The Northern Empire property extends from the TransCanada highway in Beardmore for approximately 10 km to the west-northwest. Beardmore is about 205 km by highway northeast of the airport in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Size of Property

72 patented and leased claims; 1,070 hectares (2,644 acres)



Project Overview

The project area includes the past-producing Northern Empire mine and several other prospects including eastward extensions of the Power, Contact, and Boundary veins, and the south Spooner, McWilliams, McKenzie-Jarvela, and Big vein prospects.

The Northern Empire mine operated from 1934 to 1941 and produced 149,452 ounces (5.13 tonnes) gold through mill clean up in 1949 (Mason and White, 1986). Benedict and Titcomb (1947) reported total production of 153,103 ounces (5.25 tonnes). Ore was mined from the surface to a depth of 580 m (1,900 feet). Development continued to a depth of 739 m (2,425 feet) (Benedict and Titcomb, 1947). Underground grades have not been reported but the quartz veins averaged about 0.6 m (2 feet) wide (Benedict and Titcomb, 1947). Milled grades averaged 0.35 oz/st (Mason and White, 1986).

In a 2008 report, Bevan estimated indicated resources of 86,652 tonnes at a grade of 10.7 g/tonne (29,807 ounces) and inferred resources of 64,748 tonnes at a grade of 9.95 g/tonne (20,719 ounces) in the immediate vicinity of the Northern Empire workings above a depth of about 110 m (360 feet). This resource includes both the Contact vein and the past-producing Power vein. The resource is based largely on 2007 and 2008 drilling by Roxmark Mines Limited, which included a few high-grade intercepts such as 137 g/tonne (4.0 oz/st) over 0.5 m (1.6 feet) in hole NE-08-65.

A 1,600 lb bulk sample of the McWilliams prospect in 1935 assayed 4.1 g/tonne (0.12 oz/st) (Mason and White, 1986). Samples from 1975 drilling averaged 1.0-1.4 g/tonne (0.03-0.04 oz/st) but one hole intersected 0.6 m (2 feet) of 11.7 g/tonne (0.34 oz/st) (Mason and White, 1986). Of 4 holes drilled in 2010, one has intercepts greater than 1 g/tonne, with the highest grade being 2.7 g/tonne (0.8 oz/st) over 1 m (3.3 feet).

Other gold-bearing veins have been identified by surface sampling, trenching, and very limited drilling.


The Northern Empire project is located within the Beardmore-Geraldton greenstone belt of the Wabigoon subprovince of the Superior province. The project area is underlain by mafic metavolcanic rocks of the southern metavolcanic sub-belt of the Beardmore-Geraldton greenstone belt. At the Northern Empire mine, the southern metavolcanic sub-belt is about 2 km wide between a faulted northern contact with the southern metasedimentary sub-belt and a faulted southern contact with the metasedimentary rocks of the Quetico subprovince.

The mafic volcanic rocks include massive, pillowed, and amygdaloidal metabasalt and less abundant intermediate and mafic tuff. Thin iron formations and rare clastic beds are interbedded with the metavolcanic rocks (Mason and White, 1986).

The metavolcanic rocks have been intruded by minor gabbro and diorite bodies which are locally foliated, porphyritic felsic dikes, and by Proterozoic diabase dikes and sills. A thick sill cuts the gold veins in the Northern Empire mine at depths of 200-370 m (650-1,215 feet). The sill may split to the east and crops out at surface approximately 1,830 m (6,000 feet) east of the shaft (Mason and White, 1986).


Gold mineralization in the Northern Empire mine is hosted by quartz veins in metabasalt which has been altered to a brownish color. Accessory minerals include pyrite, arsenopyrite, pyrrhotite, and minor chalcopyrite, galena, carbonate, and tourmaline (Benedict and Titcomb, 1947). All production has come from the Power vein, which bifurcates downward and has an en echelon pattern along strike. As shown in cross-section, the Power vein is about 500 feet south of the north-bounding fault of the metavolcanic belt and is subparallel to it. The Contact vein is subparallel to the Power vein and 10-15 m north at Northern Empire (Bevan, 2008) or about 30 m north near the Spooner shaft to the east (Mason and White, 1986). Gold mineralization has also been found in the Boundary vein along the contact between the metasedimentary and metavolcanic sub-belts.

At the McWilliams prospect, gold mineralization occurs in quartz veins within a banded iron formation (Mason and White, 1986).

The McKenzie-Jarvela prospect has two quartz veins separated by about 1.5 m of metabasalt. The veins are 0.15-0.9 m (0.5-3 feet) wide and have pyrite, chalcopyrite, arsenopyrite, galena, and visible gold (Mason and White, 1986).

McBride (1982) interpreted the Northern Empire veins to be partly of sedimentary origin. According to him, the veins are largely stratabound and follow meta-exhalite beds which were enriched in gold syngenetically. The gold was remobilized and further concentrated into quartz veins following the meta-exhalite horizons.


Benedict, P.C. and Titcomb, J.A., 1947, Geology of the Northern Empire mine: Transactions, Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, v. L, p. 412-423.

Bevan, P.A., 2008, Qualifying report for the Northern Empire mine in Summers Township for Roxmark Mines Limited.

Mason, J. and White, G., 1986, Gold occurrences, prospects, and deposits of the Beardmore-Geraldton area, districts of Thunder Bay and Cochrane: Ontario Geological Survey, Open File Report 5630.

McBride, D.E., 1982, Summary report, Pan-Empire underground evaluation program, first and second levels -- February -- March 1982.