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File Created: 24-Jul-1985 by BC Geological Survey (BCGS)
Last Edit:  08-Jun-2023 by Karl A. Flower (KAF)

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NMI 104P5 Au1
BCGS Map 104P022
Status Past Producer NTS Map 104P05E
Latitude 059º 16' 28'' UTM 09 (NAD 83)
Longitude 129º 41' 22'' Northing 6570815
Easting 460706
Commodities Gold, Silver, Zinc, Copper Deposit Types I01 : Au-quartz veins
Tectonic Belt Omineca Terrane Slide Mountain, Cassiar
Capsule Geology

The Cornucopia occurrence, now called the Taurus mine, is located on Quartzrock Creek approximately 9 kilometres east of Cassiar. The property was staked in 1935 and was a producing gold mine from 1981 to March 1988 when it ceased mining; milling operations were halted in April.

The mine is located within the Sylvester Allochthon, which is composed of Devonian to Triassic volcanic, sedimentary and ultramafic rocks. The allochthon is composed of discrete lithotectonic packages and was initially divided into an upper and lower thrust sheet in an adjacent map sheet (Gordey et al., 1982), but has recently been divided into three divisions (Nelson et al., Fieldwork, 1987). The allochthon is locally bounded by the Cassiar Batholith to the west and overlies Paleozoic platformal rocks to the east. The geology around the Taurus mine is composed of massive to pillowed andesite to basalt flows that belong to Gordey's ‘Lower Assemblage’ or the ‘Division II’ of Nelson. These ‘greenstones’ are Mississippian to Permian in age and part of the Upper Paleozoic Slide Mountain Complex.

Gold mineralization at the Taurus mine occurs in east-striking quartz veins that dip 50 to 60 degrees to the south. The veins contain some calcite and commonly exhibit graphitic banding. Alteration, characterized by intense silicification, disseminated pyrite and carbonate alteration, forms 1- to 2-metre-wide halos around the vein within the wallrock. The vein widths vary considerably but are generally from 50 centimetres to 2 metres. Sulphides occur as bands and blebs within zones 10 to 20 centimetres wide along the vein margins, and consist mainly of pyrite with minor tetrahedrite, sphalerite, arsenopyrite and chalcopyrite. Vein cores contain rare visible gold.

Sampling in 1987 (Exploration in British Columbia 1987) has shown that gold concentrations are greatest in the sulphide bands along the vein margins. The gold occurs as fine inclusions in pyrite, as fracture fillings associated with tetrahedrite, sphalerite and chalcopyrite and associated with graphitic stringers in quartz veins (Grant, D.R., 1981).

Work History

In 1935, the area was originally staked as the Cornucopia group. Benroy Gold Mines Ltd. acquired the property in 1946 and carried out programs of surface stripping and diamond drilling through the 1950s before allowing the claims to lapse in 1961.

In 1961, the area was re-staked by local miners and small mill was constructed to process ore from surface high-grade occurrences around the Upper adit. Later in 1961, Hanna Gold Mines acquired the property and a program of 900 metres of lateral underground development and 840 metres of underground diamond drilling were completed by the end of 1963. In 1964, Newconnex Canadian Exploration Ltd. optioned the property and further surface, and underground development was completed.

During 1973 through 1975, Dorchester Resources Ltd. completed programs of underground sampling and at least three underground diamond drill holes, totalling 223.0 metres, on the Copco 1 claim. Drillhole 75-1, drilled from the 220-S crosscut towards a vein exposed near the main adit portal yielded 2.3 grams per tonne gold over 6.0 metres, including 10.3 grams per tonne gold over 1.5 metres (Assessment Report 5493).

In 1978, Ashlue Gold Mines completed a 7.8 line-kilometre ground magnetic survey on the area as the Hanna Gold property. In 1979, United Hearne Resources Ltd. completed two diamond drill holes, totalling 183.0 metres, on the area south of the Taurus underground workings.

The mine was developed on five levels from 1981 to 1988, obtaining ore from at least six different veins, with an average grade of 6 to 7 grams per tonne gold.

In 1993, International Taurus Resources Inc. acquired the Taurus property and in 1994 completed an extensive program of trenching, 88 diamond drill holes, totalling 7517.5 metres, 26.68 line-kilometres of induced polarization surveys and 267 metres of underground development on the Sable decline. Estimated reserves are 270,000 tonnes grading 7.2 to 8.6 grams per tonne gold (Information Circular 1993-13, page 17).

An inferred mineral reserve has been calculated from 30 trenches and 19 diamond drill holes (George Cross News Letter No.237 (December 10), 1993. Total inferred reserves are 436,315 tonnes grading 7.19 grams per tonne gold.


Zone Tonnage (tonnes) Grade (grams/tonnes)

88-1 63497 8.22

88-1 South 45355 5.48

93-1 181420 6.17

93-1 South 63497 6.85

93-2A 29027 16.96 (cut)

93-2B 27213 5.38

93-2C 15420 8.43

93-2D 10885 7.57


In 1994, drilling on the Tarus West, B.M and 88-1 zones, located a short distance west, northwest and southwest of the Mack (MINFILE 104P 011) occurrence, yielded up to 1.0, 3.5 and 1.0 gram per tonne gold over 88.8, 10.6 and 36.3 metres in holes 94-86, 94-76 and 94-81, respectively (Assessment Report 24222).

In 1995, diamond drilling in the area of the historical Taurus mine workings yielded up to 1.23 grams per tonne gold over 10 metres in hole T95-39, whereas drilling on the 88 Hill (MINFILE 104P 011) zone yielded up to 1.59 gram per tonne gold over 80.0 metres in hole T95-75 (Assessment Report 24276).

Cyprus Canada Inc. under a joint venture agreement with International Taurus Resources Inc. and Cusac Gold Mines Ltd., completed a major drilling program (12 670 metres in 78 drillholes) designed to delineate a large-tonnage, low-grade, bulk-mineable (potentially heap leachable) gold deposit in the vicinity of the Taurus, Sable and Plaza underground workings. The gold is contained in three zones (88 Hill, Taurus West and B.M.) of pyritic quartz veins and carbonate-altered, fine-grained pyritic volcanic rocks approximately 330 metres apart and extending westward onto the property of Cusac Gold Mines.

Results indicate that the mineralization, which is concentrated between a hangingwall basalt and a footwall argillite, is present over a large area, 1.5 kilometres in an east-west direction and 800 metres wide. The mineralized zone, which ranges in thickness from 70 to 150 metres, strikes approximately 070 degrees and dips 20 degrees to the southeast. The quartz vein structures within it (which carry higher grades) trend north and are steeply dipping. The ‘stratabound’ zone includes a higher-grade portion (2 to 3 grams per tonne gold) within an average grade of 1 gram per tonne gold, based on a cutoff grade of approximately 0.75 gram per tonne gold. Based on results to date, a consultant to the company estimates the size of the gold deposit to be at least 130 million tonnes grading 0.95 gram per tonne gold (Information Circular 1996-1, page 18).

Mineralization at 88 Hill extends at least 1000 metres by 400 metres and includes surface and underground development work on the Sable and Plaza vein systems. This area or system is located in the area where the Mack (MINFILE 104P 011) occurrence is plotted. Pyritic quartz vein mineralization occurs in swarms or sheets within pyritized and ankeritized basalt. Veins exposed in trenches and underground workings generally strike east-west with steep north and south dips and occur as broad zones of small tensional veins and narrow zones around continuous veins. These mineralized zones are separated by unaltered, unmineralized basalt. Mineralized zones are broadly continuous but individual structures are not correlatable. The 88 Hill zone is open to the east back toward the Taurus mine, and to the north and south. To the north, the zone may continue into the Highway zone. Mineralization in the 88 West zone does not appear to extend beyond the east-dipping Taurus West fault.

The Highway zone lies along the north side of the highway between Quartzrock Creek and the Taurus West fault. Geologically, the Highway zone is very similar to the 88 Hill zone, with pyritic quartz vein mineralization in the east to broad quartz-rich zones in the west. The Highway gold zone has been traced by drilling for approximately 1kilometre between the Taurus West fault and Quartzrock Creek along a 070-degree strike. Dips are vertical to steep north and widths between 10 and 30 metres. Pyritic quartz vein mineralization previously yielded 1 to 2 grams per tonne (average) gold values over the width of the zone (Assessment Report 27226). The Taurus West zone is located approximately 500 metres north of the Highway zone, which is approximately 250 metres north of the Hill 88 West zone, which itself is approximately 500 metres west of the Hill 88 area. The Taurus West zone hosts disseminated pyrite-type mineralization. Drilling and limited trenching by Cyprus Canada in 1995 outlined strong fine pyrite mineralization in the Taurus West area with broad intersections such as 2.47 grams per tonne gold over 86 metres in drillhole T95-29.

In July 1996, Cyprus relinquished its agreement as the size of the Taurus deposit failed to meet the company’s requirements. International Taurus began an infill reverse circulation program at 25-metre centres on the 88 Hill zone. It also completed further trenching on the zone. A total of 36 reverse circulation and 4 diamond drill holes were put down on the 88 Hill zone; drilling extended the zone 300 metres to the west. The zone remains open to the southeast and west.

During 1996, close-spaced drilling in the 88 Hill zone outlined a drill-indicated reserve of 13,725,350 tonnes grading 1.01 grams per tonne gold. In addition, wide-spaced drilling further west of the 88 Hill zone, in the Taurus West zone, has outlined a drill-inferred reserve of 25,134,000 tonnes grading 0.67 gram per tonne gold (George Cross News Letter No.78 (April 23), 1997).

Cusac Gold Mines Ltd. acquired the property in 1998. In 1999, they announced a mineral inventory of greater than 50 million grams of gold. Economic gold mineralization at the surface in six contiguous zones, based on 130 drillholes (18,638 metres), totals 62,397,477 tonnes grading 0.8 gram per tonne gold. Cusac proposed a start-up operation in the central part of the gold deposit (the 88 Hill zone). When grade perimeters are applied cutting high assays and using a minimum cutoff grade, 88 Hill contains a drill-indicated resource of 11,361,095 tonnes grading 1.08 grams per tonne gold. Using a higher minimum cutoff grade, 88 Hill contains a drill-indicated resource of 8,553,087 tonnes grading 1.28 grams per tonne gold. Parts of three zones, including 88 Hill, have a drill-indicated resource of 23,439,899 tonnes grading 1.07 grams per tonne gold (Press Release - Cusac Gold Mines Ltd., June 22, 1999).

In 2003, Navasota Resources Ltd. completed geological mapping and a 13-hole drill program on the Taurus gold prospect under an agreement with International Taurus Resources Inc. The holes tested the bulk-tonnage potential of the 88 Hill area and of the Sable and Plaza vein systems. In the 88 Hill zone, holes COR-03-06 and COR-03-08 intersected 10- to 30-metre-long core intervals averaging 0.7 to 1.0 grams per tonne gold and narrow intervals of higher-grade material; the best intersection was 4.74 grams per tonne gold over 5.18 metres. In the Taurus West zone, hole COR-03-01 yielded up to 37 metres of core length averaging between 1.0 and 1.7 grams per tonne gold. In early 2004, Navasota announced it would not maintain its option on the property.

See Assessment Report 33501 for a more detailed discussion of the work history of the Taurus area.

Between 2006 and 2010, Hawthorne Gold Corp. consolidated the Cassiar Gold project by acquiring 46 mineral claims from American Bonanza Gold Corp., 46 mineral claims from Cusac Gold Mines and 124 mineral claims by staking or other mineral claim purchases. In 2006 and 2007, Hawthorne completed a 10-hole drill program, totalling 1638.61 metres, on the 88 Hill zone. In 2007, inferred resources, using a 0.50 gram per tonne gold cut-off grade, were reported at 135,000 tonnes grading 1.32 grams per tonne gold for the Sable zone, 8,505,000 tonnes grading 1.15 grams per tonne gold for the 88 Hill zone zone, 13,103,000 tonnes grading 0.87 gram per tonne gold for the 88 West zone, 2,456,000 tonnes grading 0.98 gram per tonne gold for the Highway zone, 3,709,000 tonnes grading 1.02 grams per tonne gold for the Taurus West zone, 2,34,000 tonnes grading 0.99 gram per tonne gold for the Taurus zone and 917,000 tonnes grading 0.95 gram per tonne gold for the Plaza zone for total of 32,386,000 tonnes grading 1.00 gram per tonne gold (Assessment Report 29571).

In 2008, Hawthorne completed a program of reconnaissance geological mapping, rock and soil sampling and a regional airborne geophysical survey on the area.

In March 2009, Hawthorne Gold Corp. released an updated mineral resource estimate of 33.055 million tonnes inferred grading 0.99 gram per tonne gold based on a 0.50 gram per tonne cutoff grade (Hawthorne Gold Corp. - News Release March 19, 2009). In 2009, a program of geochemical sampling, trenching and 41 diamond drill holes, totalling 3883.5 metres, were completed on the Taurus area. Drilling on the Sable-88 Hill Gap area indicated that the mineralized shear veins extended at least 150 metres west of the Sable zone and showed to extend greater than in the 88 Hill area. Shear veins from Sable, however, locally die out along strike into zones of extensional veins towards 88 Hill, forming right-stepping en echelon structures across the Sable-88 Hill Gap. The Sable zone was extended 30 metres to the north and 50 metres to the south before these shear veins appear to die out to the east. Drilling yielded intersections of up to 36.3 grams per tonne gold over a true width of 4.29 metres in hole TA09-014, whereas a trench (TR09-004) on strike of the Sable test pit yielded 37.5 grams per tonne gold over a true width of 4.6 metres (Cowley, P. (2017-10-02): Technical Report on the Cassiar Gold Property).

Also at this time, a 5500-tonne bulk sample, averaging 3.2 grams per tonne gold, was taken from the Sable surface pit was stockpiled at the mill grizzly feed storage area (Cowley, P. [2017-09-13]: Technical Report on the Cassiar Gold Property).

In 2010 and 2011, the property went under care and maintenance and an airborne geophysical survey was completed. On April 5, 2011, Hawthorne Gold Corp. was renamed China Minerals Mining Corporation. Also at this time, China Minerals Mining Corp., completed 5090.0 line-kilometre of airborne magnetic, radiometric and electromagnetic survey on the Cassiar Gold property.

In 2012, China Minerals Mining Corporation completed drilling campaigns at the Taurus (43 holes) and Table Mountain (MINFILE104P 070, 10 holes) properties of their Cassiar Gold project. The 43 holes, totalling 6892 metres, from the Taurus property were completed on the Sable, 88 Hill and Taurus West zones. Drilling yielded intercepts including 1.00 gram per tonne gold over 32.10 metres in hole TA12-02 and 8.94 grams per tonne gold over 6.00 metres in hole TA12-05 on the 88 Hill zone; 1.46 grams per tonne gold over 27.20 metres in hole TA12-11 and 12.32 grams per tonne gold over 4.70 metres in hole TA12-14 on the 88 Hill-Sable Gap zone; 2.13 grams per tonne gold over 19.00 metres in hole TA12-19 and 12.23 grams per tonne gold over 5.00 metre in hole TA12-27 on the Sable zone; 3.83 grams per tonne gold over 23.00 metres in hole TA12-38 and 4.42 grams per tonne gold over 10.45 metres in hole TA12-40 on the 88 Hill-Highway Gap zone and 1.17 grams per tonne gold over 36.15 metres in hole TA12-42 on the Taurus West zone (Cowley, P. [2017-10-02]: Technical Report on the Cassiar Gold Property).

In 2019, Margaux Resources completed a program of prospecting, geological mapping and rock sampling on the area as the Cassiar Gold property. An inferred resource estimate for the Taurus deposit was reported at 21,830,000 tonnes grading 1.43 grams per tonne gold using a 0.7 gram per tonne gold cut-off grade (Zelligan, S. [2019-11-12]: National Instrument 43-101 Technical Report on the Cassiar Gold Property [Amended]).

In 2020, Cassiar Gold Corp. completed a program of regional photogeological interpretation, prospecting and rock sampling on the Cassiar Gold property. Also at this time, 24 diamond drill holes, totalling 4718.0 metres, were completed on the Taurus and related deposits. Drilling is reported to have intercepted mineralization in gaps and extensions of the current resource model. Drilling highlights included hole 20TA-115, which was designed to test a gap near the centre of the Sable zone resource above the basal contact. The hole encountered numerous wide mineralized zones including 76.28 metres grading 1.0 grams per tonne gold, whereas hole (20TA-116) was drilled 70 metres to the west of hole TA12-29 and returned broad zones of mineralization including 18.22 metres grading 5.43 grams per tonne gold (Assessment Report 39350).

EMPR AR 1935-B21; 1946-61; 1947-70; 1962-6; 1963-6; 1964-10
EMPR BULL 83; 108, pp. 73-79
EMPR ENG INSP (Level plans #60342-60344, 1963); Annual 1990
EMPR EXPL 1975-E194; 1978-E278; 1979-322; 1980-519; 1986-A41; 1987-A42,*B95-B105; 1996-B13; 1998-9,24; 2003-7
EMPR FIELDWORK *1980, pp. 55-62; *1981, pp. 156-161; *1987, pp. 233-243,245-248; 1988, pp. 323-337
EMPR GEM 1974-354
EMPR INF CIRC 1993-13, p. 19; 1994-1, p. 20; 1994-19, p. 15; 1995-1, p. 15; 1995-9, p. 18; 1996-1, p. 18; 1997-1, pp. 17,20-21; 1999-1, pp. 10, 12; 2000-1, pp. 6,9
EMPR IR 1984-4, pp. 119,120; 1984-5, pp. 113,114; 1986-1, pp. 109,110
EMPR MAP 65 (1989)
EMPR MER 1984, pp. 9,17,25
EMPR MIN STATS 1985, pp. 47,48,; 1987, pp. 36,37,65,66; 1990, pp. 5,26
EMPR MINING 1981-1985, p. 11; 1986-1987, pp. 53-54; 1988, p. 53
EMPR MP MAP 1992-13
EMPR OF 1988-10; 1989-9; 1992-1; 1994-1; 1996-11
EMPR P 1991-4, pp. 188,189
EMPR PF (Boronowski, A. (1988): Erickson Gold Camp, Geology and Metallogeny of Northwestern British Columbia, Smithers Exploration Group - G.A.C. Cordilleran Section, Workshop Oct.16-19, 1988, pp. A10-A21; Nelson, J. and Bradford, J. (1988): Late Paleozoic Marginal Basin and Island Arc Environments in the Sylvester Allochthon and Structural Framework of Mineralization in the Cassiar-Erickson Camp, Geology and Metallogeny of Northwestern British Columbia, Smithers Exploration Group - G.A.C. Cordilleran Section, Workshop Oct.16-19, 1988, pp. A72-73; Phelps, G.B.: Summation Report on the Dorchester Resources Ltd., Cassiar Gold Property, Liard Mining Division, British Columbia; 1995 International Taurus Resources Inc. background, assay results and various news releases; *International Taurus Resources Inc. Information Brochure, 1996; Spencer, B.E. (1994): Report on the 1993 Exploration Programme, International Taurus Resources Inc.; Field visit notes, 1987; Cusac Gold Mines Ltd. Website (Apr. 1998): Cusac Gold Project, 6 pp.)
EMPR Special Report Mandy, J.T. (1937): Cornucopia Group, 7 pages
EMR CANADIAN MINERAL INDUSTRY Monthly Report, January 1990
EMR MP CORPFILE (Copco Resources)
GSC MAP 64; 381A; 1110A
GSC MEM 194, pp. 15,16; *319, p. 117
GSC OF 2779
GSC P *82-1B
CJES Vol. 23, 1986, pp. 1455-1458
CMH 1968-1969, p. 157
GCNL Jun.27, 1973; #150,#190,#222, 1979; #128,#199,#241, 1980; #124,#182,#230, 1981; #18,#83,#137,#207,#242, 1982; #13,#87, 1983; #25, 1984; #13,#68,#128,#187, 1985; #77, 1987; #130, 1988; #78(Apr.23), 1997; #187(Sept.29), *#203(Oct.22), 1998
IPDM May/June, 1983
NAGMIN News, Mar.30, 1984
N MINER May 10, 1979; Dec.25, 1980; Apr.23, Jul.9, Sept.17, 1981; Jan.28, Oct.21, 1982; Feb.17, Jun.16, Sept.1, 1983; May 17, 1984; Apr.22, 1996
PR REL Cusac Gold Mines Ltd., Dec.11, 1996; Mar.10, Apr.22, 1997; Oct.21, 1998; June 22, 1999; Navasota Resources Ltd., Jan.6, 2003; International Taurus Resources Inc., Dec.23, 2002; Jan.14, Feb.10, 2004 Navasota Resources Ltd., Feb.20, Mar.17, Aug.12, Sept.4, Nov.3,19, Dec.8, 2003; Hawthorne Gold Corp., Mar.19, 2009
W MINER Oct., 1980
Dussell, E. (1986): Listwanites and Their Relationship to Gold Mineralization at Erickson Mine, British Columbia, Canada, M.Sc. Thesis, Western Washington University
*Grant, D.R. (1981): A Study of the Sulphide Mineralogy and Geology of the McDame Gold Camp, Cassiar, British Columbia, B.Sc. Thesis, University of British Columbia
Harms, T.A. (1986): Structural and Tectonic Analysis of the Sylvester Allochthon, Northern British Columbia, Implications for Paleogeography and Accretion, Ph. D. Thesis, University of Arizona
VSE Statement of Material Facts, Feb. 22, 1980: Assessment of Mine Potential for the Taurus Property, Jan. 4, 1980 - United Hearne Resources Ltd.
*Cowley, P. (2017-09-13): Technical Report on the Cassiar Gold Property
*Cowley, P. (2017-10-02): Technical Report on the Cassiar Gold Property
Zelligan, S. (2019-09-10): National Instrument 43-101 Technical Report on the Cassiar Gold Property
*Zelligan, S. (2019-11-12): National Instrument 43-101 Technical Report on the Cassiar Gold Property (Amended)