Almost 200,000 people heading to the California gold fields crossed through what is now Nevada via the California Trail. Many camped close to the confluence of the Humboldt River and Maggie Creek in northeastern Nevada. None of them had any idea they were just a very short distance away from one of the most prolific gold deposits in the world.
The area, known as the Carlin Trend, is a belt of gold deposits roughly eight kilometers wide and 60 kilometers long extending in a north-northwest direction through the town of Carlin, Nevada. The Carlin Trend has yielded more than 50 million ounces since its discovery - the entire California Gold Rush produced 40 million ounces.
In 1961 John Livermore was a Newmont geologist looking for gold in the windows of the Carlin Trend - windows occur where obscuring layers of rock, displaced by an uplift, have eroded to expose the rock below. Livermore found gold and staked the claims that became the Carlin Mine.
The vast bulk of Nevada gold production is from large mines where the deposits consist of microscopic gold particles. The gold in this type of deposit cannot be seen by the naked eye, nor can it be concentrated by panning.
"This gold is so fine you just can't pan it. You can't even see it under an ordinary microscope." John Livermore
No wonder old time prospectors and our California dreaming gold seekers passed it by.
In May 1965, Newmont's Carlin mine poured its first gold bar - by the end of the year the Carlin mine was the largest gold producer in Nevada and the second largest gold producer in the nation.
But by 1970 only one other new gold mine - the Cortez - had been discovered. Exploration in the area was at a standstill, almost everyone had given up and moved on - but John Livermore felt there were further discoveries to be made so he started Cordex Exploration in 1971.
One of the first things Livermore did was hire Whit DeLaMare to prospect for the company - a smart move as DeLaMare's work led to the discovery of the Pinson, Preble, Sterling, and Dee mines and the development of the Getchell Trend, which is second only to the Carlin Trend in Nevada gold production.
Nevada gold and silver mining Facts from the Economic Overview of Nevada's Mineral Industry, published by the Nevada Mining Association:
- Proven and probable gold reserves in the top US gold mining state of Nevada increased from 70 million ounces in 2008 to 75 million ounces in 2009
- Nevada's rank in world gold production in 2009 was sixth behind China, South Africa, Australia, Russia and Peru
- Nevada gold production accounted for more than 79% of total US gold production and approximately 7.2% of global production
- Gold operations mined 5.64 million ounces of gold in 2009
- Silver production was 7.2 million ounces in 2009
"Nevada's production declined for the eighth straight year because higher prices allow operators to process lower grades of ore. While lower production levels may seem like bad news in the short term, in the long run it extends the life of ore bodies and enhances the sustainability of the industry." John Dobra, economist, University of Nevada
Terraco Gold Corp. (TSX.V - TEN) is focused on gold exploration in Nevada.
Shares Outstanding: 46,516,691 Insider share ownership: 10% fully diluted
Warrants: 4,000,000 Institutional share ownership: 1%
Options: 2,995,000 Retail share ownership: 89%
Fully Diluted: 53,511,691 Cash : $400,000.00 Debt: $0.0
Terraco recently closed a non-brokered private placement to raise CAN$1,750,000.00. No finder's fees or commissions were payable and net proceeds will be used for exploration purposes and general working capital.
Terraco is currently focused on its Nevada Moonlight project.
The Moonlight project area was identified by the Cordilleran (Cordex) Exploration Company. Cordex principals are John Livermore - credited with the discovery of the Carlin deposit in Nevada and the discovery and development of the Pinson and Dee mines - and Andy Wallace - credited with a major role in the discoveries of the Marigold and Stonehouse/Lone Tree gold deposits as well as the Daisy (Secret Pass) mine.
The Moonlight property is located in Pershing County, Nev., and is located 35 kilometers northeast of Lovelock and eight kilometers north of the Coeur Rochester silver-gold mine. The Rochester mine has produced over 125 million ounces of silver and well over 1 million ounces of gold in its 24-year history.
The Moonlight property also adjoins the Barrick Gold Corp./Midway Gold Corp. joint venture Spring Valley Project (NI 43-101 compliant resource of 1,835,000 ounces gold) to the north.
A systematic grass roots program on Terraco's Moonlight property consisting of mapping, rock sampling (results were as high as four grams per tonne gold and 2,500 grams per tonne silver) and airborne and ground geophysical surveys identified several targets that appear to display either geological or geophysical characteristics similar to areas of gold mineralization in Barrick/Midway Spring Valley Project.
Chip sampling at the historic Moonlight Mine yielded results of up to 2,510 grams per tonne (gpt) silver across one meter and 1,045 gpt silver across 1.5 meters. Within the Moonlight Basin, dump and outcrop sampling yielded values as high as 3.75 gpt gold and 257 gpt silver.
Sampling has also revealed previously unidentified anomalous gold, silver and base metals in outcrop and float elsewhere within the Moonlight Project area.
At many of the old mines and prospects on the Moonlight property gold and silver do not appear to be closely correlated in sample results, this might suggest these precious metals originated from different mineralizing events.
Terraco commenced a Phase One drill program on the Moonlight property in September 2007. Results indicated anomalous gold and silver mineralization spans the entire Basin.
A Phase Two drill program started in June 2008. This program was conducted in the Phlueger Mine/Cottonwood Creek area 2.4 km north of the Moonlight Basin and 1.6 km due east of Phlueger Mine where two holes in this area returned:
- TML 24 - 21.3 meters of 35.2gpt silver, including 10.7 meters of 43.7 gpt silver and 1.5 meters of 115.4 gpt silver
- TML 27 - 24.38 meters of 31.1gpt silver, including 10.7 meters of 72.8 gpt silver and 1.5 meters of 211.5 gpt silver
"The drill results from the Phlueger area are very encouraging and certainly indicate additional drilling is warranted." Todd Hilditch President and CEO
There is some evidence to suggest that Moonlight could be the next mineralized event in a string of deposits on the Humboldt Trend ranging from Relief Canyon at the south end, north through Nevada Packard, Rochester, Spring Valley and Moonlight. Terraco's Moonlight Project is one of the largest early stage properties remaining on the Humboldt Trend.
Todd Hilditch - director, president and CEO has been president and CEO of Terraco Gold Corp. since the company's inception in 1995. Hilditch has over 15 years experience in the natural resource sector. He has held the position of president and CEO and director of numerous TSX Venture listed companies. He manages all aspects of the day to day business of Terraco Gold Corp. Hilditch graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., with a bachelor of science degree in management, majoring in finance.
Hilditch is also currently a director, president and CEO of Salares Lithium (TSX.V - LIT) a Canadian listed company with lithium brine projects in Chile. Salares Lithium Inc. and Talison Minerals Pty Ltd. of Australia recently announced that they have executed a binding letter of agreement to combine their respective lithium assets and create the world's largest, publicly traded lithium production and exploration company.
Charlie Sulfrian, P.Geo - Terraco's vice president of exploration has more than 25 years of national and international exploration experience - the majority of his tenure being with Barrick Gold Corp. He earned his bachelor's degree in geology from Colorado College, Colorado Springs, Colo., majoring in structural and economic geology.
Sulfrian has participated in and helped lead successful exploration programs and project evaluations in the Southwestern United States and China. He has extensive experience at Barrick's (TSX:ABX) Goldstrike Mine. In 1982, his work lead to the discovery of the Post Oxide Deposit and in 1984 co-discovered (with Keith Bettles) the Deep Post Deposit ("The Betze Post").
Dr. Ken Snyder, PhD, P.Geo - Terraco's consulting geologist has over 28 years of national and international exploration experience directed toward the discovery and mining of precious, base metal and mineral deposits. Highlights of his career include the disovery of the Rex Grande gold vein in Nevada, which became known as the Ken Snyder Mine and is currently in production with Newmont Mining (TSX:NEM). As a mineral exploration geologist, Snyder specializes in the planning, design coordination and implementation of mineral exploration programs.
Richard DeLong, P.Geo - director, has worked in the minerals industry for over 25 years with experience as a geologist and environmental manager in all aspects of exploration and development in North America and overseas. DeLong, President and Principal Scientist of Enviroscientists, Inc., is an expert in mine and mineral exploration permit acquisition and environmental review. His expertise includes environmental site assessment services, the National Environmental Protection Agency, United States mineral access permits and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Toxic Release Inventory. DeLong is an appointed Commissioner of Mineral Resources for the state of Nevada, a trustee of the Northwest Mining Association, a member of the Nevada Mining Association, chairman of the board of the Geological Society of Nevada, and a member of the Society of Mining Engineers.
DeLong holds two master of science degrees from the University of Idaho, one in geology in 1986 and the other in resource management in 1984, which he obtained while a fellow at the Institute for Resource Management. He also received a bachelor of arts degree in geology from California State University at Chico in 1980. DeLong is a professional geologist in California and Idaho, and a certified environmental manager in Nevada.
William Lamb - director, has over two decades of experience in the mining operations and project development industry. Having obtained a NHD in extraction metallurgy for the Technicon of the Witwatersrand, he worked for Rand Mines, gaining production experience in the gold, platinum, chrome and coal sectors. In 1994, Lamb joined De Beers working as a research officer in the Johannesburg based research laboratories. Three years later he joined Kvaerner Metals as their lead process design engineer, responsible for all metallurgical design aspects of the non-ferrous division. After focusing on heavy mineral concentration design, Lamb returned to De Beers as their Dense Medium Service Specialist. Lamb transferred to De Beers Canada Inc. in 2002 as their metallurgical superintendent, responsible for process design and certain project management aspects of the Canadian projects. In 2005 Lamb took the role of process manager for the Victor mines in northern Ontario. After completing an MBA through the Edinburgh Business School, Lamb joined the Lundin Group (May 2008) and is now chief executive officer and a director of Lucara Diamond Corp.
Alfred Fischer, P.Geo - director, graduated from the University of British Columbia in geology (B.Sc Honours) and specialized in hard rock geology with a minor in mining engineering. He has been an independent geological consultant since 1996. Prior to that period, Mr. Fischer was employed for over 20 years by Gulf Canada Resources Ltd. in a management capacity relating to exploration, development, acquisition and divestment activities.
Terraco seems to have everything I want in a quality junior company:
- High quality, past successful management
- Good projects with great neighbors in the right area
- Tight share structure
- Ability to access capital markets
Nevada's gold and Terraco Gold Corp. TSX.V - TEN should be on every precious metal investor's radar. Is it on yours?
If not maybe it should be.
Legal Notice / Disclaimer
This document is not and should not be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase or subscribe for any investment. Richard Mills has based this document on information obtained from sources he believes to be reliable but which has not been independently verified; Richard Mills makes no guarantee, representation or warranty and accepts no responsibility or liability as to its accuracy or completeness. Expressions of opinion are those of Richard Mills only and are subject to change without notice. Richard Mills assumes no warranty, liability or guarantee for the current relevance, correctness or completeness of any information provided within this Report and will not be held liable for the consequence of reliance upon any opinion or statement contained herein or any omission. Furthermore, I, Richard Mills, assume no liability for any direct or indirect loss or damage or, in particular, for lost profit, which you may incur as a result of the use and existence of the information provided within this Report.
Richard Mills owns shares of Terraco Gold Corp.
Terraco Gold Corp. TSX.V - TEN is an advertiser on his website.