The road accessible Dewdney Trail Property is located 30 km northeast of Cranbrook, British Columbia and covers more than 10,000 hectares over a 14 km strike length of favourable geology with gold, copper, zinc, lead and/or silver deposit potential.
In 1864, placer gold was discovered in Wildhorse Creek and started a gold rush in 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, 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 is located within the outer boundary of PJX’s large Dewdney Trail Property.
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.
Exploration has identified potential for intrusive related gold-copper-silver targets in the Estella Basin, Sullivan type (zinc, lead, silver) base metal targets at depth under Lewis Ridge, and orogenic gold targets in Tackle Basin area.
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 anticline fold structure.
Mineralization occurs in sediments similar in age (Proterozoic) and/or type (turbidites, quartzites) to other deposits such as Telfer, Sukoi-log and Sullivan.
Sediments have been intruded by felsic intrusives (syenite/alkalic) possibly similar in age (Cretaceous to possibly Eocene) to deposits such as Pebble in Alaska or the Butte mining district in Montana.
More than 10 km of favourable geology with potential to host orogenic gold mineralization have also been identified.
Estella Basin, Lewis Ridge and Tackle Basin Target Areas
Estella Basin target area covers an area approximately 2.5 km x 3 km. Estella Basin may be a magmatic center with possibly multiple phases of porphyritic syenitic/alkalic intrusives that are Cretaceous to possibly Eocene in age.
Gold, silver, and copper mineralization occur in multi-phased, variably altered, and veined syenitic/alkalic porphyritic intrusions. The intrusive phases contain disseminated sulphides (see photo A). For example, grab sample MS22-57 with quartz veining from this phase analyzed 6.9 g/t gold, 447 g/t silver and 1.108% copper (see Estella Basin Geology Map and Table 1)
Diatreme breccia is located approximately 500 metres west of the intrusions with gold-silver-copper mineralisation. The diatreme breccia (photo B) locally has magnetite as the matrix (photo C) with quartz flooding occurring along the margin (photo D). Three grab samples from quartz vein flooding in the brecciated gabbro from the margin area contained 8.79 %, 3.35 %, and 2.01% copper (see Table 2).
Erosion has only exposed part of the tops of the intrusives (see photo E). Therefore, there is potential for deposits to occur near surface and at depth as they would not have been eroded.
Intrusives occur as a cluster for over 600 metres along strike (see photo E).
Gold, copper and silver mineralization occur with alkalic intrusions that have characteristics somewhat similar to calc-alkalic systems, such as copper-gold-silver mineralization at the top of the system and the presence of diatreme breccias. (see Sillitoe calc-alkalic model, 2010, with relative locations of rocks in photos A, B, C, D).
The Estella Basin is part of the Sullivan Mining District that has geological similarities to other intrusive related copper-gold mining districts, such as the Butte and Bingham Canyon districts located to the south in Montana and Utah, respectively.
All 3 districts occur along continental scale transverse structures, the Uinta arch/lineament at Bingham Canyon, Great Falls tectonic zone at Butte, and the Vulcan tectonic zone at the Sullivan District (see Regional Geology and Deposits Map with Sullivan and Butte Mining Districts)
Sulphide rich Proterozoic age sediments that occur in the Butte mining district are similar to the Estella Basin and across the Dewdney Trail property. Proterozoic sediments are also considered to occur at depth beneath Bingham Canyon. Sulphide mineralization in sediments can provide a source of sulfur to assist with the formation of copper, gold, silver, and other mineralization in the intrusives.
Silty carbonate sediments on the Dewdney Trail property may be good host rocks for the formation of potential gold, copper, zinc, lead, and/or silver skarn, CRD, or other deposit types that can occur proximal to magmatic centers.
Proterozoic age gabbro sills in the area may form impermeable rock layers which can help enrich copper, gold, silver, and other mineralization by impeding and concentrating rising fluids that transport the metals.
Lewis Ridge target area covers an area approximately 3 km x 2 km in size. Lewis Ridge area has a multi-element signature of gold, copper, zinc, lead, bismuth, molybdenum, arsenic and silver in soil. (See geology maps with various soil analyses)
3-dimensional modelling of the airborne MobileMT and Magnetic geophysical surveys by Expert Geophysics has identified a strongly conductive EM anomaly with a coincident magnetic signature in a geological environment with potential to host Sullivan type massive sulphide mineralization at the Lewis Ridge Target (see Lewis Ridge Target information below).
During Fall 2022, approximately 2000 m were drilled as a first phase to test a number of targets along the 3 km long by 2 km wide area of geophysical anomalies. Results are pending.
Tackle Basin target area covers an area approximately 2 km x 2 km in size. 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.
The airborne survey is providing insight into geology and mineral potential that is new to the Lewis Ridge target area, Tackle Basin target area, and the historical Estella mine and Estella Basin area.
Exploration supports the potential for a magmatic centre with intrusive related gold-silver-copper deposit potential on the Dewdney Trail Property. Intrusive related deposits in Butte and other mining districts are associated with magmatic centres.
Next steps will be to compile geochemical analyses with geological, geophysical and drilling results to plan the next phase of exploration and drilling to test targets in the Estella Basin, Lewis Ridge, and Tackle Basin target areas.
Estella Basin Geology Map with rock grab sample gold analyses from alkalic (syenite) intrusions. The location of a diatreme breccia and photos A to E are also shown.
Table 1 – Rock Grab samples of Syenite intrusions with quartz veins in Estella Basin
Photo A – Altered Syenite/Alkalic Porphyry with disseminated sulphides in the matrix. Rock grab sample MS22-57 of this porphyry phase with quartz veins analyzed 6.9 g/t gold, 447 g/t silver and 1.108% copper.
Photo B – Diatreme breccia with round to elongated rock fragments (clasts) aligned in the same orientation.
Photo C – Diatreme Breccia with magnetite (black mineral) matrix.
Photo D – Puzzle or jigsaw in appearance breccia with quartz veining cutting a gabbro sill on margin of diatreme. Grab samples of malachite and/or chalcopyrite with veining analyzed 8.7%, 3.3%, and 2.0% copper.
Table 2 – Rock grab samples of quartz veining with chalcopyrite and/or malachite (copper mineralization) in an irregular brecciaed gabbro on the margin of the diatreme breccia.
Photo E – View Looking east-northeast, approximate location of view is shown on Fig 1. Location of rock grab sample MS22-57 is shown as a reference for sample locations shown in Fig 1. Approximate positions of intrusive contacts are shown by dashed white lines. Only part of the top of the intrusions have been exposed by erosion.
Sillitoe calc-alkalic model, 2010, with relative locations of rocks in photos A, B, C, D. The alkalic intrusive type system at the Estella Basin has a number of similar characteristics to Sillitoe’s calc-alkalic model, such as gold-silver and copper mineralization at the top of the system and the presence of diatreme breccias.
Regional Geology and Deposits Map with Sullivan and Butte Mining Districts. Sullivan and Butte Mining Districts 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.
Lewis Ridge Target, Sullivan type target along Jackleg fault that may be eastern extension of Kimberley fault at the Sullivan Deposit.
Lewis Ridge Target – large conductive Mobile-MT anomaly extends for over 2.5 km from Jackleg Fault, similar to how Sullivan deposit extends from Kimberley fault. Jackleg fault is considered to be the possible eastern extension of Kimberley fault at the Sullivan deposit.
Lewis Ridge Target – cross sections of Mobile MT data along flight lines indicate that the very conductive core of the anomaly may be as shallow as 400m below surface depending on topography.
Lewis Ridge Target – conductive core of Mobile MT anomaly appears coincident with a large magnetic anomaly. Sullivan type massive sulphide mineralization can be conductive and/or magnetic. Horizontal orientation of anomalies suggest that the target area may host folded Sullivan type massive sulphide mineralization at or below Sullivan equivalent geological time.
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