Finding Gold via Mercury Hot Springs Systems
Some of the highest-grade gold mines in the world are associated with hot springs systems. The best example would be the Hishikari gold mine in Japan with a head grade of 40 g/t gold. The Midas Gold Mine in Nevada owned by Klondex Gold has grades up to 19 g/t gold.
While on the weeklong visit to Nevada looking at various projects recently, the most early stage deposit was owned by a private company controlled by geologist Bob Hatch and leased to another private company named Volcanic Gold and Silver LLC. Our team visited the project named Mercury Mountain, home to three prior mercury mines operated up until the 1960s.
Rock chip samples from outcropping veinlets over a 1.6 long by .45-mile wide area show grades in excess of 4 g/t Au. Until recently, the district was owned by a variety of mining companies and no district scale exploration was possible. Bob Hatch wants to raise money and target the deeper bonanza-grade potential veins.
Normally such a deposit would not increase my pulse rate. There are 10,000 projects with potential in Nevada, Arizona and California. You could double the national debt faster than Obama just by doing a phase 1 scout-drilling program testing every potential deposit.
All this project had going for it was the visible evidence from the three prior mercury mines and some interesting gold grab samples from outcrop. To really understand the project, you would need the best mercury hot springs expert in the United States.
Of course, that would be Bob Hatch.
Bob Hatch began working for Homestake Mining Company in 1977. From day one, his task was to pour over data from old hot spring systems that were mined for mercury. He was one of several geologists to look at mercury mines through California, Oregon, Idaho and Nevada. He was the first geo to look at the Almaden project in Idaho now owned by Terraco Gold.
Bob spent two years in Australia and New Zealand during 1983 and 1984 advancing his knowledge of mercury hot springs for Homestake. Eventually he and the rest of the industry realized that what was thought of as a mercury hot springs was nothing more than what is now called a low-sulfidation epithermal vein system.
Mercury Mountain and Volcanic Gold and Silver will need to wait for higher metals prices to be able to raise money, but in my view, the project merits a look-see and scout drill program.