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The 18,768 ha Shovelnose property is located near the southern end of the Spences Bridge Gold Belt (SBGB), approximately 30 km south of Merritt, British Columbia. The property is accessible by the Coquihalla Highway (BC Provincial Highway #5) at the Coldwater exit, then by a series of logging roads to the northern and southern portions of the property. The Shovelnose claims cover prospective stratigraphy in the southern SBGB, a 110 km northwest–trending belt of intermediate to felsic volcanic rocks dominated by the Cretaceous Spences Bridge group. These relatively underexplored volcanic rocks are highly prospective for epithermal style gold mineralization. Low-sulphidation epithermal gold quartz veins occur throughout the range of Spences Bridge Group stratigraphy. Westhaven has a 100% interest in this property subject to a 2% NSR.

Examples of low-sulphidation epithermal gold deposits include: 

Hishikari, Japan: Link to Hishikari LS Epithermal Gold Deposit Overview

Kupol & Dvoinoye; Russia: Link to Kupol & Dvoinoye LS Epithermal Gold Deposits Overview

The Shovelnose gold property features an epithermal vein system hosted by volcanic and volcanic-hydrothermal units with syn-hydrothermal dike intrusions. There is evidence of a significant mineralized alteration system within the property where float samples grading 119 g/t gold (Au) and 273 g/t silver (Ag), veins in trenches grading 66 g/t Au, and drill intercepts of higher grade intervals including 16.7 g/t Au over 0.5 metres and 4.95 g/t Au over 0.6 metres have been encountered. 

To date at the Shovelnose gold project there's been 47 drill holes completed (2 were abandoned in overburden) for a cumulative total of 9,640 metres, in five separate target areas; the Line 6 Zone, Mik Zone, Tower Zone, Alpine Zone and the recently discovered Alpine South Zone

In January 2018, the Company announced the results of a recently completed drill program that consisted of 7 holes totaling 3,269 metres of diamond drilling. This drill program was successful in discovering a new quartz vein system, the Alpine South Zone, which was first outlined by ground magnetics as a northeast trending mag low anomaly, and then confirmed by drilling. Please see news release dated January 16, 2018. 

Gren Thomas, President & CEO of Westhaven stated, “The newly discovered Alpine South zone is approximately 1,000 metres in potential strike and is open to the northeast and southwest where the ground magnetic survey ended in June of 2017.  This is the most significant discovery made to date at Shovelnose and we are keen to get back there as soon as practicable.  We will be starting a ground magnetic survey shortly to see the potential size of this interpreted structure, and then we will look to start a winter drill program. The property borders the Coquihalla Highway and is only 35 kilometres from the city of the Merritt, allowing for low cost, year-round exploration.”  

It is management’s belief that these newly identified gold mineralized structures in the Alpine South Zone are likely the feeder zones responsible for the gold mineralization found near surface in the Alpine Zone.  This quartz vein system remains open along strike to the northeast and southwest.  The broader zone of gold mineralization and associated metre-scale quartz veins (to 4.3m width) remains open to the southwest.  This target is just the southernmost extent of drill testing along the 1,000 metre long north-south trending Alpine Zone, which has had only limited shallow drilling to date.  

The Alpine zone is defined by a 1 kilometre long chargeability anomaly trending to the northwest. In the northern portion of the anomaly, drilling intersected dark black pyritic quartz veins in rhyolites. In the southern portion of the anomaly, the chargeability delineated a thick (to 150m thick) interval of siliceous crystal lithic tuff similar to the upper silicified tuffs intersected in the Tower zone that is striking northwest (parallel to the Tower zone) and dipping 35° to the southeast. Quartz occurs primarily as flood zones and dark black pyritic veins and stockworks. Gold mineralization occurs over large intervals within the upper rhyolite tuffs averaging approximately 0.23 g/t Au and 1.4 g/t Ag over 161.1 metres (SN16-07) and containing smaller intervals of up to 16.7 g/t Au over 0.5 metres (SN16-02), 8.3 g/t Au and 77 g/t Au over 0.2 metres (SN16-06), 3.6 g/t Au and 24 g/t Ag over 2.0 metres (SN16-07), and 3.3 g/t Au and 8 g/t Ag over 1 metre (SN16-08). Quartz veins within the upper crystal lithic tuffs dip predominately 40° westward. Chargeability inversions delineated a moderately high coincident chargeability and resistivity anomaly dipping 40° westward, suggesting a possible feeder zone to the upper mineralized zone. 

Drill Hole 16-09, the southernmost hole drilled at the Alpine zone in 2016, was drilled to the southeast, proximal to and towards the newly discovered Alpine South vein zone.  Clay mineralogy samples collected from this hole analyzed by TerraSpec (SWIR) returned the highest paleo-temperatures of all holes to date at Shovelnose, suggesting that Alpine South Zone is a major zone of up-flow of hydrothermal fluids and likely represents a significant feeder zone at Alpine to be followed up with additional drilling.  2017 drill core samples have been submitted for SWIR analysis to further assist in drill target delineation.

Prior to the 2017 drill program, the property was last drilled at the end of 2016 and the program consisted of 4 holes totaling 725 metres of diamond drilling. The objective of that drill program was to determine the geometry of gold ineralization evident in the southern portion of the Alpine Zone, by drilling an east-west oriented fence line of holes to follow up on hole 16-02 drilled earlier this year which intersected 16.7g/t gold (Au) over 0.5  metres ( news release dated July 27th, 2016). It was determined that the southern portion of the Alpine Zone consists of a +135-metre thick southeast dipping gold bearing silicified rhyolite tuff extending downward from bedrock surface.  

SN16–02 16.7 g/t gold & 29.9 g/t silver

SN16–02 4.95 g/t gold & 43.7 g/t silver


Hole From (m) To (m) Int (m) Au (g/t) Ag (g/t)
SN16-01 44.0 77.0 33.0 0.30 2.9
incl: 66.4 77.0 10.6 0.45 3.1
SN16-02 23.0 142.4 119.6 0.27 1.4
incl: 50.0 83.0 33.0 0.47 1.7
  128.0 142.4 14.4 0.49 4.5
  55.0 55.5 0.5 16.70 29.9
  131.2 131.8 0.6 4.95 43.7
SN16-03 50.0 151.6 101.6 0.09 0.4
incl: 78.4 97.0 18.6 0.16 0.7
SN16-04 No significant gold
SN16-05 17.0 56.0 39.0 0.12 1.0
incl: 50.0 56.0 6.0 0.40 2.1
and: 364.0 375.0 11.0 0.03 15.6


In October 2015, the Company initiated a drill program which consisted of 5 holes, totaling 1,408 metres of diamond drilling. Resulting from this program, Westhaven discovered a new zone of mineralization defined by geophysics (induced polarization) and diamond drilling. Drill hole SN15-01 tested the newly discovered Alpine Zone, a previously untested 800 metre long combined IP chargeability and resistivity anomaly, located 400 metres to the east of the Tower Zone. SN15–01 intersected quartz veining and gold mineralization similar to that encountered at the Tower Zone. An interval of 50.4 metres (m) graded 0.2 g/t gold (Au) including narrow intervals grading up to 0.9 g/t Au. The Alpine Zone remains open in all directions. SN15-04, extending southeast from the Tower Zone, intersected two zones containing 10.5m grading 0.16 g/t Au and 5.7 g/t silver (Ag) and 9.5m grading 0.15 g/t Au and 1.3 g/t Ag. SN15–05 intersected a 75m zone of highly silicified and pyritic volcanic tuffs hosting quartz veins and stockworks containing 54.7m grading 0.11 g/t Au and 6.5 g/t Ag, including; 8.2m grading 0.3 g/t Au and 24.7 g/t Ag. Low temperature alteration, including chalcedonic quartz veining, kaolinite clay alteration and elevated mercury and molybdenum (associated with gold and silver mineralization) encountered in the Tower Zone suggests that there is potential for higher grade gold and silver at depth. Drill holes SN15-02 and SN15–03 did not intersect any significant gold mineralization.

Pictures of drill core from hole SN15-05 below

Core Sample Image One Core Sample Image Two
Core Sample Image Three Core Sample Image Four
Core Sample Image Five Core Sample Image Six


2014 Fall Drill Program

Initiated in September 2014, this drill program consisted of 6 holes, totaling 652 metres of diamond drilling.

Results have further expanded an anomalous silicified zone discovered in 2012, grading 0.54 g/t gold (Au) and 4.77 g/t silver (Ag) over 50 metres was intersected. This season's drilling intersected anomalous gold in all 6 holes. The most notable holes from this program were SN14–07 which intersected 6 metres grading 0.83 g/t Au and 5.2 g/t Ag, SN14–09 which intersected 5 metres grading 0.76 g/t Au and 11.8 g/t Ag and SN14–11 which intersected 19 metres grading 0.28 g/t Au and 1.46 g/t Ag.

Drilling intersected zones of silicified heterolithic breccia with discontinuous broken grey banded quartz veins to, white quartz veins and fine grain disseminated pyrite. Silicified fragments of grey–black banded quartz veins and quartz flooding were also encountered. Drilling was directed to a recent reinterpretation of historical drilling suggesting the mineralized zones are dipping to the south.

2013 Summer Drill Program

The purpose of this work program was to further expand and outline the extent of the newly recognized epithermal gold system present on the property. Limited drilling to date has outlined an area of gold–silver mineralization which continues to be expanded in areal extent to at least 2 kilometres long east-west and 100 metres north-south and is open in all directions. To date Westhaven and optionor Strongbow Exploration Inc. have found high grade float grading up to 119 g/t Au (Gold) and 273 g/t Ag (Silver), high grade veins in trenching up to 66 g/t Au and wide low grade alteration zones typical of epithermal gold deposits.

  • IP (Induced Polarization): Zones of high Resistivity greater than 200 metres wide were outlined over both the Mik and Tower zones, with a linear 650 metre long resistivity trend extending north and south of the Tower Zone, the zone open to the south.
  • The 2013 drilling program expanded low sulphidation gold mineralization at the Tower showing 80 metres to the south. SN13–06 intersected 50 metres grading 0.24 g/t Au (Gold) and 2.3 g/t Ag (Silver), including 18.0 metres grading 0.39 g/t Au and 3.6 g/t Ag.
  • All 6 holes intersected epithermal alteration and gold mineralization.
  • Notable intersections are displayed in the following table:
Drill hole
From (m)
To (m)
Length (m)
Au (g/t)
Ag (g/t)


2012 Fall Drill Program

The drill program consisted of 5 holes, totaling 778 metres of diamond drilling.

Highlights from the program include:

  • The 2012 drilling program has expanded low sulphidation gold mineralization at the Tower showing over a 220 metre east-west extent, including drill hole SN12–04 which intersected 50.4 metres grading 0.54 g/t Au (Gold) and 4.77 g/t Ag (Silver), which includes 13.7 metres grading 0.91 g/t Au and 6.65 g/t Ag. These gold values are within or peripheral to a zone of strong silicification which appears to be at least 120 metres wide. It occurs alongside a zone of brecciation and faulting, which lies beneath Tower Creek.
  • Strong silicification and quartz veining was encountered in the Tower Zone, tested by holes SN12-02, 03 and 04. Silicification, typical of epithermal–style gold deposits, was most extensive in hole SN12–04 close to a major structural trend.
  • The silver/gold ratios observed in drill hole SN12–04 increase with depth and, coupled with the consistently elevated arsenic, antimony and mercury diagnostic epithermal pathfinder suite identified in all four Tower Zone drill holes, suggests the presence of a high level, low sulphidation epithermal gold system.

The results from the 2012 drilling are summarized below in Table 1.

Drill Hole
From (m)
To (m)
Length (m)
Au (g/t)
Ag (g/t)
Tower Creek
No Significant Results
Tower Zone
Tower Zone
Tower Creek
also incl.
Cell Tower Soil Anomaly
No Significant Results


2011 Drill Program

The drill program was the first ever conducted and it consisted of 7 holes, totaling 606 metres (1,988 feet) of diamond drilling on untested targets. Highlights from the program include:

  • Gold mineralization was encountered in all seven of the drill holes;
  • Drilling at the Mik and Line 6 showings confirm that gold bearing quartz veins previously mapped at surface can be traced to depth;
  • At the Tower Zone, a broad, 56 metre interval of pyrite and silica alteration occurs within the same silica altered felsic tuff unit that hosts the gold–bearing quartz veins at Mik and Line 6. This alteration zone is gold bearing and is interpreted as evidence of a significant mineralized alteration system within the property;
  • The Tower Creek valley, a prominent structural feature located between the Tower and Mik zones has been identified as a priority target for further evaluation.

Three drill holes, ranging in depth from 80 to 105 metres, tested the Mik zone where all three holes returned locally anomalous gold values. Drill hole 11SH–003, which intersected 1.2 g/t Au over 4.1 metres, starting at 34 m down hole, including a 1.5 metre interval that returned 3.0 g/t Au. This interval was encountered 35 metres down dip to the west of a surface trench that returned up to 38.2 g/t Au. This vein system is open to the north and south, as well down dip to the west.

A single drill hole tested the Tower zone, an area approximately 400 metres northeast of Mik. Drill Hole 11SH–007 intersected 0.21 g/t Au over 55.8 metres starting from surface. This broad zone of elevated gold represents a new style of mineralization not observed at the Mik and Line 6 zones. Dark grey silica with finely disseminated pyrite occurs in veins and breccias within the volcanic crystal lithic tuffs. More importantly, this alteration zone is associated with elevated arsenic, molybdenum, antimony and mercury, all which are characteristic pathfinder elements associated with epithermal gold systems. Tower zone is unconstrained and represents a priority target for further evaluation.

Three shallow drill holes also tested a portion of the Line 6 target where previous trenching of this area returned encouraging mineralized intervals, including 20 m grading 0.8 g/t gold, 16.0 m grading 1.4 g/t Au, and 6.0 m grading 5.1 g/t Au. All three drill holes returned anomalous gold values associated with thin epithermal style quartz veining within a crystal lithic tuff unit. Drill hole 11SH-004, testing below a mechanized trench which returned 20 metres grading 0.80 g/t Au, returned 25.63 metres grading 0.32 g/t Au starting at 6.9 m downhole.

The Shovelnose property has been evaluated by stream silt and soil geochemical surveys, airborne geophysics (magnetics, electromagnetics and radiometrics), bedrock mapping, prospecting and mechanical trenching. Gold mineralization has been identified as being spatially associated with north–northeast and northwest trending normal faults and hosted by south–southwest trending, shallowly west–dipping quartz veins within silificied, argillic–altered felsic tuffs. These structures have various orientations and represent likely conduits for hydrothermal fluids related to gold deposition. Based on field relationships, fault displacements have been interpreted as normal to oblique and related to synvolcanic, extensional tectonics.

The most significant mineralization has been identified at the Line 6 and Mik showings. The showings are located approximately one kilometre apart and associated with broad gold–in–soil geochemical anomalies that occur on either side of a felsic dome. Mineralization consists of south-southwest trending massive to colloform banded quartz veins and local vein breccia zones hosted within moderately to strongly altered felsic volcanic rocks. Individual quartz veins typically dip to the west at a shallow angle and range from less than 1 cm up to 14 cm in width. Vein breccia phases up to 60 cm wide have been observed at the Line 6 showing. A third showing, known as the Tower, is a 400 m trend of intense clay and silica alteration in rhyolite tuff. This zone of mineralization is located approximately 450 m to the northeast of the Mik showing.Mechanized trenching of the Line 6 and Mik showings was completed between 2008 and 2009. To date, a total of 640 m of trenching has been conducted over fifteen trenches at the Line 6 showing and six trenches at the Mik showing to test the extent of gold mineralization. Continuous chip samples of exposed bedrock were collected over regular intervals within each trench. Additionally, separate chip samples were collected from mappable quartz veins in an effort to determine the grade of mineralization within the veins. A summary of the results of this work is provided in the following table:

Trench Length Best composite Quartz vein chip samples
L6-XT-01 36 m 2.0 m grading 17.0 g/t Au 0.84 to 4.30 g/t Au (6 veins sampled)
L6-XT-02 39 m 16.0 m grading 1.4 g/t Au and 4.0 m grading 3.35 g/t 0.88 to 4.86 g/t Au (5 veins sampled)
L6-XT-03 20 m 2.5 m grading 1.68 g/t Au 0.14 to 16.3 g/t Au (10 veins sampled)
L6-XT-04 25 m 6.0 m grading 5.1 g/t Au 0.02 to 46.6 g/t Au (5 veins sampled)
L6-XT-06 30 m 21.0 m grading 0.80 g/t Au, including 2.0 m grading 14.93 g/t Au  
MK-XT-01 41 m 3.0 m grading 1.40 g/t Au 2.94 to 7.72 g/t Au (4 veins sampled)
MK-XT-02 34 m 2.0 m grading 1.45 g/t Au 22.2 g/t Au (1 vein sampled)
MK-XT-03 4 m No significant results No quartz veins exposed
MK-XT-04 15.7 m 2.9 m grading 2.72 g/t Au 8.54 to 66.4 g/t Au
MK-XT-06 16 m 5.5 m grading 0.81 g/t Au  


Higher grade gold mineralization is strongly controlled by the density of quartz veins and vein breccias within the volcanic host rock. Of 31 vein chip samples, 20 have returned in excess of 1 g/t gold. Gold showings display a positive correlation with As, Sb, Hg and Mo. This correlation is generally well reflected in soil geochemical surveys. Silver/gold ratios are variable, ranging from ten to less than one, but tend to be relatively consistent for veins exposed within a particular trench.

Prospecting of soil geochemical anomalies outside of the Mik and Line 6 showings has identified a number of additional discovery during the program. A float sample of a quartz veined and altered crystal lithic tuff collected approximately 500 m south of the Mik showing, has returned 119.37 g/t gold and 271 g/t silver. Veining within this sample exhibits a weakly developed chalcedonic banding and contains trace, dark grey metallic sulphides. Mineralization at the Tower zone has returned gold values ranging from background up to 505 ppb gold. Initial prospecting of the southeastern extension of the property identified a mixed sequence of mafic and felsic volcanic rocks, as well as an anomalous quartz vein float boulder exhibiting colloform banded epithermal textures. A sample of the 30 cm subrounded boulder returned 0.59 g/t gold, as well as significantly anomalous mercury and antimony values, two key elements that are important pathfinders in epithermal gold mineralized systems. Future work will include a more detailed evaluation of this area of the property.