An underexplored gold belt with structural similarities to the Snow Lake gold belt, Northern Manitoba
By Daniel V. Ziehlke, BSc.H., MSc. P.Eng/P.Geo, President, Strider Resources Limited
The East Wekusko gold belt is located 20 kilometres east of the mining community of Snow Lake, Man., along the east side of Wekusko Lake (Figures 1 and 2). Strider Resources Limited has been accumulating property in the area since the company’s formation in 1988 and presently has a contiguous claim group totalling over 22,000 hectares (86 square miles).
The past producing Rex-Laguna gold mine (58,962 oz/Au at a recovery grade of .51 oz/ton) occurs just off the Strider property along the shore of Wekusko Lake. Deposits located on the Strider ground are the developed but not mined Ferro gold deposit (87,741 tons/.422 oz/t to the 160-metre level), the McCafferty gold vein and the more recently discovered (1989) Gold Dust zone, adjacent to the Ferro gold mine (Figure 3).
The East Wekusko gold belt occurs in what is believed to be a regional scale, structural geologic setting similar to that of the gold deposits at Snow Lake. The Snow Lake deposits are spatially related to the crustal scale Berry Creek fault, while the East Wekusko gold deposits are spatially associated with the similar crustal scale Crowduck Bay fault (Figures 2 and 3).
The Snow Lake gold deposits consist of the New Britannia (Nor-Acme) deposit (~1.6 million oz Au), plus a number of smaller deposits including the No. 3 zone, the Birch zone, the Boundary zone and the Squall Lake deposits. The Snow Lake deposits are structurally controlled, and occur as second and third order splay faults off the McLeod Road thrust fault, which itself is a regional scale structure off the crustal scale Berry Creek fault (Figure 2). The Berry Creek fault is traceable for over 130 kilometres south and west of Wekusko Lake, into Saskatchewan.
Similarly, the East Wekusko gold deposits are structurally controlled shear zone hosted, epigenetic, mesothermal deposits, spatially related to second and third order faults off the crustal scale Crowduck Bay fault. East Wekusko contains not only the near vertical dipping Rex/Laguna, McCafferty and Ferro style deposits, but also has real potential for larger tonnage, shallower dipping, New Britannia type and tonnage deposits. The Crowduck Bay fault, similar to the Berry Creek fault, is another major crustal scale fault over 100 kilometres long, extending ~N-S below the Paleozoic cover south of Wekusko Lake (Figure 2).
The known Wekusko deposits are near vertical dipping, higher grade, (>10 g/T Au) and of smaller size than the thrust fault related, ~40-degree dipping, lower grade (~5 gm/T) Snow Lake deposits. The Wekusko high-grade deposits usually occur within or adjacent to felsic quartz and/or feldspar porphyritic intrusive rocks, both subvolcanic and post-volcanic. Such altered felsic intrusive rocks, often contain sheared, fracture-controlled quartz stringers with both arsenopyrite and gold. These occurrences have been traced well beyond the McCafferty deposit, both three kilometres north and six kilometres northeast to Roberts Lake, along the Laguna trend (Figure 3).
The East Wekusko area is poorly exposed, due to excessive glacial drift cover, plus the fact that the area has not been burned in over 70 years. Thus, outcrops are usually lichen and deep moss covered and difficult to map geologically. Work on the East Wekusko property indicates that additional gold deposits are likely located in recessive, larger scale, drift covered shear zones, now marked by recessive linear topographic structural features. The bare earth Lidar survey flown in 2014 over the property clearly shows the relationship of early prospector discovered gold showings in outcrop, to adjacent drift covered structural lineaments along both the Laguna and the Ferro gold trends (see bare earth Lidar map on file and Figure 3).
The Lidar survey over the Strider property also exposed the westward extension of the Roberts Lake thrust fault complex, associated with new surface gold showings (up to 67 g/Au, over kilometres) and in the vicinity of numerous hanging wall secondary splay structures. This indicates real potential for Snow Lake/New Britannia type larger tonnage, thrust fault related gold deposits.
Over the years, Strider has accumulated a large geochemical database of MMI (mobile metal ion) soil samples and Tag alder twigs, plus geophysics, geology and limited drilling. All work done since 1988 has been filed at the Manitoba Mines Branch. This extensive database is available to the public. Portions or all of this large, high-potential, underexplored gold property are available for option.