Exploration History

Discoveries in southeastern Yukon of the Tom zinc-lead-silver deposit in 1951 and the Faro and Jason deposits in 1965 and 1975, respectively, demonstrated the potential for large tonnage, clastic-hosted stratiform sulphide (pyrite, sphalerite,galena) and barite deposits of the Meggen and Rammelsberg type to occur in the areally extensive Paleozoic basinal facies rocks of the Selwyn Basin. These successful discoveries prompted a number of organizations to embark upon regional geological and geochemical exploration programs during the 1960s and 1970s. Within the southeastern extension of this basin into British Columbia, known as the Kechika Trough, numerous mineral occurrences of this type were discovered as a result of these activities.

By 1972, bedded barite-sulphide occurrences in Late Devonian black clastics of the Gunsteel Formation near Driftpile Creek, in the central part of the Kechika Trough, had been identified. A small but high grade historical resource of 2.4 million tonnes grading 11.9% zinc and 3.1% lead, was later outlined at Driftpile Creek. However, the most significant discovery was not made until 1977 when a Cyprus Anvil/Hudson's Bay Oil and Gas Ltd. joint venture discovered the stratiform Cirque deposit in similar strata some 80 km to the southeast, in the Paul River area. This deposit has an historical resource estimate of 52 million tonnes grading 7.8% zinc, 2.2% lead, and 48 grams per tonne silver. The resources are hosted in two deposits Cirque Main and Cirque South, separated by 1 km. Several other properties were drilled at various times in the 1970s, including: the Pie, Fluke, Elf and Mount Alcock, all of which exhibit bedded barite and massive sulphides hosted by the Gunsteel Formation.

In December 1992, Curragh Resources, which had previously acquired Cirque, was issued a Mine Development Certificate (approval for construction) by the BC Government for a mine/mill complex with a daily milling rate of 3,500 tonnes.  The company estimated that the project would produce about 250,000 tonnes of zinc and lead sulphide concentrates yearly. Historical mineable reserves at only the Cirque Main deposit were estimated at 24.7 million tonnes grading 8.5 % zinc, 2.3 % lead and 50.8 g per tonne silver. Development of Cirque did not proceed and the property was subsequently acquired by Teck Corporation (25%), Cominco Limited (25%) and Korea Zinc Company (50%) under a joint venture.

The Akie property currently owned by Canada Zinc Metals was initially staked in 1978 by Rio Canex which conducted regional geochemical surveys but did not carry out any drilling. The property was then re-staked by Ecstall Mining Corporation in 1989 which then optioned the claims to Inmet Mining in 1992. Inmet conducted ground surveys and detail mapping and sampling, resulting in the discovery of a high grade outcrop (18.8% zinc+lead over 40 centimetres) in the bed of Cardiac Creek. Follow-up drilling in the period 1994 to 1996 led to a historical and non 43-101 compliant resource estimate of 13 million tonnes grading 8.5% zinc and 1.5% lead over a true thickness of 7 metres.  

In 2005, Canada Zinc Metals entered into an option agreement with Ecstall Mining to acquire a 65% interest in the Akie property; subsequently it acquired 100% of Ecstall Mining via a takeover. This acquisition resulted in Canada Zinc Metals owning a royalty free, 100% interest in both the Akie property and an extensive package of claims (referred to as Kechika Regional).

Canada Zinc Metals commenced work in the region in 2005 and by the end of 2008 has completed 37 drill holes for a total of 18,290 metres to define the Cardiac Creek deposit (Akie property) and has carried out regional exploration on its southern claim holdings. Canada Zinc Metals has two core projects: Akie and Kechika Regional.

With the exception of work conducted by Canada Zinc Metals, or its predecessor, little work had been conducted in the region for in excess of 20-25 years. What exploration work had been done was largely on specific properties following the historical discoveries made over the brief period of time from 1972 to 1985, a span of only 13 summer field seasons.

©2008 Canada Zinc Metals Corp.
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