In response to the Dunns’ letter on Schaft Creek, it is unfortunate that the Dunns apparently have not had the opportunity to read the 32-page chapter on Schaft Creek in my memoir, Wild Places: The Adventures of an Exploration Geologist. There I give a detailed history of the discovery of Schaft Creek and my work there between 1968 and 1974.
An even more detailed history and description is given in my original paper, “Geology of the Schaft Creek porphyry copper-molybdenum deposit, northwestern B.C.,” in the CIM Bulletin, June 1975. Both give full credit to Nick Bird for discovery of the mineralization at Schaft Creek in 1957.
The ownership sequence mentioned in the Dunns’ letter is incorrect. After Silver Standard drilled three holes on the property in 1965, Asarco optioned the property and drilled 26 holes in 1966-67 and dropped its option. The holes I drilled for Hecla in 1968, DDH 30-38, discovered and began to outline the Main and South breccia deposits. Hecla optioned the adjoining Paramount ground, on my recommendation, and my drill hole P2 discovered the North Breccia Deposit on Paramount claims in 1969.
On page 307 of Wild Places there is a photograph of my friend Nick Bird and myself at Schaft Creek in 1980. The caption reads in part, “Nick Bird, prospector, discovered the mineralization at Schaft Creek in 1957 and staked the original Bird Group claims while working for the BIK Syndicate. Harold Linder discovered the Schaft Creek deposit in 1968 as Project Manager for Hecla Mining Company and continued as consulting geologist from 1969 to 1974.”
Most exploration geologists would agree that discovery of mineralization and discovery of a deposit are usually two separate, but related events, as shown by the 11 year gap (1957-1968) at Schaft Creek. The gold deposit that I discovered in the Castle Mountains of southern California had a gap of 79 years (1907-1986) between discovery of gold mineralization by James Hart and the Hitt brothers in 1907 and my discovery of a major gold deposit in 1986.
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