North Bay Resources Inc. is pleased to report that additional and previously unknown gold targets have been discovered in the underground workings at the Ruby Mine in Sierra County, California.
Recent geological mapping has identified at least 4 new target zones. Two of these locations are believed to be newly-discovered extensions of previously-known gold-bearing channels, and two are entirely new discoveries, including one that has been named the "New Black Channel." The significance of the New Black Channel, the discovery of which is described in more detail in the geological findings below, is that it is directly adjacent to a section of the mine that has already produced over 58,000 ounces of gold, including the world-class C.L. Best Collection of Ruby Nuggets currently on display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History.
As previously reported in a Company press release dated October 15, 2013, a digital geologic mapping survey led by Mr. C. Gary Clifton, P.Geo., has been ongoing since mid-September in the recently reopened sections of the Ruby tunnel. The survey is predicated on the belief that the underground placer gold at the Ruby Mine was deposited in pools or local depressions on the beds of ancient rivers that crossed the Ruby Mine property millions of years ago, and that the location of the pools can be predicted based on well-established principles of river morphology.
The initial results of the current phase of the mapping program have now been reported to the Company as follows:
- Approximately 800 feet of the "old" Black Channel workings in the Ruby Mine are accessible at this time. This section has been mapped in great detail for geology and elevation of the bedrock surface, and the bottom of the ancient channel upon which placer gold was deposited.
- Preliminary analysis confirms that the gold was deposit in pools (depressions in the bedrock surface) that are located periodically along the bottom of the channel. The distance between the pools is roughly the same, a very important consideration in mining. Placer deposits are characteristically patchy, but knowing the spacing between the rich patches (the pools) makes it possible to better predict where the gold will be found during mining.
- Geologic mapping has determined that the ancient river that is now referred to as the Black Channel was diverted shortly after placer gold was deposited. Ancient tree stumps, tens of millions of years old, are present in the mine workings, their bases protruding from the bedrock surface, through the gold-bearing gravels, and into volcanic rocks and sediments that filled the channel thousands of years later. This means that the Black Channel was diverted to another route at the same time it was carrying gold millions of years ago. This new channel, what we now term the "New Black Channel," must cross the Ruby property near the present workings. It is assumed that it crosses over the Ruby tunnel close to where it is now believed that an extension of the Cincinatti Channel also crosses and intersects the Black Channel.
- The Cincinatti Channel was previously mined at its upper end, so its location and direction of flow are well established. Earlier workers have estimated where it crosses the Ruby tunnel based on projection. Within the tunnel, this location is characterized by a section of wet, dripping rocks in the roof of the tunnel, a familiar feature of buried channels across the district because they act as aquifers. The Ruby tunnel has at least 4 such sections where a small amount of water is leaking in from above. Two of these locations are on the projection of known channels (the Cincinatti being one of them). The New Black Channel is a third and another previously unknown and as-yet unnamed channel the fourth. Each of these sections of the tunnel can be tested by drilling from within the tunnel. Maximum distance to any of these channels is estimated to be about 125 feet. A drill program is currently being planned, the goal of which is to intercept the gravels of these new channels that pass over the Ruby tunnel. Once located, drill holes will be placed at 20 foot intervals to each side of the discovery holes that define the shape of the bottom of the channel, the goal being to determine the deepest part of the channel (the gut). The gut is where placer gold would have been deposited and where a raise would be located to explore and mine the channel.