Nevada Sunrise preps for first drilling at Coronado
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management recently granted Nevada Sunrise Gold (TSXV: NEV; US-OTC: NVSGF) permits to drill the company’s newly optioned Coronado volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) project, located 48 km south of Winnemucca, Nevada, near the past-producing Big Mike copper mine.
The Bureau approved nine drill locations at the 19 sq. km Coronado project. The company wants to drill more than 1,600 metres across six holes at the Coronado South anomaly and an additional 1,400 metres across six holes at the Coronado North anomaly. It’s funded to complete a preliminary drill test consisting of 762 metres across three diamond drill holes at Coronado South, less than 5 km northwest of Big Mike, in the first week of December 2018.
“It has a higher magnetic signature, it’s highly conductive, it’s large, and it’s covered in dirt—we think at least 50 metres or more,” says company president and CEO Warren Stayner in an interview with The Northern Miner.
The company identified the anomalies after flying 648 line km of helicopter-borne Versatile Time Domain Electromagnetic survey over Coronado in July 2018. The company spaced the lines 150 metres apart and identified several anomalies on trend with Big Mike.
Although overburden covers most of the property, at Coronado South the company found rare outcrops of thin bedded to laminated chert exhalite and cherty tuffaceous sediments containing fine-grained oxidized sulfide casts and locally relict anhedral pyrite grains.
The company notes that the exhalite is similar to exhalite found at Big Mike.
The historic Big Mike open pit near Nevada Sunrise’s Coronado project. Credit: Nevada Sunrise.
“If someone took a chunk of it and sent it into the lab in the 70’s or 80s or 90s, they would have said ‘There’s nothing here,’ which, is perfect because that preserves it for us,” Stayner says.
The mined-out Big Mike mine was discovered in the 1930s. Prospectors sampled an outcrop and found gold, but couldn’t find any extensions. Then in the 1960s, Cerro drilled through 200 feet of overburden and hit Big Mike’s massive sulphide lens. It tabled a resource in 1969 estimating Big Mike contained 634,000 tonnes grading 3.41% copper including 67,000 tonnes of massive sulphide ore grading 11.78% copper and 344,000 tonnes of oxide and mixed ore grading 3.41% copper. In 1970, Ranchers Exploration and Development turned a high grade portion of the deposit into an open pit mine and produced roughly 25 million lb. copper from 90,000 tonnes grading 10.5% copper. It also heap leached roughly 270,000 tonnes of lower grade ore.
In early July 2018 Nevada Sunrise acquired an option to purchase Coronado. It signed a definitive option agreement for Coronado a few months later, in September 2018.
To acquire its interest, Nevada Sunrise must pay the property owner US$1.4 million and 2 million shares and spend US$1.1 million on exploration at Coronado over four years.
“We have the chance here for something really big, because what I know about VMS is there’s never just one,” Stayner says. “They always occur in a series or a cluster.”