It is realistic to think that upon completion of its EIR, the remaining elements for this mine will soon fall into place.
Emgold Mining Corp.’s (TSX: V.EMR, Stock Forum) Idaho-Maryland Project (IMP) lies at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains - a region that produced over 17 million ounces of gold and is the original Mother Lode Country that spawned the California Gold Rush.
The Idaho-Maryland Mine was the second largest underground gold mine in California producing 2.4 million ounces of gold with an average recovered grade of 0.43 ounce per short ton (“opt”) or 14.7 grams per metric tonne (“gpt”).
The IM project is a structurally controlled mesothermal mineral deposit with numerous high grade vein structures showing both horizontal and vertical continuity - The Idaho No. 1 Stope was one of the richest bonanza grade ore shoots in the world, producing one million ounces of gold from one million tons of ore.
Current resources are:
Measured and Indicated (M&I) - 472,000 ounces of gold (1.7 million tons at 0.30 opt or 1.5 million tonnes at 10.3 gpt)
Inferred (I) - 1.0 million ounces of gold (2.6 million tons at 0.30 opt or 2.3 million tonnes at 13.4 gpt)
Emgold’s management believes that the many exploration targets at the mine have the potential to up the combined resources to between 3 and 5 million ounces of gold (the exploration target of 3-5 million ounces of gold is based on projecting ounces per vertical foot to depth). To date, 216 gold resource blocks have been defined to delineate measured, indicated, and inferred resources with a total of 512 exploration targets identified for further exploration. In addition, 26 conceptual gold exploration targets have been defined.
Emgold is completing an Environmental Impact Report (“EIR”) to reopen the mine and ultimately plans to construct a 2,400 ton per day (2,200 tonne per day) operation with the potential to produce over 200,000 ounces of gold per year. Existing Idaho-Maryland Mine workings consist of 72 miles (116 kilometers) of tunnels with the lowest level developed to a depth of 3,280 feet (1,000 meters) below surface. Conventional underground mining and gold processing methods will be applied.
Patented mineral rights consist of 2,800 acres (1,100 hectares), typically 200 feet (60 meters) or more below surface. Mineral rights are patented mining claims and are owned or controlled under a Lease and Option to Purchase Agreement. Surface property rights consist of three properties, totalling 146 acres (69 hectares), which act as portals to the subsurface rights. Surface rights are owned or controlled under a Lease and Option to Purchase Agreement.
The mine operated on and off for almost 100 years. The original stake was made in 1851, with mining beginning in 1862 and continuing on and off until 1954 when it became uneconomical in the post war boom with gold trading at just US$35 an ounce.
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