The Handsome Jack Property covers a prospective land position in the Golden Triangle region of British Columbia. It is located less than five kilometres southeast of the town of Stewart, and immediately adjacent to Skeena Resources’ past-producing Porter Idaho Project, which covers an extensive, high-grade, silver-bearing vein system. The property is covered by a rapidly receding ice field and the east-most veins of the Porter Idaho system likely extend onto the ground covered by the Handsome Jack claims. Future exploration on the property will be designed to identify silver mineralization hosted in structures parallel with the known Porter Idaho system.
The silver deposits of Porter Idaho were first staked in the early 1920s, during a mining rush in the Stewart area, and development began shortly thereafter. Between 1922 and 1950, 27,268 tonnes of ore was periodically mined from the underground workings of the Porter Idaho mines. Sorted ore, which averaged 0.99 g/t gold, 2692 g/t silver, 5.08% lead and 3.85% zinc, was shipped via an eight kilometer long aerial tramway to tidewater and barged from there to the smelter at Tacoma, Washington.
Following mine closure in the late 1940s, the deposit saw limited, desultory exploration until 1980, at which time Pacific Cassiar Limited carried out a program of mine rehabilitation and re-examination, including 170 short percussion drill holes and six surface diamond drill holes. In 1985, Teck Explorations Limited entered into a joint venture agreement with Pacific Cassiar and performed further mine rehabilitation, 5467 m of diamond drilling, and a program of underground percussion drilling. Following this work, Teck elected to withdraw from the project and no further field work was undertaken by Pacific Cassiar and its successor company, Raimount Energy Inc. In 2007, an updated estimate for the resources contained in two of the principal veins outlined a total indicated resource of 394,700 tonnes with an average grade of 868 g/t silver, 3.37% lead and 1.41% zinc – for a contained 11 million ounces of silver. In August 2016, Skeena Resources Limited acquired the Porter Idaho project from Mount Rainey Silver Inc., in return for 25,089,576 common shares, which at the time of the arrangement were worth CAD$4,516,124.
Only cursory exploration work has been performed on the ground covered by the Handsome Jack Property, which has not included soil geochemical sampling, systematic prospecting or detailed geological mapping. This is, in part, due to ice and snow cover that in recent decades has been withdrawing rapidly. Early work in the 1920s identified a mineralized vein at the location of the Melvin Adit, which returned values of up to 4286 g/t silver-in-rock. A second, unidentified zone of mineralization reportedly returned values close to 24,000 g/t silver-in-rock. It is likely that the Melvin Adit intersected the northerly strike extension of either the Wake or Angelo vein, and that the Handsome Jack claims cover a portion of one or both of these veins. In addition to this early work, two days of prospecting on the property in 1991 identified a 300 by 200 m gossanous zone of propylitic alteration, associated with anomalous silver, lead, zinc and arsenic values, referred to as the GEE 2 showing. This area has received no follow up work.
The area of the Handsome Jack Property is underlain by Lower Jurassic Unuk River Formation volcanic and Betty Creek Formation volcaniclastic rocks, both of which comprise the wall rock of the Porter Idaho deposit. This package of rocks is part of the steeply-dipping, southerly limb of a truncated syncline, which plunges to the northeast. The five known silver-bearing veins that comprise the Porter Idaho deposit are quartz fissure veins in shear and breccia zones, hosted within a series of north to northwest trending, steeply west-dipping structures. These structures are truncated to the south by the Big Rig Fault, which has an unknown offset, and reportedly hosts discontinuous mineralization. The primary ore minerals recognized are galena, sphalerite, freibergite, polybasite (ruby silver) and native silver.
On the Handsome Jack Property, there is good potential to discover additional mineralized shear zones in close proximity to the Porter Idaho deposit. Future work on the property should include contour soil sampling and/or talus fines sampling, designed to identify recessive weathering shear zones and associated silver-bearing veins that are parallel with the Porter Idaho system. At Porter Idaho, the leaching of mineralized veins often results in a surface expression of buff coloured carbonate, black manganiferous oxide, and only rare, residual sulphide minerals. Hand trenching will be required to evaluate the width and tenor of mineralization in parallel shears. Systematic prospecting and geological mapping should be performed with an emphasis on areas recently uncovered by ice. It was not until 1982 that the northern extension of the Angelo vein was discovered in outcrop, when it was exposed from under a receding glacier. Pending favourable results, diamond drilling should be directed toward the down-dip extension of surface showings.