The Red Spring Copper-Silver-Gold property, located 120 km north of Smithers, B.C., was discovered in 1972. Copper mineralization occurs within interbedded volcanic, volcaniclastic and sedimentary rocks of the Jurassic age Hazelton Group close to the eastern edge of the Bowser sedimentary basin. Previous exploration was directed to a dolomitic limestone formation that carries finely disseminated silver-rich chalcopyrite. The property has been drilled in 1970s. (Assessment Report #20364,p. 1, 1990, G. Ryznar, P. Eng., quoting from a 1973 internal company report for Canadian Superior Exploration Ltd).
Regional Geology Setting:
Geological mapping in the vicinity of the Sping 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 as 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.
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).
Copper-silver mineralization occurs in a fine-grained limestone over an area measuring approximately 200 by 300 metres. This mineralization was intersected in several drill holes to an average depth of 39 metres during a diamond drill program by Canadian Superior Exploration Ltd in 1973. This mineralization consists of fine-grained chalcopyrite and pyrite disseminated through the rock. Bornite is also present in trace to very minor amounts. These sulphide minerals are also associated with dolomitic veinlets and stylolitic seams that cross-cut the limestone (Ryznar, 1986). On surface much of the sulphide copper mineralization has been oxidized to malachite. Canadian Superior also noted the presence of leadzinc- copper in areas of unmineralized limestone (Rae, 1973). The mineralized limestone unit appears to terminate to the west by a fault. Three holes drilled along the eastern margin of the limestone outcroppings intersected unmineralized to very weakly mineralized tuffaceous rocks and clastic sediments. Mineralized surface samples collected by the author and previous work south of the 1973 drilling area suggest that the mineralized zone may extend a short distance to the south. In drill hole 73-3, minor sporadic copper mineralization was intersected in tuffaceous rocks. Also the stratigraphy intersected in this hole is interpreted to have a strong correlation with the stratigraphy that hosts the Eskay Creek deposit (Ryznar, 1994). In this regard, there may be potential for this type of mineralization on the Sping property. Eskay Creek type deposits can be described as polymetallic VMS deposits that are high in precious metal content and have highly anomalous levels of mercury, antimony and arsenic. They are generally associated with a basalt-rhyolite volcanic suite (Mortenson, et al, 2003). Elsewhere, minor amounts of malachite were observed in talus over a relatively large area in two locations in the northeast corner of the property. Trace to minor amounts of malachite and chalcopyrite was found in outcrop along fractures and shears in volcanic lava. Some malachite was also associated with quartz stringers. Assays for grab samples collected from these areas varied from 0.02-0.35% Cu.