Exploration in the Toodoggone Mining District began in the 1960s by prospectors drawn to the area by prominent rusty colored ridges and waterways. By the 1980s, numerous precious metal occurrences, prospects, and deposits were defined and discovered including porphyry gold-copper mineralization at Kemess, and epithermal style mineralization at Ranch and Lawyers.
Early discoveries in the Ranch and Lawyers project areas were the result of robust datasets containing geophysical, drill, and trench data as well as rock and soil geochemistry. These data helped define mineralization at the Amethyst Gold Breccia (AGB), Cliff’s Creek, and Duke’s Ridge zones, which comprise the Lawyers 2022 PEA resource estimate, and the Bonanza, Thesis III, and BV zones that were historically mined at Ranch.
Historical underground mining at Lawyers, owned and operated by Cheni Gold Mines Inc., began in 1989 and lasted until 1992. The mine produced 173,678 ounces of gold and 3,638,954 ounces of silver from 570,880 tonnes of material (recovered grade: 9.5 g/t gold and 198 g/t silver). In 1991, production at the Lawyers mine was augmented by over 40,000 tonnes of high-grade material (between 9.81 and 16.75 g/t Au) extracted from shallow surface pits At Ranch. This additional mine feed amounted to an additional 10,000 oz of gold production. The original mine plan outlined a 10-year mine life, but operations came to an early halt in response to declining gold prices and much of the historical resource remained in the ground after only 4 years of mining.