The Inel occurrence is in northwest British Columbia, approximately 96 kilometres northwest of Stewart in an area known as the Bronson Corridor. Inel is located 7 kilometres east-southeast of the past producing Johnny Mountain mine (MINFILE 104B 107) and approximately 12 kilometres southeast of the past producing Snip mine (MINFILE 104B 250).
The Inel property is primarily underlain by marine sedimentary and volcanic rocks of the Upper Triassic Stuhini Group. Lower Jurassic andesitic volcanics of the Hazeleton Group overlie the Stuhini rocks and Early Jurassic feldspar porphyritic rock and monzodioritic to gabbroic rock intrude the strata.
The country rock mainly includes a layered sequence comprising basalt-rhyolitic breccias, flows and clastic sediments, andesitic volcaniclastics, conglomerates, minor limestones with intercalated basalt flows and breccias.
The country rock is cut by a long, narrow, high angle alaskite (quartz-feldspar porphyry) pluton which extends from the south boundary of the Inel claims, north across Snippaker Ridge, just south of Snippaker Peak. At the south, the contacts are marked by wide granitized margins with zinc-silver mineralization on the west, and oxidized copper-molybdenum on the east. In the Main Sulphide zone area, the east contact is marked by a swarm of narrow dikes. The dikes and mineralized country rocks have been faulted, deformed and cut by wide pyrite-quartz-feldspar injection breccia dikes. Together with the mineralized country rocks and quartz-sulphide veins these pyritic injection breccias form the broad Main Sulphide zone.
Two large brittle-ductile strain zones control the mineralization of the broad KSP property, of which Inel is a major focus. These deformational zones have a strong spatial relationship to the development of rock alteration and gold-copper mineralization in the area. In the area of Inel and Khyber Pass (MINFILE 104B 138) the Sky-Khyber deformation zone strikes approximately 140 degrees, has a strike length of over 25 kilometres, and appears to have a shallow to 40 degree southwest dip. Numerous mineralized intrusive bodies that track the Sky-Khyber deformation zone may indicate that this zone was under active extension at the time of mineralization. The Big Rock-Inel deformation zone also tracks significant and often high-grade gold mineralization. It strikes between 045 and 060 degrees, dips steeply to the southeast at 75 to 85 degrees and has a strike length over 10 kilometres. There is no apparent offset at the confluence of the Sky-Khyber and Big Rock-Inel deformation zones, suggesting that the two zones formed synchronously (Assessment Report 35943). Additional regional scale deformation or fault zones have been identified in the area as being post-mineral.
There is a broad, alteration zoning related to the overall sulphide mineralization and the intrusive activity on the Inel property. Intense pyritization, silicification and feldspathization affect the area of the main showings and extend about 500 by 1200 metres when the Discovery zone is included. Mineralized zones surrounding the main showings are outlined in part by a pyritic halo dominated by carbonate veining and alteration and by the presence of barite veins. The halo is described as 2 kilometres wide and extends easterly about 2.5 kilometres. This halo is surrounded by low temperature minerals like bright green chlorite and gypsum.
The Main Sulphide forms an extension of the Discovery Zone which lies on the north side of the Main Sulphide Zone. The Main Sulphide zone has a width of at least 300 metres and is exposed over a vertical height of 180 metres. The sulfide zone includes massive, thick, pyrite - K feldspar veins which cut across mineralized country rock similar to the Discovery zone. Potassium feldspar alteration is typical of the host rock sequence.
Drilling within the Main Sulphide and Discovery zones indicate extensive alteration within the sediments comprised of pervasive potassium feldspar, quartz and carbonate stockwork veining and secondary biotite. Extensive induration, bleaching and mottling of the host rocks as well as scattered epidote and hematite alteration occur within the Discovery zone.
Within the Main Sulphide zone, extensive pyritization is cut by two major sets of dikes, high grade sulphide veins and by discrete gold-bearing pyritic lenses. The sulphide lenses or dike-like shoots consist of coarse south dipping injection breccia dikes comprised of about 60 per cent broken pyrite, with quartz and fragmental potassium feldspar gangue. Drilling within the Main Sulphide zone shows continuity within the copper-silver-gold-bearing mineralization in the altered sediments. The mineralization occurs as east-west trending sheets dipping moderately to steeply south. In 1984, DDH-4 returned an overall grade over 3.7 metres of 7.2 grams per tonne gold, 317.14 grams per tonne silver, 0.38 per cent copper, 0.06 per cent lead and 0.29 per cent zinc (Grove, 1987).
The Discovery zone hosts significant gold, silver, zinc, copper and lead mineralization over narrow widths exceeding 230 metres in length. The zone consists of at least five east dipping complex sulphide zones within a 110-metre thick sequence of thin-bedded sedimentary and volcanic rocks. The pyrite-chalcopyrite-sphalerite- galena mineralization parallels bedding and occurs as parallel bands or as vein-like, possibly remobilized, sulphide mineralization. In 1984, a sample from D-1 taken over 4.9 metres assayed 4.1 grams per tonne gold, 3.2 grams per tonne silver and 6.8 per cent zinc (Grove, 1987).
The Main Sulphide zone comprises a sequence which forms the extension of the Discovery zone but has been cut by thick dike-like injection sulphide-potassium feldspar breccias which now form about 50 per cent of the zone. Like the Discovery zone, the original sequence in the Main Sulphide zone comprised intercalated fine-grained clastic sediments and thin olivine basalt flows. In the Discovery zone the gold-bearing, zinc-rich mineralization (native gold occurs in fractures within the sphalerite) is found along and near the basalt/sediment contacts and within the sediments. The Main Sulphide zone mineralization includes stratabound sulphides, remobilized vein sulphides and disseminated gold in the massive injection breccia dikes.
Underground drifting and diamond drilling have been carried out on the Inel Main zone. In 1988, drill hole U88-3, within the centre section, returned a grade of 26.37 grams per tonne gold over 4.05 metres (George Cross News Letter, No.185, September 26, 1988). Surface diamond drilling, 300 metres in elevation above the portal, returned 3.77 grams per tonne gold over 0.85 metre and 7.0 grams per tonne gold over 1.5 metres from Hole 88-1 and 5.4 grams per tonne gold over 1.4 metres from Hole 88-2 (Inel Resources Ltd., Press Release, August 5, 1988).
The underground exploration adit within the North, Centre and South workings have crosscut nine distinct quartz-sulphide gold veins. Of these, one vein returned 50.06 grams per tonne gold across 0.7 metre and other returned 8.9 grams per tonne gold over 2.3 metres (Inel Resources Ltd., Press Release, September 23, 1988).
Underground diamond drilling has defined preliminary reserves for lens No.1. In the Discovery zone is 317,485 tonnes grading 0.1 per cent copper, 0.1 per cent lead, 2.6 per cent zinc, 3.4 grams per tonne gold and 13.3 grams per tonne silver. (Assessment Report 22026, page 14).
The AK zone (about 500 metres to the north of the Inel property) has been given its own MINFILE number (104B 557).
2017 geological mapping and modeling conclusively demonstrated that much of the mineralization in the Khyber Pass (A Zone and Zinc Hill areas) as well as much of the mineralization in the Inel Discovery Zone is associated with a generally very flat lying surface which places a mafic fragmental unit discordantly against thin bedded sediments. This surface may be a regional scale thrust, a regional scale unconformity or a listric fault surface. The first interpretation may be the most probable as it is likely that portions of this rock mass have been deformed in north plunging synform-antiform couples defining a west verging fold and thrust belt.
The Inel showings were reportedly discovered by Cominco Ltd in 1965 and staked as the Inel group in 1969.
A 90 per cent interest in the Inel 7-60 claims was acquired by Skyline Explorations Ltd. through a January 1970 agreement with Robert Gifford. Trenching and sampling was carried out in 1971. During 1972 Texas Gulf, Inc, as operator, restaked the property and carried out geological mapping and resampling.
In June 1973 Skyline optioned the property (Inel 7-72) to Ecstall Mining Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Texasgulf Inc (Texas Gulf, Inc, in 1973. Work by Ecstall during 1973 and 1974 included a geochemical silt survey (19 samples), a magnetometer survey over 8 line-miles, a vertical-loop electromagnetic survey over 5 line-miles, and trenching on Inel 43, and 45.
Skyline restaked the ground in 1980 as the Inel 1-4 claims (80 units). Work by Skyline from 1980 to 1985 included geological mapping, electromagnetic surveys, trenching, sampling and drilling. In 1984, 22 holes were drilled totaling 1630 metres.
Inel Resources Ltd. was incorporated in 1987 and acquired ownership of the Inel claims. In 1987, Inel completed 183 metres of underground development on the Discovery zone. In 1988, a further 570 metres of underground development and 4258 metres in 54 holes were completed on the Discovery zone. The AK zone was discovered in 1987.
In 1989, Inel Resources and Gulf International Minerals Ltd amalgamated and Gulf completed 5454 metres of drilling in 46 holes on the Discovery zone and 3060 metres in 31 holes on the AK zone. In 1991 Gulf conducted mapping, road construction and underground sampling, trenching and 1 drillhole (33 metres) on the AK zone and underground sampling on the Discovery zone.
In 2000, Gulf International conducted traverses the area of the AK Zone and the extent of mineralization was traced as far as snow conditions allowed. A total of five samples was collected in the area and plotted on existing geology maps.
No further work had been conducted on occurrences in the Inel area until 2014, when Colorado Resources Ltd. explored the area as part of the broader KSP property. In 2014, soil sampling at Inel defined a 1 by 1.5 kilometre anomaly where most samples reported greater than 310 parts per billion gold. This included an 800 by 100 metre subset averaging greater than 1600 parts per billion gold. Highest gold values from rock sampling are generally associated with quartz-magnetite veins and strong quartz-sericite-pyrite alteration of the host rock. Sample 2635203 reported 125.6 grams per tonne gold and 10 grams per tonne silver from a 1 metre quartz vein. Channel CH14-004B reported a 2 metre section grading 0.88 gram per tonne gold and 0.201 per cent copper (Assessment Report 35184).
In 2015, Colorado Resources conducted a limited sampling program of rocks and historic drill core in addition to 1 line (300 metres) of direct-current resistivity induced polarization geophysical surveying. Based on compilation of historic and recent data from Inel, Colorado Resources produced 8 new cross-sections of the area which greatly increased the understanding of the geological and structural controls on mineralization (Assessment Report 35943).
Colorado Resources commenced drilling at Inel on June 19, 2016 and finished up the program later that year having drilled 53 holes totalling 7874.5 metres. Assay results from drill core indicated that both high-grade gold zones and broader lower-grade gold zones are present at Inel. At the North Discovery trend, assay results include 64 metres grading 2.73 grams per tonne gold (INDDH16-049), 11 metres grading 6.12 grams per tonne gold (INDDH16-001), and 2 metres grading 15.60 grams per tonne gold (INDDH16-002). At the South Discovery trend, assay results include 3.7 metres grading 14.59 grams per tonne gold and 50 metres grading 1.44 grams per tonne gold (INDDH16-046), and 159.5 metres grading 0.59 gram per tonne gold. Results from the South Inel Creek trend include 25.7 metres grading 9.24 grams per tonne gold which includes a 6 metres section grading 32.02 grams per tonne gold (INDDH16-029), as well as 1 metre grading 138.5 grams per tonne gold and 99 metres grading 2.11 grams per tonne gold (INDDH16-025). The North Inel Creek trend reported 31.7 metres grading 1.36 grams per tonne gold and 1.17 per cent zinc (INDDH16-012). At the South AK trend, assay results reported 4 metres grading 16.02 grams per tonne gold and 74 metres of 1.02 grams per tonne gold (INDDH16-042) Colorado Resources Ltd. Press Release October 5, 2016; Assessment Report 36761).
In 2017, a total of 57 drill holes were completed by Colorado Resources in the Inel-Khyber area. Two drill holes tested the South Discovery zone, INDDH17–101 and INDDH17–102, with mineralization best developed in structural sites below the footwall contact of the mafic fragmental sequence with the underlying sediments. The intersections in the previous year’s drill hole INDDH16-001 and drill hole INDDH17–102 on the South Discovery, now extend the strike length of this zone to 550 metres. Most of the 2017 drilling in the INEL area extended from High Stake (104B 558) in the south to AK (104B 557) to the north 1000 metres, testing the "Camp Porphyry". Long intervals of low-grade gold-copper mineralization were obtained in 3 of 6 drill holes collared within the Inel intrusion in a porphyry gold-copper environment. INDDH17-054, 17-089 and 17- 098 all cut long intervals of low-grade gold-copper mineralization in an intensely QSP altered intrusion. In the AK area higher grade vein systems may be forming extensional arrays within competent mafic units identified in the hanging wall to a property scale thrust and includes 2 metres of 17.65 grams per tonne Au in INDDH17-082 or 2 metres of 19.95 grams per tonne Au in INDDH17-081 (Assessment Report 37604).
In 2018 drilling in the Inel area continued to return encouraging results. Inel appears to have multiple styles of mineralization and a complex geological picture. Drilling was accomplished in the AK (104B 557) area (4 holes) and in the INEL-BRDZ area (4 holes) in the vicinity of INEL RIDGE (104B 258) (Assessment Report 38707).
Colorado Resources Ltd. announced its name change to QuestEx Gold & Copper Ltd. on September 16, 2020.