PONDEROSA GOLD PROPERTY
Spences Bridge Gold Belt
The property is located 16 km southwest of Merritt, BC, less than three hours drive from Vancouver, Canada. Access by road is via the sealed Coldwater Road from either Merritt or the Coquihalla Highway (Exit 256) and then 9km by way of paved and gravel roads from the Coldwater/Patchett Road junction. The property is located within the unceded traditional territory of the Nlaka’pamux People.
The property consists of four contiguous mineral claims covering an area of 1.8 km by 2.3 km (420 hectares).
It lies within the Spences Bridge Gold Belt which forms a northwest trending belt roughly 180 km long and up to 24 km wide. Rocks of immediate interest in the belt and underlying much of the property comprise successions of Cretaceous subaerial and pyroclastic volcanic flows which host significant gold mineralization at Westhaven Gold Corp.’s Shovelnose project approximately 20 km southeast of Ponderosa.
Much of the property is moderately to sparsely tree covered with elevations ranging from 1,270 to 980 m above sea level.
Outcrop exposures are documented across the project area confined mostly to ridges and knolls while overburden and relatively thin accumulations of glacial till prevail elsewhere. Geology across the claim group is broadly divided into two Cretaceous age volcanic sequences comprising subaerial and pyroclastic volcanic flows of the Pimainus and Spius Formations.
Historical exploration at Ponderosa began with broadly spaced soil geochemistry and prospecting which led to the identification of a number of showings across the property. Prior operators focused almost exclusively on an in-situ occurrence referred to as “Axel Ridge”, which is characterized by outcropping cryptocrystalline/saccharoidal to crustiform and colloform banded epithermal quartz. A series of trenches were excavated across these outcropping exposures with highlights including 2.22 g/t gold over 11.7 m, 1.92 g/t gold over 14.0 m (with 3.03 g/t gold over 8.0 m) and 3.6 g/t gold over 7 m. Follow-up diamond drilling of seven holes at Axel Ridge was unsuccessful in intersecting the surface mineralization at depth. A localized ground magnetic geophysical survey was also carried out by prior operators.
Work conducted on the property in 2019 and 2020 significantly upgraded three historic showings and identified an entirely new showing. These showings in order of priority are the; Tomahawk, Flat Iron, T-Bone and Rib Eye zones.
The Tomahawk Zone is the most advanced and highest priority showing on the Property. The area was identified through historical prospecting as a quartz rubble pile roughly 3 m in diameter. Six surface samples collected by a prior operator from the quartz rubble area returned grades from below detection to 0.54 g/t gold but the lack of soil geochemical response over this target and apparent lack of strike extent of the surface exposure discouraged any follow-up exploration. The site was investigated further in 2019 and additional in-situ mineralization was located 50 m to the southwest, believed to be associated with the initial discovery. Six samples of weakly crustiform to cryptocrystalline/saccharoidal quartz returned values ranging from below detection limits to 2.96 g/t gold. Five hand trenches were located at varying intervals across the two exposures to identify the nature, width and orientations of the respective vein zones. All trenches reached bedrock, encountering significant widths of silicification, brecciation and clay altered volcanic clasts, quartz flood zones resembling sheeted veinlets and veins, and massive quartz vein material.
The interpretation of the mineralization encountered in all trenches is that of one continuous vein zone exposed along strike for roughly 55 m across a width of up to 25 m. Structural measurements indicate moderate to steep northwesterly dips ranging from 45 to 70 degrees. The hanging wall contact of the vein zone has not yet been delineated; leaving the zone open for expansion and its strike length is not yet fully exposed.
The textural nature of the alteration and mineralization is suggestive of high-level emplacement within an epithermal system, therefore the tenor of gold mineralization is expected to be somewhat subdued. While these trenches require additional extension and detail sampling, the Company believes diamond drilling is justified on the Tomahawk Zone.
The Flat Iron Zone is situated approximately 100 m south of the Tomahawk Zone and is interpreted as a sinistral structural offset of the Tomahawk Zone by an easterly trending property-scale structure. The Flat Iron Zone is defined by two historical trenches comprising roughly 85 m of mechanized trenching which identified a number of significant quartz zones, zones of brecciation, silicification and pyritization. Individual samples from the longer of the two trenches (~65 m) reportedly assayed up to 7.54 g/t gold while a weighted average across 25 m yielded 0.80 g/t gold. The main zone of quartz veining observed is described as white to grey, opaque, cryptocrystalline material with <1mm black bands. This zone was mapped as being bound to the east by a steeply dipping vertical fault zone containing abundant quartz fragments within pervasively argillic and chlorite altered fault gouge with oxidized and weathered pyrite.
The other trench encountered a quartz vein zone described as massive silica across 3 m exhibiting multiple flooding events and narrow brecciated zones within the main vein in addition to diffuse andesite clasts, minor banding and trace amounts of fine-grained disseminated pyrite. Assays reported from this trench returned an overall weighted average of 1.24 g/t gold across 4 m with individual samples returning up to 2.12 g/t gold. One drill hole was completed by a prior operator to test the Flat Iron Zone vein exposures but did not encounter any material resembling the mineralization exposed near surface. The hole was drilled due west to test mineralized zones interpreted to have steep southeast and northeast dips. However, management believes the Flat Iron mineralization likely dips northwest based on exposures at the nearby Tomahawk Zone which would explain why the historic drill hole did not intersect the mineralized zones in the trenches, but rather drilled beneath them. Additional mechanized trenching is required to further understand and delineate this target prior to drilling.
The T-Bone Zone is situated approximately 200 m northeast of the Tomahawk Zone and represents the strongest coincident gold-arsenic soil geochemistry on the property aside from Axel Ridge. Preliminary interpretation suggests the target area hosts multiple vein zones with similar orientations to the Tomahawk and Flat Iron zones dipping moderately to steeply west-northwest. Mechanized trenching is proposed to delineate the mineralization at T-Bone.
The Rib Eye Zone was first identified during the 2019 soil sampling program , which located a narrow excavation that exposed a zone of extremely hydrothermally altered volcanic strata completely converted to orange, white and tan clay with intermittent clear and white silica veinlets. The excavation is parallel to the alteration zone therefore only a narrow section of the silicified footwall volcanic is exposed and the clay alteration is also only partially exposed across a width of 3.70 m. Samples of the clay material collected from the trench were analyzed and identified as low temperature smectite group clays comprising montmorillonite and laumontite. The orientation of the Rib Eye alteration trends southwest toward the strongest gold-in-soil value (110 ppb) in the area and dips are steep northwest. Also of note in this area is the highest gold value obtained from prospecting samples on the property, reported to have returned 46.9 g/t gold and 110 g/t silver. Although sampling across the trench exposure returned low values for gold, the Rib Eye Zone is deemed significant as it is may represent a high level telescoping portion of a fertile hydrothermal system at depth. Mechanized trenching and geophysics are proposed to better understand this target area.