The Schaft Creek copper-gold-molybdenum-silver prospect was located in 1957 by prospector Nick Bird while employed by the BIK Syndicate. Three diamond drill holes were drilled to moderate depths. Cores from two holes, when sampled, returned sufficient copper values to encourage further work. The prospecting syndicate was re-organized in 1966 into Liard Copper Mines Ltd. (" Liard") with Silver Standard Mines Limited, holding a 66% interest, acting as the manager. In 1966, ASARCO obtained an option to explore the Liard Copper Mines Ltd. ground, carried out geological and induced polarization surveys and drilled 10,939 feet (3,335 metres) in 24 holes. The option was not maintained despite encouraging drill results and in 1968 Hecla, a subsidiary of Hecla Mining Company of Wallace, Idaho, entered an option agreement to earn a 75% property interest and commenced drilling and other exploration work with Hecla operating company as its agent.
Hecla, in the period 1968 through 1977, completed 34,500 metres of diamond drilling, 6,500 metres of percussion drilling, induced polarization and resistivity surveys, geological mapping, air photography, and engineering studies related to the development of a large open pit copper-gold-molybdenum mine. Property work ceased in 1977 and in 1978 Hecla sold its interest to Teck Corporation ("Teck") (now Teck Cominco Limited).
In 1980 Teck commenced a program of exploration and drilling designed to confirm and expand Hecla's work. A total of 26,000 metres of diamond drilling was completed by 1981. Teck then undertook an engineering study to determine the feasibility of mine development. Further data reviews were completed by Western Copper Holdings in 1988 and Teck in 1993. A total of 230 core holes with total length 60,200 metres and percussion holes with total length 6,500 metres were completed prior to Copper Fox acquiring an option on the property in 2002.