Wabi Sets Sights on Nevada’s Gold
The fact that the United States is third in terms of global gold production results in no small part from the phenomenal level of activity in the sandy gambling state. In 2015, Nevada accounted for over three quarters of the nation’s total production, with around 166 tonnes bringing in a whopping $4.6 billion of GDP. No surprise, then, that seasoned diggers Wabi Exploration Inc. (CSE: WAB) (“Wabi”) have made moves on a property in the Getchell trend around 35 km southwest of the gold-producing Turqoise Ridge Joint Venture.
A non-binding letter of intent was signed at the end of September to acquire the assets of Buena Vista Gold Inc., including a property known as Hot Springs Peak, an area Wabi believes to be highly prospective for gold mineralisation. The company’s belief stems from the fact that, historically speaking, the area has always been a major provider of gold, and according to president and CEO Peter Clausi, evidence of hand hewn artisanal mining is everywhere. The aggregated rubble around one of the shafts at Hot Springs graded over 22 g/t Au.
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Similar geological features in the area have produced dozens of major discoveries. The Carlin and Cortez trends have birthed gold deposits of more than 10 millions ounces in total, and a myriad of explorers are desperate to get their hands on comparable properties as a result. Newmont Mining Corp and Barrick Gold, to take a couple of examples, own numerous high-performing properties throughout Nevada, including many in close proximity to Hot Springs Peak. The Turqoise Ridge Joint Venture is one such operation, a joint venture between the aforementioned companies, located on the Getchell trend which produced 470,000 oz in 2015.
According to a magnetic survey, Hot Springs Creek appears to be located between two major rifts, between which the underlying rock is rife with fractures and deep crustal breaks. This particular geological pattern hints that the property may lie on a Carlin-type sedimentary deposit. Carlin-type deposits are defined by their enrichment in the elements gold, arsenic, antimony, mercury, thallium and barium, created by hydrothermal circulation with a temperature of up to 300°C. The class of deposit was defined after the Carlin mine became a mass producer of gold in the 1960s and it was recognized that other deposits of that type would most likely exist.
Some of the earliest and best Carlin-types were actually discovered on the Getchell trend back when it was first cracked open in 1938, but the area continues to pay out to this day. Turquise Ridge, part of the Twin Creeks property, had a 2016 reserve grade of 15.1 g/t Au, and is one of the highest grade underground mining operations in the world. There really is no shortage of high grade occurrences in the area due to the multiple mineralisation events that have taken place over Earth’s history.
What’s more, included in the purchase are 5 other properties near Lovelock, about a two hour drive from Hot Springs Peak and in a completely different geologic setting. There, the rubble around historic mining is grading 7% copper, but there remains considerable work to do to confirm any of these grades. I must confess, however, that this is all rather enticing. Due diligence is well underway on the purchase, and further information will certainly be released over the next couple of weeks, but Wabi’s successful acquisition of a portion of this region could be a jackpot waiting to happen.