The South Mountain Mining District was discovered and worked in the late 1800s for high-grade silver ore mined from oxidized lead-silver veins. Mineralization on the patented claims consists of skarn-hosted polymetallic sulfide ore bodies hosted in a Paleozoic and/or Mesozoic carbonate unit. The principal metals historically recovered from the South Mountain property were silver, zinc, lead, copper, and gold. The property was mined underground extensively during World War II, and smelter records for “crude ore shipments” from the mine during the periods 1940 through 1954 showed a total of 53,642 tons of ore that contained 15,593,000 pounds of zinc (14.5%), 2,562,300 pounds of lead (2.4%), 1,485,200 pounds of copper (1.4%), 566,439 ounces of silver (10.6 ounces per ton)(opt) and 3,120 ounces of gold (0.058 opt). In addition to the direct ship ore, a flotation mill operated on the property during the mid-1950s, and, although no production records exist for the mill, it is estimated that well over 20,000 tons were processed, based on the amount of tailings present.
Approximately 8,000 feet of underground workings were completed at South Mountain, most of it during the 1940s and 1950s. Two primary drift levels were developed, the Laxey Level (2000 feet long, 7145 feet amsl) and the Sonneman Level (2700 feet long, 6850 feet amsl). In addition to the two main tunnels, intermediate levels and stopes were mined. South Mountain Mines, Inc. conducted extensive exploration work in the late 1970s through the mid-1980s and expended well over three million dollars on the property. They extended the Sonneman Level approximately 1200 feet to intersect with the Texas ore zone and completed approximately 13,000 feet of underground and surface drilling. In the area of the Texas ore zone on the Sonneman Level, approximately 75 feet of high grade mineralization was intersected in by the drift where 19 chip channel samples collected by South Mountain Mines averaged 14.45% zinc, 3.98% lead, 0.17% copper, 8.17 opt silver and 0.21 opt gold.
A 43-101 compliant ore reserve has not been completed for the property. Drill spacing was not based on statistical parameters and assays were not analyzed utilizing 43-101 QA/QC standards. By the mid-1980s, South Mountain Mining felt they completed sufficient exploration to calculate in-house ore resources utilizing historic data, underground drilling, surface drilling, and underground channel sampling. They also incorporated resource calculations completed by the Defense Minerals Exploration Administration (DMEA) from the 1950s into their resources. South Mountain Mines calculated a nearly 470,000 tons (utilizing ten cubic feet per ton) with grades averaging approximately 10.0% zinc, 1.40% lead, 1.0% copper, 7.6 opt silver and 0.05 opt gold. They also completed a preliminary feasibility study, including metallurgical test work done by Dawson Metallurgical Labs in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Mineralization is open along strike and is open to depth. At least nine separate ore zones have been mined, with the Laxey ore shoot having been mined from the surface to over 800 feet down dip, or 300 feet below the Sonneman Level. The potential mineralization may be as high as two million tons when the known ore zones are projected to a depth of 300 feet below the Sonneman working level.
Prior to finalizing the Stock Purchase Agreement, the Company completed a four-month due diligence period during which time reviews of the title, potential environmental liabilities, water quality, water rights, regional geologic setting, and the extensive existing data provided by South Mountain Mines. No significant negative issues were identified, and it was recognized that the abundant reactive limestone provides a strong neutralization potential for any acid rock drainage. None of the water samples showed low pH values.
As part of their due diligence work, the Company also opened up the Laxey Level and evaluated the underground conditions and conducted a minor sampling program. A total of six chip channel and other ore samples were collected in areas of previous sample locations, and the average grade for the samples was 9.13% zinc, 2.15% copper, 1.49% lead, 11.10 opt silver and a trace of gold.
Jim Collord, President of the Company, said of the acquisition, “South Mountain represents a rare opportunity for the Company because it is a property with known continuous high-grade mineralization with a mining history, and one with a tremendous upside potential. It does not have a negative historic environmental legacy, and I am confident that, if planned properly, it can be explored and mined once again in an environmentally responsible manner. I am very happy with the exploration successes that the Thunder Mountain Team has accomplished and South Mountain demonstrates that success.”
About Thunder Mountain Gold, Inc.
Thunder Mountain Gold, Inc./Thunder Mountain Resources, Inc. is an exploration company focused on the generation of precious and base metal projects in the Western United States, Mexico, and Alaska. The Company performs its own natural resource exploration and generates value for shareholders by aggressively developing high-grade, high-quality precious and base metal resources in politically stable mining regions.
This release has been reviewed and approved by Company Vice President Pete Parsley (M.Sc. and Registered Professional Geologist), and “qualified person” as that term is defined in National Instrument 43-101.
Investor Relations: Jim Collord e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Statements made which are not historical facts, such as anticipated production, exploration results, costs or sales performance are “forward-looking statements”, and involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected, anticipated, expected or implied. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, metals prices volatility, volatility of metals production, exploration project uncertainties, industrial minerals market conditions and project development risks. Refer to the Company’s Periodic Filings for a more detailed discussion of factors that may impact expected future results. Thunder Mountain Gold undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements.
Cautionary Note to Investors
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) permits mining companies, in their filings with the SEC, to disclose only those mineral deposits with a reserve that a company can economically and legally extract or produce.