North Bay Resources Inc. is pleased to issue the follow progress report on our exploration efforts at the Ruby Mine in Sierra County, California, where mining is set to begin in the Black Channel this week.
Underground work at the Ruby Mine is presently focused on four concurrent headings. These include continued mining in the White Channel, driving the South Terrace Raise to the recently discovered terrace gravels, reinforcing and securing the entryway to the recently-constructed Big Bend Bypass Raise to the old workings upstream of the Big Bend, and the start of mining as well as continued exploration in the old workings downstream of the Big Bend in the southern extent of the Black Channel.
Mining in the Black Channel will begin this week, and will be initiated by driving a crosscut through pillars near the China Chute. The crosscut will allow easier access to the old workings, and will cut through some of the richest channel gravels downstream of the Big Bend. The crosscut will start at the top of the China Chute and run upstream for approximately 60 to 100 feet, cutting through 2 or 3 pillars. It is anticipated that the crosscut will produce significant gold. This area of the channel was extensively mined by previous operators, but large pillars up to 40 feet thick were left between old workings.
Also within the Black Channel, an ongoing exploration effort to locate additional mining targets has been underway within the old workings. Compressed air pipe and water lines have been extended and installed that allow for a portable sluice box to be moved from place to place. The miners locate prospective areas by metal detector or clues gained from experience and excavate the rock by pick or, at times, blasting. Gold recovered from specific locations is photographed and cataloged for the purpose of identifying the number of types and sources of gold.
The Company also reports that new gravels have been successfully intersected above the Black Channel as a result of a drill program that began two weeks ago and which is yielding positive results. This effort consists of long hole drilling with a standard air leg drill. These short holes, generally up to the 30 to 34 foot limit of the drill, are exploring for terrace gravels on the south rim of the Black Channel. At the Big Bend, terrace gravels were present 15 to 25 feet above the outer or south rim of the channel. We are attempting to locate the continuation of these terraces downstream, between the Big Bend and the China Chute. Six holes have been drilled to date, three of which successfully penetrated gravels. The elevation of the gravels indicates they are high gravels within the main Black Channel, not terrace gravels. The drilling will continue concurrent with the crosscut mining underway this week.