Next Contender for Nevada’s
By Marc Davis of www.BNWnews.ca
Though Nevada’s world-famous
gold fields have historically yielded over 150 million gold ounces, they are
still proving to be geologically fertile hunting grounds for exploration-minded
junior mining companies.
Two good examples are Auex
Ventures and Fronteer Gold. Their gold finds were scooped up earlier this year
for the princely sum of $2.3 billion by Nevada’s deep-pocketed dominant gold
miner, Newmont Mining (TSX: NMC) (NYSE: NEM). (This came on the heels of
Fronteer gobbling up Auex in a deal worth $280 million). Both Auex and Fronteer
were listed on Canada’s mining-oriented TSX stock exchange.
Now several dozen other mining
juniors are vying for their own big pay days. They include Midway Gold (TSX: MDW),
which has made a significant gold discovery at its Spring Valley Project in the
Humboldt gold trend. This is where 2.16 million ounces of gold have been
outlined, along with drill-inferred indications that a further two million
ounces are also within reach.
Just a few miles to the east of
the Spring Valley Project another small aspiring gold miner, Max Resource (TSX.V:
MXR) (NASD OTC BB: MXROF), is also hoping to strike pay-dirt in the same
prolifically mineralized gold camp. Max just commenced drilling its Majuba Hill
property, which encompasses a small historic past-producing mine that dates back
as far as 1907. This is where high grade copper was mined, along with both gold
and silver. Notably, the Majuba project is also in close proximity to three
modern-day gold/silver mines.
Max’s management hopes to
significantly expand the Majuba Hill property’s mineralized footprint and to
outline a meaningful resource base. The company is encouraged by the fact that
drilling in 2007, which was conducted by the property’s previous owner,
encountered grades as high as 145 grams per tonne (g/t) of silver over 4.57
meters (5.1 ounces per tonne over 15 feet).
“We believe that Majuba Hill
exhibits the early-stage potential to become a large tonnage copper/silver
porphyry deposit,” says Stuart Rogers, President of Max Resource. “By summer
time, we should hopefully have assay results completed to determine if our
exploration model is on the right track.”
One Vancouver-based investment advisor, who is also a geologist,
says that Max is shrewd to have established itself in such a richly mineralized
region, where other companies have had considerable success during the last
“There’s certainly the potential to successfully duplicate the
type of important discoveries made by companies like Fronteer or Midway,” says
the source, who is not authorized to speak to the media and asked not to be
“I think Max have set themselves
up well with the acquisition of Majuba Hill,” he adds. “The historical work
there suggests that the property hosts a porphyry copper/silver system with some
very high grade results. I’m really encouraged by the potential to expand upon
those historical results.”
Max has the option to earn up to
a 75% stake in the project by spending $10 million on exploration over the next
eight years. However, any exploration success will likely see this timeline
shortened considerably, according to Rogers.
“Promising mineral discoveries
tend to be developed along an expedited timeline in mining-friendly Nevada,
unlike many other jurisdictions elsewhere in the world,” he adds. “Just look at
Fronteer Gold, which went from a standing start in 2007 to a headline-grabbing
buy-out just four years later after proving up nearly six million ounces of
Another one of Max’s key
prospects is the East Manhattan Project, which is in the same gold trend as the
2.3-million-ounce Northumberland deposit, which was one of Fronteer Gold’s
prized assets. Max’s project is also just eight miles south of the world-class
Round Mountain mine, where over 12 million ounces of gold have been produced to
date by its joint owners, Barrick Gold (TSX: ABX) (NYSE: ABX) and Kinross Gold
Corp. (TSX: K) (NYSE: KGC).
Max is also exploring the
Diamond Peak property, which is situated in the Carlin Trend – the world’s most
prolific gold belt, where over 60 million ounces of gold have been mined to
date. This project is scheduled for drilling later this summer. A two-hole 2010
drill program encountered encouraging gold grade intercepts, according to
Then there’s also the Table Top
project near Majuba Hill, where a recent six-hole drill program intersected gold
in every hole. Highlights include 9.6 metres of 1.04 g/t (31.5 feet of 0.04
ounces). Table Top is just a couple of miles south of the small but high-grade
Sandman deposit, which was also one of Fronteer’s three key gold assets prior to
the company’s acquisition by Newmont.
According to Max’s management,
the significant mineralization encountered at Table Top during a 2010 drill
program appears similar to that encountered at the Goldstrike Betze-Post mine in
the Carlin gold belt. Owned by the world’s largest mining company, Barrick Gold
(TSX: ABX) (NYSE:
ABX), this mine
has over 12.5 million ounces of reserves. And with an annual output of around
1.25 million gold ounces, it is also inexpensive to operate.
Drilling at Table Top in 2010
intersected gold mineralization that ran as high as 12.1 meters of 0.91 g/t of
gold (40 feet of 0.031 ounces). Max plans to continue drilling this summer with
the goal of identifying a high-grade vein system that is similar to the ones
that host several nearby gold deposits. They include the Sleeping Canyon Mine,
which is 25 miles to the north, and where over 2.5 million ounces of gold have
been mined to date.
Other junior mining companies in
Nevada that are generating encouraging exploration results include Evolving Gold
(TSX: EVG), Klondex Mines (TSX: KDX), Golden Standard Ventures (TSX.V: GV), Atna
Resources (TSX: ATN), La Quinta Resources (TSX.V: LAQ), Victoria Gold (TSX.V:
VIT) and Rye Patch Gold (TSX.V: RPM), to name a few.
The principals of www.BNWnews.ca and
www.Top40GoldStocks do not directly or indirectly own shares in any of the
companies mentioned in this article.