Discoveries in southeastern Yukon of the Tom zinc-lead-silver deposit in 1951 and the Faro and Jason deposits in 1965 and 1975, respectively, demonstrated the potential for large tonnage, clastic-hosted stratiform sulphide (pyrite, sphalerite, galena) and barite deposits of the Meggen and Rammelsberg type to occur in the regionally extensive Paleozoic basinal facies rocks of the Selwyn Basin. These successful discoveries prompted a number of organizations to embark upon regional geological and geochemical exploration programs during the 1960’s and 1970’s within the southeastern extension of this basin known at the Kechika Trough in north eastern British Columbia. This early exploration resulted in the discovery of numerous mineral occurrences of this type in the Kechika Trough.
By 1972, bedded barite-sulphide occurrences in late Devonian “black clastics” of the Gunsteel Formation near Driftpile Creek, in the central part of the Kechika Trough, had been identified. Subsequent work at Driftpile Creek defined a small but high-grade historical geological resource of 2.44 million tonnes grading 11.9% Zn and 3.1% Pb at an 8% Zn cut-off(1). However, the most significant discovery occurred in 1977 when a Cyprus Anvil/Hudson's Bay Oil and Gas Ltd. joint venture discovered the stratiform Cirque deposit in similar strata some 80 km to the southeast, in the Paul River area. Several other properties were drilled at various times in the 1970’s, including: the Pie, Fluke, Elf and Mt. Alcock, all of which exhibit bedded barite and massive sulphides hosted by the Gunsteel Formation.
In December 1992, Curragh Resources, which had previously acquired Cirque, was issued a Mine Development Certificate (approval for construction) by the BC Government for a mine/mill complex with a daily milling rate of 3,500 tonnes. The company estimated that the project would produce about 250,000 tonnes of zinc and lead sulphide concentrates yearly. Historical mineable reserves at the Cirque Main deposit were estimated at 24.7 million tonnes grading 8.5% Zn, 2.3% Pb and 50.8g/t Ag(2). Development of Cirque did not proceed and the property was subsequently acquired by Teck Corporation (25%), Cominco Limited (25%) and Korea Zinc Company (50%) under a joint venture.
The Akie property currently owned by Canada Zinc Metals was initially staked in 1978 by Rio Canex which conducted regional geochemical surveys but did not carry out any drilling. The property was then re-staked by Ecstall Mining Corporation in 1989 which then optioned the claims to Inmet Mining in 1992. Inmet conducted ground surveys and detailed mapping and sampling, resulting in the discovery of a high grade outcrop (18.8% zinc+lead over 40 centimetres) in the bed of Cardiac Creek. Follow-up drilling in the period 1994 to 1996 led to a historical resource estimate of 12 million tonnes grading 8.6% zinc and 1.5% lead and 17.1 g/t Ag(3).
The above, quoted historical mineral resource estimates were prepared before the introduction of National Instrument 43-101 - Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects ("NI 43-101"). The key assumptions, parameters and methods used to calculate the historical resources are not known and the Company is not treating the historical estimates as current mineral resources or mineral reserves. These estimates are reported herein to demonstrate the exploration potential of the Kechika Trough but should not be construed to reflect a calculated resource (inferred, indicated or measured) under the current standard required of NI 43-101. The potential quantities and grades reported above are conceptual in nature and there has been insufficient work to date to define a NI 43-101 compliant resource. The economic viability of the historical resources is not demonstrated, furthermore, it is uncertain if additional exploration will result in discovery of an economic mineral resource on those properties.
In 2005, Canada Zinc Metals entered into an option agreement with Ecstall Mining to acquire a 65% interest in the Akie property; subsequently it acquired 100% of Ecstall Mining via a takeover.
From 2005 to 2015 Canada Zinc Metals has completed nine drilling programs. During this time 110 drill holes were drilled totaling 45,644 metres of which 83 were completed to their intended depths, 17 were abandoned due to drilling related complications, and 10 were drilled for geotechnical purposes.
There are now a total of 139 drill holes on the Property with a total core length of 59,260 metres. Of these, 104 holes, totaling 46,866 metres, are within close enough proximity of the block model to contribute to the estimation of the mineral resource. The remaining 35 drill holes test the zone over a total strike length of almost 7 km or they test other exploration targets on the Property.
Prior to the exploration activity and drilling programs completed by Inmet Mining and subsequently Canada Zinc Metals very little exploration activity had taken placed in the region in 20 to 25 years. What little exploration activity that had been conducted was focused largely on specific properties following the historical discoveries made during the late 1970’s which included the Cirque, Driftpile deposits and advanced prospects such as the Mt. Alcock, Elf and Fluke.
Ken MacDonald P.Geo., Vice President of Exploration, is the designated Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 and is responsible for the technical information contained herein.
Robert Sim, P.Geo., is an independent consultant and served as the Qualified Person responsible for the preparation of the 2012 NI 43-101 Technical Report on the Akie Project and is responsible for the 2008 and 2012 mineral resource estimates for the Cardiac Creek deposit, situated on the company’s 100% owned Akie property.
(1) Nelson, J., Paradis, S., Farmer, R., 1995; Geology of the Driftpile Stratiform, Sediment-Hosted Ba-Zn-Pb Deposit, Northern British Columbia (94K/4); in Grant B., Newell J., editors, British Columbia Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, Geological Fieldwork: 1994, Paper 1995-1, p261-268.
(2) Curragh Resources Inc, 1991. EMPR Application for Mine Development (Stage 1 Report) Cirque (Stronsay) Project, British Columbia Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources.
(3) MacIntyre, D.G., 2005; Geological Report on the Akie Property, Mantle Resources Inc., 54p. (www.Sedar.com)