The Cariboo Gold Belt has attracted interest and investment
to south-central British Colombia since the famed Cariboo Gold Rush of 1861.
That history lives on in the many heritage sites and museums that dot the
landscape today. Based upon historic estimates, gold production in the Cariboo
area was approximately 3.2 million ounces from Alluvial Production and 1.3 M
from lode mines.
The Company has amassed mineral tenures that include the entire core of the district. BGM's properties encompass approximately (Revised 2,119 square kilometres or 523,515 acres (211,859 hectares) across a belt that is 67 kilometres long by 25 kilometres wide. The area includes 101 creeks that have reported placer gold production.
Historically Mined Ore
Analysis of the Cariboo district's historical mining record,
undertaken by BGM, implies a strong possibility that the area will continue to
yield gold-containing ore over the long term. Three mines are particularly
notable in this regard: Mosquito Creek, Island Mountain, and Cariboo Quartz.
Gold has predominantly been extracted from pyrite ore from the former mine,
while at the latter, sited just southeast, quartz ore was mined in superior
quantities. Approximately equidistant between them, the Island Mountain mine
split its yield between pyrite and quartz. BGM believes that an even
distribution of both these gold-containing ores exists across the range but has
been historically underexploited. The company therefore will look to target
these areas—as well as adjacent unexplored zones—as potentially lucrative.
The current prospects at Barkerville are mesothermal / orogenic veins and replacements hosted in late Proterozoic to early Palaeozoic accreted shelf and continental slope rocks of the Snowshoe Group. Although true stratigraphic succession is a topic for contention among researchers, the tectonostratigraphic sequence consists of an upper unit of massive meta-limestone beds transitioning into a quartz rich meta-sandstone with small interbeds of meta-limestone. Named the Baker Unit by previous mine workers, this unit is regionally traceable for several kilometres and forms the hanging wall to mineralisation. Underlying this unit and host to the rich Island Mountain and Mosquito Creek replacement styles of mineralisation and the quartz-carbonate veins at Cow Mountain is the Rainbow Unit. The upper part of this unit is a calcareous meta-mudstone interbedded with fine carbonaceous mud layers and coarse sandy layers. The calcareous layers are replaced to form the pyrite-rich gold mineralisation, generally along fold axes. The lower part of the unit consists of alternating layers of meta-sandstone and quartzite with carbonaceous meta-mudstone. The rheologically robust meta-sandstone preferentially fractures and forms the veins of the Cow Mountain Deposit. Layer parallel faults form within the carbonaceous units developing sheared graphitic horizons and associated quartz-carbonate-pyrite fault fill veins. The BC vein is one of these fault fill veins. Located hanging wall to the BC vein is a characteristic green meta-mudstone (chlorite-sericite) with strong magnetite porphyroblasts. Acting as a marker horizon, this unit allows for tectonostratigraphic positioning in the otherwise monotonous Rainbow Unit. Directly below the BC vein is the Bonanza Ledge replacement deposit. Hosted in a calcareous meta-mudstone the deposit is located between two intense high angle fault zones. Previous researchers separated this unit into as the Lowhee Unit. Alteration signatures are similar for all deposit types with widespread Fe-carbonate and sericite-pyrite-silica.