The Province East zone lies 200 metres above the underground workings of the old Big Missouri Mine and occurs within the Upper Horizon which consists of several cherty tuff layers with disseminated sulphides to semi-massive sulphide lenses. The zone 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 Province zone consists of beds, up to 7 metres thick, of mixed cherty tuff and intensely sericitized andesite. The cherty tuff contains intensely sericitized and silicified andesite fragments, recrystallized chert, and sulphide minerals. From the sharp footwall contact, the amount of altered andesite decreases, and the amount of recrystallized cherty material increases toward an almost pure siliceous top.
The footwall consists of green feldspar-amphibole-porphyritic andesite lapilli tuff. Quartz, quartz-carbonate, and carbonate veins are moderately well-developed, and chlorite is well developed in the footwall. Andesite in the hangingwall is intensely sericitized and silicified (bleached).
The mineralized horizon dips shallowly to moderately southwest and has been cut by several steeply dipping north tending faults and moderately dipping northeast trending faults.
Pyrite, sphalerite, galena, and minor chalcopyrite occur as patches, thin lenses, and disseminated grains within the bleached andesite-chert tuff zone. In the footwall, gold and silver values associated with base metals are confined to narrow (generally less than 20 centimetres thick) quartz veins. A lateral zonation is evident as gold decreases, while silver and base metal content of the horizon increase from east to west across the zone. Gold is present as discrete grains of electrum along sulphide grain boundaries, and as variable sized grains within the gangue. Silver minerals, which include native silver, argentite, and rare freibergite, are intergrown with galena and/or chalcopyrite.
The Province (Province East) and the Big Missouri zones are located on the west to southwest sides of the S1 pit. The Province zone is a near surface mineralized zone which is parallel to the Big Missouri zone at depth and may possibly be a parallel mineralized structure. The Big Missouri zone is a deeper mineralized zone that is about 100 metres below the Province zone. An Intermediate zone is often intercepted along the hanging wall of the Jain thrust fault in between the Province and the Big Missouri zones. This Intermediate zone could possibly be the coalescing of the Province and the Big Missouri zones from the thrusting upward of the Big Missouri zone by the Jain thrust fault. All three zones are hosted in siliceous brecciated Andesite and Lapilli Tuff with prominent Quartz-Sericite-Pyrite (QSP) alteration halo. he Province zone is a near surface mineralized breccia body characterized with 3 to 6 per cent pyrite and trace to 1 to 2 per cent sphalerite, galena and chalcopyrite (highlighted in yellow in table 20) ranging from 3 to 10 metres in thickness coring within a zone of QSP halo of an addition of 10 to 20 metres. Generally, siliceous breccias of the Province zone has 3 to 5 different stages and pulses of silicification from pervasive silicification overprinting primary texture to selective silicification creating a crackle breccia texture. Mineralization varies from dissemination to lenses to bands of pyrite/sphalerite/galena with local specks of chalcopyrite.
The Province East zone measures about 400 by 200 by 30 metres. Production in 1990 amounted to 33,300 tonnes of ore grading 2.46 grams per tonne gold and 21.88 grams per tonne silver. In 1991, geological (inferred) reserves were 100,000 tonnes grading 1.5 grams per tonne gold and 20.0 grams per tonne silver (D. Alldrick, PhD Thesis, UBC, 1991).
The Province West zone lies 200 metres west of and is much smaller than the Province East zone. It consists of beds of mixed cherty tuff and sericitized andesite. Pyrite, sphalerite, galena, and minor chalcopyrite occur as patches, thin lenses, and disseminated grains within the bleached andesite-chert tuff zone. The Province West zone likely contains reserve grades similar to the Province East zone, however the tonnage potential is quite small.
Drilling by Ascot Resources in 2009 and 2010 resulted in observations that rocks are a mix of andesite, lapilli tuff and silica sericite altered andesite with most containing a weak quartz stockwork. Unlike other zones, the Province zone also contains discrete zones of strong siliceous breccias. Alteration in these zones is silica, sericite, pyrite and chlorite. Preserved angular fragments of andesite are observed in the breccias and contain a strong pervasive silica alteration. Pyrite is present as fine-grained crystals, typically more concentrated in the siliceous matrix, base metal sulphides (sphalerite and galena) are rare. The zone is a thin, near-surface band of mineralized and altered andesite located above the old Big Missouri underground mine workings. It is part of a line of zones that includes the Northstar (104B 146), Rambler (104B 144) and Unicorn (104B 044).
Drilling to and including 2011 has shown the Province Zone. It occurs along the top of the Big Missouri Ridge, contains two flat-lying zones termed the Province and Big Missouri Zones that can be traced over an area of 500 metres north-south by 300 metres wide. The zones are very distinct and correlate well between drill holes and across sections. The Province Zone occurs as a thin band up to 70 metres thick across the Big Missouri Ridge but due to several depressions in topography disappears to the north and south. The Big Missouri Zone can be traced into the S1 Pit, and often contains a well mineralized, sphalerite-galena bearing, quartz breccia zone at the top, but to the south becomes truncated at the base by the Jain Fault. In the central part of the zone, the Jain Fault was identified but mineralization was present on both sides indicating there may be no significant effect on mineralization in this area. Not all planned holes in the Province/Big Missouri area reached target depths due to several drill holes encountering underground workings.
In 2009 Ascot Resources tested the Province zone with 485.87 metres of diamond drilling in two holes. The Province was planned to be mined as a shallow pit by Westmin Resources. Ascot reported that all historical holes were short and did not test the area between the Province surface showings, and the Big Missouri deposit below. The 2009 drilling was designed to test this area. The two holes in the Province zone (P09-029 and 030) were drilled to the east on section with old surface trenches. Trench sampling and prospecting yielded some significant results including 2.47 grams per tonne gold over 11 metres in a trench (Prem-09-33) near drill hole P09-029. A maximum value of 24.04 grams per tonne gold over 1 metre was from another trench just to the west, and still in line with drill hole P09-029.
Results from hole P09-029 were generally low although there were some excellent results near the base, 50.51 grams per tonne gold over 11.00 metres at 186.90 metres that included 179.97 grams per tonne gold over 3.0 metres at 192.9 metres and 499.30 grams per tonne over 1.0 metre from a small strung-out veinlet of gold-bearing quartz (Assessment Report 31489). The results from drill hole P09-030 were significantly lower with sporadic mineralization over sometimes long lengths.
In 2010, Ascot Resources sampled two trenches that run east-west across the Ridge and are also online with the traces of a series of drill holes to provide surface data to supplement the subsurface results. Ascot drilled 5004 metres in 19 holes. Three mineralized zones were encountered, two thin near surface zones, plus a deeper, wider zone that is interpreted to represent the Big Missouri zone. The two near surface zones can be traced over an area of 400 metres north-south by 300 metres wide between drill holes across the top of the Province zone. Channel sampling of trenches yielded up to 0.97 and 0.63 gram per tonne gold with 15.3 and 8.78 grams per tonne silver over 7.0 and 32.0 metres, respectively, in trenches T10-015 and -016 (Kirkham, G. (2012-06-18): Technical Report on the Resource Estimate for the Premier Gold Property).
In 2011, drilling in 39 drillholes at the Province zone has occurred over a length of 1000m plus leads into the Northstar zone located just north of Province. The Province zone itself is a near surface exposure of quartz-sericite and quartz stockwork including quartz breccia bodies, mineralization located along the crest of the Big Missouri Ridge, with the Big Missouri zone 120 to 170 metres below the Province zone.
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 to 2011 was released in May. Diamond drilling yielded intercepts including 1.89 grams per tonne gold and 6.4 grams per tonne silver over 75.24 metres in hole PR-12-390 (Puritch, E. (2013-03-27): Technical Report and Resource Estimate for the Big Missouri and Martha Ellen Deposits, Premier Gold Property).
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. Twenty holes were drilled into the Province zone (Assessment Report 35410).
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 2015, 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. Also tested was the Premier area near Subakwe and the areas between Big Missouri and Martha Ellen and areas west of Martha Ellen.
See Big Missouri (104B 046) for details of new resources estimates in 2014 and a common work history; related information from updated 2014 News Releases in the Big Missouri bibliography are also pertinent to the Province. See also Province West (104B 136), some 200 metres west for more information.