This property is located above a tributary of Ball Creek, approximately 10 kilometres east-northeast of Hankin Peak and 15 kilometres west of the Stewart-Cassiar Highway.
Two major zones of alteration parallel to the regional strike occur within the volcanics; an upper and lower "Altered Zone" (Assessment Report 13594). These zones are highly bleached and gossanous. They are characterized by pervasive sericite-carbonate alteration and weak silicification. Pyrite content is generally between 2 and 5 per cent, mainly as disseminations, but with higher concentrations along fractures. Carbonate veins, up to 1.5 metres thick, and stockworks containing siderite with some barite occur in these altered zones. These veins are host to massive sphalerite, galena, chalcopyrite and pyrite but are generally barren. High gold and silver assays are derived from samples of these polymetallic veins and from wallrocks between barren veins. Trench sampling on the upper "Altered Zone", in an area with a relatively high density of carbonate veining, resulted in an average assay of 2.54 grams per tonne gold over 26 metres. Higher grades were obtained over narrower widths.
The Lower Alteration Zone (LAZ) is a broad northeast trending zone of sericite pyrite ± carbonate alteration hosted within volcaniclastic tuffs, breccias, flows and sills. The Zone is 100 to 250 metres wide, 2400 metres long, and dips steeply. Hosted within the LAZ are several quartz-carbonate veins up to 50 centimetres wide, which host sphalerite, galena, pyrite and minor chalcopyrite mineralization. These veins are discontinuous and appear to be localized along dilational zones which pinch and swell. Gold is predominantly associated with narrow sulphide bearing quartz and quartz-carbonate veins within a broader zone of elevated background gold values. Drilling in late 2017 on the Lower Alteration Zone resulted in the observation of coarse visible gold in HNK-17-008 (111.07 to 111.87 metres) grading, 133 grams per tonne gold; in the same hole a 60.27 metres drill interval (52.73-113.00) graded 2.14 grams per tonne gold, 6.9 grams per tonne silver, 0.11 per cent lead and 0.45per cent zinc, giving a gold equivalent value of 2.6 grams per tonne (Golden Ridge Resources, Press Release, December 12, 2017). Results from the eight holes drilled on the epithermal gold-silver LAZ target returned broad intercepts of lower grade gold-silver-lead-zinc mineralization with HNK-18-011 grading 0.29 grams per tonne gold, 2.83 grams per tonne silver, 0.01 per cent lead, and 0.08 per cent zinc over 75.2 metres (Assessment Report 38165). In 2018, drill hole HNK-18-010 drilled into a newly discovered mineralization style at the Boiling Zone (part of the LAZ) intersecting 11.63 grams per tonne gold and 13.80 grams per tonne silver over 20.0 metres (Assessment Report 38165). Mineralization at the Boiling Zone is associated with quartz-carbonate-pyrite vein stockwork which cuts altered Stuhini volcanic rocks.
The Upper Alteration Zone (UAZ) is less continuous than the LAZ and forms a series of northeast trending zones which extend for approximately 2000 metres. The Zones vary from 25 to 200 metres in width, with individual zones up to 1000 metres in strike length. Previous work by Lac Minerals Ltd has outlined a non-43-101 compliant drill indicated geologic resource in two small pits within the southwestern most zone of alteration. Indicated reserves (open pit material) in South zone are 226,775 tonnes grading 4.4 grams per tonne gold and indicated reserves (open pit material) in North zone are 226,775 tonnes grading 2.3 grams per tonne gold (Prospectus, Lac Minerals Ltd., July 7, 1987). A single hole drilled in 2017 targeting the down plunge extension of the Pits Zone intersected only low grade mineralization grading between 0.15 to 0.27 grams per tonne gold over intervals ranging from 24.38 to 54.19 meters (Assessment Report 37444).
Six types of veining are recognized in the Upper Alteration zone: quartz-carbonate veins carrying sphalerite, pyrite and minor chalcopyrite; barite-pyrite veins; quartz-pyrite veins; pyrite veinlets; white to pink carbonate veins and crustiform calcite veins. Barite veins are characterized by coarse-grained bladed barite with minor disseminated pyrite and frequently contain wallrock fragments. Quartz-pyrite veins, commonly less than 10 centimeters wide, contain euhedral coarse-grained pyrite concentrated along the margins. Pyrite veinlets, less than 1 centimeter in width are abundant in the upper zone and are cut by white to pink carbonate veinlets. Crustiform calcite veins up to 1 metre wide are exposed in the 200 and 440 pit area of the upper alteration zone. These veins contain minor pyrite and bladed quartz after calcite. Gold mineralization within the UAZ is more disseminated in nature than in the LAZ and occurs within a subhorizontal zone dipping gently to the southeast, approximately 30 metres above the base of the UAZ. The gold concentrations correlate with an increase in sulphide bearing quartz and quartz-carbonate veins enveloped by intense clay+sericite+pyrite carbonate alteration which create local high-grade intersections. Most of the higher-grade intersections are broad zones of anomalous gold values associated with elevated concentrations of disseminated pyrite and an increase in the percentage of calcite stringers. Veining strikes northeast and dips steeply to the southeast.
The Flat zone is located on the broad plateau area at the heads of Creeks 1 to 3. It is a poorly exposed zone of quartz-sericite-pyrite alteration known as the Flats Zone. The zone is hosted within volcaniclastic breccias and overlying flows or sills. Alteration near the base of the Flats zone comprises buff, fine-grained quartz-sericite with druzy milky-white quartz filled cavities and crustiform veining up to 3cm wide, and 5 to 20 per cent fine grained disseminated pyrite within volcaniclastic breccias hosted within volcaniclastic breccias of unit la and overlying flows or sills. Pods of clay-pyrite±quartz alteration occur at higher elevation. In drill core the Flats zone is characterized by competent intervals of quartz+potassium-feldspar+pyrite within less competent sericite+clay+pyrite±carbonate alteration. Sulphide bearing quartz and quartz-carbonate and carbonate veins less than 5cm wide are present within these types of alteration. Previous drilling by Lac in 1987 and 1988, indicates the zone to have relatively uniform high background gold values in the order of 0.39 gram per tonne gold over 120 metres (DDH 87-8) (as reported in Assessment Report 36687, page 28).
The Silicified Zone is exposed along the base of Bald Bluff and Felsite Hill. It is hosted by sedimentary rocks of unit 4 and volcanic rocks of unit 1. Above the "200 pit" area the trace of the silicified zone was intersected in drill core and consisted of grey, intense silicification hosting very fine-grained disseminated pyrite. The upper and lower margins of the silicified zone display evidence of brecciation with coarse-grained pyrite and barite filling open cavities. On surface, a poorly exposed zone of friable, recessive weathering alteration corresponds to the trace of the silicified zone. In drill core this zone, up to 70 metres wide, is marked by a general decrease in the degree of silicification downward from quartz+clay+pyrite alteration to friable clay+pyrite+carbonate quartz which grades into typical upper zone alteration. This zone is also characterized by a carbonate stockwork composed of white to pink calcite veins 1 to 2 centimetres wide and abundant pyrite vein1ets above and below the silicified zone. In addition, within this envelope several intervals of silicification occur above the main silicified zone. Semi-conformable to stratigraphy, striking northeast and dipping 15 to 20 to the southeast. Gold values within the zone are variable, and locally show a moderate correlation with pyrite content. The highest values lie in Creek 4 and below Felsite Hill, where silicified rocks carry 5 to 10 per cent pyrite, and values reach 1.92 grams per tonne gold (as reported in Assessment Report 36687, page 28).
Alteration on the Felsite Hill zone forms a broad, north trending oval zone approximately 550 metres wide by 900 metres long, which cross-cuts stratigraphy. Alteration on Felsite Hill is hosted by sedimentary rock, hornblende-feldspar-phyric flows or sills and pyroxene-plagioclase-phyric flows or sills. The dominant alteration assemblage on Felsite Hill is intense quartz-clay-pyrite, with smaller zones of quartz-clay±pyrite and clay±quartz alteration. A small isolated pod of quartz-pyrite alteration similar to the Silicified Zone is exposed in the central part of Felsite Hill.
Alteration on Rojo Grande zone forms a more irregular zone than on Felsite Hill, extending from Rojo Grande peak west to Rojo Chico, and then south onto Goat Peak. The zones are thought to be hosted within pyroxene-feldspar phyric flows and sediments. Well preserved sedimentary textures are visible along the south and northeast margins of Rojo Grande peak, however within the alteration zone most primary lithologic features have been destroyed. The style of alteration is similar to that on Felsite Hill. Rock samples from both Rojo Chico and Rojo Grande returned relatively low gold values (less than 210 ppb gold), but Rojo Chico also has very high mercury values (up to 472 ppm mercury). Rock samples from Rojo Grande carry more moderate mercury values.
WORK HISTORY (Assessment Report 35067).
The earliest exploration in the area is reported to be have been prospecting for placer gold in the early 1900s. Following the discovery of the Galore Creek porphyry copper-gold deposits in the mid-1950s, several companies conducted reconnaissance exploration in the region, resulting in discoveries of additional porphyry and vein deposits in the Stikine and Iskut drainages.
According to Turna (1985) (Assessment Report 13594) and Woodcock and Gorc (1981) (Assessment Report 8546), the Ball Creek area was initially explored in the 1960s and 1970s for porphyry deposits by Southwest Potash, Stikine Exploration, Newmont, Great Plains Development and others.
In 1980, J.R. Woodcock and D. Gorc noted the presence of the conspicuous, 4 kilometre-long gossan on what is now the Hank claims. They staked the Ball 1-4 claims to cover this target on behalf of G.R.C. Exploration Co. Ltd. (a subsidiary of Gulf Resources Canada Ltd.) and followed up with a one-day visit. Twelve rock samples were collected and disseminated pyrite, bleaching and barite were noted, however, there were no interesting copper, molybdenum, lead, zinc, manganese or fluorine values. Gold was not analyzed for. No further work was recommended, and the claims were allowed to lapse (Woodcock and Gorc, 1981).
Lac Minerals Ltd. staked the current Hank claims in 1983 and 1984 “to cover streams anomalous in gold and draining a hillside with gossanous rocks also anomalous in gold” (Turna, 1984) (Assessment Report 12098).
Between 1983 and 1989, Lac completed soil, rock and stream sediment sampling, geological mapping, line cutting, a VLF-magnetics survey, hand and back-hoe trenching, IP geophysics, road building, thin-section studies and 93 BQ drill holes totalling 11,892.2 metres. Several large alteration zones were identified on the southeast side of the south fork of Ball Creek (also informally named “Hank Creek” or “Hemlo Creek” on Lac maps) including the Lower Alteration Zone (LAZ), Upper Alteration Zone (UAZ), Felsite Hill, Flats Zone, Rojo Grande, Rojo Chico and Quartz Stockwork. Several north-westerly flowing tributaries of Hank Creek cut through the alteration zones, and Lac numbered these from 1 to 14, with Creek 1 being upstream to the southwest, and Creek 14 being to the northeast (See Plate 1; Figure 4, Assessment Report 35341).
Work in 1984 identified a zone of elevated gold mineralization on surface including 2.54 grams per tonne gold over 26 metres in a trench in the UAZ at the head of Creek 6. The mineralization was reported to be coincident with a broad soil anomaly with greater than 0.3 gram per tonne gold. Hole DDH 84-2, the discovery hole, returned 1.98 grams per tonne gold over 18.0 metres (Assessment Report 13594). This area became known as the “Hot Spot” within the UAZ.
At the Pits Zone, work by Lac Minerals led to the delineation of “indicated reserves (open pit material)” of 226,775 tonnes grading 4.4 grams per tonne gold in the South zone and 226,775 tonnes grading 2.3 grams per tonne gold in the North Zone (Lac Minerals Ltd. Prospectus 1987, as quoted in MINFILE 104G 107). Alternatively, McPherson (1993) (Assessment Report 22731, 22747); quoting Collins (1990) (Assessment Report 19523) reported a “drill indicated geologic resource” of 245,000 tonnes grading 4.0 grams per tonne gold in the “200 pit” (South zone) and 218,000 tonnes grading 2.0 grams per tonne gold in the “440 pit” (North zone). These estimations precede National Instrument 43-101 and are repeated for historical reference only. They are not current and are not to be relied upon.
Work in 1987 primarily comprised 9 diamond drill holes totalling 1048.2 metres along with 13.5 km of IP geophysics. The drilling targeted IP chargeability features in combination with geochemical anomalies and known mineralization. Two holes (87-1 and 87-2) were drilled in the Pit 200 area (South Zone) of the UAZ, while the remaining seven holes tested IP and geochemical targets within the UAZ and LAZ primarily in Creeks 3, 4, and 5 to the west, including two holes in the Flats zone (87-7 and 87-8). Both holes intersected high pyrite content, quartz-sericite-clay-pyrite alteration, veining and anomalous gold over their full lengths (e.g. 120 metres of 0.39 gram per tonne gold in hole 87-8).
Work in 1988 included 23 BQ drill holes totalling 4736 metres on various targets, a petrographic study, geological mapping and road building.
Work in 1989 included 11 NQ/BQ drill holes totalling 1610.6 metres on targets on Creeks 5, 7, and 8 in the LAZ, line cutting, road-building, geological mapping, and a petrographic study.
In 1990, Carmac Resources Ltd. optioned the property from Lac and completed five holes totalling 1458.4 metres to test the down-dip and along strike extensions of mineralization within the LAZ and UAZ. Three of the Carmac holes in the LAZ were drilled to the southeast, apparently to test a theory that the mineralized zones were dipping steeply or to the northwest. This contrasts with the previous Lac holes that were drilled vertically or to the northwest, given that mineralization was interpreted to dip moderately to the southeast. Results were disappointing, and the property was returned to Lac (Visagie, 1991) Assessment Report 21287).
Homestake Canada Inc. optioned the property in 1992 and completed soil and rock sampling, geological mapping and 8.35 km of pole-dipole IP geophysical surveying (McPherson, 1993a (Assessment Report 22731)). The work was focused on the extensive quartz-clay-pyrite alteration zones including Felsite Hill, Rojo Grande, Rojo Chico and the Silicified zone, all of which occur topographically above the UAZ and LAZ.
Homestake drilled six holes totaling 658.8 metres in 1993, however this work was not filed for assessment credit. Five of these holes were designed to test the lateral extent of mineralization within and adjacent to the Silicified zone and within an interpreted feeder vent marked by hydrothermal breccia on the top of Felsite Hill (Kaip, 1997 (University of British Columbia, MSc Thesis)); Gaunt and Kaip, 1994 (Homestake Canada Inc. Internal Report). Unfortunately, these holes all failed to penetrate through the Silicified zone into the more prospective lower portions of the underlying UAZ. Nevertheless, elevated gold values of 1.1 grams per tonne gold were obtained in and adjacent to the Silicified zone within kaolinite and illite/smectite alteration. Hole 93-1 was drilled to a southeasterly azimuth from a location southwest of the Flats zone, intersecting weakly kaolinite-altered sedimentary strata. It was interpreted to have been drilled parallel with bedding in the younger sedimentary rocks, and thus did not properly test the extension of anomalous gold mineralization in holes 87-7 and 87-8.
Barrick acquired the property through its takeover of Lac Minerals in 1994, and subsequent merger with Homestake in 2001. No work has been completed since 1993 except for a four-day field visit by Barrick personnel in 2008 (Mann, 2008 (Barrick In-house Memo)).
In 2014, Golden Ridge Resources Ltd collected 27 rock samples 259 soil samples and conducted a 108-kilometre magnetic airborne survey on the Hank property. In 2014, rock sampling, was limited to just 24 prospecting samples and 3 samples of historic core around the 200 and 440 pit area to understand the style and tenor of gold mineralization. A variety of outcrop grab, float grab, and composite chip samples were collected. In addition, three samples of previously split core were collected from historic drill holes 90-1, 90-3 and 90-5. Soil sampling was designed to fill in gaps in previous sampling such as the slope north of Hank Creek, and the southeast draining slopes east and south of Felsite Hill. The magnetic survey showed a series of strong magnetic low domains form a step-wise or piano-key pattern in a southwest direction and are partially coincident with the Upper and Lower Alteration Zones (LAZ and UAZ) and the Goat Peak intrusion (Unit B). These lows are suggestive of destruction of primary magnetite in the sericite-pyrite-carbonate-altered LAZ and UAZ. A series of weaker magnetic lows are coincident with the mapped extent of the quartz-clay-pyrite altered Bald Bluff intrusion (Unit A), the Felsite Hill quartz-clay+/-pyrite alteration zone, and to a lesser extent, the Flats zone quartz-sericite +/-pyrite zone. In terms of lineaments, a strong set of northwest linears is evident.
In 2016, Golden Ridge Resources Ltd. collected 49 rock and 367 soil samples. They also conducted a 12-kilometre 3D IP geophysical survey. The soil program extended some of the historical gold and silver-in-soil anomalies and defined a new copper-gold-silver soil anomaly northwest of Hank Creek. The new anomaly, termed the “Copper zone” trends northeast over a total length of 900 metres and contains copper values up to 4780 parts per million, gold up to 470 parts per billion and silver up to 8.23 parts per million (Assessment Report 36687). The Copper zone has a strong gossan on surface and is coincident with a circular aeromagnetic high anomaly, approximately 450 metres in diametre. The 2016 IP survey identified several targets associated with known mineralization, along with a deeper feature of interest.
In 2017, Golden Ridge Resources Ltd conducted further work on the Hank claim. Highlights include: 4,250 metres of diamond drilling in 14 holes (13 holes completed on the property's 2.5-kilometre-long Lower Alteration Zone (LAZ) and 1 on the Pits Zone), a high-resolution ground magnetic survey and hand stripping of a new copper-gold porphyry discovery, initially called the Ball II zone, later renamed the Williams zone.
In 2018, Golden Ridge Resources Ltd. announced the discovery of a new copper-gold porphyry at their Hank project’s Williams zone (104G 434). Golden Ridge Resources carried out an exploration program from June 23rd, 2018 to September 11th, 2018, consisting of sixteen diamond drill holes totaling 6,731 metres from ten pads. Eight of the holeswere drilled into the Williams Zone and eight holes were drilled in to the Lower Alteration Zone (LAZ). Drilling in the LAZ (Lower Alteration Zone) and downslope of the Pits Zone led to the discovery of a new zone, the Boiling Zone (BZ), hosting unique mineralization and mineralogy not recorded on the property to date. Their first drill hole on the Williams zone intersected 327 metres grading 0.31 per cent copper, 0.35 grams per tonne gold and 1.94 grams per tonne silver (Exploration in BC 2018, page 129). Additional drilling returned similar grades.
2018, Golden Ridge completed the option agreement with Lac Properties Inc., a subsidiary of Barrick Gold Corporation and earned 100% interest in the Hank Project.
In 2019, drilling by Golden Ridge consisted of 2952 metres useed to test the continuation of mineralization at depth and to the northeast at the Williams zone. Highlights from drilling included 278 metres of potassic altered monzonite and Stuhini Group rocks grading 0.35 per cent copper, 0.28 grams per tonne gold, and 1.71 grams per tonne silver. Other drilling tested the Boiling and Creek zones ((Exploration in BC 2019, page 33)