Preliminary reports from the Ministry of Energy, Mines]() and Petroleum Resources Mineral Development Office (British Columbia Geological Survey) and regional geologists indicate that exploration activity continues to improve in 2018. This represents a recovery that started in 2017, stabilizing a decreasing trend that began in 2012. A number of companies reported new discoveries and significant results.
Precious metal projects
IDM Mining Ltd. announced an updated mineral resource estimate of 2.77 million tonnes of 7.91 g/t gold and 22.75 g/t silver, Measured plus Indicated, for its Red Mountain project. The project is a proposed high-grade underground gold mine. As well, IDM was granted a provincial environmental assessment certificate. A federal certificate is anticipated for late 2018 or early 2019.
GT Gold Corp. reported new results for the Saddle south target at its Tatogga project. Drilling highlights included 40.89 metres of 9.55 g/t gold. The company planned to drill 18,000 metres in 56 holes, with the possibility of expansion and drilling to mid-November.
At its Premier/Dilworth project, Ascot Resources Ltd. planned to follow up on 140,000 metres of drilling in 2017 with an additional 45,000 metres in 2018. Results reported to date include 20.0 metres of 8.04 g/t gold and 21.4 g/t silver at the western extension of Premier, 7.2 metres of 20.67 g/t gold and 24.92 g/t silver at the Big Missouri zone, and 12.38 metres of 8.91 g/t gold and 22.9 g/t silver at the North Star prospect.
Tudor Gold Corp. reported drilling results, including 121.8 m of 1.04 g/t gold with a high-grade interval of 26.6 g/t gold over 1.5 metres from the Copper Belle zone at its Treaty Creek project. American Creek Resources has a 20 per cent carried interest in the project. The Copper Belle zone has been traced by drilling for more than one kilometre along strike, with widths of 250 to 550 metres, and vertical extents from 300 to 500 metres.
Skeena Resources Ltd. continued with underground and surface drilling at its past-producing Snip mine project. Results included 13.8 g/t gold over 18.00 metres. At the Eskay Creek project, Skeena carried out drilling, and initial results included 28.50 metres of 14.02 g/t gold and 701 g/t silver. In September, a maiden resource using historic surface and underground drilling results was announced for Eskay Creek. The pit-constrained Indicated resource estimate is 1.08 million tonnes at 4.9 g/t gold, 72 g/t silver, and the Inferred resource is 4.26 million tonnes at 3.3 g/t gold, 72 g/t silver. The underground Indicated resource is 2.51 million tonnes at 7.2 g/t gold, 215 g/t silver, and the underground Inferred resource is 0.81 million tonnes at 7.2 g/t gold, 214 g/t silver.
The first drill hole of 2018 at the North Boundary Zone (NBZ), part of Aben Resources Ltd.’s Forest Kerr project, intersected multiple high grade zones including 38.7 g/t gold over 10.0 metres. Subsequent holes also returned high-grade gold assays. The company discovered a new mineralized zone (South Boundary Zone), about 1.5 kilometres south of the NBZ. Drilling intersected quartz veins with abundant pyrite and chalcopyrite.
The Red Cliff property is being explored under a joint venture between Decade Resources Ltd. (65%) and Mountain Boy Minerals Ltd. (35%). Drilling results for the Waterpump zone included 4.54 metres of 12.11 g/t gold. Drilling below a known high-grade portion of the Montrose zone intersected chalcopyrite-pyrite stockworks with visible gold.
Other drilling programs for precious metals in the Northwest Region included those by Auryn Resources Inc. (3,000 metres at Homestake Ridge), Seabridge Gold Inc. (Iskut), StrikePoint Gold Inc., (1,500 metres at Porter), Jaxon Mining Inc. (2,200 metres at Red Springs) and Colorado Resources Inc. (KSP).
Cu-Mo, Cu-Au-Ag, Mo (porphyry) projects
GT Gold Corp. reported discovering a new porphyry at the Tatogga projects’ Saddle North target, approximately 1.5 kilometres east northeast of the Saddle South gold discovery. Initial drilling highlights included 430 metres of 0.67 g/t gold, 0.41% copper and 0.89 g/t silver. A later hole, approximately 200 metres to the northwest, returned 363 metres of 1.02 g/t gold, 0.51% copper and 1.72 g/t silver within 904 metres of 0.51 g/t gold, 0.30% copper and 0.93 g/t silver.
Golden Ridge Resources Ltd. announced discovering a new copper-gold porphyry at its Hank projects’ Williams Zone. The first hole intersected 327 metres grading 0.31 per cent copper, 0.35 g/t gold and 1.94 g/t silver. Additional drilling returned similar grades, and the company expanded induced polarization survey coverage.
Doubleview Capital Corp. optioned its Hat project to Hudbay Minerals Inc. Hudbay will be the operator and has the right to earn up to 65 per cent interest by fulfilling the terms of a three-stage agreement that includes expenditures of $40 million and costs for a feasibility study. In the summer, a 40 line-kilometre, deep-penetrating induced polarization survey was carried out to establish the depth, shape, structure and dimensions of the gold-copper mineralization.
ML Gold Corp. intersected a mineralized porphyry at its Stars property. Mineralization in the discovery hole was in more than 400 metres of core, which assayed 0.20 per cent copper, 0.0082 per cent molybdenum, 0.754 g/t silver and 24 ppb gold. Drilling resumed in the fall after interruption by forest fires.
Seabridge Gold Inc. carried out approximately 16,700 metres of exploration drilling at the Iron Cap deposit of the KSM project, to continue testing the core zone of the deposit down plunge to the west. Initial indications were that the deposit is nearly continuous to depth of at least 1,800 metres.
Amarc Resources Ltd. drilled six holes, totalling 3,060 metres at its Duke project to follow up on 2017 results. Seven of the eight holes drilled in 2017 and 2018 intersected copper-molybdenum-silver porphyry mineralization.
Surge Copper Corp. (formerly Gold Reach Resources Ltd.) discovered a new copper zone 500 metres northeast of the East Seel deposit at the Ootsa project. The discovery hole intersected 202 metres of continuous mineralization and assayed 0.26 per cent copper, 0.31 g/t gold and 1.32 g/t silver. A later hole intersected 22 metres of 0.5 per cent copper, 0.10 g/t gold, 17.6 g/t silver, 0.65 per cent zinc and 0.14 per cent lead.
Other drilling programs for porphyry projects in the Northwest Region included Metallis Resources Inc. (Kirkham property, Cliff, Nina, and Cole targets).
Base and precious metal projects
Coeur Mining Inc. carried out a 44,500-metre exploration drilling program at its Silvertip mine. Designed as infill drilling, the program also discovered new zones. Surface drilling at the Discovery Zone intersected new mineralization including 11.4 metres of 193.3 g/t silver, 18.3 per cent zinc and 3.2 per cent lead, and 6 metres of 925.7 g/t silver, 16.0 per cent zinc and 15.2 per cent lead. The Discovery Zone remains open to the north, south and east, and at depth. New multiple stacked manto horizons and vertical feeders were intersected at the Silver Creek Zone. Results included 3.8 metres of 905.5 g/t silver, 29.2 per cent zinc and 16.5 per cent lead. The success of this drilling program prompted the approval of a US$4-million follow-up program.
Dolly Varden Silver Corporation proceeded with about 25,000 metres of drilling at its Dolly Varden project and discovered a new zone (Bonus Zone). Drilling results included 15.50 metres grading 161.4 g/t silver, 0.25 per cent lead and 0.20 per cent zinc. Drilling on known zones included 24.00 metres grading 287.5 g/t silver, 0.29 per cent lead, and 0.11 per cent zinc at Torbrit East and 29.15 metres grading 226.0 g/t silver, 0.09 per cent lead, and 0.13 per cent zinc at Moose Lamb.
Kutcho Copper Corp.’s Kutcho project is an advanced project with a Probable mineral reserve of 10.4 million tonnes at 2.01 per cent copper, 3.19 per cent zinc, 34.61 g/t silver, and 0.37 g/t gold. Kutcho carried out a comprehensive review of historic data to identify targets for drilling. Results of this drilling included 28 metres of 2.09 per cent copper, 6.1 per cent zinc, 65.8 g/t silver and 0.82 g/t gold. A feasibility study is scheduled for Q2 2019.
American Creek Resources Ltd., reported high-grade gold (up to 61.2 g/t) and silver (up to 1186 g/t) along with base metals from surface and underground samples at the Dunwell Mine project. This past- producing mine processed 45,657 tonnes averaging 14.3 g/t gold equivalent.
SSR Mining Inc. committed to spend $4 million on the SIB property under option from Eskay Mining Corp. A 7,000 to 9,000-metre drilling program was announced in July.
Ni-Cu-Co-precious metal projects
Garibaldi Resources Corp. followed up on a 2017 discovery at its E&L (Nickel Mountain) project with a fall drilling program. Preliminary highlight results included 30.5 metres of 3.10 per cent nickel, 1.86 per cent copper, 0.081 per cent cobalt, 0.863 g/t platinum, 1.776 g/t palladium, 0.739 g/t gold and 7.3 g/t silver. Property-wide mapping and prospecting followed up on anomalies identified from VTEM surveys.
Metallis Resources Inc. announced fall drilling at its Kirkham property. The northern border of Kirkham is contiguous with Garibaldi’s E&L project. Drilling will test coincident airborne magnetic high and electromagnetic geophysical anomalies at the Thunder North targets.
Giga Metals Corp. drilled over 10,000 metres at its Turnagain project to test new targets, provide infill, collect samples for metallurgical testing, and yield geotechnical information to support pre-feasibility studies. The project has Measured and Indicated resources of 865 million tonnes at 0.21 per cent nickel, 0.013 per cent cobalt, and an additional Inferred resource of 976 million tonnes at 0.2 per cent nickel, 0.013 per cent cobalt.
Primary Energy Metals Inc. carried out mapping and sampling on its RD property. Sample highlights included a 0.30-metre chip sample assaying 18.2 g/t gold, 0.054 per cent cobalt, and 1.91 per cent copper, and a 0.25 m chip sample assaying 20.0 g/t gold and 0.194 per cent cobalt.
Allegiance Coal Limited continued to move its Tenas project forward. Eight PQ diameter holes were drilled, three for the installation of water-monitoring wells and five to collect rock samples for geochemical studies and coal testing. Twelve sonic holes were drilled for geotechnical information. Fourteen large diameter (150 mm) holes were drilled, recovering 1,400 kilograms of coal. The coal was sent for sizing, washability and comprehensive coal quality analyses and to generate samples for coke-oven tests. A definitive feasibility study was expected in late 2018 or early Q1 2019.
Northeast and North Central Regions
Precious metal projects
New Gold Inc. continued environmental assessment work on its Blackwater Gold project, and has permits for a major drilling program in the proposed pit area. Proven and probable reserves are 294,200 million tonnes at 0.79 g/t gold and 4.70 g/t silver. As proposed, Blackwater would be a 60,000-tonnes-per-day operation with a 17-year mine life.
Gitennes Exploration Inc. completed a six-hole, 1,612-metre drill program on its Snowbird orogenic gold project. The drilling connected the North and Main zones; the deposit remains open at depth and along strike. Short intervals grading more than 15 g/t were intersected, and the company reported typical intersections of more than 4 g/t.
Benchmark Metals Inc. completed about 4,000 metres of diamond and reverse circulation drilling on the Lawyers gold and silver epithermal project to extend the existing resource of four mineralized zones.
Prospectors Andreas Anderson and Max Keogh discovered an orogenic gold prospect (AK), about 10 kilometres north of Prince George. Outcrop samples returned up to 8 g/t.
Cu-Mo, Cu-Au-Ag, Mo (porphyry) projects
In early 2018, Centerra Gold Inc. completed its acquisition of Aurico Metals Inc., taking over the Kemess projects. In July, the company received Mines Act approval for the Kemess Underground (KUG) project. KUG is about 6.5 kilometres north of the Kemess South (KS) mine, which closed in 2011, and would use the KS camp and ore processing plant and store tailings in the old KS open pit. The KUG ore body will be accessed by a tunnel and conveyor system, and mining will be by panel caving. KUG has an estimated 246.6 million tonnes at an average grade of 0.42 g/t gold, 0.22% copper, and 1.75 g/t silver, classified as Indicated mineral resources, with an additional 21.6 million tonnes at an average grade of 0.40 g/t gold, 0.22% copper, and 1.70 g/t silver, classified as Inferred mineral resources.
About one kilometre east of KUG is a second underground project, Kemess East (KE), which Centerra is considering for integrated development with KUG. KE has an Indicated resource of 113 million tonnes containing 954 million pounds copper, 1.7 million ounces gold and 7.1 million ounces silver. In 2018, Centerra reassessed existing core to develop a new deposit model and completed an estimated 30 line-kilometres of IP across four nearby targets.
Centerra Gold explored extensively at its Mt. Milligan mine to expand reserves and investigate nearby prospects. On-lease, the company completed 12 holes (6,669 metres) to delineate copper-gold mineralization in the Goldmark, North Slope, and Saddle West zones. Off-lease, it completed 13 holes (5,616 metres) to test 4 target areas: Mitzi East, D2 and Heidi Stock, and Fugro-1. A 14 line-km IP survey completed coverage begun in 2017.
Kwanika Copper Corporation (65% Serengeti Resources Inc., 35% POSCO Daewoo and Daewoo Minerals Canada) completed 21 holes totalling 7,411 metres on the Kwanika project Central zone. Three of these holes tested the foundation characteristics of a potential tailings storage facility. Of the 18 exploration holes, nine are also being used for hydrogeological monitoring. An NI 43-101 report released in mid-2017 proposed an integrated open pit and underground Central zone mine, with a life of 15 years at 15,000 tonnes per day. The Central zone has an Indicated resource of 101.5 million tonnes accessible by open pit, containing 697 million pounds copper, 1.04 million ounces gold and 3.1 million ounces silver. A further 29.7 million tonnes, accessible by underground mining, contains 222.3 million pounds copper, 350 thousand ounces gold and 1.0 million ounces silver. A pre-feasibility study on the project is expected to be completed in mid-2019.
Serengeti Resources also reported encouraging results from IP surveys on its Croy-Bloom and Atty properties.
Sun Metals Corp. completed 15,000 metres of drilling on its Stardust copper-gold skarn property, which has seen decades of exploration, to test new areas and expand the deposit. The company also completed soil surveys on several grids, an airborne Lidar and photogrammetry survey and a VTEM and magnetics survey on 100-metre line spacing. The deposit has an Indicated resource of 985,000 tonnes grading 1.43 per cent copper, 0.62 per cent zinc, 1.59 g/t gold and 36.8 g/t silver, and an Inferred resource of 1.985 million tonnes averaging 1.24 per cent copper, 0.14 per cent zinc, 1.72 g/t gold and 30.5 g/t silver.
Tower Resources drilled a total of 751 metres in five holes on its Nechako Gold project. One hole intersected 10 metres grading 0.22 per cent copper, and 0.12 g/t gold, and 14 metres grading 0.15 per cent copper and 0.11 g/t gold.
Pacific Empire Minerals Corp. undertook reverse circulation drilling on its Copper King project southwest of Kemess and its Wildcat prospect west of Mt. Milligan. At Copper King, four holes totalling 459 metres were completed, two of which intersected visible chalcocite. At Wildcat, 11 holes totalling 550 metres were completed in favourable stratigraphy but did not encounter significant mineralization.
Amarc Resources Ltd. partnered with Hudbay Minerals Inc. to explore its Joy property. The company explored a 40x10kilometre northeast-trending structural corridor by completing an aeromagnetic survey, IP surveys, soil sampling, mapping and two boreholes totalling about 1,000 metres. A more extensive drilling program is planned for 2019.
MGX Minerals Inc. completed exploration drilling on its Fran property. About 16 holes totalling 6,000 metres intersected widespread potentially gold-bearing late-stage sulphides in altered host rocks.
Base and precious metal projects
At its Akie project, ZincX Resources Corp. drilled targets along strike from the Cardiac Creek deposit. Five boreholes totalling 2013 metres explored the Sitka, Sitka Extension, SE Extension and North Lead Zone showings. Two boreholes at the Sitka showing, about 4 kilometres to the east of Cardiac Creek, intersected sphalerite bearing quartz veins in sandstone. A-18-144 intersected 5.08 metres grading 3.79 per cent zinc and 0.99 metres at 11.33 per cent zinc. A-18-145 intersected 3.5 metres at 3.72 per cent zinc and 0.86 metres at 11.09 per cent zinc. At a 5 per cent zinc cutoff grade, Cardiac Creek has an Indicated resource of 22.7 million tonnes at 8.32 per cent zinc, 1.61 per cent lead and 14.1 g/t silver, and an Inferred resource of 7.5 Mt at 7.04 per cent zinc, 1.24 per cent lead and 12.0 g/t silver. A 2018 preliminary economic assessment, based on a conventional underground mine and concentrator operation, reported a mine life of at least 18 years at a production rate of 4,000 tonnes per day. Akie is the southern part of what the company refers to as the Kechika Regional Project, which consists of contiguous properties extending northwest for 140 kilometres. The project includes Pie, Yuen and Cirque East, in which ZincX shares a 49% interest with Teck Resources Ltd. and Korea Zinc Co. Ltd.
InZinc Mining Ltd. completed a drilling project on its Indy project, following up on 2017 geochemical surveys, mapping and prospecting. Ten holes were completed and all intersected sphalerite and galena in what appears to be structurally modified, sedimentary-hosted mineralization.
Specialty metal projects
Taseko Mines Ltd. drilled 25 holes totalling about 3,000 metres within the previously-drilled perimeter of its Aley niobium project to obtain samples for metallurgical testing in advance of an updated technical report.
Atrum Coal Panorama Inc, with partner JOGMEC (Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation), completed 1,979 m of drilling in eight holes at the Panorama North anthracite coal project.
Conuma Coal Resources Ltd. carried out a 38-hole on-lease drill program at its Willow Creek mine west of Chetwynd. Drilling intersected complex structures, consistent with the exposed areas of the mine.
HD Mining International Ltd. received Mines Act approval for its Murray River underground coal mine. With all necessary approvals now in place, an investment decision is expected within a year. The proposed mine contains a Proven reserve estimated at 291 million tonnes of mineable coal.
Industrial mineral projects
The environmental assessment review and Mines Act permit process is underway for Graymont Western Canada’s Giscome lime production project. Initially, up to 600,000 tonnes of limestone would be quarried annually, with the crushed stone moved by truck to vertical lime kilns near Giscome, and the product transported by existing rail lines to service mining and pulp and paper operations in northern British Columbia. Construction is expected to begin in 2019 or 2020.
Precious metal projects
The Greenwood district continued to see activity from several companies in 2018. KG Exploration Inc. (Kinross Gold Corporation) continued exploring for base metal and epithermal gold mineralization on 27,346 hectares optioned from Grizzly Discoveries Inc. The land package is just north of its Kettle River operations in Washington State, which has a mill capacity of 1,800 tonnes per day. The company drilled at the Midway project to follow up on 2017 drilling that encountered 9.7g/t gold over 0.8 metres. Also in the Greenwood mining camp, Golden Dawn Minerals Inc. began rehabilitation work, mapping and sampling at the underground Lexington mine, with channel sample results of up to 30.18 g/t gold and 4.93 per cent copper over 1.8 metres. The firm also began work to upgrade and permit the Lexington mill (200-400 tonnes per day) and continued work on compiling data from its Phoenix project, an 11,000-hectare land package acquired from Kettle River Resources Ltd. GGX Gold Corp. drilled and trenched at its Gold Drop property, targeting a system of parallel high-grade epithermal veins.
In the West Kootenays, Margaux Resources Ltd. was delayed by fires in the area, but started drilling at its Bayonne project late in the year, targeting a past-producing vein system. Margaux also began lab-based, sensor sorting tests on samples from historic dumps on its Sheep Creek property.
In the East Kootenays, PJX Resources Inc. mapped and sampled at the Dewdney Trail project as well as at its Zinger project. PJX staked additional ground over a new mineral showing, and also obtained drill permits on both properties for upcoming drilling.
Polymetallic base and precious metal projects
SEDEX and associated polymetallic mineralization in Mesoproterozoic rocks continued to be targets in the East Kootenay. PJX Resources Inc. continued drilling at the Vine property and encountered massive sulphides and alteration similar to that near the historic Sullivan mine. Highway 50 Gold Corp. continued drilling at its Monroe property and encountered disseminated and bedded sulphides, albite fragmental and sulphide-clast fragmental rocks, intense sericitic alteration and vein (pyrrhotite, pyrite, chalcopyrite, quartz) stockworks. At the Irishman project, Teck Resources Limited drilled on targets identified from 2017 magnetotelluric surveys. Eagle Plains Resources Ltd. drilled at the Iron Range project along structure to test ground-based high resolution IP targets from its 2017 work.
Antofagasta plc drilled at the Yakh Ridge and Silver Fox properties, on land optioned from Kootenay Silver Inc. It is exploring the northern extension of the productive Western Montana Copper belt, where copper-silver mineralization is in Proterozoic sedimentary rocks. Grizzly Discoveries Inc. conducted an airborne geophysical survey at the Robocop property to explore for cobalt-copper-silver, with plans for drilling later this year.
In the West Kootenays, Taranis Resources Inc. continued exploring the Thor property for gold and stratiform base metals. Drilling and ground-based magnetics, EM and VLF surveys have extended areas of known mineralization and Taranis is conducting metallurgical studies to characterize the ore. Klondike Silver Corp. continued exploring its Silvana project and has been rehabilitating surface infrastructure, including a 100-tonne-per day flotation mill, and working on permit amendments for underground drilling later this year. High-grade sampling underground yielded results of up to 11,250 g/t silver, along with 23.4 per cent lead and 32.6 per cent zinc. Three-dimensional modelling of the parallel vein systems has helped the firm understand the deposit and identify potential targets.
Prize Mining Corporation drilled at the Toughnut property to follow up on 2017 intersections of 2.95 g/t gold over 5.5 metres and 1.0 g/t gold over 17.7 metres. Braveheart Resources Inc. drilled at the past producing gold, silver, lead and zinc Alpine mine. Prize also tested a density ore sorting method. A 72-kilogram run of mine sample was upgraded from 14.7 g/t to 20.3 g/t gold, with 92.8 per cent gold recovery and 32.7 per cent waste rejection and a 128-kilogram composite sample was upgraded from 25.4 g/t to 43.2 g/t gold, with 81.3 per cent recovery and 52.1 per cent waste rejection. Magnum Gold Corp. released results from its 2017 drilling on the LH property, which included up to 4.5 metres of 7.1 g/t gold. The company followed with further geophysics and drilling.
Along the Kootenay Arc, Rokmaster Resources Corp. compiled historic data and sampled extensions of mineralization at its Duncan project for stratiform replacement zinc-lead, targeting historic grades of 6-10 per cent combined, with plans for drilling late in the year. In order to focus capital on other projects, Margaux Resources Ltd. dropped its option on claims and historic workings at the Jersey Emerald, but retained interest in the Emerald tungsten tailings. It shipped a 3,500-kilogram tailings sample for testing to evaluate the potential for reprocessing and metal recovery. The average grade of individual samples tested at 0.11 per cent WO3. Margaux also explored at the Jackpot property for stratiform zinc, and released results from its 2017 drilling, which included up to 8.8 metres of 7.13 per cent zinc, 0.93 per cent lead and 8.4 g/t silver.
Ni-Cu-Co-precious metal projects
Cardero Resource Corp. followed up on ground geophysical and soil grid targets at its Ledgend property for nickel-cobalt potential. Anomalous soil sampling yielded values of up to 0.84 per cent nickel and 0.025 per cent cobalt, and 2017 chip sampling yielded four metres grading 0.22 per cent nickel and 161 ppm cobalt, hosted within talc-tremolite carbonate schist.
Specialty metals and industrial mineral projects
CertainTeed Gypsum Canada Inc. was granted an environmental assessment certificate for the Kootenay West mine. The mine will replace the company’s gypsum production after economic reserves of the Elkhorn mine are depleted.
Baymag Inc. drilled at its Struna property, which is near its Mount Brussilof magnesite mine. MGX Minerals Inc. acquired a mining lease for a quarry operation at its Driftwood Magnesite project, and drilled at the Koot silica property.
Northern Silica Corp. drilled at the Moberley Silica mine to redefine the resource and optimize operations, and HiTest Sand Inc. continued work at the Horse Creek Silica quarry.
At the Fording River, Greenhills, Elkview and Line Creek mines, Teck Coal Ltd. continued exploration drilling in active pits, with continued exploration in their expansion areas.
Several other coal projects are in stages of environmental assessment. North Coal Ltd. (formerly CanAus Coal Ltd.) continued drilling and coal quality testing on potential expansion areas at its Michel Creek project, and recently submitted an updated project description for Environmental Assessment. Jameson Resources Limited continued environmental baseline work on its Crown Mountain project, which entered pre-application of environmental assessment in October 2014. The Bingay project is also in preapplication stages of environmental assessment. Centermount Coal Ltd. submitted an updated project description and consultation plan for a proposed open pit that would produce approximately one million tonnes per year for an estimated 15-year life.
In early stages of exploration, Pacific American Coal Ltd. drilled at its Elko project.
South Central and Southwest Regions
Precious metal projects
The Cariboo Gold project of Barkerville Gold Mines Ltd. includes mining at Bonanza Ledge and exploring at Barkerville Mountain, Cow Mountain, Island Mountain and regionally. A new resource estimate comprises six zones and includes an update for Cow Mountain and a maiden resource for Island Mountain at a 3 g/t cut off. The total underground resource is reported as 8.1 million tonnes Measured and Indicated at 6.1 g/t Au and 12.7 million tonnes Inferred at 5.2 g/t. A large-scale, multi-rig drilling campaign continues.
Westkam Gold Corp. completed 591 metres of drilling at the Bonaparte gold property focusing on the Crow vein, one of at least six quartz veins targeted by a proposed underground crosscut.
Eureka Resources Inc. drilled four holes at its Gold Creek property in 2018. Eureka also has a permit to drill the more-advanced FG gold property.
Westhaven Ventures Inc. reported high-grade intersections at the Shovelnose epithermal gold prospect, including 17.77 metres of 24.50 g/t gold and 107.92 g/t silver, including 6.79 metres of 50.76 g/t gold and 2013 g/t silver. Epithermal environments have been recognized in the Spences Bridge Group for more than 15 years, but bonanza gold grades as reported in float were not intersected by drilling until this year.
Spanish Mountain Gold Ltd. carried out archaeological assessment, metallurgy, exploration and infill drilling at Spanish Mountain in 2018. The project remains in the environmental assessment process, although the company is not undertaking work specific to advancing to certification.
Sable Resources Ltd. has begun work at the Tulox gold property in preparation for planned drilling late in the year. Tulox is a grassroots gold property with untested soil geochemical anomalies.
Surespan Gold (640895 BC Ltd.) continued to explore its Zeballos property, Surespan, with drilling that began in 2017 near the historic Privateer mine. The private company has not released results.
New Destiny Mining Corp. carried out trenching at Treasure Mountain Silver as a follow-up to till geochemical sampling in 2016. The property is adjacent to the past-producing Treasure Mountain mine.
New Carolin Gold Corp. drilled underground at the Ladner gold property, which includes the past-producing Carolin mine. Results include 7 metres of 5.75 g/t gold in a 93-metre interval of 1.39 g/t in a hole across two historic intersections not previously followed up on.
Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd. had a program consisting of geological mapping, geochemical sampling, airborne geophysics, ground geophysics and drilling at the Bralorne mine. Following drilling in the winter, the company began a 28,000-metre program in August. Avino is seeking to augment resources as part of a proposal to mine at a larger throughput than the recent 100 tonnes per day.
Cu-Mo, Cu-Au-Ag, Mo (porphyry) projects
NorthIsle Copper and Gold Inc. carried out an induced polarization survey and drilling program at the Pemberton Hills property with funding from optionee Freeport McMoRan Mineral Properties Canada. Pemberton Hills has an area of argillic alteration similar to the adjacent Red Dog and Hushamu porphyry copper prospects, but the target is largely untested at depth. Red Dog and Hushamu together were the subject of a preliminary economic assessment on the North Island project in 2017.
Amarc Resources Ltd. drilled the IKE copper-molybdenum-silver prospect with funding from Hudbay Minerals Inc. Amarc proposed up to five widely spaced 500- to 600-metre holes in an area delineated by induced polarization surveys, mapping, geochemistry and previous drilling.
In 2018, most activity concerning Taseko Mines Limited’s New Prosperity gold-copper project occurred in the courtroom. Although a decision by the Supreme Court of British Columbia would have allowed Taseko to proceed, that decision is under appeal and an injunction is delaying further work.
Pacific Empire Minerals Corp. had a reverse circulation drill program at the Moffat property, following an airborne magnetic survey earlier in the year. The grassroots property is underlain by the Copper Mountain plutonic suite (Upper Triassic) and Takomkane batholith (Lower Jurassic), about 20 kilometres southeast of the Woodjam developed prospect.
Tower Resources Ltd. returned to the Rabbit North copper gold-project. Work included drilling, mapping and a review of existing data. The company identified 10 targets in an alkalic porphyry setting 10 kilometres southwest of New Afton.
Troubadour Resources Inc. reported anomalies outlined by a 3D induced polarization survey at the Amarillo copper prospect. The survey coverage included an area of historic trenching with a reported 125 metres grading 0.87 per cent copper (not verified by modern sampling). This area is a target for proposed initial drilling.
In December 2017, the provincial Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy and the Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources decided not to issue an environmental assessment certificate to KGHM Ajax Mining Inc. for the Ajax copper-gold project. In June 2018, federal authorities also rejected the proposal. The company has not announced plans for the property.
Jiulian Resources Inc. carried out a ground magnetic survey on its Big Kidd property centred over the Big Kidd breccia zone, an alkalic copper-gold target. It has filed a Notice of Work for drilling.
Happy Creek Minerals Ltd. carried out geological mapping and prospecting on the Rateria copper-molybdenum silver-gold prospect, following up on drilling in 2017.
Trenching by Imperial Metals Corporation confirmed a new gold showing at Giant Copper in an area separate from known porphyry copper targets. It has submitted a Notice of Work for drilling.
Copper Mountain Mining Corporation continued to drill New Ingerbelle in 2018. A new resource estimate has 151.3 million tonnes at 0.29 per cent copper, 0.57 g/t silver, 0.18 g/t gold in Measured and Indicated categories (applying a 0.16 per cent copper cut off), with an additional 69 million tonnes in the Inferred category. A preliminary economic assessment suggests a 12-year mine life. The project is at the past-producing Ingerbelle pit, approximately one kilometre northwest of current operations.
Evrim Resources Corp. and partner Antofagasta plc drilled the Axe porphyry copper-gold project with a combination of core drilling and reverse circulation drilling.
Sego Resources Inc. diamond-drilled the first phase of a two-phase program at Miner Mountain, an alkalic porphyry copper-gold target. The company reported intersecting 57 metres of 0.26 percent copper 0.03 g/t Au and 0.78 g/t Ag, including 21 metres 0.38% copper. A second phase was planned for October.
Base and precious metal projects
Imperial Metals Corporation drilled at Ruddock Creek, targeting a deep extension of the V-Zone. The first hole intersected 21.7 metres of 16.99 per cent zinc, 3.44 per cent lead, and 2.41 g/t silver.
As of July 2018, the Harper Creek project, Yellowhead Mining Inc.’s proposed bulk-tonnage copper mine, was no longer in the environmental assessment process. To advance the project, the company would have to begin anew.
Concurrent with Nyrstar NV’s restart of the Myra Falls underground zinc-copper-lead-silver-gold mine, is an exploration program aimed at increasing resources and reserves. This on-lease exploration is part of a $100-million infrastructure upgrade project that began in 2017.
High-grade intersections in copper skarns at Engold Mines Ltd.’s Lac La Hache project early in 2017 led to drilling and ground geophysics (including induced polarization) in 2018. Highlight results from 2018 work include 58.5 metres grading 0.47 per cent copper, 0.06 g/t gold, and 5.93 g/t silver from its Gap area, between G1 and Spout zones. The company also reported an initial Inferred resource at the Aurizon gold prospect on the property and an additional mineralized vein near Aurizon discovered using soil geochemistry.
Nicola Mining Inc. has several parts to its New Craigmont project at the Craigmont mine site. In addition to operating a custom mill, the company is exploring for additional copper skarn mineralization and testing waste piles for potentially economic concentrations of copper. Nicola conducted induced polarization surveys and reverse circulation and diamond drilling. Among notable results is a 73.6-metre interval of 1.05 per cent copper in 2018-10-25 1:11 PM a 150-metre interval of 0.54 per cent copper approximately 100 metres north of the Craigmont pit.
Cobalt, base and precious metal projects
Blackstone Minerals Ltd. drilled at the Little Gem property and conducted induced polarization and soil geochemical surveys and regional exploration. The project targets gold- and cobalt-bearing quartz-carbonate veins. Significant drill intersections included: 1.1 metres of 3.0 per cent cobalt and 44 g/t gold in 4.3 metres with 1.0 per cent cobalt and 15 g/t gold; and 1.0 metres of 1.2 per cent cobalt and 5 g/t gold in 3.2 metres of 0.8 per cent cobalt and 4 g/t gold. The company also reports copper-gold-cobalt intersections and nickel and molybdenum values in surface samples.
Public Geoscience 2017-2018
Since its inception in 1895, the British Columbia Geological Survey (BCGS) has created new geoscience knowledge that informs government, the mineral industry and British Columbians about the geology and mineral wealth of the province. The BCGS undertakes targeted and long term geoscience projects aimed at refining British Columbia’s geological framework, increasing exploration efficiency and curating historical geoscience information to advance projects without duplicating previous work. The BCGS leverages its resources by partnering with federal, provincial and territorial governments, and with other national and international organizations.
In 2018, the BCGS had field projects throughout the province. In the northwest, the BCGS partnered with the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) in the final year of a Targeted Geoscience Initiative (TGI4) project assessing gold deposits near the Llewellyn fault and its possible extension into Yukon as the Tally Ho shear zone. Work continued on a major regional program focused on the “Golden Triangle,” including a study near Iskut and a BCGS-GSC collaboration under TGI5 looking at geodynamic controls on porphyry and epithermal style mineralization near Stewart. In central B.C., a new multi-year mapping project was initiated focused on the northern part of the Hogem batholith. The new mapping will provide a modern understanding on the controls of diverse mineralization types in the region, particularly porphyry deposits. North of the Hogem batholith, another BCGS-GSC TGI5 project was initiated to examine the geological framework of the Polaris intrusion. This project builds on ongoing work of the Tulameen ultramafic body, and is designed to further refine our understanding of Ni-Cu-PGE ore-forming processes in these Alaskan-type intrusions. In southern B.C., multi-year projects re defining the stratigraphic framework of the Nicola arc entered their final field seasons, and a new project targeting Co-rich volcanogenic massive sulphide deposits in the Kootenay arc started. Work continued on the Upper Fir Rare Earth element deposit and will incorporate data gathered from the Ice River carbonatite body. Also part of TGI5, is a joint BCGS-GSC-Geological Survey of Japan collaboration examining specialty metals. BCGS continues to develop new exploration methods, including indicator minerals from till. Program results are presented each year at an Open House held in Victoria and at annual meetings such as Roundup, the PDAC, KEG and Minerals South, and are published in Geological Fieldwork, a volume of papers released by BCGS each January.
As custodian of all provincial public geoscience data, the BCGS preserves, archives, and provides free web-based access to more than a century’s worth of information. The BCGS houses, maintains and regularly updates numerous databases, including MINFILE, COALFILE, Property File and Assessment Reports Indexing System (ARIS). In addition, the BCGS is developing a new geochronological database. MINFILE documents more than 14,800 metallic mineral, industrial mineral and coal occurrences. ARIS has more than 36,400 mineral exploration reports representing about $2.6 billion of reported exploration expenditures. Property File now has more than 73,000 unique reports and maps, documenting exploration activity in British Columbia since the late 1800s. The BCGS continues to maintain geochemical databases with multi-element analyses from rock, till, stream and lake sediment, water and coal ash samples. The databases include more than five million determinations from about 85,000 samples. The province-wide online digital bedrock compilation saw substantial updates in 2018.
Since 1995, MapPlace, our database-driven geospatial web service, has provided open geoscience data and custom map-making tools to help decision-makers from diverse disciplines reduce the costs of accessing and analyzing information. MapPlace 2, the Survey’s new online geospatial platform, allows anyone with an Internet connection to mine multiple provincial geoscience databases. With a simple interface, MapPlace 2 is easy, fast, handles large datasets and provides access to third-party base maps and imagery.
In addition to the BCGS and the GSC, Geoscience BC, a not-for-profit, non-government geoscience organization funded by provincial government grants, also provides provincial geoscience information. Geoscience BC awards contracts for large geophysical and geochemical programs and provides grants to universities and consultants for targeted geoscience projects typically generated through requests for proposals. Geoscience BC is governed by a volunteer board of directors and receives technical direction from volunteer technical advisory committees (mineral exploration, oil and gas and geothermal) whose membership is largely drawn from the exploration industry.