Anova Metals owns 100% of the Big Springs Gold Project. The Project hosts Carlin-type gold deposits and is located in an established gold mining region, 80 km north of Elko in the north east of the state of Nevada, USA.

Location

The Project is located about 90 kilometres north of the city of Elko, Nevada, USA. Elko is located on a major transportation route, Interstate Highway 80 (I80), between Salt Lake City, Utah and Reno, Nevada.

Figure 1: Project location in north eastern Nevada, USA

Access to the Project is by paved Mountain City Highway (State Route 225) north from Elko, and then by unpaved county road CR735 direct to the project area.  All mineral claims occur on public lands within the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest which is administered by the US Forest Service, a federal agency, or on private land owned by Anova.  No private land-owner access or compensation agreements are necessary. The principal population centre in the region is Elko which is well serviced with all necessary facilities to support the  local mining industry.

Figure 2:  Secondary access road to the Big Springs Gold Project.

At present, grid electrical power is available within 2 kilometres of the Project site.  Given that Nevada is a major mining area, there should be no problem attracting skilled labour.   The general terrain in the region is mountainous, with rounded hills or steep mountains separated by wide valleys filled with pediment gravel.  Regional elevations range from a low of about 1,900 metres in the valley of the Humboldt River to a maximum of 3,050 metres at the high point on Mac Ridge.  Localised colonies of conifers or trembling aspen occur within the valleys.

Figure 3:  General physiography of the Big Springs Project.

Figure 4:  Big Springs Claim Block draped over topography, looking towards the SE.

Figure 5:  Location of Big Springs Gold Project.

History

The Project area was initially explored by Superior Oil – Falconbridge in the 1970′s and the ground was subsequently acquired by Bull Run Gold Mines Limited in 1980.  Bull Run executed a joint venture agreement with Freeport Minerals Co, the operator of the giant Jerritt Canyon Mine, 17 km to the southwest, who started drilling in 1982 and quickly discovered and defined three gold deposits.  Gold production began in 1987 from the Mac Ridge pit and five other pits followed until the mine was finally closed in 1993.  Total gold production was of the order of 386,000 ounces.  Some of the near-surface material was treated by the heap leaching, but much of the gold was contained in refractory, sulphide-rich material that was milled, with the ore subjected to an oxidising roast before treatment in a carbon in leach plant.  Following mine closure the pits and waste dumps were reclaimed to meet current environmental regulations.

Seven separate and discrete mineralised bodies were defined, of which six were mined with open pits. The seventh, 601 Pit, was pre-stripped but not mined at closure.  During this period, Freeport became Freeport McMoRan Gold Company and the operating subsidiary of the joint venture was known as Independence Mining Company Inc.  A total of 510,000 ounces of gold was mined from the 6 separate pits with 386,000 ounces of gold recovered.  An average ore grade of 4.1 g/t gold was achieved over the life of the mine.

Independence Mining (owned by AngloGold Ashanti) allowed the Big Springs claims to lapse, and the ground was subsequently staked by GSI in November 2001.  Gateway Gold Corporation acquired a 100% interest in the Project in 2002 through the payment of cash and shares and a small NSR royalty.  Gateway conducted extensive exploration programs with a high drilling component between 2003 and 2006 before they were taken over by Victoria Gold Corp. in December 2008.  No exploration has been done on the Project since the takeover due to Victoria’s preoccupation with a major discovery in the Yukon.

Development

The Big Springs gold deposits exhibit many of the characteristics of Carlin-type deposits and comprise five separate zones.  The Project was mined by Freeport McMoRan between 1987 and 1993 producing 386,000 ounces of gold from six open pits.  Mining at the Project ceased in 1993 due to low gold prices. From 2002, new owners of the Project, Gateway Gold Corp. completed extensive exploration work on the Project including 49,100 m of RC and diamond drilling.  This work was combined with pre-existing drill data to produce a combined database with over 2,400 drill holes.

Figure 6: The Big Springs Project comprises five separate zones

In 2006, Gateway reported an NI 43-101 inferred gold resource estimate within the Project. Anova’s due diligence has been unable to validate the basis of the assumptions and estimates used in that NI 43-101 report and, accordingly, Anova does not rely on it.

Figure 7: Open pit mining at the Big Springs Project ceased in 1993 due to low gold prices.

Gold mineralisation extends from surface and is open along strike and at depth, and forms a series of high grade shoots that extend well below the base of the previously mined open pits.

Figure 8: Long section below decommissioned North Sammy pit looking ESE

It is important to note that ore is present from surface or the base of existing open pits and that there is potential for both open pit and underground development. Previously mined areas and waste dumps remain the responsibility of the previous owners.  Net smelter return (‘NSR’) royalties in the range of zero to three per cent are payable to various claim groups related to the deposits.

In addition to the complex of known deposits, the Project also comprises more than 50 km2 of highly prospective terrain that contains significant, untested, gold-in-soil geochemical anomalies as well as geophysical targets that remain to be drill tested.

Resources

Anova has completed new Inferred Mineral Resource estimate in accordance with the JORC Code (2012 edition) that comprises a total resource of 14.8 million tonnes at 2.0 g/t gold at a cut-off grade to 2.5 g/t gold results in a high grade core to the deposit of 2.9 million tonnes of 4.2 g/t gold for 388,000 ounces.  See ASX Announcement 12/4/13.

Deposit

Resource

Category

Cut-off

(g/t Au)

Tonnes

(Kt)

Grade

(g/t Au)

Contained gold

(ounces)

North Sammy

Measured

1.0

346

7.0

77,900

 

Indicated

1.0

615

3.1

62,200

 

Inferred

1.0

498

2.8

44,100

 

Sub-total

1.0

1,458

3.9

184,100

 

North Sammy

Measured

0.8

-

-

-

Contact

Indicated

0.8

443

2.3

32,400

 

Inferred

0.8

864

1.4

39,300

 

Sub-total

0.8

1,307

1.7

71,800

 

South Sammy

Measured

0.8

295

4.0

38,200

 

Indicated

0.8

3,586

2.1

239,900

 

Inferred

0.8

3,721

1.3

159,000

 

Sub-total

0.8

7,602

1.8

437,200

 

Beadles Creek

Measured

1.0

-

-

-

 

Indicated

1.0

119

2.2

8,200

 

Inferred

1.0

2,583

2.3

193,500

 

Sub-total

1.0

2,702

2.3

201,700

 

Mac Ridge

Measured

0.8

-

-

-

 

Indicated

0.8

-

-

-

 

Inferred

0.8

1,887

1.3

81,100

 

Sub-total

0.8

1,887

1.3

81,100

 

Dorsey Creek

Measured

0.8

-

-

-

 

Indicated

0.8

-

-

-

 

Inferred

0.8

278

1.4

12,900

 

Sub-total

0.8

278

1.4

12,900

 

Briens Fault

Measured

1.0

-

-

-

 

Indicated

1.0

-

-

-

 

Inferred

1.0

799

1.6

40,500

 

Sub-total

1.0

799

1.6

40,500

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total

Measured

 

641

5.7

116,100

 

Indicated

 

4,762

2.2

343,300

 

Inferred

 

10,630

1.7

570,400

 

Total

 

16,032

2.0

1,029,900

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 1: Big Springs Mineral Resource estimate June 2014 (2012 JORC Code guidelines)

Figure 9: Plan projection of the Big Springs resource domains