Lone Mountain Project, Nevada, US
On November 1, 2020, Austin Gold entered into a mineral lease agreement with NAMMCO, a Wyoming General Partnership for exploration and mining rights and access to certain mineral claims on the Lone Mountain Property Situated in Elko County, Nevada.
Property Location and Access
Austin Gold’s Lone Mountain Project is located approximately 25 miles (40km) northwest of Elko, Nevada at the southern end of the Independence Mountains. The property is situated in one of the major gold mining centers of Nevada, as it is located 22 miles (35km) northeast of the Carlin trend, and 19 miles (30km) south of the Jerritt Canyon deposits. The claim package covers parts of Townships 37-38N, Ranges 53-54E. Lone Mountain is accessible from the large regional mining hub of Elko by 31 miles (50km) of sealed road and 3 miles (5km) of gravel road.
The project is an exploration stage project. There are no known mineral resources or reserves on the project at this time. There has been insufficient exploration on the project to estimate a mineral resource. It is uncertain if further exploration will result in the estimation of a mineral resource. Historical exploration has been conducted on the property. Austin Gold is pursuing exploration activities including a program of additional geologic mapping, surface rock-chip sampling, and possible geophysics followed by drilling.
Local Resources and Infrastructure
The nearby town of Elko is a major hub city for exploration, development, and mining activities in Nevada. Accordingly, the project area is ideally situated to provide a local mining workforce and all infrastructure, contractor support, transportation, and suppliers that could be needed. Numerous hotels, motels, and restaurants are available for visiting workers as well.
Property Claims and Lease
The Lone Mountain property consists of a total of 454 unpatented lode mining claims and 6 patented mining claims.
The agreement is a lease with option to purchase, except for a royalty. The Company must make pre-production payments, pay the annual claim maintenance fees, and fulfil annual work commitments.
Lone Mountain is comprised of a broadly folded sequence of Paleozoic lithologies that are cored by a Tertiary age (36-42 Ma) multi-phase intrusive complex. Silurian to Devonian shelf carbonates form the lower plate and Ordovician off-shelf siliciclastic rocks form the upper plate of the low angle Roberts Mountain thrust fault.
Erosion plus basin and range block faulting has created the “Lone Mountain window”, which is now a broad west-plunging, antiform with an east-west trending axis. This window is similar to other gold mineralized windows in Nevada such as the Carlin Window - Gold Quarry Mine; Lynn Window – Carlin Mine; Bootstrap Window – Gold Strike Deposit; and Cortez Window – Cortez Hills. It is the lower plate carbonate rocks exposed in the windows that host significant “Carlin-Type” mineralization in these districts.
The oldest structures on the property are thrust faults associated with emplacement of the Roberts Mountains allochthon during the mid-Paleozoic Antler Orogeny. Ordovician Vinini upper plate overlies the younger Devonian to Silurian lower plate assemblage lithologies. On a district scale the strata dip north on the north side of the intrusion, south on the south side, and moderately to steeply to the west on the west side.
High angle structures are numerous, and several large district-scale faults are present:
- North-south-trending fault along the west side of Lone Mountain. This fault places Tertiary volcanic rocks and Ordovician Vinini Formation in contact with lower plate rocks. The fault has a moderate to steep dip to the west based on its intersection with topography.
- NE to ENE-trending fault through the northern, south-central, and southern parts of the property.
- NNW-trending fault zone in the southwestern part of the property juxtaposes the Coal Canyon unit and the Nevada Group. Numerous NNW faults are found throughout the project.
Alteration is widespread and includes:
- Jasperoid; occurring as both bedded-type (passive replacement) and structural-type emplacement. The two normally occur together to some extent, with structures providing a conduit for fluids that replace bedding in areas marginal to the structures.
- Clay alteration, manifested by bleaching, is noted along structures in fine grained clastic units of the Vinini Formation.
- Calcsilicate or hornfels developed primarily in the siltstone unit of the Roberts Mountains Formation within a few hundred meters of the Nannies Peak intrusion.
- Marble developed in relatively clean carbonate rocks, primarily interior to the Nannies Peak “crescent”. Marble is typically medium gray to rarely white, medium to rarely coarse-grained and banded.
The most intense and potentially most economically significant alteration occurs as jasperoid. Skarn and gossan are also widespread. When viewed on a district scale the skarn-type alteration occurs close to the intrusive, typically with gold as well as silver and base metals in rocks and soils. The widespread jasperoid development is outboard from the intrusive and commonly is associated with gold and elements typical of Carlin-type sediment-hosted gold deposits (Sb, As, Zn) in the rocks and soils. This district-scale alteration zonation is typical of the Carlin-type districts in Nevada.
Historical production began in 1939 at the Rip Van Winkle Mine in the northwestern part of the property from hydrothermal veins, replacements and breccia deposits containing lead, zinc, silver and small quantities of gold. Operations ceased in 1949 after producing a recorded total of 538,823 oz silver (16.8 t), 4,028,512 lbs. lead (1,827 t), and 3,140,387 lbs. zinc (1,424.5 t).
Modern gold exploration began in 1965 around the time of the original Carlin discovery when Newmont drilled several shallow holes into gold bearing jasperoids on the north flank of Lone Mountain. Beginning in the 1960s the Lone Mountain property position was assembled by Kirkwood and Huber (principals of NAMMCO) and then leased to several mining companies over the years. A summary of exploration companies and their targets from the 1960s to 2006 is as follows:
- 1960s – Newmont Exploration Ltd. North and South Jasperoid
- 1977-1980 – Freeport-McMoRan Carlin Type (South Jasperoid)
- 1984-1985 – EXXON Sedex Type (Rip Van Winkle-base metal)
- 1987-1988 – Inspiration Skarn Target (Lone Wolf Hill)
- 1989-1990 – Tenneco Skarn Target (Includes Lone Wolf Hill)
- 1992-1993 – Newmont (second time) Carlin Type Target
- 1995 – Cordex Skarn Panel/Monarch zone
- 1997 – Tri Origin (Homestake) Carlin Type Target (South Jasperoid
- 1999 – Kennecott Carlin Type (Monarch Zone)
Companies prior to 2006 for the most part focused exploration on small target areas and conducted surface mapping, soil and rock sampling, geophysical surveys (magnetic, gravity and IP), and drilling. Records indicate 179 exploration holes were drilled totaling 84,690 feet (2581m).
Teck Cominco American Inc. was the first company to complete comprehensive data compilation and district-wide geochemistry and geophysical programs during their 2006 to 2008 leasehold. Beginning in 2006, Teck began a geologic compilation effort from which they created a complete digital data base that is functional in the GIS environment. This was followed by district-scale geological, geochemical, and geophysical (magnetic survey) programs. New geological mapping was completed if historical mapping was insufficient. Based on the preliminary results Teck planned 14 drill holes for the 2007 exploration year but only four of the holes were drilled due to the late start of their program. In 2008 Teck divested themselves of all gold projects, world-wide, and all data and the digital database were returned to NAMMCO with no further drilling.
Global Geoscience leased the property in 2012 and farmed it out to Osisko Mining who conducted geological mapping, surface geochemical sampling, ground magnetic surveys, gravity surveys, drilling and claim staking during 2012. Osisko completed 13 holes for a total of approximately 14,975 ft (4,565m) of RC drilling. At the South Jasperoid prospect, four holes targeted Carlin-style mineralization around structures and alteration defined by a detailed gravity survey. Three holes were completed at the Lone Mountain skarn and six holes were drilled in total at the Rip Van Winkle and Monarch prospects where breccia-hosted mineralization lies adjacent to and within bodies of quartz feldspar porphyry.
No further work was conducted on the property and it was released back to NAMMCO.
Compilation and evaluation of previous exploration data indicates five areas with anomalous to significant gold in rock, soil, and drill hole samples. These alteration zones have distinct concepts and are the focus of our proposed exploration program.
Using a district-wide, mineral-belt perspective these areas are:
- South Jasperoid Carlin-Type Sediment Hosted Alteration
- Rip Van Winkle Mine Carlin-Type Sediment Hosted Alteration
- North Jasperoid Zone Carlin-Type Sediment Hosted Alteration
- Pen Jasperoid Zone Carlin-Type Sediment Hosted Alteration
- Gold-Copper Skarn Zone Skarn-Type Alteration
Austin Gold is pursuing exploration activities on the project at this time, including a program of additional geologic mapping, surface rock-chip sampling, and possible geophysics