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By Nathan Pearson
Canada-based Altan Nevada Minerals Limited (TSX Venture: ANE) has announced the staking of a new project and details of upcoming work programs on two of its projects in resource abundant Nevada. The company’s exploration portfolio now totals more than 17,400 hectares (43,000 acres), making them a top 20 claim holder in the state.
On April 10th 2012, the company announced 3,000 meters of reverse circulation drilling to commence in early May, 2012, at the company’s Black Top gold project located in Nye County, Nevada. The Black Top gold project is on the same regional structure that hosts the Round Mountain gold mine, a 20 Moz epithermal gold giant operated jointly by Kinross and Barrick, located approximately 140km northwest of Black Top. Black Top is dominated by Miocene volcanic geology, which is a similar in age and geology to that of Round Mountain and is anomalous in gold (from 0.1 g/t up to 3 g/t), silver and epithermal pathfinder elements (As, Hg, S, Tl, Sb), also typical of epithermal-type gold systems.
The substantial size and un-explored nature of the Black Top gold system make a compelling exploration play.
For a map of the area, see figure 1.1 below.
Figure 1.1(Source: Altan Nevada Website) Black Top in the Round Mountain structural corridor.
Getting Down to Business: 3000 Meter RC Drilling Program: The Targets
First pass drilling will focus on three target areas including Oswald East, Middle Domain and Rachel Grade (see figure 1.2 below). These large target areas have not previously been drill tested, being recently identified through innovative and systematic exploration by Altan Nevada.
Oswald East – Recent soil results highlight a robust Au-As-Sb anomaly 1 km in diameter that coincides with a strong near surface IP anomaly. IP surveys show a very intriguing structural setting and geochemistry confirms alteration features typical of epithermal gold systems. Because the zone is shallow, it is a first priority target.
Middle Domain – Rock chip and soil geochemical sampling delineate a well-developed Au-As-S-Tl anomaly, 1+ km long, in an area with numerous shallow prospect shafts and pits, locally with high mercury values. This anomaly coincides with strong IP chargeability features at depth. The zone is relatively shallow and represents a solid target with high tonnage potential.
Rachel Grade – The large gradient array IP survey also identified a large (1.5 km long), high-amplitude chargeability feature at depth in the eastern sector of the project, which may be a feeder zone to the widespread gold system. The Rachel Grade target has the potential to be very large in size and is only shallowly covered on its western edge, making it a high priority target with relatively low drilling cost.
Figure 1.2 (Source: Altan Nevada Website)
In other news, Altan Nevada’s ongoing generative program continues to yield results. The company recently announced the staking of anew project – Yellow Cone. The Yellow Cone project is a large volcanic hosted copper-gold-silver system that has seen very little modern-era exploration and has the potential to deliver big results. It consists of approximately 503 newly located mining claims, 100% owned by the company, and covers an area of approximately 10,000 acres.
Yellow Cone was identified through regional geophysics as a structurally-controlled magnetic low astride a regional gravity high. An extensive quartz vein system was historically developed through a number of shafts and produced several thousand ounces of gold early in the 20th century. Recent rock sampling showed anomalies ranging from 1 g/t Au to 26 g/t Au, 10 g/t Ag to 880 g/t Ag, and 0.1% Cu to +5% Cu. Reconnaissance-scale IP geophysical surveys have yielded very promising results, and additional planned work programs for 2012 are expected to deliver drill targets before year end.
MONTELLE TRENCHING PROGRAM
The company has also commenced trenching at Montelle. The program is designed to expose high-grade gold-controlling structures. The plan is for approximately eight trenches for an aggregate 670 m over a strike length of 1.2 km. The highest priority trenches are being cut across zones that have yielded numerous assays greater than 5 g/t Au (up 23.7 g/t Au) from surface grab samples of quartz veins and quartz vein gouge during recent reconnaissance efforts by Altan Nevada.
Montelle is a reconnaissance-generated project with high grade copper-gold bearing quartz veins and shear zones in a Yerington stage granitoid that has been largely overlooked in the modern era of Nevada exploration. The information obtained from the trenching and sampling program is designed to deliver a number of new drill targets.
A FIRM GRIP ON MANAGEMENT, AN ALL STAR CAST IN NEVADA
Altan Nevada Chairman and Director, John L.C. Jones has been a prominent player in the international mining sector for forty years, accumulating a long list of successes including a guiding involvement in four companies leading to the discovery of four deposits and the development of eight mines.
Mr. Jones states “It is our firm belief that future large gold deposits in Nevada will be delivered by seamless exploration-finance-management teams like Altan Nevada’s that can quickly identify and evaluate concealed metal systems using the Company’s unique blend of leading edge technology and Nevada-based discovery experience, and that important new discoveries will be achieved by explorers like us that are driven to succeed.”
Key to that success is Kelly Cluer, Altan Nevada’s Director of Exploration. Mr. Cluer played a significant role as Senior Geologist of Uranerz and Cameco Gold in the discovery of the Ren Deposit (1.6 Moz Au at a grade of 10.29 g/t) located on the Carlin Trend (just 60km from Altan’s North Star project) and has been successfully exploring in Nevada for more than 20 years.
Altan Nevada boasts a veteran management team that has a track record of success in the mining industry, and discovery credit in Nevada. With a market cap of only $7.7 million and a highly prospective portfolio developed through $4.8M in exploration expenditure over the past 5 years, Altan Nevada is a company investors will want to keep on their radar as projects advance through additional aggressive exploration programs in 2012.
Follow the company’s progress at http://www.altnev.com