This ongoing program comprises underground surveying, mapping and sampling of approximately 8,000 meters of underground workings and 300 mine entrances within an area of about 1,500 by 1,000 meters in the Pamlico Ridge area including the historic Pamlico, Good Hope and Gold Bar mines. Having access to these extensive workings provides a unique opportunity in that the channel samples provide data that is of a higher quality than that obtained by drilling, at a fraction of the cost. Only about one thirtieth of the area covered by the old mines has been drill-tested and the information obtained from the tunnels will be an important facet of planning upcoming drilling programs. (See related maps in the Maps section).
(Level: feet above mean sea level)
(g/t : grams per metric tonne)
Historic Good Hope Mine
The Good Hope Mine lies approximately 800 meters southeast of the Merritt Decline along the general trend of Pamlico Ridge.
Underground mapping and channel sampling program in the Good Hope Mine has identified a large, northwest striking, southwest dipping zone of highly continuous, near surface, oxide gold mineralization that parallels the surface (dip slope) with a minimum dip extent in excess of 99 meters and remains open to expansion along strike and down dip beyond historic mine workings. Importantly, this mineralized structural system appears to continue into the nearby Gold Bar Mine.
Including both mines and exposures in additional artisanal mine workings for more than 700 meters along trend to the southeast, this zone appears to have a strike extent in excess of 1.2 kilometers. The character of mineralization in the Good Hope mine is very similar to that seen throughout Pamlico Ridge, and tends to be silica poor, intensely oxidized and hosted in volcanic and volcano-clastic rocks.
Importantly, the dominant mineralized structures in the Good Hope and Gold Bar Mines strike northwesterly like the mineralized structures in the Pamlico Mine, however, structures in the Good Hope and Gold Bar Mines dip predominantly to the southwest while major structures in the Pamlico Mine dip to the northeast. These opposing dip directions develop potential for multiple structural intersections along and within the 1.5 kilometer-long Pamlico Ridge, increasing structural complexity and potential for extensive zones of stockwork “halo” mineralization.
Underground channel sampling of the 5609 level identified oxide gold mineralization extending from outcrops at the portal of the 5609 level for the entire 51 meters length of the level. Mineralization, as sampled, ranges from 5 to more than 17 meters in width with an average grade of 1.05 g/t Au and 11.2 g/t Ag.
The mineralized zone on the 5609 level is well exposed in the complex workings of that level and remains open to the east beyond the workings. Defined by 109 underground channel samples that range from 0.011 to 28.5 g/t Au and 1.5 to 59.5 g/t Ag, this large zone of “halo” mineralization encompasses a higher-grade core that averages 3.25 g/t Au and 11.5 g/t Ag. Importantly, compared to many of the other levels in the Good Hope mine, the 5609 level explores more of the width of the mineralized zone and confirms potential for broad mineralized “halos” surrounding the high-grade mineralization that was the focus of historic mining activities throughout the district. The 5609 level results indicate excellent continuity of mineralization between the adjacent 5570 and 5690 levels (see results below).
5710 and 5718 Levels
Underground channel sampling in the upper levels of the Good Hope Mine has identified a zone of high-grade mineralization averaging 12.88 g/t Au and 27.06 g/t Ag. The high-grade mineralization, as exposed underground, has an average width of 0.4 meters and is contained within a broad “halo” of mineralization that ranges from 5.0 to 9.4 meters wide and averages 3.81 g/t Au and 5.56 g/t Ag over an open-ended zone more than 39 meters long. Defined by 115 channel samples, this mineralization occurs in the interconnecting 5710 and 5718 levels, the highest elevation workings sampled to date on the Pamlico Project. Like many others in the mine, these levels are interconnected by stopes and raises along a generally eastwest striking, gently southerly dipping mineralized zone.
These latest results occur along strike from, and 8.5 meters above, the 5690 level that averaged 13.89 g/t Au and 71.19 g/t Ag over 40 meters (see below).
5518 and 5570 Levels
Underground channel sampling between the 5570 and 5518 levels has confirmed continuous gold and silver mineralization. Results of sampling in stopes and raises between the two levels show a higher-grade core of mineralization averaging 4.08 g/t Au and 51.5 g/t Ag ranging from 0.3 to 1.0 meter wide, with an average width of 0.7 meters, within a larger mineralized envelope that averages 1.2 g/t Au and 21.8 g/t Ag. The mineralization is defined by 58 samples ranging in grade from 0.017 to 68.0 g/t Au.
Combined with results from the 5570 level that averaged 12.48 g/t Au and 49.55 g/t Ag over a 24 meter strike length, within a larger zone averaging 1.15 g/t Au and 20.48 g/t Ag over a strike length of 144 meters, and separate results for the 5690 level (see below), this indicates a zone of mineralization with a strike length ranging from 40 to more than 144 meters and a dip extent in excess of 99 meters that remains open to expansion. Sample lengths for the larger zones are controlled by stope widths that typically vary from 1.0 to 2.2 meters in this area. Historically, stopes were selectively developed on the higher-grade mineralization and the extent of “halo” mineralization may be wider than the sampled width.
Underground channel sampling from the 5690 level exposed part of the mineralized zone and yielded a weighted average of 13.89 g/t Au and 71.19 g/t Ag over 40 meters. Including the adjacent footwall and hanging wall samples, which are also mineralized, the same 40 meters averaged 4.96 g/t Au and 42.24 g/t Ag and the zone still open along strike and down dip.
Twenty-seven detailed channel and panel samples were taken from the 5690 level and range in grade from 0.05 to 41.20 g/t Au and 6.00 to 244.67 g/t Ag. The sampling tested an undulatory, anastomosing set of highly mineralized structures that are a subset of a much larger, similar structural package that strikes dominantly eastwest with shallow to moderate dips to the south. Reconnaissance of other underground workings on this set of structures indicates that the true thickness of this package may be greater than 50 meters with individual structures up to 10 meters in thickness. Work to date has also traced similar mineralized structural zones with nearly identical attitudes in artisanal mine workings extending easterly from the Good Hope mine for at least 1.7 kilometers across the Pamlico property.
The Good Hope mineralization, like that found in the Pamlico Mine and the Merritt Area, is intensely oxidized. The silver to gold ratio (Ag: Au) of 7.9 to 1 is, however, much higher in the Good Hope samples than in the Pamlico Mine and the Merritt Area, where it averages roughly 1 to 10. The 5690 level Ag: Au ratio is more typical of gold deposits throughout the Basin and Range province and indicates a potentially important zonation within this extensive mineralizing system.
Historic Pamlico Mine
The Pamlico Mine lies approximately 250 meters southeast of the Merritt Decline along the general trend of Pamlico Ridge.
Channel sampling from the 5471 level of the Pamlico Mine has returned a composite interval averaging 1.26 g/t Au over 41.1 meters. This area of sampling lies approximately 280 meters southeast of the Merritt Area where the bulk of the Company’s drilling to date has been conducted.
The channel samples within the 5471 level range from 0.33 to 1.52 meters, average 1.1 meters in length, with grades ranging from 0.06 to 8.20 g/t Au. All samples consist of intensely oxidized and fractured lithic tuff with no visible remnant sulfides and no apparent silicification, which is typical of the gold mineralization at Pamlico.
Preliminary channel sampling from the 5446 level, approximately 190 meters to the northwest of the 5471 level sampling and 150 meters south of the Merritt Area has returned multiple channel samples ranging from 0.5 to 23.8 g/t Au.