gold, Silver, Zinc, Lead, Copper, Cadmium Deposit Types H04 : Epithermal Au-Ag-Cu: high sulphidation
I05 : Polymetallic veins Ag-Pb-Zn+/-Au
I02 : Intrusion-related Au pyrrhotite veins
Tectonic Belt Intermontane Terrane Stikine
Capsule Geology

The Northern Lights orebody is part of the Silbak Premier Mine located 22 kilometres north of Stewart. The orebody is approximately 350 metres northwest of the main Premier orebody and lies at a deeper level. Mineralization on the Northern Light claims was discovered in 1927 and the orebody was brought into production in 1935. For an expanded capsule geology and bibliography refer to the Silbak Premier Mine (104B 054).

Located in the Intermontane Belt, the area, bounded on the west by the Coast Crystalline Complex and on the east by the Bowser Basin, is part of the volcanic arc assemblage of the Stikinia Terrane.

The deposit is hosted by Upper Triassic to Lower Jurassic Hazel- ton Group, Unuk River Formation metavolcanic rocks. The Hazelton Group is a northwest trending belt of folded andesitic to dacitic metavolcanic rocks containing a thick sequence of argillites and siltstones infolded along a synclinal axis.

The ore is hosted by massive andesite, andesite breccia and lapilli tuff which are intruded by Early Jurassic Texas Creek plutonic suite dacitic porphyry dykes. The andesite, at least 750 metres thick, is unconformably overlain by volcaniclastic and epiclastic rocks. Potassium feldspar porphyry (historically known as the "Premier Porphyry") is spatially associated with the ore and this relationship is thought to indicate a Lower Jurassic mineralization age.

The Northern Lights orebody is situated in the hangingwall of the steeply northwest-dipping "Main" or "Northeast" zone. The dip of this zone varies from 60 degrees at surface to 30 degrees by the lowermost workings. The deposit is similar to the main Premier deposit as it also exhibits two distinct zone orientations. In the main orebody most production came from an area within about 500 metres of the intersection of these two zones. These trends are believed to represent structural controls to mineralization and emplacement of dacite porphyry intrusions. The ore is predominantly discordant but locally concordant with the moderately northwest- dipping andesite flows, breccias and dacite flows.

Hydrothermal alteration zones related to the mineralizing system are represented by a proximal silicification/quartz stockwork and potassium feldspar and/or sericite facies potassic alteration. Peripheral to mineralization is a propylitic alteration assemblage of carbonate, chlorite and pyrite. The variable intensity and type of alteration is partially controlled by fracture intensity and host lithology, and presumably, elevation in the hydrothermal system. The most characteristic feature of the andesite package is the pervasive carbonate, chlorite, and clay alteration around the deposit.

There are at least four styles of mineralization with textures ranging from stockwork and siliceous breccia to locally layered and massive sulphide-rich mineralization. Due to vertical mineral zonation, the Northern Lights orebody is more base metal rich with lower silver values than the Main deposit. Sulphide content varies, generally less than 5 per cent but can be as high as 75 per cent. Such ore diversity is an indication of the complex and episodic nature to ore deposition.

The base metal rich mineral assemblage consists of pyrite, sphalerite, galena, tetrahedrite, chalcopyrite, arsenopyrite, pyrrhotite, electrum, and native silver. Gangue minerals are quartz, potassium feldspar, chlorite, carbonate and others.

A hybrid ore genesis model combining epigenetic vein and porphyry copper characteristics compare well with the features observed.

Inferred ore reserves for the Northern Lights orebody in 1986 were 347,381 tonnes grading 4.04 grams per tonne gold and 39.42 grams per tonne silver, 1.5 per cent lead and 4.93 per cent zinc (George Cross Newsletter No. 18, Jan 27, 1986).

Production data is included in the Silbak Premier Mine production figures (104B 054).

Ascot successfully delineated 2 new high-grade zones in 2017; the Prew and Ben subzones in the Northern Lights area and achieved enough drill density to start the resource calculations in the southern part of the property. has extended the Northern Lights main zone to a strike length of 600 metres and a dip length of 700 metres, and it remains open in all directions.


Refer to Premier Silbake for pre-2008 work history.

Ascot Resources Ltd conducted exploration on the Dilworth Property in 2007 and 2008 and subsequently acquired the Premier Gold Property from Boliden Ltd under the terms of a June 12, 2009 option agreement. During 2009 all exploration activity was conducted on the Premier and Big Missouri Properties.

The 2008 exploration program of Ascot Resources Ltd conducted on the Dilworth property included diamond drilling, surface rock sampling, geological mapping, a 428.2-kilometre airborne Mag/EM survey and airborne radiometric survey, geochemical sampling including contour sampling, a soil grid and stream sediment sampling of all streams on the west and east sides of the property (Assessment Report 31000). Diamond-drilling in 2008 totalled 10885.1 metres in 63 holes. Only the airborne survey extended off the Dilworth property to the south covering parts of the Big Missouri (104B 046) and further south to the Premier (104B 054).

During 2009 (Assessment Report 31489) and 2010 (Assessment Report 32357) all exploration activity by Ascot was conducted on the Premier and Big Missouri Properties. A total of 7465.3 metres were drilled in 48 holes into multiple zones including 3rd, Premier, Power, Hope, Loui's, S1, Northstar, Province, Martha Ellen, Montana, Rambler, Silver Tip, Unicorn, Golden Crown and Mudstones. Ascot drilled 11 holes (P09-001 to 011) were drilled from five pads constructed along the access ramp at the bottom of the Premier Pit. Targets were designed to confirm the previous results of Westmin Resources, and to test for the possible extension of additional resources below the existing pit.

In 2010 a total of 21,742 metres in 68 holes were drilled into a number of zones from the combined Dilworth and Premier properties of Ascot including: Unicorn, A-Vein, S1, Creek, Calcite Cuts, Province, Day, Martha Ellen, Sparky, Bee, Forty Nine and Gerrys zones. Twenty seven holes were drilled on the Unicorn zone (104B 044) and 17 holes were drilled on the Province zones about 300 meters west of the Unicorn.

In 2011, Ascot Resources Ltd drilled 36,318 metres on the Big Missouri and Dilworth properties. The 150-hole program tested bulk tonnage and high-grade underground gold-silver vein targets. The Big Missouri zone (MINFILE 104B 092) was drilled on 50 metres centres in support of calculating an initial resource. Drilling was also completed in the Province (104B 147) and Unicorn (MINFILE 104B 044) in the Big Missouri area following up lower grade gold intercepts.

In 2012, Ascot Resources Ltd conducted a significant drilling program spread across three areas: Big Missouri (MINFILE 104B 046), Martha Ellen (MINFILE 104B 092) and Sparky zone in the Dilworth (104B 039). A resource estimate for the Big Missouri area utilizes drilling data from 2009-2011 was released in May.

In 2013, Ascot Resources completed 25,742 metres of drilling in 145 holes spread between Premier (104B 054), Martha Ellen (104B 092), Province, S1 and Unicorn zones. Drilling successfully expanded and confirmed bulk-tonnage and high-grade underground gold-silver targets. Ascot released an increased resource estimate for the Big Missouri, which included Martha Ellen (104B 092) data.

In 2014, Ascot Resources Ltd. continued drilling at the Premier and Big Missouri gold projects. Drilling of a multiphase program consisted of 36,672 meters in 169 holes. The work identified a new area of mineralization at Big Missouri before focusing on zones around Premier. A resource estimate for the Big Missouri (including the Dilworth, Martha Ellen and Big Missouri deposits) was released this year.

In 2015, Ascot Resources completed 40,892 metres of diamond drilling in 198 holes on its combined Premier-Big Missouri-Dilworth property. Broader high-grade gold zones were also intercepted, in particular at the Lunchroom subzone (Premier mine area) where hole P15-914 yielded 14 metres averaging 113.53 grams per tonne gold (Exploration in British Columbia, page 133). Hole P15-846, in the Lunchroom subzone, yielded several multi-ounce intersections, resulting in an uncut average of 11.12 grams per tonne over the entire length of the 118.27-metre drill hole (Press Release Ascot Resources, September 4, 2015). The most spectacular of these intersections was a one-metre interval which graded 880 grams per tonne gold (Press Release Ascot Resources, September 4, 2015).

In 2016, Ascot Resources Ltd drilled 69,123 metres in 279 holes at the Premier gold-silver project.

In 2017, Ascot Resources limited carried out 118,800 metres of drilling in 379 holes. Focus was on the Northern Lights area where the Ben and Prew subzones were discovered. The Prew subzone remains open along strike and has been traced for 500 metres down plunge, with a general width of 150 to 200 metres. The Ben subzone was being drilled for resource definition purposes. Numerous high-grade intersections were reported, including 36.31 grams per tonne gold over 16.15 metres (Exploration and Mining in British Columbia, 2017, page 137). The project is under option from Boliden Ltd and Ascot can acquire 100 per cent of the project by making a payment of $4.775 million on or before June 30, 2017. Also tested was the Premier area near Subakwe and the areas between Big Missouri and Martha Ellen and areas west of Martha Ellen.

EMPR AR 1927-100; 1929-105; 1930-111; 1932-60; 1933-302; 1941-54; 1942-53; 1943-59; 1944-53; 1945-61; 1951-42,75; 1952-40,76; 1953-43,89; 1955-17
EMPR ASS RPT 10651, 15762
EMPR BULL *58, p. 153; 63
EMPR EXPL 1980-459
EMPR FIELDWORK 1982, pp. 183-195; 1983, pp. 149-164; 1984, pp. 316-342; 1985, pp. 217-219; 1986, pp. 81-102; 1987, pp. 211-216, *349-352,489-493
EMPR GEM 1969-56; 1971-33
EMPR OF *1987-22; 1998-10
GSC MEM 175, p. 161
GSC P 89-1E, pp. 145-154
GCNL *#18, 1986
N MINER Jul.10, 1980; Mar.9, 1987
PR REL Ascot Resources; Nov.19, 2008; Sep.22, Nov.23, 2009; Jun.23, Oct.12, Dec.17, 2010; May2, Aug.1, Sep.10, Oct.10, Nov.14, 2012; Feb.13, Sep.12,26,27, Oct.23, Nov.14, Dec.12, 2013; Mar.31, Jul.15, Aug.22, Oct.27, Nov.5,12, 2014; Apr.20, Jun.24, Jul.27, Aug.11,28, Sep.4,14,25, Oct.15,28, Nov.20, Dec.18, 2015; Jul.5,15,21, Aug.11, Sep.12, Oct.14, Nov.7,16,23, Dec.20, 2016; May25, Jun.10,13; Aug.*21,30, Sep.8, Oct.16. Nov.7, Dec.11, 2017
Brown, D.A., (1987): *Geological Setting of the Volcanic-Hosted Silbak Premier Mine, Northwestern British Columbia, M.Sc. Thesis, University of British Columbia, (copy in Property File - 104B 054)
Placer Dome File
Randall, A.,: GAC Field Trip "C" Guide, Oct. 19-21, 1988 (in Property File - 104B 054)
Christopher, P.A. (2009-08-03): Technical Report on the Premier Gold Project
Kirkham, G. (2012-06-18): Technical Report on the Resource Estimate for the Premier Gold Property
Kirkham, G. (2012-08-20): Revised Technical Report on the Resource Estimate for the Premier Gold Property
Puritch, E. (2013-03-27): Technical Report and Resource Estimate for the Big Missouri and Martha Ellen Deposits, Premier Gold Property
Rennie, D.W. (2018-06-22): Technical Report on the Premier-Dilworth Project
Rennie, D.W. (2019-01-17): Technical Report on the Premier Project
Bird, S.C., Meintjes, T. (2020-02-28): Resource Estimate Update for the Premier Gold Project, Stewart, British Columbia, Canada
Ascot Resources Limited (2020-05-22): Premier & Red Mountain Gold Project Feasibility Study NI 43-101 Technical Report, British Columbia