Exploration Program Aimed At Existence Of Significant Mineralization
LA JOLLA, CA - Tonogold Resources, Inc. reported that it has pushed forward the early stages of the $7 million drill exploration program aimed at proving the existence of significant gold and silver mineralization in the Comstock District located in the vicinity of Virginia City and Gold Hill, Nevada, approximately 40 kilometers southeast of Reno. Tonogold recently secured 100% control of 3 kilometers of the Comstock Lode's 5 kilometer strike length from Comstock Mining, Inc. Drilling began last fall, and Tonogold has two drill rigs on site, one reverse circulation (RC) and one core. To date, the drillers have completed six holes: four on the Gold Hill section of the Comstock Lode and two on the Occidental/Brunswick Lode.
Gold Hill drilling encountered mineralization verifying the geologic model and supporting documentation compiled by Tonogold. However, as predicted by our historical research, ground conditions have proven very difficult, slowing drilling and negatively impacting sample recovery. Drilling on the Occidental/Brunswick Lode is very encouraging, verifying previous drilling and expanding known mineralization. The Occidental/Brunswick exploration program will now begin infill and expansion drilling of the mineralization.
Tonogold's primary exploration target is the Gold Hill section of the Comstock Lode. To date, the Company has completed three holes on the old Overman ground (one core hole (TC-001D), and two RC holes (TC-001 and TC-002)) and one core hole on the old Kentuck Mine (TC-002D). We have also pre-collared two other holes targeting zones of suspected mineralization in the old Belcher and Yellow Jacket mines (TC-003 and TC-004).
On the Overman ground, hole TC-001 was drilled as an angle hole but shallowed over its length and was terminated (as discussed in the news release dated November 17, 2020). Hole TC-002 was completed from the same pad as a vertical hole. Both TC-001D and TC-002 encountered zones of quartz veining that showed the presence of weak gold and silver mineralization. We interpret both holes as representing the Silver City and Comstock lodes just south of their intersection.
On the Kentuck ground, difficult drilling conditions greatly slowed progress with core hole TC-002D. The hole intersected the quartz veining associated with the Comstock Lode's hanging wall at a depth of 575 meters. From that point, the hole passed through the Comstock structure for 30.8 meters, from a depth of 575 meters to 605.8 meters. Tonogold expects the structure's true width to be between 85% and 90% of the downhole intersection. Assay results returned values ranging to 3.43 grams per tonne ("g/t") gold ("Au") over 1.52 meters against what we believe to be the lode's footwall.
South of TC-002D, the drillers pre-collared hole TC-003 (cross section below). Significant ground water was encountered and resulted in the premature termination of the pre-collar at a depth of 305 meters. A core rig is currently advancing the hole (as TC-003-D1) in order to test a zone of suspected gold and silver mineralization in the old Belcher Mine. This is Tonogold's first hole targeting a specific, high-probability target identified by our historical research. This level hasn't been prospected or mined since the deep levels of the Gold Hill mines were lost to an underground flood in the early 1880s. Among other relevant evidence, our research uncovered a Belcher Mine report published in the Mining & Scientific Press in 1886 that states, "exploration on the 1,750 [foot] level shows the ore to continue into the submerged depths below." Hole TC-003/TC-003-D1 aims to test the mineralization described in that report.
North of hole TC-002D, Tonogold has pre-collared hole TC-004 to a depth of 444 meters. This hole targets another specific location of suspected gold and silver mineralization identified by our historical research in the old Yellow Jacket Mine about 600 meters below the surface. The core rig will continue this hole through its
The Company has received additional permits for further drill locations that will allow us to test other high-priority targets identified by our historical research in the Gold Hill section of the Comstock Lode above the Sutro Tunnel. The Sutro Tunnel is the long adit built in the nineteenth century to drain the Comstock Lode to a depth of approximately 500 meters below the surface. We are also currently filing additional permits.
In addition to the Comstock Lode, Tonogold has a second exploration target on the Occidental/Brunswick Lode, where prior drilling showed the presence of gold and silver mineralization. The Occidental/Brunswick Lode is a parallel structure lying about 1.0 to 1.5 kilometers east of the main Comstock. During the nineteenth century, approximately 34,000 tonnes of mineralized material was extracted from the Occidental Mine at an average head grade of approximately 40 g/t gold equivalent.
Accordingly, Tonogold added to its control of the Occidental/Brunswick Lode in 2020 by securing an option on a group of claims covering the lode's southern extensions. Tonogold now controls nearly 4 kilometers of the Occidental/Brunswick Lode's strike length.
The owner of the claims on which Tonogold recently secured an option conducted a small-scale reverse circulation drill program in 2018. Those holes demonstrated the presence of significant near-surface oxide gold and silver mineralization. Consequently, Tonogold has developed a second exploration program to confirm and expand on those results.