Surf Inlet, British Columbia
|Rupert Resources Ltd. owns a 100% interest in the Surf Inlet Project, one of northern British Columbia’s largest past producing, lode-type gold mines. The total recorded production from two neighbouring mines, the Surf and Pugsley Mines, is 1,091,131 tons at an average grade of 13.5 grams gold per ton (0.425 oz/ton).Surf & Pugsley Mines Combined Historical Metal Production
The mines were in operation mainly from 1917 to 1926 and at reduced levels from 1935 to 1942. Metallurgy of the ores is simple and recovery involved standard floatation techniques and shipment of gold-sulphide concentrates to a smelter.
The former mines are situated on opposite sides of a U-shaped valley. Of the two mines, Surf produced the majority of gold ore, 921,245 tons or approximately 84%. Gold ore in the Surf mine is located structurally complex mineralized zones, which are localized along a regional six-kilometre long north trending fault system. The Pugsley mine is situated within the same extensive fault structure approximately one kilometre to the south of the Surf mine, where the mineralized zones consist of parallel, west dipping, quartz and sulphide veins. In addition to these two former gold mines, there exists a number of under-explored surface occurrences of vein-hosted gold mineralization, that have been identified along the property’s 6 km long north-south trending fault structure that controls the gold mineralization.
In 1981, Cominco and Placer Dome completed a limited drill program to evaluate the potential of the property to host a bulk-mineable gold deposit. Results of the program showed no potential for an open pit deposit however, Cominco concluded that “there was no reason to suspect that the host structures and the associated Surf and Pugsley ore centres do not persist to considerably greater depths”. Cominco also noted that there are a number of surface occurrences of vein-hosted gold mineralization along the regional fault structure.
In 1985 Surf Inlet Mines Ltd. acquired the property and constructed access roads, installed a trailer camp and rehabilitated part of the 900 level of the former Surf mine with the objective of drill testing possible extensions of the main mineralized zone. No drilling was carried out.
In 1993, Rupert Resources Ltd. acquired the Surf Inlet property and commissioned an independent re-evaluation of the property’s historical and technical data. This report notes that during the life of the Surf Mine exploration for new ore zones ceased when it approached the previous western property boundary. It is believed that the westerly down-dip extensions of the main ore zone continued on to a group of claims once held by a man named Wells. As a deal with Wells was not completed at the time, this ground was not explored. Rupert owns 100% of these claims, formerly owned by Wells. The report also notes that “previous drilling from the 1000 level of the former Surf Mine (circa 1941) as well as structural controls and mode of emplacement of ore shoots, indicates a new ore shoot may be present below this level north of the existing workings (i.e. on the Wells Claims).” Moreover the report also remarks that there are several other possible gold ore sources on the property. These include partially defined mineralization in the lower levels of the former Pugsley mine, additional surface occurrences of vein-hosted gold mineralization and various mine dumps and mill tailings.
Between 1995 and 1997 Rupert Resources Ltd., via joint venture partners, completed the rehabilitation of the 900 level of the Surf Mine, drove a 75 meter drill access crosscut tunnel onto the former Wells Claims and completed approximately 500 meters of underground drilling designed to determine if mineralization extends onto the former Wells Claims. A total of three holes were drilled, all of which encountered gold mineralization. Drill hole 97-01 was drilled at the boundary between the former Surf Mine and the former Wells Claims and cut through a 4.3m wide mineralized zone. Drill hole 97 -02 was drilled approximately 25 meters down dip from hole 97-01 and intersected a 4.5m mineralized zone. Drill hole 97-03 was drilled along the Wells Claim boundary approximately 25 meters south of drill hole 97 -01 and encountered a 3.4 meter wide interval containing low but anomalous gold values. It is estimated that the true thickness of the mineralized zone is approximately three metres.
In 1998 Kermode Resources Ltd. optioned the property and during the summer of 2000 completed two additional drill holes from the existing drill station on the Surf 900 mine level. Kermode’s option agreement has since expired. The two holes were drilled approximately 50 meters below the 1997 drill holes. Drill hole 2000-01 was drilled on the former Wells Claims approximately 50 meters below 97-03 and encountered a 2.5 meter wide mineralized interval. Two additional mineralized stringers were intersected further down hole. Drill hole 2000-02 was drilled on the Wells Claims below DOH 97 -02 and intersected a 7.1 meter wide zone of quartz and brecciated meta-sediments. Although drilling intersected the vein structure and returned significant gold and copper grades over narrow widths, drill core logs indicate that the main mineralized structure in this portion of the former Wells claims is dipping at a shallower angle (estimated at 35o) than originally believed.
Gold Exploration Targets
More recent gold exploration efforts have focused on the down dip extension of the main zone-vein structure of the former Surf Mine, below the 1000 level. These limited drill programs have established the downward continuation of this mineralized fault structure. At the Surf Mine, future work will continue to test this gold-bearing structure below the 1000 level, via an extensive underground drilling and workings expansion program.
Future gold exploration programs will also include the investigation of underdeveloped targets such as:
Recent technological advances in geophysical and geochemical exploration techniques will give Rupert an unprecedented opportunity to explore for both hidden gold mineralization and expand known gold zones.
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