“The Silver Hope Property sits in the largest sulphidation system that I have seen in British Columbia. With persistence, Finlay Minerals has yielded a copper-molybdenum porphyry discover in 2010 and a new gold-silver-copper discovery in 2011.” John J. Barakso


The Silver Hope property is located approximately 40 kilometers southeast of the town of Houston in central British Columbia. Excellent access is afforded to the property via a year-round serviced road to the former Equity Mine. Numerous exploration and forestry roads provide access to many parts of the Silver Hope property.

The property consists of 29 mineral tenures covering 10,039 hectares (100.4 km²) that are 100% owned by Finlay Minerals Ltd. The Silver Hope claims surround the past producing Equity Silver Mine which operated from 1980 until 1994. A total of 33.8 million tonnes were mined averaging 0.4% copper (Cu), 64.9g/t silver Ag) and 0.46g/t gold (Au). (http://minfile.gov.bc.ca/report.aspx?f=PDF&r=Minefile_Detail.rpt&minfilno=093L++001)

Finlay’s exploration on the Silver Hope Property from 2010 to 2014 has seen the discovery of the Main Deep Horizon Cu-Ag-Au mineralization which is viewed as the southern continuation of the past-producing Equity Silver Mine (owned by Goldcorp). In addition, a copper-molybdenum (Cu-Mo) porphyry was discovered west of the Main Deep in an area known as the West Horizon. These exciting new discoveries have yielded numerous significant drill intersections and present the Company with excellent potential for future exploration.

The Company’s focus will continue to target world class, mesothermal Cu-Ag-Au “Equity Mine-type” and porphyry copper-molybdenum deposits associated with monzonitic intrusions along regional-scale north-south faulting.

BC Map
BC Map
Silver Hope Property Map
Silver Hope Property Map

History and Results (Pre-Finlay Minerals)

In 1961 regional stream sampling conducted by Kennco Explorations, in its search for porphyry copper deposits, revealed anomalous zinc and copper in a stream east of Goosly Lake. Subsequently Mr. John Barakso (Kennco’s geochemist) suggested the use of fluorine geochemistry as a prospecting tool. This facilitated the discovery of chalcopyrite and molybdenite mineralization in a small granitic intrusion northeast of Goosly Lake. From 1968 to 1971, Kennco conducted intensive exploration programs in the Equity Silver/Silver Hope area, including geological mapping, ground and airborne geophysical surveys, geochemical (soil) surveys, trenching and four short drill holes.

During 1973‐1974, Equity Mining Ltd. and a joint venture partner delineated the Southern Tail and Main ore bodies by drilling 13,062 meters in 112 holes. A decline and crosscut were driven to obtain a bulk sample from the centre of the proposed pit. This work defined an open pit reserve of 39.5 million tonnes grading 0.33% Cu, 95.4g/t Ag, 0.89g/t Au and 0.085% Sb. The property interests were subsequently merged into Equity Silver Mining Corporation.

The Equity Silver Mine was British Columbia’s largest producing silver mine. Mining ceased in January 1994 due to depletion of ore reserves after 13 years of open pit and underground mining. Copper, silver and gold were extracted through conventional crushing, grinding, and flotation circuits plus a cyanide leach circuit. A total of 33.8 million tonnes were mined averaging 0.4% Cu, 64.9g/t silver and 0.46g/t Au. (http://minfile.gov.bc.ca/report.aspx?f=PDF&r=Minefile_Detail.rpt&minfilno=093L++001)

The Silver Hope property was explored in 1986 by Equity Silver Mines Ltd. who conducted a 79 hole (14,416 m) drilling program covering primarily the Hope and Superstition Zones. Broad intervals of low‐grade and narrower high‐grade copper‐silver‐gold mineralization were encountered in the Hope Zone. This was exemplified by hole X86CH‐262 that returned 21.3 meters of 0.38% Cu and 295g/t Ag including 3.0 meters of 0.91% Cu and 1,030g/t Ag.

Between 1985 and 1988 Teck Explorations Ltd. conducted drilling on the Gaul Zone, the southernmost of three mineralized zones on the Silver Hope property. This work revealed wide, low-grade and narrow high‐grade Cu-Ag bearing zones. Most historic drill holes were relatively shallow and seldom tested >200 meters below surface.

In 2004, Canadian Empire Exploration Inc. drilled five holes at the Gaul Zone and three at the Hope Zone. At Gaul, narrow zones of Cu‐ Ag mineralization were found. At the Hope Zone, high‐grade Cu-Ag-Au associated with breccias and sulphide mineralization (pyrite‐tetrahedrite‐chalcopyrite) were intersected. A program highlight was drill hole 04SH‐06 with an intersection of 2.4 meters grading 4.1% Cu, 637g/t Ag and 1.4g/t Au. This mineralization occurs beneath the near surface low-grade mineralization historically targeted for Equity Silver bulk tonnage deposits.

History (Finlay Minerals)

In 2006, Finlay Minerals Ltd. purchased a 100% interest in the Silver Hope Property, subject to a 1.5% NSR. Five new mineral tenures (FINLAY 1-5) were acquired to the north and south of the Equity Mine property. During the summer induced polarization (IP) geophysical surveys were carried out on six east-west lines with one pair over each of the Hope, Superstitious, and Gaul Zones.

In 2007 Finlay Minerals further tested the Hope Zone with four holes that confirmed the continuity of copper‐silver mineralization intersected by Canadian Empire. IP, gravity and soil sampling surveys were also completed.

In 2010 Finlay completed six drill holes on the “West Horizon” a previously untested area defined by a strong, one km long, north-south IP anomaly just west of the Hope Zone The program culminated in the discovery of porphyry intrusive related Cu-Mo and volcanic hosted Cu-Ag mineralization. Several, long intervals of Cu-Mo mineralization were encountered in a quartz monzonite intrusion and adjacent andesitic volcanics. Intersections of note include:

  • Hole SH10-02 - 2.34g/t Ag, 0.24% Cu, and 0.020% Mo over 74 meters.
  • Hole SH10-03 - 3.4g/t Ag, 0.30% Cu, and 0.02% Mo over 219.87 meters.
  • Hole SH10-04 - 13.62g/t Ag and 0.83% Cu over 12 meters (incl. 8.0 meters of 20.45g/t Ag and 1.25 %)

Drill hole SH10-05, located 140 meters westerly of SH10-04, yielded a 209.7 m intercept of 0.29% Cu, 1.62g/t Ag and 0.014% Mo. Three of the six holes in the program ended in Cu-Mo mineralization.

The 2010 drilling highlighted the proximity of the Cu-Mo porphyry of the West Horizon to the Ag-Cu mineralization of the Main Horizon. It further indicated that the West and Main Horizons are open laterally and to depth. These were the focus of the 2011 exploration program.

Volcanic-hosted chalcopyrite mineralization  20.45 g/t silver & 1.25% copper from an 8.0 metre core length interval (Hole SH10-04).Volcanic-hosted chalcopyrite mineralization
20.45 g/t silver & 1.25% copper from an 8.0 meter core length interval (Hole SH10-04).

In 2011, two drill phases successfully expanded the dimensions of the West Horizon Cu-Mo porphyry and demonstrated the presence of a new adjacent deep Au-Ag-Cu mineralization along the Main Horizon. Drilling on the West Horizon continued to intersect long intervals of disseminated and fracture/veinlet controlled chalcopyrite (Cu) and molybdenite (Mo) porphyry mineralization. Drill hole SH11‐05, a 603 meter vertical hole and the deepest to date, cut nearly continuous mineralized porphyry and ended in Cu-Mo mineralization. Intersections included 182 meters of 0.31% Cu and 0.013% Mo followed deeper by 364 meters of 0.11% Cu and 0.057% Mo. At 296 meters the hole intersected a brecciated zone that returned 5.0 meters grading 1.87g/t Au, 65.40g/t Ag, 0.12% Cu and 1.161% Mo. (Photo below). In addition, some West Horizon holes intersected significant Cu‐Ag± Au mineralization well into the volcanics and sediments adjacent to the porphyry. By 2011, eight holes delineated Cu-Mo mineralized porphyry for approximately one kilometer from the Finlay-Equity Mine property boundary south to hole SH11‐13. The porphyry is considered open to the north, south, west and to depth.

Porphyry Molybdenum Breccia Mineralization

Porphyry Molybdenum Breccia Mineralization
1.88g/t gold, 65.4g/t silver, 0.12% copper & 1.16% molybdenum
from a 5.0 meter core length interval (Hole SH11-05)

In the northern portion of the East Horizon hole SH11-08 returned a 2-meter intercept grading 498g/t Ag and 0.22% Cu. Described as a fault zone this intersection is believed to represent “leakage” possibly from a deep porphyry.

A very significant discovery in 2011 was gold-silver-copper mineralization with a distinct geochemical signature potentially related to a deep magmatic source in hole SH11-12. This hole returned grades of 0.4g/t Au, 29.37g/t Ag, and 0.19% Cu (0.91% Cu EQ) over 76 meters (See Company news release dated November 29, 2011). Included in this intersection was 31.4 meters of 0.49g/t Au, 43g/t Ag, and 0.30% Cu (1.23% Cu EQ). Gold in this intersection ranged from 1 to 8g/t Au and from <1 to 747g/t Ag. These grades are comparable with the former Equity Silver Mine, located three kilometers north and on trend with the Main Horizon. This deeper, mesothermal style mineralization occurs along what the Company now refers to as the “MAIN DEEP” Horizon.

Hole SH11-06 at 613.5m
Quartz veined volcanics with semi-massive pyrite, arsenopyrite, chalcopyrite and sphalerite.
0.39g/t Au, 12.20g/t Ag, & 0.19% Cu over a 1 meter core length interval

Hole SH11-11 at 234.95m
Andesite Tuff with chalcopyrite and pyrite as disseminations and fracture fillings, minor sphalerite, galena and molybdenite.
.05g/t Au, 36.8g/t Ag, & 0.24% Cu over a 1.5 meter core length interval.

Hole SH11-12 at 215.0m
Strongly brecciated andesite tuff with infillings of pyrite, arsenopyrite, chalcopyrite and sphalerite.
.81g/t Au, 3.9g/t Ag, & 0.02% Cu over a 2.2 meter core length interval

Hole SH11-12 at 232.5m
Brecciated and quartz veined volcanic rocks with abundant arsenopyrite, chalcopyrite, sphalerite and tetrahedrite.
2.03g/t Au, 209g/t Ag, & 1.81% Cu over a 1.57 meter core length interval

In 2012 a ZTEM survey was flown over the Silver Hope property. ZTEM anomalies are of interest in that the Company has already verified that many of these anomalies are related to mineralized zones such as the West Horizon Cu-Mo porphyry; the MAIN Horizon “Equity Silver Mine-style” Ag-Au-Cu mineralization; and high-grade Ag-Cu mineralization associated with the East Horizon. These “Horizons” are exemplified by coincident ZTEM, Induced Polarization (IP), and gravity anomalies along with mineralization intersected by core drilling.

In 2013, analysis of the ZTEM, IP and drilling suggested that the “DEEP” component of the Main Horizon can be traced for >2.1 kilometers due south from the northern property boundary. The Main Deep Horizon, for at least one kilometer south from hole SH11-12 and parallel to and east of the Gaul Ag-Cu mineralized zone, had not been drilled. Subsequently Finlay conducted two exploration programs which targeted multiple ZTEM anomalies identified over a 5 by 7-kilometer area. Many ZTEM features outside the previously explored area (Main and West Horizons) have extensive overburden cover or are capped by young basalt flows covering older prospective volcanics and sediments.

In August 2013, several ZTEM anomalies were prospected, mapped and sampled. Prospecting in the southeast part of the property resulted in the discovery of visually impressive, volcanic hosted epithermal quartz veining, vein stockwork and breccia. No precious metal or pathfinder elements were detected suggesting this is the upper, barren level of a hydrothermal system. In October, SJ Geophysics conducted a deep, 3D IP survey with the objective of testing for deep, “Equity” style and/or porphyry mineralization. Several strong chargeability anomalies were identified with one of the most prominent located just east of the Gaul Zone.

During the period October 14 and November 11, 2014, two holes of a three-hole drilling program targeted IP chargeability anomalies from the 2013 IP survey in the East Horizon and Gaul Zones. Drill hole SH14-02 tested a strong IP chargeability anomaly delineated from surface to 400 meters deep in the Gaul Zone, the southernmost of the three Main Horizon mineral deposits. Andesitic volcanic and conglomeritic rocks with variable amounts of pyrite, chalcopyrite and localized tetrahedrite, galena and sphalerite were intersected down hole to nearly 300 meters. This hole yielded the highest-grade intersection with a 10.25 meter interval grading 0.19g/t Au, 319g/t Ag, 0.88% Cu.

Drill hole SH14‐03, located 120 meters west of hole SH11‐12 was drilled to test the down dip extent of the “Main Deep Horizon” mineralization. Disseminated, fracture and quartz veinlet controlled sulphide mineralization was found throughout much of the hole. Sulphide‐rich breccias were intersected and appear similar, albeit narrower than those up dip in SH11‐12. Extensive and often intense alteration marked by silicification, quartz veining and sericite are commonly associated with pyrite, chalcopyrite and localized tetrahedrite, arsenopyrite and sphalerite. The overall extent of mineralization and alteration is however substantially more widespread than in SH11‐12. The strong precious and base metal mineralization encountered in Hole SH11‐12 combined with the very wide alteration and lower grade mineralization in SH14‐03 indicate the presence of a large hydrothermal system in the Superstition and Gaul areas. The Company’s work since 2010 has so far extended the strike length of the various mineralized zones to 1.73 km. For the most part the mineralized zones are open along strike and to depth.

Geology and Mineralization

Geologically the Silver Hope property lies within the Stikine Terrane of the Intermontane geomorphologic belt of British Columbia. During early to mid‐Jurassic time uplift along the northeast‐southwest trending Skeena Arch thus divided the Bowser Basin to the north from the Nechako Trough to the south. Intrusive rocks in the Equity and Silver‐Silver Hope areas include a north striking approximately two-kilometer long Paleocene age (58 million years) quartz monzonite stock. The southern part of this intrusion lies on the western edge of the Silver Hope property.

The Equity Mine and three Silver Hope mineral occurrences (Hope, Superstition and Gaul) are located within an erosional window of uplifted Cretaceous age sedimentary, pyroclastic, and volcanic rocks.

Three principal zones of mineralization occur at the Equity Silver mine and are referred to as the Main, Southern Tail, and the Waterline Zones, the latter being just north of the Silver Hope property. The Main Zone with a width of 60 meters is typified by fine-grained pyrite, chalcopyrite, and tetrahedrite +/- pyrrhotite, sphalerite disseminations and lesser veins within a dust tuff just east of the monzonitic stock. Mineralization typically occurs in tabular fracture zones roughly paralleling stratigraphy. Locally massive, coarse-grained sulphide replacement bodies are present. These replacements form lens-like bodies, up to three meters thick.

A narrow appendage, the Southern Tail Zone, strikes southerly away from the Main ore body and is approximately 30 meters thick. Sulphides are coarse-grained and occur as veins, fracture-fillings and breccia zones hosted by a brittle, less permeable tuff. Arsenopyrite is especially common in this zone. The Waterline Zone characterized by relatively high gold grades is approximately 200 meters long, 12 meters wide and dips approximately 50° to the west.

Equity Mine mineralization is thought to be epigenetic in origin and may be related to the emplacement of the quartz monzonite stock to the west. This model posits that intrusive activity resulted in hydrothermal metal-rich solutions permeating the pyroclastic volcanics. Sulphides introduced into the more competent and permeable ash and lapilli tuffs of the Main, Waterline, and North Zones formed as stringers and disseminations which grade randomly into zones of massive sulphide. In the Southern Tail, Superstition, and Hope Zones (Silver Hope property), sulphides formed as veins, fracture fillings, and breccia zones in the brittle, less permeable fine-grained andesitic dust tuff. Remobilization, concentration and contact metamorphism of sulphides has likely occurred in several zones including those on the Silver Hope property.

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