Projects

Almaden-Nutmeg Mountain

Summary
The Almaden project is a flat-lying outcropping ore body that, within surface to approximately 300 feet, hosts a NI 43 101 compliant measured resource of 239,000 ounces of gold (10,810,000 tons grading 0.022 opt), an indicated resource of 625,000 ounces of gold (32,240,000 tons grading 0.019 opt) and an inferred resource of 84,000 ounces of gold (5,270,000 tons grading 0.016 opt), at the cut-off grades of 0.008 opt, 0.012opt, and 0.023 opt for the oxide, mixed, and sulfide mineralization, respectively (Technical Report for the Almaden Project dated 08 December 2009).

The Almaden (Nutmeg Mountain) Project is located in western Idaho, about 22 km (13 miles) east of the town of Weiser in Washington County, and lies on the south-eastern edge area of the Columbia Plateau. Most of the gold mineralization at the Almaden (Nutmeg Mountain) Project is in the Main and North zones, located on the south-western flank and northern ridge crest, respectively, of Nutmeg Mountain. The Almaden (Nutmeg Mountain) Project is comprised of about 4,300 acres (17.4 square kilometers or 6.7 square miles), which includes 12 patented lode mining claims, 210 unpatented lode mining claims, and about 280 acres of leased private fee ground. Almaden (Nutmeg Mountain) is a near-surface, epithermal, hot springs related gold deposit. Gold mineralization occurs within tabular, flat lying bodies from surface to 122 meters deep, with the majority of gold found within 90 meters of the surface. The deposit occurs in three principal zones: the Main and North zones and the Stinking Water Basin area. The Main Zone consists of a rectangular, north-northwest striking, tabular body approximately 1,065 meters in length and 245 to 520 meters in width. Currently, the maximum depth of mineralization in the Main Zone is approximately 122 m. Gold in the North Zone is concentrated along a northerly trending, tabular, oval body less than 60 meters deep, roughly 335 meters long (N-S) and 150 meters wide. The Main and North zones host the bulk of the measured and indicated resources while most of the inferred resources are located at Stinking Water. The inferred gold resource in Stinking Water Basin lies almost 400 meters west of the North Zone and approximately 600 meters north of the Main Zone. At Stinking Water, a very large, loosely defined, northeasterly trending, tabular, oval shaped, highly fractured slump block measuring is covered by a veneer of silicified and veined boulders derived from the North Zone. The gold mineralization at Stinking Water is hosted in this relatively coherent landslide/slump block. Thickness of mineralization in Stinking Water can be as much as 60 meters thick.









Geological
Nutmeg Mountain, on which the Nutmeg Mountain property is located, lies on the axis of the northwest-trending Sturgill Peak anticline. Nutmeg Mountain also lies along the northwest trending Paddock Valley Fault system. The mountain is a topographic high due to hydrothermal silicification of the Miocene sandstones within the Payette Formation. The crest of Nutmeg Mountain is characterized by a relatively flat, wide top in its southern half (the Main Zone), in which the bulk of the resources are located, and a steep-sided, north-trending ridge on the north (the North Zone). The wider south half is reflective of the wider Main Zone silicification.

Almaden (Nutmeg Mountain) is a near-surface, epithermal, hot springs related gold deposit. Gold mineralization occurs within tabular, flat lying bodies from surface to 122 meters deep, with the majority of gold found within 90 meters of the surface. The deposit occurs in three principal zones: the Main and North zones and the Stinking Water Basin area. The Main Zone, located on the wide, flat western top of Nutmeg Mountain, consists of a rectangular, north-northwest striking, tabular body approximately 1,065 meters in length and 245 to 520 meters in width. The zone trends northwest and contains about 75% of the mineral resources. Currently, the maximum depth of mineralization in the Main Zone is approximately 122 m. The North Zone underlies the narrow ridge crest at the north end of Nutmeg Mountain, more than 600 meters northeast of the Main pit in the north end of the Main Zone. Gold in the North Zone is concentrated along a northerly trending, tabular, oval body less than 60 meters deep, roughly 335 meters long (N-S) and 150 meters wide. The Main and North zones host the bulk of the measured and indicated resources while most of the inferred resources are located at Stinking Water. The inferred gold resource in Stinking Water Basin lies almost 400 meters west of the North Zone and approximately 600 meters north of the Main Zone. At Stinking Water, a very large, loosely defined, northeasterly trending, tabular, oval shaped, highly fractured slump block measuring is covered by a veneer of silicified and veined boulders derived from the North Zone. The gold mineralization at Stinking Water is hosted in this relatively coherent landslide/slump block. Thickness of mineralization in Stinking Water can be as much as 60 meters thick.

At Nutmeg Mountain, variably silicified Payette Formation arkosic sandstones and lesser siltstones are underlain by unsilicified and generally unaltered claystone in the Main Zone. The arkosic sandstone unit in the area of the Main Zone is overlain by an often chalcedonic, multi-lithologic debris breccia that is in turn overlain by a sinter blanket. Mercury, as cinnabar, is present in the sinter and has been the focus of mining in the past. Gold mineralization is hosted primarily in the underlying Payette Formation, which has been subjected to multiple phases of hydrothermal alteration, brecciation, and veining. North-northeast-trending high-angle faults appear to be having been active both before and during the mineralizing events, while northwest-trending high-angle faults appear to be syn-mineral and the main controls on Almaden (Nutmeg Mountain) Project gold mineralization.

Gold mineralization is hosted primarily in the underlying Payette Formation, which has been subjected to multiple phases of hydrothermal alteration, brecciation, and veining. North-northeast-trending high-angle faults appear to be having been active both before and during the mineralizing events, while northwest-trending high-angle faults appear to be syn-mineral and the main controls on Almaden (Nutmeg Mountain) Project gold mineralization. A set of nearly east-trending high-angle faults with limited apparent movement are likely post-mineral in age. Alteration types recognized at the Almaden (Nutmeg Mountain) Project include silicification, argillization (acid alteration), and carbonatization. Silicification is by far the most common and widespread alteration at the Almaden (Nutmeg Mountain) Project, ranging from silica veining through silica flooding to total silica replacement of the host rock. Argillic alteration is common, ranging from weak clay alteration to nearly total argillization of the arkosic sandstone. Below and in the lower part of the mineralized zone, calcite quartz alteration is common. Its significance relative to individual veins or the deposit as a whole is uncertain.

Gold mineralization at the Almaden (Nutmeg Mountain) Project is hosted primarily in Payette Formation arkosic sandstone and occurs in near-surface, sub-horizontal tabular zones. The mineralization was deposited in a hot-springs environment and is associated with multi-phase hydrothermal brecciation and veining, strong silicification, acid alteration, and faulting. The siliceous sinter at surface, composed primarily of opaline silica, appears to post-date gold mineralization. Mercury is present in the hydrothermal system that deposited the gold at the Almaden (Nutmeg Mountain) Project and has been mined in the past.

Gold is present as particles of native gold ranging from <1 to 9 microns in size, though small amounts of visible gold have been reported from the property (core hole TAL-794C). Some portion of the gold is encapsulated in silica or is intimately associated with framboidal pyrite that is in turn silica encapsulated. Silver content of the gold averages 25%. Very fine-grained cinnabar occurs primarily in the sinter and is typically deposited along fractures, in veinlets, and as surface coatings in cavities. Multi-element analyses indicate the presence of molybdenum at low concentrations throughout the Almaden deposit, with increased concentrations of between 0.03% and 0.05% Mo over thicknesses of about 45 to 65 meters within the northern parts of the Main Zone and the North Zone. Moly values as high as 1.39% Mo were encountered in drilling at depth beneath the North Zone. The relationship between the gold and molybdenum mineralization, if any, has not been determined.

The Almaden (Nutmeg Mountain) Project mineralization is variably oxidized, with oxidation levels ranging from a few meters to greater than 100 meters. Stacked sequences of oxidized/partially oxidized material to unoxidized material and back into oxidized/partially oxidized material are common and are especially evident in the Main Zone. The shallow sulfidic material often occurs within strongly silicified, less fractured rock that is less permeable to circulating oxidizing fluids.










Mineral Resource Estimation
The Almaden project is a flat-lying, outcropping ore body that, within surface to approximately 300 feet, hosts a NI 43 101 compliant measured resource of 239,000 ounces of gold (10,810,000 tons grading 0.022 opt), an indicated resource of 625,000 ounces of gold (32,240,000 tons grading 0.019 opt) and an inferred resource of 84,000 ounces of gold (5,270,000 tons grading 0.016), at the cut-off grades of 0.008 opt, 0.012opt, and 0.023 opt for the oxide, mixed, and sulfide mineralization, respectively (Technical Report for the Almaden Project dated 08 December 2009).

The Almaden (Nutmeg Mountain) Project database used in the current resource estimate contains 886 drill holes and a total of 36,361 gold assays and 15,571 cyanide-soluble leach analyses. Over 48% of the gold assays within the database are from conventional-rotary drilling, 38% from reverse-circulation drilling, and the remaining 14% from core drilling. The database also contains 255 specific gravity measurements on Freegold 1996 and 2006-2007 drill cores.
Click here to view the Almaden 2009 Technical Report.

Three geologic models were created based on 50-foot-spaced, east-west oriented cross-sections: a geology/density model, a gold mineral-domain model, and a cyanide soluble-to-fire assay ratio ("CN ratio") model. The geology/density model contains eight rock types, each with a unique density value. These eight rock types are roughly based on lithology and alteration, primarily degree of silicification and argillization, and also on their spatial relationship within the geologic model. The gold mineral domain model contains four population domains whose cross-sectional boundaries are guided by the geology model. The four gold domains, identified by unique gold populations and geologic characteristics, have gold grade ranges of ~0.005 to ~0.01oz Au per ton, ~0.01 to ~0.03oz Au per ton, ~0.03 to ~0.065oz Au per ton, and >~0.065oz Au per ton. These domains generally represents the transition from weakly disseminated mineralization that is associated with weak to moderate silicification, to disseminated and structurally-controlled mineralization associated with pervasive silicification and increased hydrothermal brecciation and veining.


 
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