Iron Range  |  (Gold, silver, Copper, Lead, Zinc)

In July 2000 Eagle Plains staked a prominent mineralized structure known as the Iron Range in south-eastern British Columbia near the community of Creston. Initially, fifty claim units were staked immediately after crown grants held for some 70 years had reverted.  Since then this project areea has been expanded to now cover 560 square km (56,200ha).

Eagle Plains Regains 100% Control

On January 16, 2014 Eagle Plains announced the completion of a Purchase Agreement to acquire Providence Resources Corp's 60% interest in the Iron Range project and that the existing Iron Range Joint-Venture (“IRJV”) between Providence Resources Corp. (TSX-V: PV) and Eagle Plains has been dissolved.  Eagle Plains once agoin now holds 100% interest in the project, subject to a 1% net smelter return royalty held in favour of Providence. To complete the purchase, Eagle Plains has issued to Providence 500,000 voting-class common shares of EPL and returned to Providence 900,000 PV shares which were transferred to Eagle Plains as option payments prior to the formation of the IRJV.

Exploration Focus

Ongoing work by Eagle Plains Resources Ltd. is focused on exploring the potential of the Iron Range fault zone and surrounding area as a conduit and host for both sedimentary exhalative (SEDEX) Ag-Pb-Zn mineralization and Iron-oxide-Cu-Au (IOCG) mineralization.

Project Potential - Iron Mountain Fault

The Iron Range property covers over 50 km strike length of the Iron Mountain Fault (IMF) complex which consists of a number of north-striking faults which occur across an east-west extent of about 3 kilometers and a strike extent of approximately 90 kilometers. Within the property boundaries the central core of the IMF is up to 150 meters in width with a zone of intense hydrothermal alteration and brecciation associated with iron oxide. The IMF also cuts through the Proterozoic Lower – Middle Aldridge Formation, which is the stratigraphic host for the world class Sullivan sedimentary exhalative (SEDEX) deposit, located approximately 40 kilometers north of the property. Ongoing work on the Iron Range Project is focused on exploring the potential of the Iron Range fault zone and surrounding area as a conduit and host for both SEDEX Cu-Ag-Pb-Zn mineralization and Iron-oxide-Cu-Au (IOCG) mineralization.

2010 Exploration

In September, a 2 hole diamond drilling program was initiated and designed to test a potential SEDEX target. It was Hole #2 that intersected a significant interval located at or near the Sullivan time horizon containing pervasive tourmaline and albite-altered sediments interlayered with discrete conformable bands of pyrite, pyrrhotite (iron) and chalcopyrite (copper) sulphides. Though relatively narrow (up to 8mm in width), these bands and the associated alteration assemblage are interpreted to be indicative of a vent system nearby which may contain more significant mineralized material.  This very encouraging intercept in hole #2 resulted in a decision to accelerate further exploration of the stratigraphic interval known to host the Sullivan deposit, drilling resumed and the project area was increased from 200 to 560 square kilometers.

Hole IR10-05

Encouragement was encountered in Hole IR10-05, located approximately 1.2km from IR10-02. Hole IR10-05 encountered wide, intermittent intervals from surface to a depth of 278m containing breccia textures and intensive silica and albite alteration. Associated sulphide mineralization includes iron sulfides and arsenopyrite (a mineral often associated with gold). Intervals 148.0m to 163.0m (15.0m) and 270.0m to 278.0m (8.0m) were particularly enriched with lead-zinc sulphide mineralization This mineralization, though not layered as is seen in the Sullivan deposit, is interpreted by Eagle Plains geologists to potentially represent remobilized material from a yet-undiscovered primary source. Rocks in the area both on surface and in drill-core are extensively albite-altered, which is consistent with the alteration assemblage located proximal to the Sullivan deposit.

Hole IR10-07

Hole IR10-07 returned similarly altered and mineralized material from 142.0m to 155.0m.

Hole IR10-10

Hole IR10-10 hosted the most intensely-altered and mineralized material, with semi-massive to massive sulphide mineralization including galena (lead) and sphalerite (zinc) reported over two intervals from 191.0m to 202.0m and from 276.0m to 279.0m. The lower massive sulphide interval is overlain by a 55m zone of disseminated to net-textured mineralization within intensely altered rock. The base of the lowermost massive sulphide appears to be truncated by a fault. Significant in the lower interval was the location of the massive sulphide mineralization, which is interpreted to be at or near the Lower-Middle Aldridge contact, the stratigraphic horizon which hosts the Sullivan deposit.

For more information about these results, please follow the links located on the right hand side of this page to the news releases dated between September 21, 2010 to the present.

Project History

The original Iron Range prospect was discovered and staked in 1897 along an extensive belt of iron oxide showings.  In 1939, The Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company of Canada Ltd., along with its parent company Canadian Pacific Railroad (CPR), acquired many of the historic Crown Grants on the northern part of Iron Range Mountain. The claims were evaluated by CM&S (later Cominco Ltd., then Teck Cominco Ltd, and now Teck Ltd.), to assess the potential for a large iron resource. In 1957 Cominco Ltd. completed an extensive trenching program exposing the Iron Range structure and mineralization over more than 4 kilometers strike length.  Most of the Iron Range Crown Grants were held by Cominco – CPR until 1999, when they were reverted after being held privately for over 100 years. Eagle Plains Resources Limited re-staked the original Crown Grants on the day they lapsed.

Eagle Plains Exploration History

Initial field work by Eagle Plains consisted of a property scale, wide spaced soil geochemical survey, rock sampling and geological mapping. The work identified IOCG indicators associated with the main Iron Range structure in the area of the historic trenches and along the projections of structural splays. Fieldwork also identified SEDEX style geochemical anomalies along the surface trace of the Lower-Middle Aldridge contact(LMC), the time-equivalent to the Sullivan Ag-Pb-Zn deposit. Subsequent work by Eagle Plains included a high resolution VTEM geophysical survey, detailed soil sampling and trenching.

In 2005, Eagle Plains completed four diamond drill holes to test the LMC. All of the holes intersected "Sullivan smoke" including albite and tourmalinite alteration, fragmentals, and disseminated and locally laminated / bedded sulphides at or near Sullivan time. One of the holes, IR05-003 returned values of 3.83 g/t Au and 46 g/t Ag over 2.0 meters in a fault breccia believed to be a splay from the main Iron Range fault system. Relogging of the drillholes in 2010 indicates that two of the holes, IR05 -003 and IR05-004, likely were stopped short of the Sullivan time horizon.

From 2007 – 2009, the exploration focus shifted to evaluation of the main IRF in the area of the historic Cominco trenches. 2008 drilling by Eagle Plains intersected 51.52 g/t Au, and 2.39 g/t Ag over 7.00 meters in a drillhole collared adjacent to the historic O-Ray Iron Oxide showing. Follow up drilling by option partner Swift Resources in 2009 intersected 1 meter of 22.5 g/t Au in a drill hole collared in the same area.

Iron Range Basic Geology

As a result of the drilling and exploration work, a new understanding of the deposit model has been developed.  In simple terms, the large size of the controlling structure (fault) and an ancient age of approximately 1.5 billion years along with the presence of a large iron oxide deposit signifies the extent of alteration.  This indicates the presence of a large heat source providing mineraliziing fluids over a very long period of time. 

Below are exciting interpretations by the geologists in charge of the project:

Sedimentary Exhalative (SEDEX) Geology

Geological and structural mapping indicates that the IRF has influenced the emplacement of Moyie intrusions as dykes and sills,focused iron oxide mineralization alteration and tectonic brecciation, localized sedimentary fragmental formation and influenced the development of the Sullivan Horizon and bounding sedimentation. Structural interpretation also indicates that the IRF and associated growth faults have been reactivated a number of times.

The combination of well developed "Sullivan smoke" including tourmalinization, albitization, fragmentals, disseminated sulphides and an extensive multi element soil geochemical anomaly with a distict Sullivan signature at Sullivan time, and the presence of a major deep seated regional scale structure indicates the possibility of a nearby vent system similar to the one that is postulated to have formed the Sullivan deposit. Additionally, due to the combination of stratigraphic orientation, local topgraphy and a well established road network, drill testing of favorable Sullivan time horizon can be achieved with relatively short drillholes on the order of 200-300 meters. In contrast many of the historic targets elsewhere in the Purcell Basin are commonly 1000m or more to intersesct the LMC.

Iron Oxide Copper Gold (IOCG) Geology The Iron range structure hosts a significant iron oxide deposit, the majority within EPL tenure. Modeled as a prospective IOCG target, the 2008 and 2009 drill programs encountered significant to bonanza-style gold grades in the historic northern claim area. This promted additional tenure acquisition extending the northern and southern boundaries and is felt to enhance the prospect of discovery owing to the increased proximity to felsic, granitoid intrusives.  Felsic intrusives in proximity to or in contact with major iron oxide fault zones are known to generate significant copper-gold silver deposits. One example is the Candelaria deposit of Chile.


A well developed transportation and power corridor transects the southern part of the property, where a new high pressure gas pipeline and a high voltage hydro-electric line follow the CPR mainline and Highway 3 south. The rail line provides efficient access to the Teck/Cominco Ltd. smelter in Trail, B.C.

Updated January 16, 2014

Click the images below for a larger picture

Iron Range Drill Pad - Feb 2011

Iron Range Diamond Drill Core of Gold Zone

Iron Range 2010 Drill Core from Hole 10 - click to see high resolution photos of the entire hole

Excavation of Pit for Exploration of Gold Zone

Excavating the Exploration Pit at the Iron Range June 2009

Exploration Pit Above Drilled Gold Intercept

Completed Exploration Pit at the Iron Range

Iron Range Maps and Figures

From 2010 to Present

Iron Range - Gold, Copper, lead, Zinc Exploration Property  2011 Gravity Survey Results Map [PDF]

Iron Range - Gold, Copper, lead, Zinc Exploration Property  2011 IP Survey Results Map [PDF]

Iron Range - Gold, Copper, lead, Zinc Exploration Property  2011 VTEM Geophysics Map [PDF]

Iron Range - Gold, Copper, lead, Zinc Exploration Property  2011 ZTEM Geophysics Map [PDF]

Iron Range - Gold, Copper, lead, Zinc Exploration Property  2011 Soil Anomaly Map [PDF]

Iron Range - Gold, Copper, lead, Zinc Exploration Property  Drill Hole Plan Map Holes 27 - 29 [PDF]

Iron Range - Gold, Copper, lead, Zinc Exploration Property  Soil Anomaly Maps and Description [PDF]

Iron Range - Gold, Copper, lead, Zinc Exploration Property  Iron Range Drill Hole Plan Map 2011 [PDF]

Iron Range - Gold, Copper, lead, Zinc Exploration Property  Iron Range Compilation Map 2010 [PDF]

Iron Range - Gold, Copper, lead, Zinc Exploration Property  Iron Range Geophysics Map [PDF]

Iron Range - Gold, Copper, lead, Zinc Exploration Property  Iron Range Southern Geology [PDF]

Iron Range - Gold, Copper, lead, Zinc Exploration Property  Iron Range Holes 5 to 10 Drill Pad [PDF]

Iron Range - Gold, Copper, lead, Zinc Exploration Property  Iron Range Strip Logs Holes 5 & 10 [PDF]

Iron Range - Gold, Copper, lead, Zinc Exploration Property  Iron Range Drill Hole Sections 2010 [PDF]

Iron Range - Gold, Copper, lead, Zinc Exploration Property  Iron Range Analytical Results [PDF]

Iron Range - Gold, Copper, lead, Zinc Exploration Property  East Kootenay Project Location Map [PDF]


Iron Range Drill Hole 10 Photos

Previous Maps and Details

Iron Range - Gold, Copper, lead, Zinc Exploration Property  Iron Range - Project Details [PDF]

Iron Range - Gold, Copper, lead, Zinc Exploration Property  Iron Range Regional Geology Map [PDF]

Iron Range - Gold, Copper, lead, Zinc Exploration Property  Iron Range Property Geology Map [PDF]

Iron Range - Gold, Copper, lead, Zinc Exploration Property  Origin of the Sullivan Deposit-SEDEX [PDF]

Project News:

Mar 18, 2014 - Santa Fe LOI to option

Jan 16, 2014 - EPL Regains 100% Iron Range

Jul 30, 2012 - EPL/PV Project Update

May 2, 2012 - Gravity Survey Results

Apr 12, 2012 - Drilling Commences

Mar 21, 2012 - Talon Zone Potential Expanded

Mar 12, 2012 - PV Earns In, JV Formed

Feb 21, 2012 - 2011 Geophysical Results

Jan 31, 2012 - 2011 Soil Geochem Results

Jan 17, 2012 - Soils Provide New Targets

Dec19, 2011 - Airborne Geophysical Summary

Sep 14, 2011 - EPL/PV Conduct Surveys

Sep 9, 2011 - Major Geophysics Commence

May 19, 2011 - Surveys Commence

Apr 11, 2011 - Drill Results and Update #6

Mar 28, 2011 - Drill Results and Update #5

Feb 15, 2011 - 2nd Drill Added and Update #4

Jan 18, 2011 - Drilling Starts & Update #3

Dec 21, 2010 - Drill Results for Iron Range

Dec 1, 2010 - Update #2 on Drill Program

Nov 16, 2010 - Update on Drill Program

Nov 2, 2010 - EPL/PV Expand Drilling Again

Oct 12, 2010 - EPL/PV Extend Drill Program

Sep 21, 2010 - EPL/PV Start Drill Program

Jun 2, 2010 - 2010 Exploration Plans

May 18, 2010 - Project Optioned

Mar 5, 2010 - Drilling Results Released

Dec 22, 2009 - Drilling Completed

Dec 1, 2009 - Property Optioned, Drilling Starts

Sep 16, 2009 - Contains Update on Iron Range

Jun 2, 2009 - 2009 Fieldwork Commences

Apr 20, 2009 - High Grade Gold Intersected

Jun 19, 2008 - Summer Field Program Starts

Jun 13, 2005 - Exploration Work Completed

Mar 28, 2005 - Drilling Commences

Nov 17, 2004 - Drilling Commences

May 5, 2004 - Fieldwork Commences

April 5, 2004 - Geophysical Survey Completed

Jan 9, 2003 - Gold Project Review

Apr 29, 2002 - Work Commences

May 9, 2001 - Exploration Commences