EAST TINTIC DISTRICT, Utah -- Tintic Consolidated Metals LLC is reporting the discovery of ultra-high-grade gold and silver bearing veins within its wholly owned Trixie mine in the East Tintic District, Utah.
The company recommissioned its Trixie Au-Ag mine in late 2020 and began exploration development on the existing 625-foot level. Shortly after drifting began, a previously unidentified ultra-high-grade vein was intercepted, which has been denoted the “T2 structure.”
Horizontal development along this newly discovered, steeply dipping mineralized structure has demonstrated it to be continuously mineralized for at least 302 feet, with an average width of 6.6 feet and carrying a weighted average grade of 15.5 ounces per ton (oz/t) of gold (uncut) and 21.5 oz/t of silver.
The T2 structure is characterized by the presence of abundant bright green xocomecatlite (a rare copper tellurate mineral) within a 2-foot-wide footwall breccia, with adjoining intense quartz stockwork veining developed in the hanging wall of the structure over widths of 3 to 12 feet.
Channel face sampling of these intercepts has revealed gold grades ranging up to 102 oz/t of gold and 192 oz/t of silver over continuous widths of up to 8 feet.
“Since TCM was formed as a joint venture between IG Tintic (75%) and Chief Consolidated (25%) in June 2019 there has been remarkable progress made,” President and CEO Tom Bowens said. “In only 20 months, the company has reclaimed the surface infrastructure, reopened the first of a series of historic precious metal mines, and made a significant new gold discovery.”
“It is the company’s vision to bring this famous district back on-line as a major U.S. gold, silver and copper production center over the coming years,” Bowens added.
The Trixie mine is the first of a series of legacy mines TCM is targeting to re-open on its property holdings. Importantly, the Trixie mine is fully permitted with necessary environmental permits and bonding in place. The adjacent Eureka Standard high-grade gold mine anticipated is currently being investigated for a potential re-opening in 2023. TCM is also planning exploration for a prospective deep copper-gold porphyry deposit, with multiple porphyry targets identified on the property.
The T2 structure strikes north-south, dips steeply to the east, and has been developed thus far over a strike length of 302 feet. Significant high-grade gold and silver mineralization has been recorded over the entire strike length and over widths ranging from 3 to 12 feet, with mineralization remaining open in all directions.
Average gold grades within the xocomecatlite-bearing footwall breccia of the T2 structure typically range from 10 to over 100 oz/t, with the adjacent hanging wall stockwork vein zones averaging 1 to 3 oz/t of gold. Abundant visible gold is present in some ultra-high-grade samples.
This newly identified ultra-high-grade structure dips steeply towards the east, away from the historic mine development at depth. Significant depth potential and additional high-grade mineralization on this structure is interpreted both up and down dip. The identification and eventual exploitation of extensions to the newly discovered mineralization will be greatly enhanced by the existing infrastructure.
The company intends to continue a combination of lateral and raise development, along with short drillhole resource definition drilling along the T2 structure, to obtain better definition of the resource and reserves contained within this high-grade structure.
Access also has been gained to the historic next-lower 750-foot underground level of the Trixie mine, and lateral development on this level to the T2 structure will commence shortly. The reserves from the T2 structure will then be added to those resources defined prior to its discovery to calculate an overall resource and reserve estimate for the Trixie mine. The company intends to complete this updated resource and reserve calculation in 2021.
In addition to the Trixie mine, the company is in the process of developing an exploration program for the Eureka Standard mine, located approximately 2,000 feet north of the Trixie main shaft. The Eureka Standard mine was operated until 1947 and was historically the highest-grade precious metal mine in the East Tintic District. The Eureka Standard workings are connected to the Trixie main shaft by an underground drift at the 1350-foot level.
Historic production at the Eureka Standard mine was halted at the then groundwater table of the 1450-foot sub-level, on a high-grade ore shoot averaging 1 to 1.8 oz/t of gold, with mineralization remaining completely open at depth. The company is targeting the Eureka Standard mine for re-opening within two years, initially focusing on the depth extensions of the high-grade T2 mineralized structure.
The company is also developing a program to explore for a prospective deep porphyry copper-gold system underlying the East Tintic District, similar to the Bingham Canyon deposit located approximately 50-miles north of the project. The company has engaged Richard Leveille, the former president of Freeport McMoran Exploration Corp., to lead this porphyry exploration effort.