As it turns out, the next big mining project in B.C. will not be up the road from Burns Lake.
In 2012, two experienced B.C. mineral explorers acquired mineral rights to the Boer property – 6300 hectares of land just northeast of Burns Lake, accessed by the Augier and Co-op logging roads.
They believed there could be a large deposit of molybdenum, copper, and silver in the hills around Burns Lake.
John Chapman, one of the mineral explorers, issued a statement last week saying the exploration had been “unsuccessful.”
“Our mineral exploration team working on the Boer property have worked hard and smart the past five years in trying to locate the source of the elevated silver, copper and molybdenum in lake sediments and Lodgepole pine outer bark,” said Chapman. “However, we have been unsuccessful, and are now leaving the property for others to explore.”
Chapman is an independent professional engineer with more than four decades of mining experience. The Boer property is one of several properties to which he and Gerald Carlson, with KGE Management Ltd., own mineral rights.
Chapman and Carlson had hoped to advertise the Boer property for development.
“What normally happens is that a prospector discovers a deposit and then a junior company comes in and spends about a $1 million on development,” Chapman said. “If that goes well, then a major company will come in and option it from the junior company. Both the junior company and the prospector do very well.”
“What drew us in [to Burns Lake] was the high silver content of the lake sediment in the area,” said Chapman. “Somewhere in the Lakes District there should be a high-grade source of base metals or silver.”
While their initial claim was based on lake and stream sediment geochemistry uncovered during a study that began in 2008, they made chance discoveries that confirmed their initial data.
“We made one discovery right on the [Co-op] logging road,” Chapman recounted. “There was a [rock] hump that the Burns Lake Community Forest people drilled and blasted to make a quarry. The gravel was intended for road-building, but lo-and-behold, it’s mineralized.”
“There’s low grade copper, moly and silver,” he said. “Nobody recognized it until we drove up.”
Even though they are abandoning the Boer property, Chapman said he still believes there is potential to make a “significant porphyry style discovery in the area.”