Goldcliff's Ainsworth Silver property is located in the Ainsworth Silver Camp, Kootenay Mining District, Slocan Mining Division, British Columbia, Canada. The property is 100-per cent owned by Goldcliff and consists of a contiguous claim block containing 10,280 hectares. The exploration results have identified six large silver-target areas that contain 14 coincidental geological, geochemical and multi-sensor airborne geophysical anomalies. Two new deposit-scale silver targets have been discovered.


The Kootenay Mining District and area have historic silver production totalling 99.6 million ounces. The Kootenay Mining District is situated in the central part of the Kootenay Arc, a curving belt of complexly deformed Paleozoic rocks. The Coeur d'Alene silver district, Idaho, USA is situated in the southern part of the Kootenay Arc with a similar geological setting. The historic silver production is 1.2 billion ounces with ongoing silver production.

Ainsworth Silver Camp

The first recorded silver-lead-zinc production in the Ainsworth camp was in 1889. The Ainsworth camp total historic silver production is 4,373,431 ounces of silver, 94,948,494 pounds of lead, and 16,732,265 pounds of zinc from 763,828 tons of ore to the end of 1964.

The camp had over 50 mines.

The silver grades from the over 50 producing mines.

The No.1 Mine was the highest grade silver producer and produced 1,993,818 ounces of silver at a grade of 49.64 ounces per ton (1,707.78 grams per metric tonnes), with much of this silver ore occurring as native wire-silver. From 1889 to1964, the No.1 Mine production contributed up to 50 per cent of the silver in the camp. The No.1 Mine is within the area claimed by Goldcliff.


The geology of the Ainsworth silver camp consists of complexly deformed Paleozoic rocks of the Kootenay Arc. These older rocks have been intruded by Mesozoic and Cenozoic intrusive rocks. The older rocks range in age from Lower Cambrian to Upper Triassic. The older rocks are mica schists, limestones, homblende schists, quartzites and slates of the Lardeau, Milford, and Kaslo Formations, and the Slocan Group. The older rocks are metamorphosed, foliated and faulted in a north-south direction. The silver mineralization occurs in both older and younger rocks. The majority of the silver ore deposits occur in the older rocks. The younger intrusive rocks have silver ore deposits in the Nelson batholith. The silver mineralization in the area is related to Cretaceous Fry Creek and/or Eocene Coryell Intrusions.


The silver deposits occur in veins, vein-shear zones and mantos, and are characterized as massive, breccia, disseminated and discordant. The deposits-shapes are fractured, sheared, tabular and bedded.

The silver ore mineralization is associated with pyrite, galena, sphalerite, chalcopyrite, pyrrhotite and arsenopyrite. At the No.1 Mine, the silver ore was native wire-silver. The gangue minerals are quartz, calcite, siderite, fluorite and manganiferous iron.

The ore elements are Ag, Au, Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn. The associated pathfinder elements are As, Ba, Bi, Ca, Co, Cr, Fe, Ga, Hg, Mn, Mo, Ni, S, Sb, Sc, Se, Sr, Ta, Th, Ti, U, V and W. The lithologic elements are Al, K, La, Mg and Tl.

The exploration indicator elements are Ag, Au, As, Cd, Cu, Fe, Mo, Pb, Sb and Zn.

Exploration Silver Targets

The exploration silver targets are in both the older and younger rocks. The old rocks for low and high grade silver mineralization associated with veins, vein-shears and stockwork systems. The younger rocks are targeted for disseminated-intrusive related deposits.

The exploration is directed to the older rocks in the Mississippian Milford limestone and Permian Kaslo greenstone, and along the Milford limestone-Kaslo greenstone interface, and in the Triassic Slocan Group. In the younger rocks, the exploration is directed to the Nelson batholith and the Fry Creek intrusions.

Exploration Techniques

Goldcliff's exploration techniques for deposit discovery combine geological, geochemical and geophysical methods. In order to organize and explore for "new finds" in "old digs", modern exploration techniques must be applied.

For new ore deposit discovery, Goldcliff's exploration methodology focuses on proven historic production districts and favourable geology-NEW DISCOVERIES IN HISTORIC MINING DISTRICTS.

An airborne multi-sensor geophysical survey is essential to organize the area. The magnetic response organizes rock types and structures, the electromagnetic response defines conductive zones and structures, and the radiometric response contributes to the identification of rock type and alteration features.

A quality stream sediment survey provides the necessary exploration indicator elements for new ore deposit-style targets.

New Discoveries

To date, the combined exploration techniques have resulted in two silver deposit-scale targets -- Big-C and Bjerk-1.


Completely covered by overburden, the Big-C target is 700 metres in length and 500 metres in width in a north trending direction that occurs along the Mississippian Milford limestone and Permian Kaslo greenstone interface. The target is associated with a regional fault and contains cross structures. The target has individual conductors that strike north-northwest and vary in length from 50 to 500 metres. The Big-C target has a strong silver soil anomaly with exploration indicator elements that coincide with the north-northwest structural trends.

The Big-C target silver values range from 1.02 to 2.92 ppm (1.02 to 2.92 grams). The exploration indicator elements are anomalous in As (56.3 ppm), Cd (5.19 ppm), Co (172.9 ppm), Co (1345 ppm), Cu (372 ppm), Fe (36.28 %), Pb (539 ppm), Mo (16 ppm), Ni (361 ppm) and Zn (466 ppm).

The Big-C target is located five kilometres north of the No.1 Mine and contains a similar geological setting. The No.1 Mine produced 1,993,818 ounces of silver at a grade of 49.64 ounces per ton (1,707.78 grams/metric tonnes).


The Bjerk-1 target occurs eight kilometres north of the Big-C and south of Kaslo. The Bjerk-1 target occurs in Triassic Slocan Group rocks and is a northerly trending feature some 1,200 metres in length and 600 metres in width. The target contains moderate to strong individual EM conductors that strike north to north-northwest and vary in length from 200 to 500 metres. The conductors are interpreted to be structures and are accompanied by a circular magnetic-high response interpreted to be a Cretaceous Fry Creek Intrusion. The Bjerk-1 is underlain by Triassic Slocan Group rocks of argillite and limestone in juxtaposition with the Permian Kaslo Group greenstone.

Very strong silver values occur at the intersection of a strong conductive structure and the north east Bjerk fault. Soil samples within the anomaly contain up to 5.2 ppm (5.2 grams) that have a range from 1.0 to 5.2 ppm silver. The exploration indicator elements have very strong responses in cadmium (0.51 to 26.61 ppm), copper (12.0 to 91.5 ppm), molybdenum (0.73 to 61.03 ppm), lead (12.0 to 91.5 ppm) and zinc (12.0 to 91.5 ppm). The Bjerk-1 silver anomaly represents a multi-element silver mineralizing system associated with structures. The Bjerk-1 target is located in a similar geological and structural silver deposit setting as the mines at the Slocan-Sandon camp.


NEW FINDS IN OLD DIGS – are possible with modern exploration technologies.

The Ainsworth-Kaslo silver area is under explored for silver deposits in all rocks.

Goldcliff has six large areas for ground exploration with two deposit-scale silver targets discovered -- Big-C and Bjerk-1.

Silver deposits that are targeted in the Ainsworth-Kaslo area are:

  • low grade silver vein systems (1 to 3 ounces),
  • high grade silver vein systems (10 to 30 ounces),
  • bedded massive sulphide lenses (2 to 5 ounces),
  • stockwork-disseminated intrusive systems (1 to 3 ounces).

The silver mineralization in the area is related to Cretaceous Fry Creek and/or Eocene Coryell Intrusions.