The Ball Creek Porphyry prospect area is underlain by welded tuff, agglomerate lithic tuff, flows, and breccias of the Upper Triassic Stuhini Group which are intruded by a LateTriassic to Early Jurassic quartz monzonitic stock of the Copper Mountain Plutonic Suite. A package Stuhini sedimentary rocks is also mapped in the area. A northwest trending fault separates the Stuhini stratigraphy from Lower to Middle Jurassic basalts and sedimentary rocks of the Salmon River Formation (Hazelton Group), within a few kilometres to the east..
The prospect is a porphyry copper-gold-molybdenum occurrence. Prominent gossanous alteration zones occur over a 4 by 5 kilometre area within the volcanic-sedimentary package. The pyrite bearing alteration causing the gossans can be divided into three main alteration assemblages that occur in two spatially distinct areas. The first area is the Mary porphyry or Camp zone area and the second is the Cliff zone area to the southwest. They are separated by an area of unaltered volcanic rocks.
The Ball Creek Porphyry consists of a potassic core surrounded by strong phyllic alteration and an outer zone of pyritic propylitic alteration. Abundant pyrite is found in both the phyllic and propylitic zones as disseminated and stockwork pyrite. Previous work by Placer Dome described a central 250 by 500 metre potassic zone (Camp Zone) defined by outcrop at an elevation of 1350 to 1550 metres, diamond drilling and a magnetic high. This zone is not well exposed and is understood largely on the basis of drilling in the 1970s. This drill core was later re-sampled and assayed by Placer Dome in 1989. The potassic zone consists of strong potassium feldspar flooding with both disseminated and fracture controlled magnetite, chalcopyrite and pyrite. Quartz stockwork and laminated quartz-sulphide veins carry molybdenite and chalcopyrite. Assays compiled by Price (reported in Assessment Report 28076) indicate grades of 0.1 to 0.27 per cent copper and 0.3 to 0.8 gram per tonne gold over core lengths up to 192 metres.
The potassic zone is surrounded by a 500 by 800 metre zone of strong phyllic alteration that forms a number of very gossanous outcrops around Big Red Hill at the southwest end of the of the potassic zone. Further strong phyllic alteration is present in a number of other areas including Little Red Hill and the Cliff Zone. The phyllic zone carries some significant gold values in several areas, returning from several hundred ppb to one gram per tonne gold. The Cliff zone consists of chalcopyrite and some molybdenite that occur in a variety of alteration types. Quartz stockwork with associated chalcopyrite and pyrite occurs in phyllic altered porphyry and to a lesser extent in adjacent calc silicate altered sedimentary rocks with some disseminated pyrrhotite and chalcopyrite.
Diamond drilling carried out between 1973 and 1975 was focused near the potassic core. In 1993, news releases by Colossal Resources in various Stockwatch and George Cross Newsletters reported that 74-3 intersected 192 metres of 0.22 per cent copper and 0.68 gram per tonne gold (as reported in Assessment Report 28076). Limited drilling by Placer Dome in 1990 targeted hypothesised gold enrichment in the phyllic and propylitic zones. Three holes intersected 5 to 10 per cent pyrite in phyllic alteration, with low gold and copper values (except for a narrow intersection in DDS-14). Colossal Resources drilled three holes in 1993. The best intersection was 128 metres of 0.18 per cent copper and 0.41 gram per tonne gold between 57 and 185 metres in DH 93-1 (as reported in Assessment Report 28076).
In 2008, Paget Resources drill hole BC-08-02 graded 0.507 grams per tonne gold, 0.206 per cent copper, 0.0066 per cent molybdenum and 1.5 grams per tonne silver over 125.66 metres (from 121.34 to 247.00 metres depth) (Assessment Report 30743). The upper 112 metres of BC-08-02 was limited by very poor core recoveries, averaging 34 per cent.
In 2011, Paget Minerals Corp. planned Three drill holes were planned for the Ball Creek Porphyry Main Zone, but hole BC-11-01 were lost early due to bad drilling; holes BC-11-02, BC-11-03 and BC-11-04 were lost well short of the their target depth. All of the drilling intersected broad zones of anomalous copper, gold and silver values throughout. Hole BC-11-03 graded 0.346 grams per tonne gold, 0.135 per cent copper, 0.0017 per cent molybdenum and 0.62 gram per tonne siilver over 180.3 metres (from 21 to 201.3 metres depth) (Assessment Report 32564).
Golden Ridge Resources Ltd drilled 1 drill hole on the Ball Creek Porphyry (Main) in 2019. Hole MZ-19-01, drilled as a southwest step-out from 2012 drill holes BC-12-48 and BC-12-54, intersected 291.5 meters of 0.48 grams per tonne gold, 0.14 per cent copper and 0.95 grams per tonne silver (Golden Ridge Resources Ltd., Press Release, November 20, 2019) MZ-19-01 collared in a gold-rich cap which blankets the Property’s Main Zone was highlighted by strongly quartz-sericite-pyrite (QSP) altered volcanic rocks at surface. Below 114 meters, the hole grades into moderate to strongly potassic-altered volcanics with copper grades increasing at depth.
The Mary group of 43 recorded claims covering was acquired by Southwest Potash Corporation in 1963. Work during the year included geological mapping, a geochemical soil survey, and 60 metres of packsack drilling in 6 holes.
The company carried out geological mapping, a magnetometer survey over 2 line-miles covering Greg 1-4, geochemical soil and silt surveys, and 100 metres of trenching on Greg 3, 5, 15, 16 and 18. The area was first examined as a molybdenum prospect in 1963 when Southwest Potash Corporation staked the Mary claims. New claims were relocated in 1970 by Newmont Mining Corporation of Canada Limited (Greg Group) and in the same year by the Kinaskan Joint Venture” (57.5 per cent Great Plains Development Company of Canada, Ltd., and 42.5 per cent Chevron, Ltd.) as the ME and Rog claims. Great Plains added additional claims in 1971-1973. Initial exploration targeted the gossanous slopes on the north and south sides of Ball Creek, an area including the Cliff, Goat, and South (ME) Zones. Later exploration focused in the area north of the Cliff Zone in what is now called the Mary (Main or Camp) Zone. The early phase of exploration included mapping, IP, and rock and soil sampling, followed by the diamond drilling of the Mary and South Zones. Three diamond drill holes totalling 1874 feet (571 metres) were drilled in 1973 and three additional drill holes totalling 2132 feet (650 metres) metres were drilled in 1974, all on the Mary Zone. Five diamond drill holes were drilled in the same area in 1975 for a total footage of 2600 feet (793 metres).
In 1979, G.R.C. Exploration Company Limited (a subsidiary of Gulf Resources Canada Ltd.) optioned the property from Norcen Energy Resources Ltd. (formerly Great Plains Development), and Chevron Standard Ltd. In 1980, following a program of mapping and rock and soil sampling, two diamond drill holes with a total length of 953.1 metres were drilled on the south side of Ball Creek, testing copper mineralization in the South (ME) Zone (Assessment Report 8546).
By 1989, Norcen Energy Resources Ltd. had been diluted out of the Joint Venture, except for a retained 10 per cent net-profits interest, which was later purchased by Chevron. Placer Dome Inc. optioned the property in 1989 from Chevron, and conducted rock and soil sampling (280 and 1410 samples, respectively), Induced Polarization (20.6 km), and Magnetic/VLF (50 kilometre) surveys. In addition, Placer Dome re-logged and re-sampled drill core from 1973 and 1975, which is still on the property. The re-sampled core intervals were re-assayed by Placer Dome for gold and arsenic, but not for copper. In 1990 Placer Dome drilled 4 shallow holes for a total of 330 metres, outside of the known and previously targeted Mary (Main or Camp) Zone (Assessment Report 21188).
In 1992, 416993 Ltd acquired the property from Chevron Canada Resources Ltd and subsequently optioned the property to Colossal Resources Ltd. In 1993 Colossal Resources Ltd drilled four diamond drill holes totalling 659 metres in the Mary Zone. Following this program, the camp site was reclaimed (private report by Turna and Price, 1993(reported in Assessment Report 32564)). No work was recorded in the area from 1994 to 2005. In January, 2005 the area was open ground, and was staked by John Bradford, John Fleishman and Nigel Luckman for Paget Resources. Subsequently the property has been enlarged several times by additional staking.
Paget Minerals Corp acquired the property in 2005 and conducted an initial reconnaissance evaluation of the property in 2005 (Assessment Report 28076). In 2006, a major field program, including mapping, sampling and diamond drilling, was conducted (Assessment Report 28833).
In 2007, a diamond drilling program was carried out on three separate target areas: the Ball Creek Porphyry, Mess Creek, and North More. (Assessment Report 29568). Drilling at Ball Creek interesected broad zones of anomalous gold and copper in most drill holes that were deep enough to intersect their target. On the Ball Creek target drill holes BC07-01, -02 and -03 were stepouts from DM Zone mineralization first intersected in 2006. (Later included as the northern part of the Main Zone (Ball Creek Porphyry prospect). Drill holes BC07-01 and -03 intersected significant mineralization, while -02 was not completed due to strong faulting. In the Main Zone, drill holes BC07-06 and -08, through -13 targeted mineralization around 1974 drill holes 74-2 and 74-3. Drill hole -06 and -11 were terminated prematurely in difficult ground, while -12 and -13 were not completed to target depth because of time constraints. Drill holes BC07-08 and -10 were completed to vertical depths of 440 and 420 metres, respectively, in order to gauge the depth extent of mineralization in this part of the Ball Creek system. In drill hole -08 significant mineralization was intersected to a vertical depth of about 380 metres. At the North More target three drill holes were completed on the View (104G 258) and two on the Canyon (104G 120) but no significant intersections were obtained although four out of five drill holes intersected broad zones of anomalous copper. At Mess Creek, three drill holes were drilled from two separate drill platforms
In 2008, a small diamond drilling program, consisting of two drill holes in the upper part of the Main Zone of
the Ball Creek porphyry. Both drill holes intersected broad zones of gold and copper.
In 2011, a seven day reconnaissance mapping project was carried out in July by Specialized Geological Mapping for Paget Minerals to determine epithermal drill targets outside of the main porphyry system. Once drilling targets had been identified, a six week diamond drilling program was conducted. The 2011 drill program consisted of four drill holes in the upper and middle part of the Main Zone of the Ball Creek porphyry, two drill holes in the North Rainbow (104G 255) epithermal target and two drill holes in the Upper Rainbow epithermal target (104G 255).
In 2019, Golden Ridge Resources Ltd drilled 1 drill hole on the Ball Creek Porphyry (Main) (104G 018) and 1 drill hole on the nearby Goat. They also completed a property wide reconnaissance program at Ball Creek during the 2019 field season including the collection of over 4500 soil samples and 60 rock samples. Soil sampling and prospecting also occurred on the nearby ME occurrence (104G 042).