Great Western makes progress with Mineral County claims
Great Western Mining updated the market on its operations in Mineral County, Nevada on Thursday, where it holds around 17,000 acres of claims, and was exploring for, appraising and developing precious and base metals.
The AIM-traded firm said a light coring rig had now been mobilised to the M4 copper project in the JS Group, and the first hole had now been collared, with casing set in concrete for the first metre.
Drilling was going ahead immediately to test a prospective copper target, and was likely to be followed by a second hole on the same prospect.
That rig had the advantage of being light and manoeuvrable, the board said, but was less powerful than a larger rig, so the initial drilling would test its capabilities and rate of penetration.
The company said it planned to drill veins on the Mineral Jackpot group with the rig during the current work season, in areas which were difficult to access using a larger rig without new road construction.
As it had previously announced, a reverse circulation (RC) drilling rig had been contracted and would be moved to the vicinity in the next few days ready for the main 2021 drilling programme.
Subject to receiving a formal drilling permit in time, which had been applied for and was expected shortly, the RC rig would first be mobilised to the Trafalgar Hill prospect at the Olympic Gold Project, where six holes would initially be drilled, most likely starting in the third week of April.
Additionally, Great Western said a long-term analysis of a sample load of spoil heap material from Mineral Jackpot by a metallurgical laboratory in the UK was now complete, and had concluded that gravity separation would be the most effective and economic means of recovering commercial quantities of gold and silver from the spoil heaps in this area.
Under test conditions, material which was ground to a diameter of 0.35 millimetres liberated 50% of available gold and 40% of available silver, further improved when the material was ground to 0.25 millimetres, which yielded up to 140 grams of gold and 20,000 grams of silver per tonne processed.
Following the laboratory results, cyanide leaching was not recommended, due to “greatly increased” costs and a much longer lead time for commercial development, which would deliver only a “marginal” increase in recoveries.
As a result, Great Western said it would proceed with a gravity separation project.
The company added that it had signed a contract for the services of a “highly-qualified” UK-based metallurgical consultant, who was developing the specifications and sourcing equipment for a commercially-viable gold and silver gravity separation project.
“This is an exciting moment for the company, being the first time in its history that it has launched a major drilling campaign for precious metals, while a recent fund-raising will enable us to expand the programme where appropriate,” said chairman Brian Hall.
“Our drilling plans for the 2021 season, primarily the search for precious metals but also including testing a copper prospect, are on track and we will be reporting on results as they become available.
“In addition, we now have a way forward for our production operation and will keep shareholders informed on progress.”
At 1443 BST, shares in Great Western Mining Corporation were up 8.61% at 0.25p.