New Discovery of massive sulphide mineralization with zinc-lead-silver similar in type to the Sullivan Deposit
The road accessible Dewdney Trail Property is located 30 km northeast of Cranbrook, British Columbia and covers more than 16,000 hectares (160 Km²) over a 15 km strike length of favourable geology with gold, copper, cobalt, zinc, lead and/or silver deposit potential.
In 1864, placer gold was discovered in Wildhorse Creek and started a gold rush to the Cranbrook area. Anecdotal information suggests at least 1.5 million ounces (46.7 million grams) of gold have been recovered from the creek; however, no corresponding lode gold deposits of any size have been discovered in the rock, suggesting the Wildhorse Creek Area has undeveloped potential for gold deposits. The Dewdney Trail Property is located upstream from placer deposits in Wildhorse Creek and may host the source of the placer gold.
Since 2010, PJX has consolidated 100% ownership of the mineral rights to claims comprising the Dewdney Trail Property.
In December 2010, RIT Minerals Corp. completed a 43-101 Technical Report (the “43-101”) on the Dewdney Trail Property for the PJX. A copy of the Technical Report was filed on SEDAR in 2011 and is available in the Company’s filings on SEDAR (www.sedar.com).
PJX has since compiled historical data and infilled data gaps with prospecting, mapping, geochem soil, silt and rock sampling, geophysics, and targeted trenching and drilling to help identify the most promising areas to host potential gold and base metal (copper, cobalt, zinc, lead) deposits.
In 2021, PJX optioned the right to acquire a 100% interest in the historical Estella Mine from Imperial Metals over a 5-year period. The Estella Mine closed in the 1960s. The mine produced zinc, lead and silver in concentrate from a vein. The small Estella Mine Property (2.24 km²) is located within the outer boundary of PJX’s large Dewdney Trail Property.
Exploration has identified 3 target areas with the potential to host significant mineral deposits.
• Estella Basin target area with potential for multiple deposit types – Newly discovered Sullivan type sediment hosted (zinc, lead, silver) mineralization, and intrusion related gold-copper-silver-molybdenum mineralization. • Lewis Ridge target area - Sullivan type sediment hosted (zinc, lead, silver), and/or Black Butte or Mt. Isa sediment hosted copper-cobalt deposit potential. • Tackle Basin target area - Orogenic and/or intrusion related gold deposit potential.
Property map shows PJX’s target areas in the Sullivan Mining District and Vulcan Gold Belt, including Estella Basin, Lewis Ridge and Tackle Basin.
Dewdney Trail target areas all occur within the hinge and/or limb of a large regional north-south oriented overturned anticline fold structure.
Mineralization also occurs in sediments similar in age (Proterozoic) and/or type (turbidites, quartzites) to other deposits such as Telfer, and Sukoi-log.
Sediments have been intruded by felsic intrusives (syenite/alkalic porphyries) possibly similar in age (Cretaceous to possibly Eocene) to deposits such as Fort Knox in Alaska or the Butte mining district in Montana.
PJX contracted Expert Geophysics to fly an 895 km airborne survey with a tight flight-line spacing of 100m to be able to identify and define shallow and deep targets across the entire Dewdney Trail Property. The survey has helped identify numerous potential intrusive related and sediment hosted type deposit targets to test.
Estella Basin, Lewis Ridge and Tackle Basin Target Areas
Estella Basin target area (approximately 2.5 km x 3 km).
This unique geological area has 2 separate mineralizing events defined by age and type of potential deposit. The 2 events appear to overlap one another, with the first being older Proterozoic age sediment hosted zinc, lead, silver mineralization, and the second being a younger Cretaceous to possibly Eocene intrusion related gold, copper, silver, and possible molybdenum mineralizing event.
Proterozoic age Sediment Hosted Zinc-Lead-Silver
New Discovery - In September, 2023, prospecting discovered sediment-hosted massive to semi-massive sulphide mineralization with zinc, lead, silver, cadmium, and indium mineralization that appears to be similar in style and grade to ore at the Sullivan Deposit.
• Over 60 boulders with zinc, lead, silver sulphide mineralization have been discovered in an area about 50 metres (m) by 150 m at the base of a talus slope. • Ten samples have been analyzed with grades shown in the table below. • Some sulphide boulders display layering and breccia textures with grades of zinc-lead-silver mineralization similar to ore at the Sullivan deposit (see photos below). • The sulphide boulders with zinc (sphalerite mineral), lead (galena), and iron (pyrite and pyrrhotite) are magnetic. The boulders occur at the base of the mountain slope and on the edge of a large magnetic anomaly (see map below). • Some sulphide boulders are cross-cut by Cretaceous age intrusions described below, this supports the older nature (Proterozoic age) of the zinc, lead, silver mineralization. • Soil samples in this area are anomalous in zinc, lead, copper, gold, silver, arsenic, bismuth and molybdenum (see geology and airborne magnetic maps with soil results)
PJX has been informed by expert consultants knowledgeable in the Sullivan Mining District, that this is the first time this style of mineralization with such good grades has been discovered outside the Sullivan Mine basin that is located about 25 km to the west (see location map below).
The target area has never been drilled. PJX plans to focus exploration and future drilling on this new target area to potentially discover a Sullivan type sediment-hosted deposit.
The 160 million tonne Sullivan deposit produced ore containing some 17 million tonnes of zinc and lead metal and more than 285 million ounces of silver during 90 years of operation before closing in 2001.
Cretaceous to possible Eocene age Intrusion Related Gold-Copper-Silver (possible molybdenum)
Possible magmatic centers with multiple phases of porphyritic syenitic/alkalic intrusions are believed to be Cretaceous to possibly Eocene in age.
• Gold, silver, and copper mineralization occur in multi-phased, variably altered, and veined syenitic/alkalic porphyritic intrusions.
• Photo A is of an intrusive phase containing disseminated pyrite and chalcopyrite in the groundmass. A separate grab sample (numbered MS22-57) of this intrusive phase with quartz veining analyzed 6.9 g/t gold, 447 g/t silver and 1.108% copper ( Estella Basin map with gold analyses of intrusions and table of gold in rock grab samples). • Mapping during 2023 suggests the large alkalic intrusion on the map may be a slope dip dyke that gives the appearance of a wide intrusion. • The intrusion/dyke has been cross-cut and locally altered by quartz-carbonate veins with gold, copper, and silver. • Geophysical airborne survey has identified a donut shaped magnetic anomaly. This shape of anomaly is known to be a type of geophysical signature associated with intrusion related deposits, such as porphyry, copper-gold type deposits (see magnetic survey map). • Mapping and field observations suggest that if a porphyry type deposit is associated with the donut magnetic anomaly the top of the intrusion would be at depth, possibly 400m. • Gold, copper, silver, molybdenum, arsenic and other elements also occur in soils in vicinity of the donut shaped anomaly. Drilling is required to test mineralization in the mapped intrusions, breccias, and magnetic anomalies near surface and at depth.
Lewis Ridge target area (approximately 3 km x 2 km)
Potential sediment hosted massive sulphide mineralization (copper-cobalt-silver and/or zinc-lead-silver)
Four holes were drilled late in 2022 to test airborne Mobile-MT (EM) and Magnetic anomalies. (see Leapfrog models of geophysics and geology)
• Hole LR22-02 intersected massive sulphide mineralization consisting of fine to coarse grained pyrite that has a somewhat net-textured appearance and is fractured or brecciated possibly due to folding (Lewis Ridge Photo A). • The 1.42 m wide (drill width) zone with 60% massive sulphide in quartz-dolomite gangue was intersected from 125.87m to 127.29 m down hole, and analyzed 644 ppm (0.06%) Co, 819 ppm (0.08%) Cu, 144 ppm Ni and 2.66 ppm (2.6 g/t) Ag. • Massive sulphide and overlying locally graphitic and/or calcareous sediments are conductive. • Large airborne EM conductivity anomaly and magnetic anomalies occur along a 3 km trend with gold, copper, silver, arsenic, zinc, lead, bismuth and molybdenum soil anomalies.
Mineralization appears somewhat conformable with sediments that are Proterozoic in age possibly similar to Black Butte copper-cobalt deposit in Montana and possibly similar to copper mineralization with cobalt at Mt. Isa in Australia.
Lewis Ridge and Black Butte massive sulphide mineralization both occur;
• as pyrite mineralization containing Co, Cu, with anomalous Ni and Ag in quartz dolomite gangue, • with Proterozoic age black to grey locally calcareous silts or shale, • in shallow water environment on the east side of the Belt-Purcell rift basin, and • with east-west oriented transverse basin faults,
More drilling is required to test targets near surface and at depth along the large overturned anticline fold.
Tackle Basin target area (approximately 2 km x 2 km)
Orogenic and/or intrusive related gold deposit potential.
Gold is the dominant element in soils in the Tackle Basin area. (see geology maps with various soil analyses). Tackle Basin is located in the headwaters of the Wildhorse placer gold creek. It is a large basin with placer gold in the creeks draining the basin. One favourable gold bearing quartzite-argillite unit ranges from 75 to over 200 m true width. Gold occurs with quartz veins or quartz stockwork zones and silica, sericite and carbonate alteration in the sedimentary unit.
Prospecting in September 2023 has discovered massive to semi-massive sulphide boulders. Some boulders have textures and grades similar to ore at the Sullivan deposit. PJX plans to focus exploration to identify additional boulders of mineralization and to locate bedrock sources of the mineralization. This work will be used to guide drilling programmes.
Exploration will also be done to advance,
• Sediment hosted copper-cobalt at Lewis Ridge target area. • Intrusive related gold-copper-silver at Estella Basin target area.
Geological mapping, geochem sampling, and airborne geophysical surveys have defined over 10 km with deposit potential.
Geology Map – Sullivan Mine and PJX’s Dewdney Trail Target Areas (Estella Basin, Lewis Ridge, Tackle)Dewdney Trail targets occur in a similar geological environment to the Sullivan Deposit. Jackleg fault is believed to be the eastern extension of the Kimberley fault that influenced the formation of the Sullivan deposit.
Sample SMT-23-1 (6.71% zinc, 2.23% lead, 16.05 g/t silver, 1258.9 ppm or 0.12% copper)Sphalerite (zinc sulphide), galena (lead sulphide), and iron sulphides (pyrite, pyrrhotite) occur in fragments that are locally banded or bedded in apearance as seen above. The mineralization also occurs in the groundmass of the rock.
Sample SMT-23-8 (3.55% zinc, 0.98% lead, 7.5 g/t silver, 442.1 ppm or 0.04% copper)Although this sample is lower in grade it tells an important story. The individual massive sphalerite fragments are a possible indicator of higher grade zinc rich massive sulphides in bedrock possibly buried under the talus slope.
Sample SMT-23-7 (9.33% zinc, 2.48% lead, 14.62 g/t silver, 495 ppm or 0.04% copper)Alternating dark and light coloured bands with sulphides (zinc, lead, iron) appear to be sulphide-rich beds that have been broken apart possibly by slumping during deposition on the ocean floor, or the beds may have broken apart during later folding.
- PJX’s prospecting team discovered boulders with sulphide mineralization in an area about 50 metres (m) by 150 m at the base of a talus slope. Ten samples have been analyzed with grades shown in the table above.
Airborne Magnetic MapMassive sulphide boulders occur downslope from a magnetic anomaly (red to pink area). The boulders are magnetic. The initial target area with deposit potential is defined by an elevated magnetic signature that is over 1.6 km along strike. Stronger magnetic anomalies (pink colour) may represent more iron rich (pyrrhotite mineral) zones similar to those that occur at the Sullivan deposit. Less strong magnetic anomalies (red to orange colour) may represent areas with more zinc or lead sulphide mineralization that would be more weakly magnetic.
Zinc in Soil plotted on Airborne Magnetic MapMassive sulphide boulders occur in an area with anomalous zinc in soils.
Lead in Soil plotted on Airborne Magnetic MapMassive sulphide boulders occur in an area with anomalous lead in soils.
Donut shaped Magnetic AnomalyDonut shape is a signature anomaly shape for gold-copper porphyry type deposits. If a porphyry deposit is present, the top would be at depth.
Gold analyses of rock grab samples from alkalic (syenite) intrusions. Mapping suggests the “Cliff” intrusion may be a dyke dipping subparallel to the slope of the topography.
Estella Basin – Rock grab sample analyses of syenite intrusions/dykes with quartz veins
Photo A – Rock grab sample of intrusive phase similar to MS22-57Vancouver Petrographic’s assessment indicates that pyrite (iron sulphide), chalcopyrite (copper sulphide) blebs and hematite (iron oxide) are scattered in the groundmass. The rock is a micro-fractured porphyritic quartz-bearing syenite dominated by fine to very coarse, subhedral to euhedral K-feldspar phenocrysts (in places, replaced by calcite), intergrown with accessory plagioclase phenocrysts and quartz, floating within a groundmass that is dominated by K-feldspar, intergrown with plagioclase, quartz, muscovite flakes, plus minor apatite and scattered calcite spar. Discontinuous veinlets, crosscutting phenocrysts and groundmass are filled with calcite and quartz. A separate rock grab sample (numbered MS22-57) of this phase of porphyry with quartz veins analyzed 6.9 g/t gold, 447 g/t silver, 1.1% copper.
Regional Geology Map with Sullivan and Butte Mining Districts.Sullivan and Butte Mining Districts both occur where continental scale structures intersect. The Rocky Mountain Trench Fault intersects the Vulcan tectonic zone in the Sullivan District and the Great Falls tectonic zone in the Butte District. These large intersecting structures penetrate deep in the Earth’s crust. The intersections provide pathways for intrusions and fluids to follow and create sediment-hosted deposits like the Sullivan and intrusion related deposits in Butte.
Lewis Ridge Target – drill hole LR22-02 Massive sulphide (pyrite) with anomalous cobalt, copper, nickel and silver mineralization in a quartz-dolomite gangue (white mineralization). On the right is an enlarged photo of the massive sulphide to display the fine to coarse pyrite texture.• 1.42 m wide (drill width) zone with 60% massive sulphide intersected from 125.87m to 127.29 m down hole, analyzed 644 ppm (0.06%) Cobalt, 819 ppm (0.08%) Copper, 144 ppm Nickel and 2.66 ppm (2.6 g/t) silver.
• Possible sediment hosted mineralization similar to the Black Butte copper-cobalt deposit that also occurs with anomalous nickel and silver in quartz-dolomite gangue.
Dewdney Trail Geology map draped on topography. Lewis Ridge (cobalt-copper) and Estella Basin (gold-copper-silver) target areas occur along the same anticline fold axis as the historical Estella and Kootenay King Mines. The Lewis Ridge target occurs at or near a geological horizon that is equivalent in depositional time to the Sullivan Deposit located about 25 km to the west. The Jackleg Fault may be the eastern extension of the Kimberley Fault that influenced the formation of the Sullivan deposit.
Apparent Conductivity Map draped on topography. Conductive Anomaly defines a large area, over 2.5 km long and 1.5 km wide. Massive sulphide (pyrite with anomalous cobalt and copper) and locally graphitic/calcareous sediments intersected in hole LR22-02 are conductive. The large Magnetic anomaly at depth may represent an area with greater sulphide content containing copper and cobalt that has been folded along the east limb of the wide overturned anticline fold.
2-Dimensional modelling of six of the 30 flight lines over the Lewis Ridge Target display a potentially more conductive area at depth (400 to 800m) that appears to correlate with the magnetic anomaly defined by 3 Dimensional modelling. Conductive and magnetic anomalies support the potential for sulphide mineralization. Sulphide zone intersected in LR22-02 and the magnetic anomaly at depth will be a focus of future drilling.
Belt-Purcell basin geology map. Lewis Ridge target and Black Butte deposit both occur on the east side of the basin and were formed in shallower water environments and in similar age rock.
Sullivan Mining District geology map with Dewdney Trail Property target areas. The Kimberley Fault influenced formation of the Sullivan Deposit. The Jackleg Fault may be the eastern extension of Kimberley fault.
Gold in Soil Samples
Copper in Soil Samples
Zinc in Soil Samples
Lead in Soil Samples
Bismuth in Soil Samples
Molybdenum in Soil Samples
Arsenic in Soil Samples
Silver in Soil Samples
Placer Gold Tackle Basin Area
Typical vein morphology and spacing within quartzite. Bedding is horizontal in photograph, most veins are perpendicular to bedding. Note the close spacing (Cdn penny for scale) of veins, and vein widths from millimeter to centimetre scales.
Gold Bearing Rock Comparison
View southeast at quartzite forming the headwall of Lewis Creek. Intense sericite-quartz-pyrite-Fe-carbonate alteration imparts orange weathering color. Rock and soil samples are anomalous in gold.
Anticline Fold Dewdney Trail
Dewdney Trail Property map with Estella Crown Grants and road/trail access