The Martha Ellen deposit, which is located 2 kilometres north-northwest of the Big Missouri deposit, lies within south-southeast striking, moderately dipping andesite, agglomerate and lapilli tuff, with interbedded cherty tuff of the Lower Jurassic Unuk River Formation. (See Big Missouri - 104B 046 for enhanced geology). The area lies within the Portland Canal dike swarm, which consists generally of granodiorite/quartz diorite dikes, cutting the volcaniclastics and mineralized veins. Three sulphide horizons occur within the andesitic rocks.
The Martha Ellen, Martha Ellen-North, and Martha Ellen-Glacier zones, which occur within the Middle Horizon, have been traced over 600 metres along a north-northwest striking shear zone. Mineralization consists of semi-massive to massive lenses and quartz veins with pyrite, galena, sphalerite and chalcopyrite. Pyritized and silicified zones contain disseminated galena and chalcopyrite. The stratabound cherty tuff horizon is up to 7 metres thick.
Quartz breccias or siliceous breccias are often associated with quartz-sericite-pyrite (QSP) alteration halo and represent silica flooding, silicification and intense quartz stockwork which contain a majority of the precious metal mineralization of a low sulfide to transitional epithermal precious metal nature. Originally, siliceous breccias were interpreted as a sedimentary horizon of cherty tuff exhalite origin by Westmin due to their textures and erratic nature. They are now considered to be a secondary process of quartz alteration of Andesites or Premier Porphyries. Quartz breccias show consistent continuity in the Big Missouri, the Martha Ellen, and the Dilworth areas and in the Premier Mine area.
Various styles of alterations are recognized in these areas: quartz-sericite-pyrite (QSP), potassic, chlorite, hematite, carbonate, and secondary biotite alterations. Mineralization is mainly hosted in breccia bodies, also in quartz stockwork and veining. Quartz breccias can display multiple phases of silicification with up to five to six sequences of silicification noted in some breccias. Zoning of alterations halo could sometimes be present in the proximity of siliceous breccia bodies transiting from sericite/silica alterations to sericite/potassic alterations and to distal chlorite alteration. Pyrite mineralization appears related to quartz veins and zones of intense silicification with base metals observed as sphalerite and galena and lesser amount of chalcopyrite, tetrahedrite, and sulfosalt. Native silver and gold and electrum have occasionally been seen in high angle quartz veins and quartz breccia bodies. The styles of alterations, mineralization, and brecciations in the Premier Mine area and the Big Missouri, the Martha Ellen, and the Dilworth areas are very similar. One difference appears to be the alteration and mineralization tend to be more focused and grades are typically higher in the Premier Mine area and in the Martha Ellen area and are relatively more widespread with greater quartz stockwork in the Big Missouri and the Dilworth areas.
A drill hole (82-51) intersected 5.86 grams per tonne gold, 73.0 grams per tonne silver, 1.35 per cent lead, 4.35 per cent zinc and 0.32 per cent copper over 14.6 metres (see National Mineral Inventory Card 104B/1 AU 7). Mineable reserves, with an average waste to ore ratio of 3.99 to 1, are 647,900 tonnes grading 2.78 grams per tonne gold and 23.05 grams per tonne silver (George Cross Newsletter #102, 1988).
In 1987, geological (inferred) reserves were 1,576,449 tonnes grading 2.26 grams per tonne gold and 27.43 grams per tonne silver (D. Alldrick, PhD Thesis, UBC, 1991). Mineable reserves with an average waste-to-ore ratio of 3.99:1 are 647,900 tonnes grading 2.78 grams per tonne gold and 23.05 grams per tonne silver (George Cross News Letter No.102, 1988).
In the 2012 season, a total of 166 DDH were completed for a total of 36941.80 metres. P&E Mining Consultants Inc. prepared and released an updated resource in February 2013 based on the addition of 54 DDH of 8,784.66 metres in the Martha Ellen area and 93 DDH of 23,218.30 metres in the Big Missouri area with the 2009-2011 drilling. In 2013, the Martha Ellen was estimated to contain 8,433,000 tonnes in the indicated category grading 0.87 gram per tonne gold and 7.6 grams per tonne silver and; in the inferred category, the Martha Ellen contains 554,000 tonnes grading 0.83 gram per tonne gold and 12.0 grams per tonne silver (Press Release, Ascot Resources, for February 13, 2013 and October 23, 2013).
In 2014, an updated resource compiled by Ronald G. Simpson, P.Geo, of the GeoSim Services Inc. was released based on the additional of 146 DDH for a total of 25742.88 metres completed in the 2013 drilling program and included the Big Missouri, Martha Ellen and, for the first time, Dilworth deposit areas. The Martha Ellen contains 8,345,000 tonnes in the indicated category grading 1.15 grams per tonne gold and 9.9 grams per tonne silver and; in the inferred category, the Martha Ellen contains 3,236,000 tonnes grading 0.70 gram per tonne gold and 11.6 grams per tonne silver (Press Release, Ascot Resources, March 31, 2014).
See Big Missouri where resources for the Big Missouri (104B 046), Martha Ellen and Dillworth (104B 039) deposits are combined and form a larger TOTAL resource reported on in MINFILE Inventory.
The Martha Ellen, Glacier, Cornelius, and Empire claims (Lots 1521-1524) were bonded in about 1909 by the Salmon Glacier Mining Company. The company was reorganized in 1910 under the name Hercules Mines Ltd.; this was apparently an American company. Some work was done in open cuts and two crosscut adits. The claims were Crown-granted in 1915. The property lay idle for several years, work being resumed in 1920. During the year a tunnel was driven about 61 metres under one of the showings and several shallow shafts were sunk. The property was under option in 1923 to Montreal interests, who put in open cuts and a 10.7-metre-long crosscut adit on a showing known as the Canyon vein.
No further work was reported until 1935 when Buena Vista Mining Company, Limited, owned by Cominco Ltd. (60 per cent) and Big Missouri Mines Corporation (40 per cent) optioned the property and began a program of diamond drilling. Ten holes totalling 597 metres were put down on the southern zone, representing a silicified zone about 5 acres in extent, and 2 holes totalling 132.6 metres were drilled on another outcrop about 457 metres to the north. Under the agreement, development of the property could be carried on from the Big Missouri workings and to that end the 93 metres drift north from the Big Missouri adit was advanced 66 metres in 1937, however, the plan of development was apparently not followed through.
An airborne geophysical survey was carried out in the area on behalf of Atna Mines in 1969 (Assessment Report 2320).
The Martha Ellen, Glacier and Leckie Fraction claims, along with the Province and Big Missouri claims, were transferred by Thomas S. MacKay to Silver Butte Mines Ltd. in June 1972. Giant Mascot Mines Limited optioned the property late in 1973. A programme of diamond drilling carried out during the summer of 1974 may have been confined to the Big Missouri property. The option was subsequently abandoned.
Silver Butte Mines Ltd. underwent a change of name in 1972 to Consolidated Silver Butte Mines Ltd. In 1975 the company optioned an 80 per cent interest in the Martha Ellen, Glacier, and Leckie Fr. claims to Northern Homestake Mines Ltd; the option was subsequently abandoned.
Tournigan Mining Explorations Limited acquired the Martha Ellen and Big Missouri mine properties from Consolidated Silver Butte in about 1978. Westmin Resources Limited optioned a 70 per cent interest in the property in 1979. A geochemical survey, trenching and sampling were carried out in 1980, and diamond drilling in 10 holes in 1982. Open pit reserves in the Martha Ellen zone were estimated at 562,340 tonnes grading 3.81 grams per tonne gold (Northern Miner, December 5, 1983).
In summary, previous work on the Martha Ellen occurrence area began in the early 1900s; two shallow shafts, a few short adits and numerous trenches were excavated by 1930.
Westmin Resources Limited began work in the area during 1979; by 1988 a total of 8,389 metres of diamond drilling in 144 holes had been completed. In 1991 Westmin conducted a significant Airborne magnetic and electromagnetic survey totaling 760 kilometres that covered the Martha Ellen and the Montana prospects and over 60 more occurrences, mainly to the south (Assessment Report 21993). During 1995, Westmin mapped the surface geology of the Martha Ellen area, and re-examined core from some of the earlier drill holes. A program of diamond drilling was conducted in 1996 consisting of 2155 metres in 9 holes on the Martha Ellen (Assessment Report 24905). Seven holes intersected typical Premier Porphyry and the underlying andesitic rocks. Quartz breccia mineralized with pyrite, sphalerite, galena and rare chalcopyrite occurs along the eastward-dipping contact between the porphyry and the andesitic rocks. This mineralized quartz breccia locally contains significant amounts of gold and silver.
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 2009 option agreement.
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 totaled 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). High airborne potassium values occur at nearly all showings and past-producing mines covered by the airborne survey including the Marth Ellen and Montana. During 2009 (Assessment Report 31489) and 2010 (Assessment Report 32357) all exploration activity by Ascot was conducted on the Premier and Big Missouri Properties. In 2009 a total of 7465.3 metres were drilled in 48 holes into multiple zone including 3rd, Premier, Power, Hope, Loui's, S1, Northstar, Province, Martha Ellen, Montana, Rambler, Silver Tip, Unicorn, Golden Crown and Mudstones. 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 Gerry's zones.
In 2009, 3 holes were drilled into the Martha Ellen zone and 2 into the Montana zone. Gold results from Montana were poor although assay results indicated minor silver, 0.35 gram per tonne gold and 112.75 grams per tonnes silver over 4 metres (hole P09-034, Assessment Report 31489). The Martha Ellen zone is located to the west of the Premier Porphyry body and the Montana zone to the east.
In 2010, Several chip lines were collected at and just north of the Martha Ellen zone. Line T10-017 yielded 8.57 grams per tonne gold and 52.17 grams per tonne silver over the entire 17 metres including well mineralized samples at either end; and included a 1 metre sample of 46.68 grams per tonne gold and 98 grams per tonne silver (Assessment Report 32357). Four holes (P10-089/090, and 092/093) from two pads were completed in the Martha Ellen Zone. These holes were located on the west side of the zone and drilled to the east, targeting a rusty gossan in a small north-south trending gully where previous sampling had yielded good results. P10-089 yielded 1.10 grams per tonne gold over 63.93 metre near Premier Porphyry (Assessment Report 32357).
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 the Sparky zone in the Dilworth (104B 039). A resource estimate for the Big Missouri area utilizes drilling data from 2009 to 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 metres 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 BC, 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, Sep.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. Also tested was the Premier area near Subakwe and the areas between Big Missouri and Martha Ellen and areas west of Martha Ellen. The Premier project is under option from Boliden Ltd and Ascot was to acquire 100 per cent of the project by making a payment of $4.775 million on or before June 30, 2017
The Premier property covers more than 100 square kilometres near the town of Stewart in northwest BC. The property is long and narrow, extending more than 22 kilometres north to south. The Premier mine is located at the south end of the property, roughly 7 kilometres south of the three deposits Ascot has outlined at Premier (104B 054), which are known as Big Missouri, Martha Ellen, and Dilworth. Refer to all these occurrences for further information including bibliography.
In 2018, Ascot Resources Ltd. completed a drilling program comprising 171 holes, totalling 27,681.2 metre, on the Premier, Big Missouri and Martha Ellen occurrence and an induced polarization survey to the north and south of the Premier occurrence and between the Big Missouri and Silver Coin occurrences.
In November 2018, an updated mineral resource was reported for the Martha Ellen deposit was reported at 130,000 tonnes indicated grading 5.47 grams per tonne gold and 48.0 grams per tonne silver with an additional 653,000 tonnes inferred grading 6.12 grams per tonne gold and 34.3 grams per tonne silver, using a 3.5 grams per tonne gold equivalent cut-off (Rennie, D.W. (2019-01-17): Technical Report on the Premier Project).