TSX-V TAU
LAST 0.96
TSX-V TAU
LAST 0.96
CHANGE -0.02

Ranch Gold-Silver Project

Thesis Gold is focused on its 100% owned 180 km2 Ranch Project, which is located in the prolific 'Golden Horseshoe’ located in north central, British Columbia, Canada

Key Highlights

  • 21 near surface epithermal gold deposits and prospects,
  • Historical production of +10,000 oz Au in three pits,
  • Directly adjacent to Benchmark Metals’ 3.6 Moz AuEq Lawyers project, with
  • 2021, phase 1 Spring 2022 drilling highlights*:
    • 28.00m @ 6.07 g/t Au at Thesis III (new discovery)
    • 15.00m @ 2.49 g.t Au, including at Thesis III (new discovery)
    • 20.42m @ 5.11 g/t Au at JK (new discovery)
    • 48.83m @ 1.27 g/t Au at Thesis II (new discovery)
    • 59.00m @ 1.60 g/t Au, including 7.70m @ 5.20 g/t Au at Thesis II (new discovery)
    • 35.70m @ 1.37 g/t Au, 2.27 g/t Ag, and 0.32% Cu at Bingo (new discovery)
    • 34.00m @ 19.58 g/t Au at Bonanza
    • 27.00m @ 6.78g/t Au at Ridge

*Intervals are core-length. True width is estimated between 70-90% of core length.

  • 2022 Exploration Program Underway:
    •  Up to 50,000 metres of diamond drilling, including:
      • Expansion drilling targeting 2021 discovery zones and along-strike extensions at the Thesis II, Thesis III, and JK areas, as well as extending other areas of known mineralization at Bonanza and Ridge.
      • Exploration drilling targeting anomalous areas generated during the 2021 surface exploration program, including kilometre-scale epithermal and porphyry targets at the Alberts Hump and Patti-Steve zones. 
    • Detailed ground magnetic surveys to expand strike lengths of known mineralized northwest- and northeast trending structural corridors.
    • An expansive bedrock lithology and alteration mapping program is planned to contextualize known anomalies and delineate favourable stratigraphy coincident with mineralization indicators in other datasets. 
    • Sizeable soil and rock grab sampling programs are planned to generate new target areas and extend open anomalies. 
    • Up to 4,000 soil samples planned to expand on existing anomalies and generate additional epithermal and porphyry drill targets. 
    • Up to 1,000 rock grab samples anticipated in a large prospecting program occurring in conjunction with detailed bedrock mapping. 

Ranch Project Overview

The Ranch Project covers 180 km2 of highly prospective rocks in the northeastern region of the prolific metal-endowed Stikine Terrane, British Columbia, Canada.

Magmatic events in Stikine during the Late Triassic and Early Jurassic were the driving source for the development of mineralizing porphyry and epithermal systems. On both the east and west sides of the Bowser Basin the same magmatic and mineralizing events are recognized (Logan and Mihalynuk, 2014), forming an arch of gold and polymetallic mineralization; which is depicted herein as the 'Golden Horseshoe' which includes the Golden Triangle (Figure 1).

Figure #1 – Map of the Golden Horseshoe

Map of the Golden Horseshoe

The Ranch Project straddles a key stratigraphic horizon between rocks of the Upper Triassic Stuhini Group and Lower Jurassic Toodoggone Formation. The boundary between these units delineates a major geological unconformity with a regional significance demonstrated by the many deposits concentrated along its extent within the Golden Horseshoe. The project is also located within the historic Toodoggone region, a proven and profitable mining jurisdiction that is host to multiple copper-gold porphyry and high-grade gold-silver deposits that includes the Kemess gold-copper mine only 60 km to the southeast (Figure 2). The Golden Horseshoe concept provides a visual context for the mines, discoveries and common geology that extends from the Golden Triangle to the Toodoggone region, forming a prolific polymetallic arch that encompasses the Quesnel and Stikine terranes.

Figure #2 – Project map with local infrastructure

Project map with local infrastructure

Project History

Exploration on the Ranch Project and surrounding area began in the early 1970s, followed by extensive exploration throughout the 1980s that identified numerous showings, prospects, and deposits. This activity culminated in 1991 with surface mining of the prospective Bonanza, Thesis III, and BV Zones that produced 10,000 oz gold over a 1-year period (43-101 Technical Report; Eccles et al., 2021). None of these prospective zones were ever developed beyond shallow surface test pits that were later partly backfilled. The surrounding areas were never systematically explored for gold-silver mineralization, with a significant amount of historic drilling being largely restricted to testing identified surface exposures of mineralization.

Historical exploration campaigns at Ranch provide a robust dataset on which to build a program of rapid development, including geophysical surveys, trench, soil and rock samples as well as 35,500 metres of diamond drilling. In addition to the identification of a number of key high value assets, historic work included the construction of an expansive network of exploration trails and roads allowing for access to the most significant exploration targets within the property as well as easy road access to site.

1980 vs 2020

At the heart of the Ranch Trend are 21 zones of structurally controlled gold mineralization over a 25 km2 area. Surface expression of the mineralization is coincident with pervasive argillic and silica alteration, large gold and silver-in-soil anomalies, and anomalous rock and trench results.

On the Ranch Project significant gold and silver mineralization occurs with silicification flanked by widespread argillically altered zones, associated with a high-sulphidation epithermal system (Figure 3). Historic production is minimal, consisting of three small test pits where surface mining in 1986 and 1991 processed a total of 41,209 tonnes of high-grade surface material from the Bonanza, Thesis III, and BV Zones. Historic exploration and gold production was focused on the Bonanza, Thesis III, and BV Zones, with average gold grades ranging from 9.81-16.75 g/t Au (43-101 Technical Report; Eccles et al., 2021). Limited historic mining activities were only focused on shallow, high grade zones, with the average historic gold price at the time of $383.73/oz USD (MacroTrends., 2022). The regional along-strike extent of all 21 zones of gold mineralization largely remains open and untested, as historical drilling concentrated on targeting only known high-grade zones of this large epithermal system. The Ranch projects large land package (17,988 ha) consolidates the various prospective historic gold occurrences occurring in an expansive 40 km2 alteration zone allowing for the unrestricted expansion of the well-known historical mineralized zones, as well as the targeting of untested large-scale copper-gold porphyry prospects. 

By combining historical data with recently acquired geological data and modern reinterpretation there is significant potential to discover new gold and silver ounces across the entire mineralizing system. Re-analysis of historical drill results is providing context to previously unrecognized potential for major extensions of historical high-grade zones. These results occur within the footprint of the historically surface mined areas, but also include significant gold-silver intercepts along strike and at depth, suggesting the mineralization system remains open in all directions along key fault systems associated with high grade zones.

Historic High-Grade Intercepts

Select historic high-grade intercepts from concentrated drilling at the Bonanza, Thesis III, Thesis II, and BV Zones includes*:

Zone High Grade Intercept
Bonanza 29.9 g/t Au over 25.60 m
25.9 g/t Au over 19.40 m
Thesis III 26.48 g/t Au over 11.00 m
16.39 g/t Au over 8.26 m
Thesis II 9.78 g/t Au over 7.00 m
5.12 g/t Au over 6.51 m
BV 39.83 g/t Au over 4.00 m
8.11 g/t Au over 10.30 m

*Intervals are core-length. True width is estimated between 70-90% of core length.
** Based on limited information parts of the surface exposures of the above results have potentially been surface mined. However, high-grade and surface mineralization extend beyond the known surface pits and the system remains open along strike and at depth.

Stratigraphy

The Ranch Project is predominantly underlain by flat-lying to gently west-dipping volcanic and sedimentary strata of the Lower Jurassic Toodoggone Formation (Figure 3), part of the Hazelton Group that is exposed throughout the prolific metal-endowed Stikine Terrane. The Toodoggone Formation can be divided into upper and lower volcanic cycles as illustrated on the simplified stratigraphic column in Figure 4. The Ranch Project is predominantly underlain by thick sequences (>300 m) of andesitic tuffs and flows belonging to the lower volcanic rock cycle. These volcanic strata erupted concurrently with the development of deeply rooted faults that focused both magmatism and mineralization (Figure 3). Magmatism occurs as local dike intrusions that share a similar composition to the host volcanic units and represent potential feeder systems. Felsic dikes and irregular bodies of dacitic to rhyolitic composition have also been encountered in drill holes and are thought to be genetically linked to late-stage mineralization-forming fluids. Similar relationships are often observed in the southern Toodoggone spatially associated with porphyry style mineralization, including at Kemess.

Localized conglomerates and volcaniclastics within the lower cycle are confined within blocks dropped by steeply dipping syn-volcanic faults and can potentially be used as a vector towards active structures at the time and epithermal mineralization.

Figure #3 – Geological map of the Ranch Project.

Geological map of the Ranch Property

Figure #4 – Simplified stratigraphic section for the Ranch Project and the broader Toodoggone Region. The different types of intrusive rocks, mineralization, and the time period for which they span is illustrated on the right side of the diagram.

Simplified stratigraphic section for the Ranch project and the broader Toodoggone region. The different types of intrusive rocks, mineralization, and the time period for which they span is illustrated on the right side of the diagram.

Structure

The Ranch Project has undergone a relatively simple brittle deformation history of syn-volcanic graben development and subsequent strike-slip deformation. The most dominant structural features on the property are a series of well-developed steeply dipping NW-NNW (320-350°) striking faults. They typically show evidence of normal displacement to the NE and SW with localized, late, strike-slip reactivation. These are the oldest structures on the property and represent syn-volcanic growth faults that formed during Lower Jurassic extension and block faulting.

The orientation and characteristics of the mineralized zones within the Ranch Trend are consistent with the development of robust hydrothermal systems within a pre-existing NW-NNW trending fault and fracture system. This system is likely reflecting the original volcanic basin geometry with these structures acting as conduits for fluids to migrate and precipitate metals. The NW structures and associated mineralization are locally offset by SW-NE trending strike-slip faults with minimal lateral displacement. The structural relationships observed in outcrop and drill core are also observed in the magnetic data, as well as along km scale linear geochemical anomalies, providing numerous new exploration targets.

Alteration and Mineralization

Widespread argillization and silicification of volcanic strata is found throughout the Ranch Project, with important alteration assemblages including alunite-quartz, hematite-illite-quartz, dickite-quartz, quartz-barite and quartz-pyrite. These alteration patterns work inwards and downwards in a typical, zoned epithermal alteration system, with all significant gold mineralization occurring within silica-sulphate and silica-sulphide bodies flanked by argillically altered zones. The Ranch program has integrated a broad ranging shortwave infrared (SWIR) program to further define the argillic assemblages present within the broader alteration footprint. On surface, zones of argillic alteration weather recessively and are typically obscured by alpine vegetation or underlie linear swamps. Where exposed on surface, they comprise strongly limonite and jarosite-stained argillic and lesser vuggy silica altered felsenmeer. The variation and zonation of alteration on the Ranch Project suggests that epithermal mineralization was part of a large-scale hydrothermal system.