Location & Accessibility
The Consortium Project is located in the headwaters of the White River in an active logging district accessed by well maintained Forest Service Roads. Access to the White River logging road system is directly from Highway 19 at the Sayward Junction about 75 km north of the coastal city of Campbell River. Within the claim area the logging road network is currently being expanded to the south and east across drainage divides in moderate elevation valleys.
The Property and surrounding land below tree line at about 1500 meter elevation, are heavily forested at lower elevations with Douglas Fir and Hemlock and at higher elevations Amabalis Fir, Alpine Fir and Yellow Cedar. Recent clear-cut logging has opened up much of the southern part of the Property east of Stewart Lake. Steeper land high above Consort Creek remains in old growth timber.
The Property is subject to variably heavy snowfall from December through April, as discussed below under "Climate", and the length of the operating season is typically seven months, between early May and late November.
The current field work conducted in the summer of 2018 by Rich River consisted of prospecting and exploration geochemistry. The Author examined several of the Rich River sampling sites and recorded geological observations along a series of logging roads in the southern part of the claim group. In addition, to confirm the assignment of the host rocks, the Author collected nine rock samples from volcanic flows and intrusive dykes for whole rock analysis. The objective of the examination was to understand the geology of the Property and the controls on mineralization.
The Property was explored by Rich River during June 2018. The Author visited the Property during the exploration work on June 19 and 20th, 2018 and interacted with the crew on the afternoon of the 20th. The Author's Property visit involved independent mapping of good exposures in road cuts along the southern boundary of the Property, sampling rocks for igneous lithogeochemistry and classification, and examining several showings including rocks in A-1 creek as well as inspecting the procedures used by Rich River.
The exploration work consisted of sampling soils along the roads within the claim group, silts in creeks above road crossings, and prospecting and sampling of several showings. Soils were sampled from undisturbed ground above road cuts through unconsolidated till, colluvium and bedrocks on the uphill side of roads. In most situations the ground traversed by the roads had been previously logged and was in a state of regrowth implying some potential for soil disturbance or a change in runoff patterns.
A total of 300 soil samples were collected at Consort Creek and analysed by ALS Global method MS41 for 51 elements including gold and silver. Results for gold are expected to be semi-quantitative by this method as result of a detection limit of 0.02 ppm and the use of a 0.5 gram sample fraction, as stated by the lab, but in the Author's opinion it constitutes a reasonably efficient first pass method especially given the high concentrations of gold previously reported at mineralized sites. In other words, anomalous gold concentrations for this area are sufficiently above detection limits that a lower degree of precision permitted their resolution. In addition, it had been noted that there is a good correlation between gold and silver, for which analytical results were more precise and more commonly and significantly above detection limits. Analytical procedures and verification are explained below under "Data Verification".
The data provided to the Author by Rich River included sample site and material descriptions, site coordinates in UTM zone 9 or 10 (the boundary between zones cross the middle of the Property) and direct transmission from ALS Global of all analytical results as well as quality control and quality assurance ("QA/QC") data. The Author compiled the analytical and coordinate data into ArcGIS and projected all coordinates into UTM zone 9 for map plotting. The Author's QA/QC review initially involved scanning the data in tabular form for unusual trends indicative of laboratory cross contamination such as high concentrations at beginning of lab runs that decline exponentially in analytical order for the given element and then reviewed the QA/QC data sets to assess levels of precision and accuracy. No unusual trends were observed and it was concluded that the results were indicative of natural dispersion of element concentrations in soils.
The Consortium Project has no known history for mining and has remained relatively undeveloped possibly as a result of its isolated location and moderate to high elevation. Logging activity has occurred since the 1920s in the White River Valley at the north end of the Property, but the southern parts are in a moderate elevation valley that is enclosed by subalpine to alpine barriers that the logging road system is only just accessing now via Consort Creek, the drainage route from Stewart Lake.
The first exploration indicators of mineralization in the area may have been the anomalous stream geochemical concentrations of gold and copper published in a provincial Regional Geochemical Survey (RGS) in 1989 (Matysek et al. 1989). These results included high values of gold, mercury and silver and prompted staking of the SORT 1 - 7 claims (the first known recorded claims) and 68 man-days of detailed exploration work by Arne Birkeland in 1990 (Birkeland, 1991). Arne Birkeland's exploration work is well documented in Birkeland's 1991 report, which provides a thorough description of the geological setting and mineralization, but predates access to Global Positioning System so some sample locations are approximate. Subsequent recorded work on the Property included exploration by Greig (2008) involving silt and soil geochemistry and Schuss (2013) involving a minor program of soil and rock geochemistry. Parts of the claim area were staked by Benjamin Mossman in 2006 and 2011, but in each case were allowed to lapse without any record of technical work. A detailed history of the spatial extent and dates of the various claims staked between 2005 and the present is available in the Mineral Titles Online website.
Birkeland (1991) discovered mineralized outcrops indicated by Au, Ag, Cu, Zn, Ba, As, Hg, and Sb stream silt geochemical anomalies and float prospecting in two creeks, named A-1 Creek and 1324 Creek in the center of the current Property. Float samples, although not replicated in outcrop show some high precious metal grades: sample AB-100 assayed 70 g/t Au, 545 g/t Ag, and 12% Cu and AB-101 101 g/t Au, 423 g/t Ag and 2.6% Cu. Mineralization, discovered upstream of the float samples in A-1 Creek, is the most extensive and is described as consisting of gold and silver-rich quartz-ankerite veins with polymetallic sulphides including chalcopyrite, sphalerite and galena. Associated arsenopyrite and stibnite were observed disseminated in host rocks. The mineralized occurrences are structurally and spatially related to steeply dipping northeasterly to easterly trending faults that are the locus of cleft and small creeks. The main type of sulphide mineralized occurrence observed by Birkeland (1991) consisted of crosscutting quartz-carbonate veins and breccias with pervasive proximal silicification of host rocks and peripheral epidote chlorite alteration. Five channel samples (all less than one meter in true width) taken over a 450 meter length of the A-1 Creek occurrence range in grade from 5 to 33 g/t gold, 5 to 96 g/t silver and 0.14 to 0.86% copper and 0.37% to 8.42% zinc. Birkeland reported a weighted average for samples AB-120 and AB-121, representing the widest mineralized zone over a true width of 1.5 meters, of 9.5 g/t Au, 8.3 g/t Ag, 0.57% Cu and 5.7% Zn (Birkeland, 1991).
A disseminated style of sulphide mineralization was also observed as pyritic "stringer zones and crudely banded sulphides" (Birkeland, 1991) in volcanic flows displaying bleaching, interpreted as albitization, of epidote-chlorite assemblages. Birkeland suggested and average or representative grade from one sample (AB-87 #26310) which assayed 4.36 g/t Au.
In 1324 Creek, mineralized float was reported by Birkeland (1991) along 300m of the fault zone. Mineralization is described as cross-cutting quartz veins and sulphide rich altered volcanic rocks. Sample AB-109 (#26332), assayed at 0.5% Cu and 88 g/t Ag was obtained over a 1 meter true width channel sample with related arsenopyrite and stibnite.