On Feb 5th, 2018, New Jersey Mining Company announced results from its latest exploration trenching program at its Golden Chest Mine in Northern Idaho.
The Company completed 14 trenches, totaling 653 m, which were designed for testing for near-surface, open-pittable gold mineralization in areas where the Idaho Fault and its related vein set project to the surface. Trenches were completed in three target areas: the area just north of the presently producing Golden Chest pit, and within the Klondike Ridge and Katie-Dora ore shoots.
At the Golden Chest pit, trenching effectively uncovered the Idaho Vein and the Stevens Split Vein with resulting assays of 9.2 grams per ton (gpt) gold over 3 m and 7.6 gpt gold over 3 m, respectively - supporting the potential expansion of the Golden Chest pit by more than 30 m to the north. The Company will continue to assess the possibility of expansion as the pit is advanced.
Past drilling has established that the Idaho Fault and its associated vein set exit the Golden Chest Ore Shoot just north of the existing open pit, leading to an area of weaker mineralization prior to the vein set entering the next ore shoot to the north, the Klondike. The trenching program sought to more accurately define the northern boundary of the Golden Chest Ore Shoot and to check the capability of developing a second pit near Klondike Ridge, about 370 m north of the existing operations, along the Idaho Fault.
The collective experience of Grant, Rob and John Etienne (NJMC Senior Geologist) exploring, developing, and producing gold from the Golden Chest property continue to validate our approach at the Golden Chest as we assess the potential for expanding our operations and strategically building a land position throughout the Murray Gold Belt. Concurrent with our expansion efforts at the Golden Chest, Del has been leading efforts to augment our Central Idaho holdings as part of our continued focus on historic past producing mining districts in Idaho and Montana.
John Swallow, CEO and President, NJMC
A short drill program and trenching assay results provided the other key highlights of the 2017 program. Six exploration trenches exposed gold-quartz veins at surface that returned high-grade assays with a number of intervals returning values much above the existing open pit cut-off grade. Highlights included Trench #12, which returned 8.3 gpt gold over 6.1 m, and Trench #9, which returned 65 gpt gold over a narrow 20 cm vein. Assay results from the drill program are yet to be obtained.
Our earlier work re-defined the alignment of the Idaho Fault and the trenching program definitively located the Idaho Fault and its associated high-grade gold-quartz veining. These results, combined with known historic gold mining in this area, support our belief that there may be sufficient mineralized material at surface to support development of an open pit in the Klondike area and possibly the Katie-Dora.
Rob Morgan, VP of Exploration, NJMC
From the five trenches excavated in the northern Katie-Dora area, three intercepted hanging-wall veins, and the other trenches successfully uncovered the Idaho Fault location. Trenches #4 and #14 both exposed the same 20 cm banded vein (assaying more than 20 gpt gold) linked with Idaho Fault. This area will be targeted with extra trenching in 2018.
The Golden Chest Mine is presently producing gold from both underground and open pit operations, with all ore shipped to the neighboring New Jersey Mill for processing. Management is certain that the property has long-term district-scale production potential, not just near their recently constructed mines but also in areas of past exploration and historic production.