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File Created: 24-Jul-1985 by BC Geological Survey (BCGS)
Last Edit:  04-Jan-2021 by Del Ferguson (DF)

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Name BONSAI, ESKAY (CANAMERA) Mining Division Liard, Skeena
BCGS Map 104B068
Status Prospect NTS Map 104B10E
Latitude 056º 37' 17'' UTM 09 (NAD 83)
Longitude 130º 32' 54'' Northing 6276300
Easting 405000
Commodities Gold, Silver Deposit Types I02 : Intrusion-related Au pyrrhotite veins
Tectonic Belt Intermontane Terrane Stikine
Capsule Geology

The Bonsai showing is located approximately 83 kilometres north-northwest of Stewart, British Columbia, near the headwaters of Harrymel Creek, a southerly flowing tributary of the Unuk River.

The Bonsai property is underlain by Lower to Middle Jurassic rocks of the Hazelton Group consisting mainly of calcalkaline andesite and derived volcaniclastic sedimentary rocks. A thin, sheared mudstone unit trends north on the eastern edge of the Melville Glacier.

The Bonsai showing which consists of massive to disseminated, fine to coarse-grained pyrite in massive, to brecciated, to flow banded rhyolite. At the top of the mineral showing within a trench, a black matrix breccia with rhyolite and rare banded pyrite clasts is exposed. Highly anomalous values in gold, mercury, silver and arsenic were obtained in sampling on this showing. The association of elevated Au-Hg-As values suggests an epithermal environment. The geochemical signature and rock type in the Bonsai showing are similar for that in the nearby Eskay Creek mine mineralization.

Work History

Trenching and sampling in 1992 were confined to gossanous outcrops located a few hundred metres southeast of the toe of Melville Glacier. A repetitive sequence of two north-trending units, felsic volcanics and argillitic siltstones, are cut by east-west shears. The felsic volcanics consist of pale to dark grey crystal lithic tuffs, silicified and brecciated, with 2 to 3 per cent disseminated euhedral pyrite and minor massive layered pyrite bands. The sedimentary unit consists of black, schistose argillitic siltstone/mudstone containing trace to 2 per cent disseminated fine-grained pyrite and rare 1 millimetre thick fine grained pyrite bands.

Three trenches tested zones of intense pyrite and quartz-calcite stockwork mineralization. Chip samples analysed up to 2.5 grams per tonne gold and 79.5 grams per tonne silver (Assessment Report 22894).

Assays from the Twisted Ankle showing taken on the Bonsai property, 340 metres west (downslope) of the Bonsai showing, during the 1994 field season assayed 344 and 429 parts per billion gold and both came from quartz-pyrite veined rhyolite with minor galena, sphalerite, and possible tetrahedrite (Assessment Report 23718). Other samples on the Twisted Ankle showing returned less than 5 to 96 parts per billion gold.

Work done in 1995 by Prime Resources Group Inc., with support from the Explore B.C. Program, consisted of rock and soil sampling and 1180 metres of diamond drilling in 5 holes. Betty Creek and Mount Dilworth formations were identified within a lower sequence. An upper sequence correlative with the Salmon River Formation and containing rare lenses of bedded pyrite was also identified. Best results obtained were 1330 parts per billion gold from rock chips (Explore B.C. Program 95/96 - M24).

Teuton Resources Corp. staked the original Bonsai claims in 1988. The property was optioned to Cassandra Resources in 1989: Cassandra carried out a limited program of prospecting, geochemical sampling and EM-VLF surveys the same year. Cassandra relinquished the option in 1991. A small rock sampling program by Teuton personnel in 1991 over the area of anomalous. In 1992, Teuton Resources Corp. carried out a program of trenching on the Bonsai claims. The Bonsai occurrence was reported to have been discovered in 1992.

In 1994, Prime Resources Group Inc optioned the ground and carried out an exploration program including 1:2500 scale geologic mapping, 11.2 line kilometres of grid soil sampling, and two trenches totaling fourteen metres. The soil sampling program delineated several anomalous zones, the most interesting of which was located above the Twisted Ankle showing. This anomaly covers an area of approximately 5000 square meters and has a highest gold value of 320 parts per billion. The source of this anomaly was not identified in outcrop.

In 1995, Teuton’s and Prime Resources’ Bonsai property was operated by Homestake Canada Inc. The exploration program included diamond drilling totaling 1180 metres in five holes, 1:100 scale mapping and the collection of 47 rock samples from 10 continuous chip lines, and infill soil sampling. Drilling confirmed that the rhyolite sills dip moderately to the east, are concordant with stratigraphy and thin rapidly down dip. Assays from the mudstones averaged between 3 and 124 parts per billion Au with a high value of 1710 parts per billion Au over 1 metre. Assays from continuous chip lines returned gold values from below detection to a high of 1330 parts per billion Au.

In 1996, Prime Resources Group is listed as sole owner in 1996. Homestake drilled 710.2 metres in 1 NQ hole collared on the eastern shore of Little Tom MacKay Lake. The hole targeted rhyolite along strike and to the north of the Bonsai showing. No anomalous mineralization was intersected in this single drill hole, which was drilled to a final depth of 710.18 metres.

In 2001, the property was under option to Heritage Explorations Ltd who initiated a program of regional data capture, review and analysis by Geoinformatics. Data collected included 332 drill holes, 34,000 geochemical samples of various types, 36 geological outcrop and interpretation maps, 29 geophysical datasets, and mineral occurrence information, topographic and cadastral data. In 2001 a geochemical orientation survey was undertaken in the general Eskay area to determine an appropriate stream sediment technique to locate the most prospective terrain.

In 2003, Heritage Explorations Ltd. completed three drill holes on the Bonsai prospect optioned from Teuton Resources Corp., where beds of mudstone-hosted massive to framboidal pyrite are near bodies of rhyolite. The drilling at Bonsai intersected rhyolite and an interbedded sequence of mudstone and sandstone. The gossanous material at surface occurs in core as a pyritic rhyolite breccia. Only hole BZ-03-08 intersected the pyritic breccia zone, resulting in the wide gold/silver intersection. The full length of the pyritic zone was anomalous and the values were higher than at the surface gossan. The breccia zone in hole BZ-03-08 is open at depth and along strike to the south. The best intersection obtained by Heritage was 0.38 gram per tonne gold and, 27.1 grams per tonne silver across 64 metres within brecciated rhyolite and includes 0.65 metres grading 1.99 grams per tonne gold and greater than 100 grams per tonne silver (Assessment Report 27370, page 37).

In 2004, a 2600 line-kilometre airborne survey was carried out late in the field season, recovering time-domain electromagnetic and magnetic data. Target follow up will occur in 2005.

By 2005, Heritage Explorations Ltd. had acquired mineral rights over an extensive area (53,283 hectares) in the Eskay Creek region of north-western BC. The western portion of the claim package surrounds the Eskay Creek gold mine, owned and operated by Barrick Gold Corporation. In 2005, seven conductive anomalies were selected for drilling from the 2004 results, based on conductive response, stratigraphic position, local geochemical anomalism and depth. One hole was drilled at Bonsai to test the strike extension of a pyrite zone in rhyolite but only low gold and silver values were obtained. Heritage further tested the Bonsai showing in 2005 but results had not been published by the end of 2005. Of the 11 holes drilled in 2005, nine were drilled to test EM anomalies on the Eskay group of claims, and two were follow-up holes at the Bonsai Zone (Assessment Report 28338).

In 2010, owners Teuton Resources and Copper Creek Gold Corp drilled 11 NQ holes totaling 3460.8 metes. The also collected 126 soil samples (MMI) and carried out 10.7 kilometres of ground electromagnetic surveying (TDEM) and 10.5 kilometres of induced polarization surveying.

In 2011, Copper Creek Ventures exploration program included soil sampling and further drilling (four holes) on the Bonsai property. Soil sampling results in general yielded very weak anomalies particularly the gold values. Drilling encountered weak mineralization over an area 70 metres in length, and for a vertical extent of approximately 125 metres. This mineralization remains open along trend to the south, and down dip (Assessment Report 32686).

In 2013, Copper Creek Gold Corp. re-sampled some of the 2011 drill core. The results in general yielded very weak anomalies particularly the gold values. Gold values ranged from less than 0.005 to 0.302 gram per tonne and silver from less than 0.2 to 14 grams per tonne. These anomalous samples demonstrate there were additional mineralized sections of core not previously sampled in the 2011 (Assessment Report 34540).

In 2018 Teuton Resources Corp. undertook a small rock sampling program extending from the Bonsai showing to downslope of the Twisted Ankle (104B 520) showing (17 samples). Nine of the seventeen samples taken during the survey returned anomalous gold values ranging between 149 and 3,480 parts per billion. Twelve of the seventeen samples returned anomalous arsenic values ranging between 192 and 1,340 parts per million. Silver values were not as anomalous, with only two registering higher values (9.2 and 18.4 parts per million) (Assessment Report 37829).

EMPR ASS RPT 19714, *22894, 23718, 24281, 24712, *27370, 28338, *32243, *32686, *34540, *37829
EMPR EXPL 2003-10,11; 2004-31; 2005-32,33
EMPR OF 1989-10, 2004-10, 2006-2
EMPR P 1992-1, pp. 521-527; 1993-1, pp. 331-334; 2004-1, pp. 1-18; 2005-1, pp. 1-30; 2006-1, pp. 1-3
GSC MAP 9-1957; 311A; 7780G; 1418A
GSC P 71-4, 89-1E, pp. 145-154
Gunning, M.H. (1986): Late Triassic to Middle Jurassic (Norian to Oxfordian) Volcanic and Sedimentary Stratigraphy and Structure in the Southeastern part of the Iskut map sheet, Northcentral British Columbia; unpublished B.Sc. Thesis, University of British Columbia
Anderson, R.G. 1993. A Mesozoic stratigraphic and plutonic framework for northwestern Stikinia (Iskut River area), northwestern British Columbia, Canada; in Mesozoic Paleogeography of the Western United States--II, (ed.), G. Dunne and K. McDougall; Society of Economic Palaeontologists and Mineralogists, Pacific Section, vol. 71, p. 477- 494.
Barresi, T., Dostal, J. and Nelson, J. 2008. Metallogenic and Tectonic Significance of mafic volcanism in the Early to Middle Jurassic Hazelton Group, northwestern British Columbia; Atlantic Geology, vol. 44, p. 3-4.
Gagnon, J.F., Barresi, T., Waldron, J.W.F., Nelson, J.L., Poulton, T.P. and Cordey, F. 2012. Stratigraphy of the upper Hazelton Group and the Jurassic evolution of the Stikine terrane, British Columbia, Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, vol.49, p. 1027-1052.
Lewis, P. D., Toma, A. and Tosdal, R. M. 2001. Metallogenesis of the Iskut River Area, Northwestern British Columbia; MDRU Special Publication Number 1, CD, Mineral Deposit Research Unit, The University of British Columbia.
Roth, T. 2002. Physical and chemical constraints on mineralization in the Eskay Creek Deposit, northwestern British Columbia; evidence from petrography, mineral chemistry, and sulfur isotopes. Ph.D. thesis, Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver.
N MINER Oct 7, 2003
CMJ Aug 13, 2003
PR REL Teuton Resources Corp. Jul.5,13, Sept.2, 2003; May 18, Sept.15, Nov.5, 2004; Aug.15, 2005
Kruchkowski, E. (2009-12-14): National Instrument 43-101 F1 Technical Report on Bonsai Property
Kruchkowski, E. (2010-03-05): National Instrument 43-101 F1 - Revised Technical Report on Bonsai Property