Shovelnose Gold Property, B.C.
The 18,412 ha Shovelnose property is located near the southern end of the Spences Bridge Gold Belt (SBGB), approximately 30 km south of Merritt, British Columbia. The property is accessible by the Coquihalla Highway (BC Provincial Highway #5) at the Coldwater exit, then by a series of logging roads to the northern and southern portions of the property. The Shovelnose claims cover prospective stratigraphy in the southern SBGB, a 110 km northwest-trending belt of intermediate to felsic volcanic rocks dominated by the Cretaceous Spences Bridge group. These relatively underexplored volcanic rocks are highly prospective for epithermal style gold mineralization.
To date, 20 drill holes (2 were abandoned in overburden) have been diamond drilled for a cumulative total of 2,427 metres, in three separate target areas. Gold and silver mineralization, associated with quartz veining and silicification, has been encountered in all 18 holes. In addition, there is evidence of a significant mineralized alteration system within the property.
2013 Summer Drill Program
The purpose of this work program was to further expand and outline the extent of the newly recognized epithermal gold system present on the property. Limited drilling to date has outlined an area of gold-silver mineralization which continues to be expanded in areal extent to at least 2 kilometres long east-west and 100 metres north-south and is open in all directions. To date Westhaven and optionor Strongbow Exploration Inc. have found high grade float grading up to 119 g/t Au (Gold) and 273 g/t Ag (Silver), high grade veins in trenching up to 66 g/t Au and wide low grade alteration zones typical of epithermal gold deposits.
The drill program consisted of 5 holes, totaling 778 metres of diamond drilling.
Highlights from the program include:
The results from the 2012 drilling are summarized below in Table 1.
2011 Drill Program:
The drill program was the first ever conducted and it consisted of 7 holes, totaling 606 metres (1,988 feet) of diamond drilling on untested targets. Highlights from the program include:
Three drill holes, ranging in depth from 80 to 105 metres, tested the Mik zone where all three holes returned locally anomalous gold values. Drill hole 11SH-003, which intersected 1.2 g/t Au over 4.1 metres, starting at 34 m down hole, including a 1.5 metre interval that returned 3.0 g/t Au. This interval was encountered 35 metres down dip to the west of a surface trench that returned up to 38.2 g/t Au. This vein system is open to the north and south, as well down dip to the west.
A single drill hole tested the Tower zone, an area approximately 400 metres northeast of Mik. Drill Hole 11SH-007 intersected 0.21 g/t Au over 55.8 metres starting from surface. This broad zone of elevated gold represents a new style of mineralization not observed at the Mik and Line 6 zones. Dark grey silica with finely disseminated pyrite occurs in veins and breccias within the volcanic crystal lithic tuffs. More importantly, this alteration zone is associated with elevated arsenic, molybdenum, antimony and mercury, all which are characteristic pathfinder elements associated with epithermal gold systems. Tower zone is unconstrained and represents a priority target for further evaluation.
Three shallow drill holes also tested a portion of the Line 6 target where previous trenching of this area returned encouraging mineralized intervals, including 20 m grading 0.8 g/t gold, 16.0 m grading 1.4 g/t Au, and 6.0 m grading 5.1 g/t Au. All three drill holes returned anomalous gold values associated with thin epithermal style quartz veining within a crystal lithic tuff unit. Drill hole 11SH-004, testing below a mechanized trench which returned 20 metres grading 0.80 g/t Au, returned 25.63 metres grading 0.32 g/t Au starting at 6.9 m downhole.
The Shovelnose property has been evaluated by stream silt and soil geochemical surveys, airborne geophysics (magnetics, electromagnetics and radiometrics), bedrock mapping, prospecting and mechanical trenching. Gold mineralization has been identified as being spatially associated with north-northeast and northwest trending normal faults and hosted by south-southwest trending, shallowly west-dipping quartz veins within silificied, argillic-altered felsic tuffs. These structures have various orientations and represent likely conduits for hydrothermal fluids related to gold deposition. Based on field relationships, fault displacements have been interpreted as normal to oblique and related to synvolcanic, extensional tectonics.
The most significant mineralization has been identified at the Line 6 and Mik showings. The showings are located approximately one kilometre apart and associated with broad gold-in-soil geochemical anomalies that occur on either side of a felsic dome. Mineralization consists of south-southwest trending massive to colloform banded quartz veins and local vein breccia zones hosted within moderately to strongly altered felsic volcanic rocks. Individual quartz veins typically dip to the west at a shallow angle and range from less than 1 cm up to 14 cm in width. Vein breccia phases up to 60 cm wide have been observed at the Line 6 showing. A third showing, known as the Tower, is a 400 m trend of intense clay and silica alteration in rhyolite tuff. This zone of mineralization is located approximately 450 m to the northeast of the Mik showing.Mechanized trenching of the Line 6 and Mik showings was completed between 2008 and 2009. To date, a total of 640 m of trenching has been conducted over fifteen trenches at the Line 6 showing and six trenches at the Mik showing to test the extent of gold mineralization. Continuous chip samples of exposed bedrock were collected over regular intervals within each trench. Additionally, separate chip samples were collected from mappable quartz veins in an effort to determine the grade of mineralization within the veins. A summary of the results of this work is provided in the following table:
Higher grade gold mineralization is strongly controlled by the density of quartz veins and vein breccias within the volcanic host rock. Of 31 vein chip samples, 20 have returned in excess of 1 g/t gold. Gold showings display a positive correlation with As, Sb, Hg and Mo. This correlation is generally well reflected in soil geochemical surveys. Silver/gold ratios are variable, ranging from ten to less than one, but tend to be relatively consistent for veins exposed within a particular trench.
Prospecting of soil geochemical anomalies outside of the Mik and Line 6 showings has identified a number of additional discovery during the program. A float sample of a quartz veined and altered crystal lithic tuff collected approximately 500 m south of the Mik showing, has returned 119.37 g/t gold and 271 g/t silver. Veining within this sample exhibits a weakly developed chalcedonic banding and contains trace, dark grey metallic sulphides. Mineralization at the Tower zone has returned gold values ranging from background up to 505 ppb gold. Initial prospecting of the southeastern extension of the property identified a mixed sequence of mafic and felsic volcanic rocks, as well as an anomalous quartz vein float boulder exhibiting colloform banded epithermal textures. A sample of the 30 cm subrounded boulder returned 0.59 g/t gold, as well as significantly anomalous mercury and antimony values, two key elements that are important pathfinders in epithermal gold mineralized systems. Future work will include a more detailed evaluation of this area of the property.