Viscount’s flagship property is focused on exploratory mining operations in the immediate vicinity of an area commonly known as the Cherry Creek Project, located approximately 30 miles north of the town of Ely, in White Pine County, Nevada.
The Cherry Creek claims currently consist of 320 contiguous unpatented and patented claims as well as mill rights, covering more than 2658 hectares. Viscount has acquired all rights by purchasing the from the owners the patented claims which, allow Viscount the exclusive rights to prospect and explore for, mine by underground or open pit methods, mill, prepare for market, store, sell and dispose of all ores and minerals on or under the described properties.
Viscount has also acquired over 20 past silver / gold / tungsten producing mines including Blue Bird, Chance Mine, Filmore, Last Chance, Exchequer/ New Century Mine, Ticup and Motherlode mines.
Geologically, most of the mines are located in numerous Precambrian to Triassic aged quartzites, shales, limestones and dolomites as vein deposits, mostly in the Prospect Mountain Quartzite and the Cambrian Carbonate Formations. One of our project’s goals is focused on exploring the extensions of major veins in the district.
The three past important mines located in the Cherry Creek project are the Ticup, New Century / Exchequer and Star Mines. Because these three large past producing mines and the numerous smaller mine can indicate a possible hidden large mineral system related to a buried acid intrusive pluton Viscount staked all of the prospective ground between and adjacent to the old mines and prospects. This is the first time the all of the ground is under one company.
Flint Spring Canyon
The recognition that the Flint Spring Canyon may be analogous to Newmont’s Long Canyon deposit was first made during the field investigation for the Snowden NI43-101 report in 2012.
The 2015 mapping done by Summit at Flint Spring Canyon found the area to be much more complexly faulted than previously indicated on the Adair 1961 geologic base map. Summit’s mapping program found that east‐west orientated faults and fractures, which are important ore controlling structures at the Ticup and Star Mines, also occur in the area. The Flint Canyon area contains highly dissected fault blocks of the Dunderberg Shale with the underlying Marjum Limestone and overlying Notch Peak Limestone. The Pogonip Formation overlies the Notch Peak and both units are important host rocks for Long Canyon type gold mineralization in eastern Nevada.
Viscount’s Flint Canyon area exhibits alteration and mineralization characteristic of Long Canyon-type gold deposits. The exploration program in 2016 was started at Flint Spring Canyon soil sampling combined with detailed geologic mapping and drilling.
Jasperoid occurrences in Nevada are extremely significant, and mineralized jasperoid outcrops are common throughout the Flint Spring Canyon area. They occur principally along the base of the Dunderberg Shale but other outcrops are found along Pogonip‐Notch Peak contact. Many major gold discoveries have been made based on the presence of outcropping, weakly mineralized jasperoid hosted in and along bedding contacts of carbonate rocks. At Flint Canyon, jasperoid is found in the same carbonate rocks that are prolific host rocks at Newmont Mining’s nearby Long Canyon gold deposit.
The jasperoid beds, interpreted as west dipping tabular features, occur along the base of the Dunderberg Shale and within the Pogonip group limestone. The Dunderberg Shale is generally recessive and is exposed mainly along the outcropping contacts with more competent rocks. The Dunderberg appears to be moderately altered throughout its distribution, and at Flint Spring Canyon it experienced widespread and significant alteration by hydrothermal fluids. The underlying Marjum Limestone is usually competent and unaltered, while the overlying Pogonip exhibits variable alteration.
The Flint Spring Canyon jasperoid and carbonate rock chip samples are highly anomalous in gold mineralization. Of the 203 rock samples collected in the Flint Canyon domain (includes northern Lead Mine Canyon).
32 RC holes for a total of 5,369 meters. Relatively strong gold intercepts were found in silicified zones in the Cambrian strata, in collapse breccias, silicified zones in the Ordovician Pogonip Formation and in silicified zones in an undifferentiated dolomite. Most of the drilling was on the west side of Flint Spring Canyon, and the anomalies on the east side of the canyon are still un-tested.
Exchequer/New Century Mines and Star/Grey Eagle Mines
Recent mapping and sampling by the project geologists have verified the anomalous gold in this area, from the Star Mine up to and past the Grey Eagle vein which is subparallel to the Exchequer vein. Since the Star structure strikes northwest, it may extend to the Exchequer vein. Therefore, the potential target area extends from the Star Mine to the Exchequer structure. The drill programs will test the possibility of a major deep seated gold-silver and base metals deposit in this general mineralized area. This could become a significant new area with economic grade mineralization. With the possibility of connecting the three past producing mines underground, could mean a significant cost saving in mining if an economic grade deposit is discovered.
Numerous exploration and mining activities were conducted in the past at Cherry Creek up to 1964. These activities were primarily focused on silver/gold with associated base metals and tungsten. The Cherry Creek district contains patented land ownership from most of the older mines in the area. Numerous archival mine reports and history have been identified for the Cherry Creek District in NBMG Bulletin 85. Numerous mines exist in the district and exploited silver, gold with base metals and tungsten in the late 19th and early 20th century. A photo of the Cherry Creek area is located in Figure 1.
Here at one time was the largest town in White Pine County, part of the Cherry Creek Mining District. Cherry Creek’s main years of gold and silver production were between 1872 and 1883. At the peak of its prosperity, the town had an estimated population of 6,000.
A company of volunteer soldiers under a Captain Tober discovered a gold-silver bearing quartz vein in the area at Egan Canyon, approximately 5 miles south of the subject claims, possibly as early as 1861. In 1863, some early mining started in the Gold (Egan) Canyon. The Gilligan mine was developed in 1863, the production from which was processed in the first mill in Nevada constructed in 1864. Silver was and still is the principal economic metal in the area; however gold associated with the silver has also provided significant economic returns. By 1866 both a 5-stamp and a 10-stamp mill were operating. In 1869 a 20-stamp mill was built at the head of Egan Canyon to treat the silver ores, there were now by this time three mills operating in the area.
The first mine in the Cherry Creek area was the Ticup, discovered in 1872. This initial discovery brought an immediate rush of prospectors to the area. Following on from the Ticup were the Star, Exchequer and Grey Eagle mines. The town of Cherry Creek, located at the mouth of Cherry Creek Canyon was formed in 1873 with an early population in the range of 400 by this time seven mines were operating. This initial production era stopped in 1875 with a general downturn in the US economy.
The next period of significant mining production began in 1880. At its peak, around 1882, the town had a transient population of 6000 and 1800 permanent residents. New claims were developed at the Ticup and Exchequer mines and by 1874 there were a reported twenty mines of various production rates in operation. In that year a major fire led to the closure of the Star Mine.
The initial production focus was silver chloride, evidenced at the surface by muddy yellow-grey stains. This type of silver ore could be smelted directly. Later siliceous and sulphide ores became more evident and more difficult to treat by direct smelting. A combination of low silver prices, the higher cost of mining and recovering silver from the deeper sulphide ores, and a continuation of low economic growth in the US and Europe led, by end 1885, to the closure of the mines in the district.
In 1905 a return to production was experienced in the Cherry Creek area. The Ticup, Exchequer, and Star Mines were reopened and production began at two new mines, the National and the New Century. An extension of the Northern Nevada Railway through Cherry Creek was opened in 1906; however production from the area again faded by 1910 with some of the mines only operating at a very small scale. The Penns Star Mining Company built a flotation mill to process the sulphide ores that continued to process ores through to 1921.
In 1927, the Nevada Standard Mining Company was formed and purchased forty one claims that encompassed most of the districts mining claims and operating companies. The company continued to actively mine the Star (the most productive mine in the area), Gray Eagle, Imperial and Exchequer mines. The mines by then had workings of more than 40,000 feet. The Company worked the mines through to 1940 when production from the area finally ceased.
Figure 1: Claim Map showing patented and un-patented claims
The Cherry Creek project area can be reached by heading south of Wells, Nevada on highway 93 and then west on a local county road for 8 miles. Most of the federal land in the project area is governed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in the Cherry Creek mine district. The claim areas are accessed from the town of Cherry Creek to the northwest via a well maintained unpaved road up the Exchequer Valley to the Exchequer mine area and from there by foot. Access to lower topographical elevations may be gained for the purposes of exploration on a year round basis. For air service, the closest major airport is in Salt Lake City, Utah located approximately 110 miles to the north east.
The climate in the region of Cherry Creek is semi-arid with monthly precipitation less than 3 cm. Snowfalls of 18 cm or more can occur during the winter months, particularly at the higher elevations.
Daily temperatures range in the summer between highs of 21 and 32°C during the day and between lows of 2 and 10°C during the night time. Winter temperatures range during the day between -4 and 4°C and at night time between -12 and -4°C with potentially lower temperatures at higher elevations.
Topography, elevation and vegetation
The regional topography is mountainous with the mineral claims located in the Cherry Creek Range that runs generally north-south for approximately 80 km. The highest point in the range is an unnamed peak, 3,188 meters located just south of the border between the White Pine and Elko Counties. The mineral claims in which Viscount have interests are located along the western and eastern slopes of the Cherry Creek Range at a surface elevation of between 2,130 and 2,440 masl (meters above sea level) and are located to the west of the Steptoe Valley that has an elevation of about 1,830 masl. The entrance to the Exchequer Mine is at an elevation of approximately 2,130 masl.
The abandoned town of Cherry Creek is located in the Steptoe Valley as shown on Figure 5.The vegetation sparsely covering the slopes of the Cherry Creek Range is generally stunted juniper and fir. At higher elevations the juniper gives away to Pinyon and other pines followed by mountain mahogany and open stands of alpine balsam, bristlecone and cattail pine. The natural vegetation remains in all areas other than some small areas developed for mining operations.
The Cherry Creek Project Area lays within the Basin and Range Tectonic Province of the western US. The Basin and Range Province consists of a series of North to NNE trending mountain ranges separated by broad alluvial basins. The mountain ranges are structurally high areas; the basins are structurally low areas. Complex fault movements resulting from deep seated crustal extension formed the basins and ranges. The crustal extension process began between 30 and 20 million years ago, and is still on going to this day.
The area contains every geologic system from the Precambrian to the late Triassic with shales, quartzites, limestones, and dolomites. The entire area is tilted on a west dipping homocline partially covered by latter rhyolite tuffs and flows. These rock units are cut by three sets of faults and intruded by two smaller igneous plutons (32.1 m.y.) with numerous north west and north east trending dikes, some of are up to 1,200 feet wide and 4 miles in length. Most of the favorable ore is found along structural contacts with the Prospect Mountain Quartzite and major lithologic units and faults.
The general structural trend of the north part of the Cherry Creek Mining District is that of a west dipping monocline. The oldest structures in the area are the bedding plane faults. They are all hosted in the Cambrian sections, and have metal deposits associated with them. Three major right lateral faults cut across the range. Two of these, the Black Metal Fault and the Exchequer Fault are in the prospect area, and both strike to the northeast. They displace the bedding plane faults, but not the intrusives, thus being bracketed in terms of possible age. The Black Metal Fault is the more northerly of the two, and is thought to have the greatest displacement (1,220 m). It is persistent, and in the field it is marked by quartz veins silicification and brecciation.
The Exchequer fault is the host to the Exchequer vein, described previously. Just west of the mine, the vein is hosted in quartzite and splits into several segments. Additional northeasterly faults exist in the district, and some are associated with metal deposition.
East –West striking faults also exist and are thought to be part of the general development of the northeasterly trending systems. They are not as common, but significant as they host the Star vein.