Geological mapping in the vicinity of the Red Spring property dates back to 1973 when this region was mapped at a scale of 1:250,000 by the Geological Survey of Canada (Eisbacher, 1973). An updated version of the geology was produced in 2007 (Evanchick, et al, 2007).
The area north of the Squingula River is underlain by rocks of the Lower and Lower Middle Jurassic Hazelton Group (Figure 3). They consist of a series of east-west trending sequence of subaerial and marine mafic volcanic rocks and epiclastic rocks (Plate 1), felsic volcanic rocks, epiclastic and bioclastic rocks, conglomerate, sandstone, siltstone, shale and limestone. These rocks generally have steep dips to the south.
South of the Squingula River the area is underlain by undivided Bowser Lake Group and Hazelton Group clastic rocks. No mapping was done south of the Squingula River during the 2007 exploration program.
This area has undergone at least two stages of faulting and shearing (Plate 2). An early set of north-south trending faults and shears was followed by an east-west structural trend. It appears that these faults had some control on the distribution of the mineralized limestone unit.
Above tree line the property is underlain by an intercalated sequence of andesite and basalt flows and pyroclastic strata (Plate 3). These rocks trend east-west with steep dips to the south.
Andesitic rocks are generally grey weathering, dark grey to dark green in colour, porphyritic and massive. Phenocrysts consist of olivine and/or pyroxene. These rocks generally have a fresh appearance.
Basaltic rocks weather grey to reddish-brown. They are dark grey to black, slightly porphyritic with aphanitic to very fine-grained matrix. Phenocrysts are either pyroxene or plagioclase. In part these units are vesicular or amygdaloidal. Brecciation is present proximal to faults. In the northeast corner there is a faint suggestion of columnar jointing in some of the units. Disseminated magnetite was observed at one locality.
Pyroclastic units are either mafic crystal tuffs, lapilli tuffs, or dacitic tuff. The more mafic tuffs are reddish brown to rusty weathering, grey to reddish brown, fine to medium- grained. In the northeast corner where these rocks are more abundant they are medium to thick layered. In the western side of the property these rocks tend to be more massive.
Dacitic tuff horizons are distinguished by their light orange weathering appearance. They are grey, aphanitic to very fine-grained and in part moderately to strongly siliceous.
Locally these rocks are sheared producing very intense silicified zones. Occasionally siliceous encrustations and chalcedony are present. Also present locally are reticulate networks of quartz stringers that may be related to an early stage of faulting or shearing (Plate 4).
Below tree line the property is underlain by limestone, epiclastic rocks and possibly some clastic sedimentary rocks.
Limestone was observed in only two areas of the property. In the main mineralized zone, limestone outcrops over an area of approximately 300 by 200 metres. A small outcrop is also located along the north shore of Squingula River south of the mineralized zone.
The limestone unit is micritic, grey weathering, grey, massive and moderately fractured with spar infilling. In part the rock is brecciated and locally contains zones of crackle breccia. Malachite is present along many of the fractures. Petrographic work (Ryznar 1986 and 1994) indicates that this rock contains irregular zones of bioclastic material. Trace impurities include feldspar and lesser quartz or chert. Barite is also present in minor amounts.
Outcropping limestone along the Squingula River appears to be very similar to the limestone described above. However, no mineralization was observed even though the rock was moderately sheared.
Volcanic rocks consist predominantly of fine-grained tuffaceous units with lesser amounts of lapilli tuff and agglomerate. Also included are andesite and rhyolite or rhyolite breccia tuffs.
Tuffaceous rocks are generally maroon weathering, maroon to reddish-brown, generally massive and fresh appearing. Locally a faint layering may be present. Andesite flows are occasionally present. Lapilli tuff-agglomerate horizons are typically grey to rusty weathering, grey and fresh. Fragments range up to 5-10 centimetres in size.
Rhyolite is exposed at a single locality near the eastern end of a large outcrop area exposed in the eastern part of the property. This unit is only 6-7 metres thick. The rock weathers very pale grey, is pale grey in colour, fine-grained, siliceous and contains quartz eyes. It also contains druzy quartz along rare fractures that are present. Rhyolite tuffs are exposed in outcrops north of the limestone. This unit varies from cream to rusty weathering, pale orange to light grey and very fine-grained to medium-grained. Locally it contains 1-2% very fine-grained disseminated pyrite. In places this unit has a cherty appearance.
Structure on the property is relatively complex. There appears to have been at least two phases of faulting and shearing. An early phase of north-south trending faults and shears have been displaced by a later east-west trending structural phase. This faulting has exhibited some control on the distribution of the mineralized limestone unit. In the northeast corner of the property, copper mineralization is strongly associated with shearing and minor fault structures.
Deposit Type (Model):
There is potential for two types of deposits on the Red Spring property. These are sediment hosted Cu-Ag deposits and Eskay Creek type deposits.
Sediment-hosted Cu-Ag deposits, which include Kuperschiefer type deposits, consist of stratabound disseminations of copper minerals in a variety of sedimentary rocks that include limestone and sandstone. Limestone may be associated with volcanic rocks. These deposits are typically conformable with bedding and tabular with varying dimensions. Lateral or vertical zoning from a copper rich core to peripheral lead-zinc is common. Sulphide minerals occur as disseminations or as intergranular cement. Grown faults may provide local control. Geochemically these deposits exhibit elevated values of copper, lead, zinc and cadmium. Sometimes mercury is also elevated (Lefebure, et al, 1996).
The known mineralization on the Red Spring property fits well into this model.
The second type of deposit for which there is potential is the subaequeous Hot Spring Au-Ag or Eskay Creek type deposit. These deposits consist of vein, replacement and synsedimentary bedded sulphides in volcanic rocks and associated sedimentary strata. They are developed in active volcanic arcs. The age of these deposits is typically Jurassic. Mineralization occurs within intermediate to felsic flows and tuffs. The form of this type of deposit is highly variable. Sulphide minerals present include sphalerite, tetrahedrite, galena, chalcopyrite, native gold and silver, pyrite and arsenopyrite (Alldrick, 1995).