Permian to Upper Triassic basement shales and limestones are unconformably overlain by Jurassic Hazelton Group volcanics and sediments. The Bronson Creek-Iskut River area is generally underlain by the Lower Jurassic Unuk River Formation consisting of greywacke, argillite and volcaniclastics which are unconformably (?) overlain by the Betty Creek Formation comprised of a complex of sandstones, siltstones, conglomerates, breccias, tuffs and porphyritic andesitic flows.
The central part of the property is underlain by a 600 to 800 metre thick volcaniclastic-andesitic tuff unit of the Unuk River Formation. To the west it is interbedded with black argillite which may be part of the upper members of the Stuhini Group. A lesser mem- ber of this unit is a grey limestone up to 5 to 10 metres thick. East of the main Handel Fault, within Snippaker Ridge saddle, the limestone hosts fossils that are reported to be of Upper Triassic to Lower Jurassic age.
Underlying the volcaniclastic-andesitic tuff unit along the western part of Snippaker Ridge is a fine to medium-grained greywacke that is at least 600 metres thick. In the Bronson Grid area the grey- wacke ranges from fine-grained at upper elevation to medium and coarser-grained along lower elevations. Mineralization in the form of pyrite, sphalerite, galena, chalcopyrite and magnetite occurs within the greywacke at lower elevations.
The unit is well fractured and carries 1 to 4 per cent pyrite mineralization disseminated and along fractures. Alteration within the greywacke unit is substantial. Locally, large zones of dark green hydrothermal chloritic alteration with or without brecciation occur. Yellow to rust colored, limonitic staining due to the oxidation of pyrite is abundant. Calcite veining is abundant with minor silicification and quartz veining.
Found within the greywacke unit are beds of fine to very fine-grained siltstone with white to buff coloured bands 1 to 200 millimetres thick. Drill core sections show the banded siltstone is found in thicknesses exceeding 20 metres. Bedding is horizontal in the Bronson Grid area. Fractures strike predominantly 310 to 335 degrees and dip about 75 degrees southwest.
The Bronson showings are characterized by highly visible rust staining and a chalky, cream or bluish colored surficial coating. Pyrite is abundant occurring usually as coarse crystals. Fine-grained sphalerite, plus or minus galena and hydrozincite, are present in abundance along small scale fractures up to 0.5 centimetre wide. The mineralized zone trends about east-west (striking 095 to 110 degrees) and dips about 50 degrees north.
A zone of abundant pyrite associated with calcite veins with no other mineralization was intersected in drill hole W87-7. Samples taken over 1.5 metres starting at 36.9 metres assayed 2.33 grams per tonne and 2.6 grams per tonne gold. A 0.75 metre sample at 105.6 metres in drill hole W87-6, in a dark green chlorite altered zone with pyrite and chalcopyrite assayed 2.0 grams per tonne gold, 19.7 grams per tonne silver, 0.54 per cent copper and 0.067 per cent zinc. A grab sample of pyrite-chalcopyrite-sphalerite mineralization with the greywacke assayed 0.95 grams per tonne gold, 4.3 grams per tonne silver, 0.192 per cent copper, 1.25 per cent zinc and 0.02 per cent lead (Assessment Report 16684).
Exploration in 1980 by Du Pont of Canada Exploration Ltd. consisted of a regional Heavy Mineral Concentrate (HMC) geochemical stream sediment survey in the Iskut River area. Anomalous gold, silver, and lead results from the 1980 HMC geochemical survey over the Iskut region, resulted in claim staking and initial exploration on the Handel and Ravel claims in 1981 (Assessment Report 9253). The Chopin claims were also staked in 1981 in response to the discovery of a galena-sphalerite bearing quartz vein with intense pyritization of the country rock (Assessment Report 10364). Exploration completed by Du Pont of Canada Ltd. (Du Pont) in 1981 consisted of sampling the Handel (104B 205), Ravel and Chopin (104B 298) showings, geological mapping along the Snippaker ridge, south slope and foot of the north face, and soil sampling near the southern boundary of the Handel-Ravel claims. Additional exploration in 1981 by Eccles, consisted of soil sampling, stream sediment sampling, geological mapping, and prospecting over the Handel and Ravel claims along the northern slope of Snippaker Ridge. A total of 27 rock grab samples were collected,
In 1983, Placer Development Ltd. (Placer) conducted geological mapping, soil sampling, and detailed rock sampling on the Handel and Yellow Bluff showings and an airborne electromagnetic (EM), magnetic, and resistivity survey was completed over the Handel, Ravel, Chopin I and II claims in 1983 by Dighem Ltd, on behalf of Placer (Assessment Report 16684). Results from the 1983 geophysical survey confirmed the location and extent of Du Pont's mineralization,
In 1987, Winslow Gold Corp. optioned the Handel, Ravel, Chopin I and II claims from Pamorex Minerals Ltd. (Du Pont's successor) (Dunkley, 1987). Exploration completed by Winslow Gold Corp. in 1987 included geochemical sampling, geophysical surveys, and geological mapping along 12 line kilometres over the Handel and Bronson regions. A drill program in 1987 produced 1100 metres of core from 7 holes on the Bronson grid (Figure 5); unfortunately no economic gold values were identified in the sampled drill core (Assessment Report 16684). Geochemical soil sampling over the Bronson grid, the Ridge Line grid, Handel grid, as well as, contour lines along the lower north slope and along the claim area south of Bronson Creek, resulted in the collection of 2600 soil and silt samples. Highly anomalous levels of gold in soil samples of greater than 1 part per million, occur at the (104B 299) showing with 4900 parts per billion gold and the 25 metre spaced line overlap between the Ridge and Handel grids with 6250 parts per billion gold (Assessment Report 16684). The Bronson grid area was contoured with a 100 and 200 parts per billion gold value, resulting in the identification of three anomalous zones, two of which were drill tested, and each a few hundred metres in diameter. The most significant soil anomaly, located on the northernmost part of the Bronson Grid along the northwest trending ridge, returned up to 2500 parts per billion gold in the vicinity of drill hole W87-6. The Ridge grid also contained an anomalous zone several hundred metres in size, with gold values up to 1300 parts per billion. Additional prospecting over this region resulted in the identification of the Ridge showing. A number of soil sample lines along contours collected mainly talus material below the steep, mineralized, north face of Snippaker Ridge which indicate a number of highly anomalous goldzones over 500 metres with 200 to 1700 parts per billion gold values.
Exploration by Winslow Gold Corp. continued in 1988 with soil and rock sampling over the Bronson and Ridge areas, a 112 km airborne VLF-EM and magnetometer survey, and a 15 hole (3358 metres) drill program over the Upper Bronson, Ridge and Handel prospects (Assessment Report 21219).
In 1989, Soloman Resources Ltd. optioned the property from Winslow Gold Corp. (Winslow), and completed geological and geochemical surveys on the Ridge showing (Assessment Report 21219). Soil sampling results from the 1989 exploration, confirmed the presence of a northwest trending gold anomaly identified by Skyline Gold Corp. within their adjoining claims(Assessment Report 21219).
Exploration in 1990 and 1991 by Soloman Resources Ltd. (Soloman) entailed geological mapping and the collection of 336 soil, 2 silt, and 494 rock grab samples over the southern Ridge grid, as well as, the Handel, Chopin I and II claims (Assessment Report 21219). Sampling grid lines were oriented north-south and generally spaced 100 metres apart with a 20 metre sampling interval. The soil sampling grids were located along the southern portions of the claims, with minor overlap with the 1987 soil grids along the northern sections of the lines. A total of 24 soil samples yielded anomalous gold values (greater than 100 parts per billion),
The western edge of the northwest to eastward trending Handel Break was also identified in 1991 as a significant target for follow-up exploration, which included trenching and prospecting up slope from the anomalous soil region. Results from trenching along the south slope identified the Piotr, WDW, Tourista, and H&W mineral occurrences. A total of 8 rock grab samples, 4 chip samples, and 1 float sample yielded assay values greater than 1.7 grams per tonne gold on the south slope of Snippaker Ridge. Prospecting along the northern slope produced rock grab samples with up to 18.2 grams per tonne gold, float samples yielded up to 33.19 grams per tonne gold, and chip sample results ranged up to 10.59 grams per tonne over 0.5 metres (Assessment Report 21219). A total of 14 rock grab, 10 chip samples, and 3 float samples yielded assay values greater than 1.7 grams per tonne gold at the Handel showing and along the north slope of Snippaker Ridge (Assessment Report 21219). Additional trenching and soil sample analysis by Soloman in 1990, resulted in the identification of several mineral occurrences along the south and north slopes of the property.
Exploration conducted in 1997 by Winslow Gold Corp. consisted of grid construction along the lower southern slopes of Snippaker Mountain, followed by soil geochemistry, follow-up trenching and rock sampling, and geological mapping (Assessment Report 25187). A total of 832 soil samples were collected and analyzed. Soil analysis identified several zones of interest in the southeast portion of the Chopin II claim, including the B.A. zone with base metal enrichment, the Upper Bronson zone with anomalous gold, copper, arsenic, and lead, and the copper and molybdenum-bearing Bronson South zone. A total of 12 trenches were sampled near anomalous soil values (greater than 250 parts per billion) in order to identify potential bedrock sources. The highest gold rock assay was 21.25 parts per million gold (WPR7-73101), located in the southwest corner of the Chopin I claim (Assessment Report 25187). Mineralization identified in trenches consisted of narrow quartz-carbonate vein systems bearing sphalerite, galena, pyrite, and minor chalcopyrite, and often associated with minor shear zones. The B.A. zone reflects an anomalous zone of enriched lead, zinc, arsenic, with lesser copper, antimony and gold. The Upper Bronson zone was identified by a 140 metre soil anomaly between 120 and 930 parts per billion gold. The zone was initially trenched with 3 samples yielding chlorite alteration and insignificant gold values. Further prospecting in the general area identified narrow, intensely altered, carbonate shear veins within a seasonal creek bed that yielded 10 grams per tonne (Assessment Report 25187). The Upper Bronson anomaly was attributed to downslope dispersion of the 10 grams per tonne gold bearing shear vein system. Both anomalies were located in the southeast portion of the Chopin II claim near the Bronson historical prospect, and do not overlie any previously mentioned anomalous zones.
During 2007, on behalf of owner Charles Chebry APEX Geoscience Ltd. conducted prospecting at the Handel and Ridge showings and collected a total of 27 rock grab samples. At the Handel Showing three grab samples assayed between 3.9 and 9.9 grams per tonne gold and 0.50 per cent and 6.90 per cent zinc (07KRP807, 07KRP809, 07KRP812). At the Ridge showing sample 07ARP803 returned assays of 274 grams per tonne silver, 10.14 per cent lead and 15.87 per cent zinc (Assessment Report 29544). In 2008 APEX contracted Aeroquest international to complete an AREOTEM II time domain helicopter electromagnetic geophysical survey over the Iskut claims. The total survey coverage was 92 Line-Km, of which 82.7 Line-Km fell within the Iskut claims. A strong 1000 metre by 500 metre northwest trending magnetic high anomaly is present in the southwest portion of the survey area coincident with the Bronson showing.
During 2009 through 2011, Skyline Gold Corp. completed programs of prospecting, geochemical (rock and soil) sampling, trenching, airborne and ground geophysical surveys and 23 diamond drill holes, totalling 5676 metres, on the area as the Iskut property.