New Jersey Mining Company (“NJMC” or the “Company”) today announced the discovery of a new footwall vein (the “Stevens Vein”), and also provided an update on open pit operations, at its Golden Chest Mine project near Murray, Idaho.
Pit excavation has revealed three veins in the pit area, a hanging wall vein thought to be the Jumbo vein, the Idaho vein, and the newly-recognized Stevens Vein. On the 1096 bench, trench sampling has shown the Stevens Vein and the Idaho Vein to be at least three meters wide (true thickness) with a grade of 15.2 grams per tonne (gpt) gold, and approximately two meters (true thickness) with a grade of 4.0 gpt gold, respectively.
NJMC President John Swallow stated, “The Stevens Vein discovery is an exciting development for the Company. A preliminary review of previous drilling data suggests that this footwall vein may extend for some distance along strike to the north, potentially allowing for pit expansion and/or possible future underground resources. The previous drilling, while identifying the starter pit, was far from comprehensive in this area. Meanwhile, underground dewatering continues and we plan to be mining underground later this year.”
Ore control sampling taken from exposed rock and blast hole drilling have shown assays with average gold grades of approximately 5 gpt, matching favorably with the modeled resource, previous core drilling, and recent trench sampling. Blasthole assay results on the 1090 bench show most of the gold in the pit area is associated with the Stevens Vein.
For an overhead view of blasting at the open pit, please visit the Golden Chest Mine page of the Company website at www.newjerseymining.com/golden-chest.
During the first month of open pit operations, stripping started at the 1116 elevation and mining has progressed down to the 1090 bench. Mining is now completed on 3-meter benches after drilling and blasting on 6-meter intervals. Approximately 2,000 tonnes of ore have been mined and are being delivered to the Company’s nearby New Jersey Mill.
The open pit is located in an area of Idaho Vein outcrop, about 200 meters directly above the recently built mine portal. The starter pit contains an estimated 13,000 tonnes of mineralized material at an average grade of 4.99 gpt gold, or approximately 2,100 ounces of recoverable gold, with potential for expansion.
The mining plan is the result of optimization studies based on core drilling completed by Golden Chest LLC (NJMC and Marathon Gold) in 2011 and 2012. Tightly-spaced (25-meter grid) drilling in the outcrop area yielded multiple intercepts of high-grade, near-surface gold mineralization, highlighted by Hole GC 11-39 which assayed 7.62 gpt gold over 9.3 meters, beginning just 3.4 meters below the surface.
Golden Chest LLC completed an NI 43-101 technical report in 2012 and published an updated NI 43-101 compliant open pit Resource Estimate the following year. The 2013 Resource Estimate includes 4.63-million tonnes grading 1.71 gpt gold (totaling 254,000 ounces of gold) in the Measured and Indicated categories and 3.86-million tonnes grading 1.80 gpt gold (totaling 223,000 ounces of gold) in the Inferred category.
In September 2013, the Skookum Shoot portion of the Golden Chest Mine was leased to Juniper Resources LLC which, through its affiliate companies (“Juniper”), developed a state-of-the-art gold mine that produced ore from late-2014 until September 2015. Mine development performed by Juniper in 2014 and 2015 was based largely upon the work completed by Golden Chest LLC.
Company management believes the Golden Chest property has district-scale production potential for the longer term, not only near the recently constructed mine, but in areas of past exploration and historic production.