The Golden Arrow property is Nevada Sunrise’s flagship property and was the Company’s qualifying property upon going public in 2008. Golden Arrow became a boomtown due to gold mining in the early 1900s. Historical exploration has resulted in the discovery and subsequent definition by drilling of two modern centers of gold-silver mineralization. Our resource calculation and subsequent modeling (May 2009) has defined Measured & Indicated and Inferred mineral resources for the Golden Arrow. A large exploration database shows exceptional exploration potential, yet the district remains surprisingly under explored, especially at depth.
Location and Property
The Golden Arrow property is located in the Nevada high desert, approximately 40 miles (60 kilometers) east of Tonopah, Nye County. Golden Arrow is on the flank of the Kawich Range and on the eastern margin of Stone Cabin Valley within the Golden Arrow mining district. The property has a number of favorable attributes for exploration of mineral resources: gentle topography, mild climate, available ground water, and close proximity to highways and towns.
The property consists of 357 unpatented lode mineral claims and 17 patented lode mineral claims covering an area of approximately 5,684 acres (2,300 hectares). Nevada Sunrise has consolidated nearly the entire historic Golden Arrow district through a dedicated program of acquisition since the early 2000s.
High-grade gold-quartz veins were discovered at Golden Arrow in 1905 and mined through the 1930’s from numerous shafts to 120 meters depth, where the mines watered out. The property was explored by a number of companies in subsequent years, including Homestake (1988), Westgold (1989-90), Independence (1992), Coeur d’Alene (1993-94), Kennecott (1996), Tombstone (1997), and Pacific Ridge (2003-2004). This exploration work produced more than 400 drill holes exceeding 150,000 feet in total, plus numerous geochemical and geophysical surveys. A private company, Nevada Sunrise LLC, acquired the property in 2002.
Golden Arrow is situated along the northeastern margin of the Walker Lane structural zone and along the western margin of the Kawich volcanic caldera. Walker Lane is a zone of complicated geological formations including complex faulting, igneous intrusion, volcanism, and hydrothermal mineralization resulting from the North American continent colliding with the Pacific tectonic plate. This has created the formation of a great variety of gold, silver and other mineral deposits. The Walker Lane has past production and defined resources of more than 30 million ounces of gold and 400 million ounces of silver. Notable districts include the Comstock Lode, the historic Tonopah and Goldfield districts, and Round Mountain, one of the most significant gold mines in Nevada.
Bedrock geology is characterized by a thick sequence of volcanic rocks ranging in composition from andesite to rhyolite and including the complex geological formations typical of caldera margin settings: flows, flow-domes, tuffs, lithic tuff breccias, ignimbrites, graben-filling units, lithologic wedges and volcaniclastic maar sediments. In the immediate deposit area, the oldest rocks are andesite flows and volcaniclastic rocks. These were intruded by a cluster of rhyolite flow-domes and a large alaskite stock, and are overlain by rhyolite ash-flow tuffs and ignimbrite.
Gold and silver mineralization at Golden Arrow includes mineral zones typical of both low-sulfidation quartz-adularia veins and high-sulfidation hot-spring type mineralization. Historic production was realized from discrete high-grade ore shoots within larger fault-controlled quartz-adularia-gold veins in andesite of the volcanic basement. More recent exploration has mainly focused upon definition of large-tonnage disseminated mineralization, with the discovery and delineation of two centers of mineralization – the Gold Coin and Hidden Hill deposits. The Gold Coin deposit outcrops and extends northwestward from the Confidence Mountain rhyolite flow dome. The Hidden Hill deposit, located approximately 1000 feet (300 meters) northwest from Gold Coin, is largely hosted in silicified rhyolite-arkose maar sediments deposited in a basin extending away from the rhyolite center. Much of the higher grade mineralization is spatially associated with pepperite breccia at the margin of latite dikes.
Past exploration has included several programs of rock-chip and soil geochemistry. Rock chip geochemistry has defined high concentrations of gold associated with the Confidence Mountain rhyolite flow-dome and extending some 2 kilometers southward along the Page Fault system. The most extensive multi-element soil geochemical survey, completed in 2003, covered 8.5 square kilometers. Gold and pathfinder elements highlight the known deposits and point toward several other exploration targets.
A considerable array of geophysical information has been collected on Golden Arrow over the years using various methods of measurement, including gravity, ground and aeromagnetic surveys, airborne EM, IP-resistivity, and radiometrics. The known deposits occur in distinct geologic settings, with discernable geophysical signatures. New geophysical models define additional exploration targets for drill testing. In 2011, Nevada Sunrise carried out Quantec Geoscience’s state-of-the-art Orion 3-D geophysical survey at Golden Arrow to search for other centers of mineralization. Interpretation of the Orion results led to follow-up drilling in 2012, and more drilling is planned in the Company’s Plan of Operations approved by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (the “BLM”) in May 2016.
The historical archive of drilling data that has been assembled by Nevada Sunrise includes drill core and cuttings, as well as technical data, for 291 drill holes – 281 reverse-circulation percussion holes and 10 diamond core holes – for a total of 148,101 feet (45,141 meters) of drilling. Of this, approximately 90% of the drilling has been concentrated within the Gold Coin and Hidden Hill deposits. All of the available core and cuttings have been re-logged in a consistent format by Nevada Sunrise geologists; the resulting new geologic model formed the foundation for a Mineral Resource model and estimate.
Some of the more interesting historic drill intercepts are summarized in the following table:
Limited metallurgical test work has been completed on material from Golden Arrow. An independent review of the available studies suggested typical projected gold recoveries of 65% for minus ½ inch or 55% for run-of-mine heap leaching. This is not definitive data but does indicate the cyanide amenability of the tested mineralized material. The typical depth of oxidation is 80-100 meters. The silver/gold ratio is highly variable, averaging about 12/1.
Mine Development Associates of Reno Nevada completed a NI 43-101 compliant Mineral Resource Estimate for the Golden Arrow property in May 2009. The Mineral Resource Estimate was built upon the geologic model of Nevada Sunrise. Geostatistical modeling was completed by zones for the Hidden Hill and Gold Coin deposits. This defined the deep high-grade structurally-controlled mineralization from the near-surface horizontal disseminated mineralization. Geologically-defined mineral zones separated the gold and silver resource blocks. The conclusion of this work resulted in an Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource source, as summarized in the following table.
Note: Silver to gold ratio is 55; variable cutoff grades are 0.01 oz Au/t for oxide and 0.015 for Au/t unoxidized.
Note: Numerical discrepancies due to rounding.
10/04/2012 Detail Plan Drill Hole Map
Click map (above) to enlarge
Plan of Operations
In early 2015, Nevada Sunrise submitted a Plan of Operations (the “Plan”) for Golden Arrow to the BLM. The Plan contemplates approximately 73,000 metres (240,000 feet) of drilling in 240 holes to explore for areas of new gold mineralization at Golden Arrow, and to further refine the known gold resources. The submission of the Plan was the culmination of a process initiated by the Company in June 2014, by initiating biological surveys at Golden Arrow. During the summer and fall of 2014, a cultural survey was carried out in conjunction with the biological surveys to meet the requirements for the Plan. A geological review was also initiated by Nevada Sunrise which included the design of the surface drilling program and surface sampling and mapping. In August 2015, an Environmental Assessment was filed by the Company in support of the Plan, and Nevada Sunrise received and replied to comments from the BLM during the fall of 2015. After a public review period, the Plan was approved by the BLM in May 2016.
Letter of Intent With Emgold Mining Corporation
On January 4, 2018, Nevada Sunrise announced an amended non-binding letter of intent dated December 27, 2017 (the “Amended LOI”) with Emgold Mining Corporation (TSXV: EMR, “Emgold”). The Amended LOI replaces a prior non-binding letter of intent dated July 17, 2017 with Emgold and provides for the acquisition by Emgold of an immediate 51% interest in Golden Arrow with a first option to acquire an additional 29% interest, followed by a second option to acquire the final 20% interest in Golden Arrow by making the exploration expenditures and cash payments as outlined below.
The terms of the Amended LOI provide that, subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions, including TSX Venture Exchange acceptance, the entry into a definitive sale and option agreement with Nevada Sunrise and Emgold completing a financing in an amount necessary to pay (i) related fees and expenses of the Transaction; (ii) the remaining third property payment of $215,000; (iii) general corporate overhead for 6 months; and (iv) the first 12 months of minimum exploration expenditures on the property in the amount of $250,000, Emgold (or a wholly-owned subsidiary of Emgold) would acquire a 51% interest in Golden Arrow by (i) making cash payments to Nevada Sunrise in the aggregate amount of $282,000; and (ii) issuing to Nevada Sunrise 2,500,000 common shares in the capital of Emgold.
The Amended LOI further provides that Nevada Sunrise would grant to Emgold (or a wholly-owned subsidiary of Emgold) the sole and exclusive right and option (the “First Option”) to acquire an undivided additional 29% (for a total of 80%) interest in the Property, which would be exercisable by Emgold for a period of 36 months from the Closing Date (the “Option Period”) by Emgold (i) incurring exploration expenditures in the aggregate amount of $2,750,000; and (ii) issuing to Nevada Sunrise an additional 2,500,000 common shares in the capital of Emgold.
Upon Emgold exercising the First Option, a joint venture would be formed, and Emgold will act as operator of exploration. Nevada Sunrise would not be obligated to contribute to exploration expenditures until Emgold completes the second stage of the option agreement.
Upon Emgold completing the First Option, the Parties would be deemed to have formed a Nevada joint venture (the “Joint Venture”). The Joint Venture would be established as a separate company or using an existing subsidiary of Emgold or Nevada Sunrise, with 80% of the shares owned by Emgold and 20% of the shares owned by Nevada Sunrise.
After the completion of the exercise of the First Option, and within 12 months of a formal production decision for the Property or at any time prior to that date, and provided that Emgold has at least a 75% interest in the Joint Venture, Emgold would have the further option (the “Second Option”) of purchasing Nevada Sunrise’s interest in the Joint Venture based on Nevada Sunrise’s percentage interest (rounded to the nearest whole number) in the Joint Venture at the time the Second Option is exercised, ranging from a maximum $10.0 million cash payment for a 25 percent interest to a minimum $1.65 million cash payment for an 11 percent interest. If any party to the joint venture falls below a 10 percent interest in the joint venture, the other party will have the option of purchasing the diluted party’s remaining interest for $1.0 million.
Nevada Sunrise and Emgold have agreed to negotiate a definitive agreement as soon as practicable.
Exploration Data Archive
Nevada Sunrise has assembled an exceptional archive of past drilling, geological mapping, geochemical and geophysical data. This includes most of the core and drill cuttings from past exploration drilling, and includes many duplicate drill samples and assay pulps, which are stored in Reno, NV. In 2016, Nevada Sunrise developed a 3-D model from this wealth of information in order to optimize new drill targets at Golden Arrow.
The technical information related to, and including, the reported mineral resources contained in this disclosure for the Golden Arrow project was reviewed and approved by Steven Ristorcelli, CPG, a qualified person as defined by NI 43-101.