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By Nathan Pearson
May 31, 2012
Nevada State, home to three quarters of the Gold production in the US is the 4th largest gold producing entity in the world rivalled only by the countries of South Africa, China and Australia. Nevada has produced 200 million ounces of gold since 1981 and a further 81 million ounces are on reserve alone. Investors and miners alike will continue to look to Nevada to satisfy a significant portion of the world’s appetite for gold.
With investors continuing their search for companies in the area with a high prospect for a million ounce plus deposit discovery, the key to realization lies in the acquisition of world class prospects managed by veteran management teams. Altan Nevada’s management team has a proven track record of success and the ability and funding to execute discoveries in a timely, efficient manner. The company is currently drilling world class projects with the hopes of releasing an investor palpable resource calculation. Drills continue to turn, and a steady stream of company news and milestones will be released.
Work programs are well underway on three of the company’s eight prospects, with subsequent news planned for the summer and fall months. Assays are scheduled to be released to the market later this year concerning Black Top, while Montelle’s trenching results are due back in the near term and further exploration is underway at Yellow Cone. The 3000 metre drill program about to begin at Black Top is of significant attention. The Black Top gold project is on the same regional structure that hosts the 20 Moz Round Mountain epithermal gold mammoth. Operated jointly by Kinross and Barrick, Round Mountain’s regional structure is more than an attractive piece of land to share.
With more than 40 years actuality discovering gold deposits in Nevada, Altan Nevada’s exploration team is led by Director of Exploration Kelly Cluer. In a recent May 26th interview with Financial Press (FP), Kelly Cluer (KC) shared his insight on the benefits of operating a budding gold exploration company in one of the most prolific gold regions in the world.
FP: Why is Nevada one of the best jurisdictions in the world for junior miners and miners alike?
KC: Nevada is a friendly state for exploration and mining, with a long history of mineral production, and continuing large new discoveries. It is very safe, nearly the entire state is accessible by truck, and you are never very far from roads, food or power. The overall value of mineral and energy production in Nevada in 2010 was $7.7 billion, the highest ranked state in the US. Mining employs a lot of people in Nevada and the government is fully aware of the economic benefits it brings to the state.
Mining has also been a part of Nevada’s history since the 1800s, and with good reason: Nevada is extremely rich in gold, silver, copper and molybdenum. There were 23 active mines in 2010 producing these precious and base metals.
FP: Why is there so much Gold in Nevada? Is there a specific geological anomaly as to why so much gold has been produced in the state?
KC: Nevada’s Basin and Range province with its vast gold endowment really is a geological anomaly. Nevada’s total gold production is approximately 200 million ounces, 85% of which has been produced during the current boom from 1981 to present.
Geologically, extremely favourable conditions throughout the last 750 million years have created the mineralogical wealth in Nevada. It began when an ocean basin formed over what is now Nevada about 750 million years ago when Antarctica and Australia drifted away from North America. This ocean basin filled with siltstones, limestones and other favourable host rocks. Then around 350 million years ago island arcs formed to the west and thick layers of deep water sediments were thrust over the shallower sands and limestones. These lower plate siltstones and limestones are chemically favourable for gold precipitation and the contact between the upper and lower plates is an important boundary when exploring for gold.
Around 200 million years ago the ocean floor started subducting beneath the sedimentary rocks that are now Nevada, which produced volcanoes, granitic rocks, and large-scale structures, that would eventually act as conduits for ore bearing fluids. Finally around 40 million years ago, the western US started to pull apart, stretching and thinning, which caused deep cracks in the crust. These deep cracks acted as conduits for volcanic and intrusive rocks and moved fluids through the favourable sedimentary rocks. Pressure, temperature and chemical conditions were right and gold precipitated in the sedimentary host rocks. These deep cracks and aligned intrusions are now the major gold trends in Nevada such as the Carlin and Cortez.
Even though 200 million ounces have already been produced, Nevada still had 81.0 million ounces of gold reserves reported in 2010. So there is still a great deal of gold left to mine in Nevada and even more left to discover.
FP: In terms of MGMT playing a key role in advancing any junior resource company, are there any successes MGMT has been involved with in Nevada to date? If so, what are those successes and how do they pertain to Altan Nevada?
KC: Yes, I was involved with the discovery of the Ren deposit on the Carlin trend when I was with Uranerz USA which subsequently became Cameco Gold and then Centerra Gold. Ren is considered to be a deep extension to Barrick’s Goldstrike Mine and it currently contains a 2.2 Moz gold resource.
Altan Nevada’s North Star project on the Carlin trend is not far from the Ren deposit, so we know the geology quite well in that area. We definitely have experience in Nevada, with our geologists collectively having 40+ years of experience working in the state. It’s this past experience that has led to Altan Nevada picking up some key projects, like Black Top, where we are looking for a Round Mountain-type analog and Radar, which is in the Paradise Peak gold-silver district.
FP: Altan Nevada recently announced a 3000 meter drill program at the Black Top Gold project, a staking program completed at Yellow Cone and a trenching program announced at the Montelle prospect. Is there a timetable of events the investment community will want to pay attention to in the coming weeks and months?
KC: Drilling should commence at the Black Top project within the next several weeks and will go into the summer, with assays later in the year. Trenching results from the Montelle project should be expected shortly and we will continue our work at the Yellow Cone prospect. It will be a busy field season for Altan Nevada and we should have news throughout the summer and into the fall.
Follow the company’s progress at: http://www.altnev.com.