The Eskay Creek region is a rich gold and silver mining area in the Unuk and Iskut River region on north coastal mountains of British Columbia.
In 1932, a syndicate directed by Tom Mackay explored and identified more than 30 mineral showings in the Iskut River region. During the period from 1935 to 1938, Premier Gold Mining Company Ltd. held the property under option and were responsible for the definition of 30 zones of surface mineralization including the 21 Zone. This was followed in 1939 by the driving of the 85 m Mackay Adit into the hillside three kilometers south of the current 21A/B Zones by the Tom Mackay Syndicate.
During World War II, from 1940 to 1945, exploration was halted and from 1946 through to 1963. Western Resources drove the Emma Adit in 1963 with drifting and crosscuts totalling 146 m. In 1964, the property was registered under Stikine Silver Limited.
Seven different options were undertaken on the property between 1964 and 1987. Exploration continued and during this period, in 1986, the company was renamed Consolidated Stikine Silver.
In 1988, Calpine Resources Inc. signed an option agreement to earn a 50% beneficial interest in the TOK and KAY claims by spending $900,000 over a three-year period. Prime Resources acquired a controlling interest in Calpine in 1989 and took over managing the Eskay Creek Project. Once their obligations were complete, Prime merged with Calpine in April 1990. At the same time, Homestake Canada Inc. acquired an equity position in Consolidated Stikine Silver and eventually a feasibility study was undertaken in 1993 and the Eskay Creek Mine was officially opened in 1995.
From 1995 through 2001, Homestake Canada operated the mine and continued exploration on the surrounding claims with geological mapping, geochemical and geophysical surveys and diamond drilling.
In 2002 Barrick Gold Corp. assumed control of the Eskay Creek mine, continuing with mining operations and exploration until the mine closure in 2008. From 2008 to 2018 the property has been under a state of reclamation, care and maintenance. Skeena Resources Limited entered into an option agreement with Barrick in December 2017 securing an option to acquire 100% interest in the Eskay Creek property.
The region continues to produce significant amounts of gold. The former Eskay Creek Mine produced an astonishing 3.3 million ounces of gold and 160 million ounces of silver at average grades of 45 g/t gold and 2,224 g/t silver and was once the world’s highest-grade gold mine and fifth-largest silver mine by volume.