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According to a historic county geological report silver ore was first mined in 1868 at an initial reported grade of 140 ounces (4,350 gm) of silver per ton. Mining continued until 1939, with reported grades of 25 ounces (780 gm) per ton. Limited exploration was conducted by Union Carbide in the mid 1960's and Santa Fe Minerals in 1980-82. That exploration was largely on the unmineralized Vinini formation footwall of the mineral system. The property has laid idle since then because Nevada exploration companies focused on gold instead of bulk mineable silver.
The silver and gold at Mineral Hill occurs in silicified and brecciated limestone. The limestone host rocks are in fault contact with underlying black Vinini cherts and shales. This fault is likely part of the Roberts Mountain thrust. Mineralization occurs adjacent to the thrust and as karst replacement bodies in the limestone. Surface samples from bedrock exposures have returned values of silver ranging from 50 to 1,215 grams per ton and gold values ranging from 0.1 to 5.2 grams per ton.
The property has strong potential to host significant new ore bodies along the thrust fault zone, and potentially may host shallow bulk-tonnage resources amenable to modern open pit mining. Many large dumps from historic mining occur across the property. In 1968 Siskon Corporation conducted a detailed trenching and sampling program of the extensive dumps on the property. Their study reported that bulk values averaged more than 125 grams of silver per ton for the majority of the dump material. The in-place multi-ounce per ton silver deposit is many times larger than the historic dump material. Provenance believes the property hosts a large shallow silver system. The Company believes just the dump material alone adds significant value to the property, and the new exploration potential is excellent.
Provenance plans to conduct an initial drill program beginning in late October. This program will be designed to define the thrust geometry to confirm the bulk silver potential for a potential open pit mine, and to explore for additional high-grade replacement bodies within the limestone. There is a strong reason to believe the high-grade bodies continue at depth.
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