BeMetals has an option agreement to acquire up to a 100% interest in the high-grade South Mountain Zinc-Silver Project located in southwestern Idaho, USA. The project hosts one of highest-grade zinc-equivalent mineral resources in all North America and the property includes significant infrastructure. The South Mountain property (see Figure 1) was a past producer and according to historic smelter records, the consolidated property produced over 53,000 tons of ore at an average grade of 14.5% Zn from 1941 to 1953. The underground workings at the existing Sonneman level has been upgraded over the past 10 years and remains in excellent condition for the resumption of underground exploration activities and potentially for future production. Importantly, all the known mineralized zones on the property are on patented (private) land and are permitted for exploration activities. BeMetals is moving forward with two phases of drill programs to expand the known mineral resource on the property. The current mineral resource estimate is outlined in the table below.
In April 2019, a 43-101 compliant Independent Technical Report was completed by Hard Rock Consulting, LLC. for BeMetals’ South Mountain Zinc-Silver Project. Click here to view the Technical Report.
Table 1-1 NI 43-101 Mineral Resource Statement for the South Mountain Project - April 1, 2019
- The effective date of the mineral resource estimate is April 1, 2019. The QP for the estimate is Mr. Randall K. Martin of Hard Rock Consulting, LLC., who is independent of the vendor (“Thunder Mountain Gold Inc.”), the property and BeMetals.
- Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. Inferred mineral resources that are part of the mineral resource for which quantity and grade or quality are estimated on the basis of limited geologic evidence and sampling, which is sufficient to imply but not verify grade or quality and continuity. Inferred mineral resources may not be converted to mineral reserves. It is reasonably expected, though not guaranteed, that the majority of Inferred mineral resources could be upgraded to Indicated mineral resources with continued exploration.
- The mineral resource is reported at an underground mining cutoff of 6.04% ZnEq within coherent wireframe models. The ZnEq calculation and cutoff is based on the following assumptions: an Au price of $1,231/oz, Ag price of $16.62/oz, Pb price of $0.93/lb., Zn price of $1.10/lb. and Cu price of $2.54/lb.; metallurgical recoveries of 75% for Au, 70% for Ag, 87% for Pb, 96% for Zn and 56% for Cu, assumed mining cost of $70/ton, process costs of $25/ton, general and administrative costs of $7.5/ton, smelting and refining costs of $25/ton. Based on the stated prices and recoveries the ZnEq formula is calculated as follows; ZnEq = (Au grade * 43.71) + (Ag grade * 0.55) + (Pb grade * 0.77) + (Cu grade * 1.35) + (Zn grade).
- Rounding may result in apparent differences when summing tons, grade and contained metal content. Tonnage and grade measurements are in imperial units.
Figure 1. Zn-Eq. Grade Comparison for 84 Zinc Focused Projects in North America
PROPERTY DESCRIPTION AND OWNERSHIP
South Mountain is located in southwestern Idaho in Owyhee County. By road it is approximately 160 kilometres (100 miles) southwest of Boise, Idaho and approximately 33 km (20.4 miles) southeast of Jordan Valley, Oregon. The Project area is comprised of 17 patented and 21 unpatented mining claims covering a total of approximately 616 acres, and an additional 489 acres of leased private land. The Project’s property package includes a 360 acre-millsite which is approximately 7 miles from the existing South Mountain workings by road. The millsite is accessible by new constructed haul road and Owyhee County South Mountain Road.
During the second half of 2019, BeMetals plans to conduct 2,500 metres of core drilling on the property to confirm and expand the known mineral resource. Assuming the initial drilling program confirms the high-grade resource and the extent of the mineralized zones, we expect to complete another drill program in 2020. See Figure 2 for locations of existing underground workings (levels) and past production areas. Given positive results from the drilling, the Company anticipates conducting mine modeling, rock mechanic work and metallurgical testing in preparation for completing a Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) later that year.
Figure 2. South Mountain Long Section Showing Underground Workings