On May 24, 2016, Hecla purchased 100% of the Kinskuch property which consists of 156 mining claims totaling 59,400 hectares. There are no NSRs or NPIs carried on the property. The Kinskuch property is favorably located within the Iskut-Stewart-Kitsault Belt north of the tidewater communities of Alice Arm and Kitsault, British Columbia with access to the western part of the property on a historic roadbed (Figure 1).
The property hosts potential for the discovery of epithermal silver-gold, gold-rich porphyry, and volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS) deposits that ultimately could lead to an economic mine.
Prospecting in the vicinity of the Kinskuch claim group began as early as 1889. Exploration interest in this area in the early 1900s was fueled by copper-lead-zinc-silver producers situated around the town of Alice Arm such the Hidden Creek and Bonanza Mines (Granby Consolidated Mining, Smelting and Power), which began production in 1914. The Dolly Varden Mine located west of the northwestern flank of the Kinskuch claim block produced silver into the late 1920’s and the 1950’s. Production from the Kinskuch claim block is limited to three small mines including the Esperanza Mine (4,661 tonnes), located 1.2 Km north of Alice Arm, the La Rose Mine (72 tonnes) located ~10 kilometers north-northwest of Alice Arm and the Illy Mine, where 33 tonnes of ore were packed ~15 kilometers southwest to Alice Arm by horse.
Between 1918 and 2016, a total of 37 exploration/mining companies have conducted line cutting, prospecting, geological mapping, soil, rock, stream sediment sampling surveys, geophysical surveys, trenching and diamond drilling within the extents of the Kinskuch Claims looking for precious metal enriched volcanogenic massive sulfides (VMS) and porphyry copper ± molybdenum-gold-silver ore deposits. The most recent work on the Kinskuch property was completed by Bravo Gold which controlled the property between 2011 and 2015.
Bravo Gold conducted a four diamond drill hole program totaling 855.8 meters in 2011 on the Illiance Target. In addition, they collected 245 rock samples and 388 soil samples on various target areas at Kinskuch. In 2013, they also conducted sampling, mapping and prospecting at the Illiance Target, with reconnaissance mapping and rock sampling programs on the Illiance and Gold Stream target areas.
The Kinskuch property is located at the southern end of the area defined as the Stewart Complex within the same stratigraphy which hosts the Eskay Creek, Silbac-Premier, and SNIP deposits (Figure 2). The Hazelton Group overlies the Stuhini Group and include hornblende plus plagioclase phyric dacitic ignimbrites and associated volcanic sedimentary rocks. The Lower-Middle Jurassic Eskay Creek stratigraphy overlies these rocks and is composed of marine felsic volcanic rocks and associated epiclastic sedimentary rocks. Intrusive rocks are of Cretaceous to Eocene in age and are associated with the Coast Plutonic Complex.
The Homestake and Illiance River mineralized trends located on the Kinskuch property are Volcanogenic Massive Sulfide (VMS) prospective trends hosted in the same stratigraphy as that which hosts the Eskay Creek deposit in the north.
The Homestake Trend (Figure 3) is a +30 kilometer belt of mineral occurrences and past producing mines that extends north-northwest from the town of Alice Arm, along the Kitsault River valley, to the southern margin of the Cambria icefields. The belt includes several occurrences on the Kinskuch property in the southern part of the trend, the Dolly Varden property in the central part of the trend and the Homestake Ridge property which forms the northern extension of the trend.
Southern Homestake Trend
Gold-silver-quartz veins were discovered on the property in the early 20th century in the southern extension of the Homestake Mineral Trend. These gold-silver-quartz veins lie immediately to the north of the community of Alice Arm and include the Esperanza, Billy Barton, Lone Maid and Acadia occurrences. The Esperanza occurrence saw limited production from 1911 to 1948.
Past exploration in this area focused on a series of stacked banded quartz veins discovered in black argillites of the Stuhini group. Mineralization consists mostly of galena, sphalerite and sulfosalts as irregular disseminations and banded layers in quartz-carbonate veins. Several adits were driven in the Esperanza and Lone Maid areas and trenches were dug at the Billy Barton and Acadia occurrences. A limited amount of high-grade silver production occurred in the Southern Homestake trend between 1911 and 1948
Central Homestake Trend
The Dolly Varden, North Star and Torbit mines are past-producing mines, located north and west of the Kinskuch property, which operated in the Kitsault River valley intermittently from 1919 to 1959, and produced silver, lead, zinc, copper and gold. These deposits were originally considered to be “veins” hosted along a tensional fault system but were later interpreted to be an exhalative, stratiform deposit. Sporadic exploration throughout the Kitsault River valley has been conducted over many of the known showings in the Central Homestake trend.
Illiance River Trend
The Kinskuch project Illiance River trend (Figure 3) is located in the eastern part of the property and consists of a 5 km strike length of strongly altered volcanic stratigraphy where high-grade silver enriched polymetallic epithermal and VMS-style mineralization occurs within a series of sub-vertical horizons along the altered trend. Stratigraphy along this trend is the same stratigraphy that hosts the Homestake Main and Homestake Silver resource zones.
Historic rock chip and grab samples in several occurrences along the Illiance River trend returned values of up to 3,761 Ag (g/t), 7,6% Pb, and 17.0% Zn, with several samples containing in excess of 1.0 Au (g/t). Historic trenching and channel sampling results completed in 2011 include a 2.2 meter wide interval averaging 530 Ag (g/t), 5.5% Pb, and 4.2% Zn, a 1.1 meter wide interval averaging 285 Ag (g/t), 4.3% Pb, and 3.1 % Zn, and a 1.9 meter wide interval averaging 373 Ag (g/t), 16.0% Pb, and 10.4% Zn.
Four core holes were drilled in 2011 totaling 855.8 meters to test the depth extensions of the surface trenching. Drill hole KN11-02 located in the southern portion of the trend intersected a 2.8 meter interval averaging 318 Ag (g/t), 0.40 Au (g/t), 2.2% Pb, and 6.5% Zn which included a 0.70 meter interval grading 735 Ag (g/t), 0.82 Au (g/t), 3.5% Pb, and 11.3% Zn. This mineralization appears to be hosted within a lithic tuff belonging to the Betty Creek Formation of the Hazelton Group consisting of stratiform and wispy sphalerite, galena, and pyrite.
Drill hole KN11-03 located 500 meters south of drill hole KN11-02 intersected a 3.9 meter interval averaging 268 Ag (g/t), 0.20 Au (g/t), 1.3% Pb, and 6.5% Zn which included a 0.90 meter interval grading 584 Ag (g/t), 0.30 Au (g/t), 3.4% Pb, and 17.7 % Zn.
Drill hole KN11-04 was collared from the same drill pad as drill hole KN11-03, only angled a bit further south. This hole intersected a 9.7 meter interval averaging 77 Ag (g/t), 1.4% Pb, and 3.9% Zn which included a 1.6 meter interval averaging 338 Ag (g/t), 0.2 Au (g/t), 5.0% Pb, and 15.9% Zn.
Mineralization to date along the Illiance has both VMS and structurally controlled epithermal styles of mineralization. In addition to the areas with trenching and drilling in the Illiance River trend, a soil anomaly and surface samples up to 100 Ag (g/t) have been taken in the northern portion of the trend called the Gold Stream anomaly.
There is no NI 43-101 compliant resource reported on the Kinskuch property.
The drilling program has defined silver-enriched, base metal mineralization in the Illiance Valley for over a strike-length of 3.0 miles. High-grade zones appear to have continuity and may represent two parallel mineralized structures or two limbs of a folded body.
Exploration programs will be focused on advancing multiple target areas on the property through detailed mapping and sampling, geophysics, and drilling.