Miller Project, Nevada, US
On February 1, 2021, Austin Gold entered into a mineral lease agreement for exploration and mining rights and access to certain mineral claims on the Miller Property situated in Elko County, Nevada.
Project Location and Access
The Miller Project is located approximately 30 miles (50 km) south-southwest of Elko, Nevada on the eastern flank of the Pinion Range. The property is situated at the southern end of the Carlin Trend. Contact Gold’s Pony Creek deposit is immediately to the northwest, and Gold Standard Ventures’ Railroad District is further to the northwest. The claim package lies within Townships 28 and 29 north, Ranges 54 and 55E (Mt Diablo Meridian). The Miller project is accessible from the large (2020 population: 20,467) regional mining hub of Elko by approximately 30 miles (50 km) of paved road (State Route 228), followed by approximately 8 miles (13 km) of gravel road.
The project is an exploration stage project. There are no known mineral resources or reserves on the project at this time. There has been insufficient exploration on the project to estimate a mineral resource. It is uncertain if further exploration will result in the estimation of a mineral resource. Historical exploration has been conducted on the property.
Local Resources and Infrastructure
Elko’s economy is based primarily on mining, with ranching, tourism, and casino industries in descending order of importance. Interstate 80 and major railroads extend east and west from Elko, and numerous hotels/motels, restaurants, stores, and fuel stops are open 24 hours year-round. Mining contractors and service businesses have major offices and warehouses in Elko to supply the many mines currently in operation. The Elko airport supports scheduled flights, as well as private aviation and fixed wing/helicopter contractors.
Property Claims and Lease
The Miller Project consists of 117 claims in the original lease agreement, and an additional 164 claims which were staked in January 2021 for a total of 281 unpatented lode mining claims covering approximately 23.5 km2 on land administered by the BLM. Although the Company had filed the required documentation with the BLM and county recorder as required, there was a dispute on the ownership of 134 of the newly staked claims and on 36 of the original claims. The contending party did not pay the property maintenance fees on the disputed claims when they were due on September 1, 2022. Management believes that this situation has been resolved in favor of the Company.
The Miller Lease is for a term of 35 years, with work commitments, net smelter return royalties, annual lease payments, claim maintenance fees and agent payments.
Although there is no outcrop on any of the Miller claims for over a thousand feet in every direction, the project geology may be inferred from regional mapping, and from recent vertical electric soundings that may be able to constrain rock types by their diagnostic resistivity.
Pennsylvanian age conglomerates and siltstones with minor limestones of the Moleen Formation host gold mineralization on the adjacent Contact Gold property where they are in close proximity to rhyolitic subvolcanic intrusive rocks, and early Mississippian siltstones and sandstones of the Webb Formation host gold mineralization where in close proximity to rhyolitic subvolcanic rocks. Devonian and Silurian gold host-permissive carbonate rocks can be projected onto the Miller property from Cedar Ridge immediately to the NNE. It is interpreted that both Penn/Perm and Paleozoic rocks have been resistivity-detected by vertical electric soundings on the Miller property beneath shallow alluvium.
Property-scale gold mineralization indicators include large, multiple, strong and zoned biogeochemical anomalies that lie coincident with a detailed gravity-indicated N-S oriented horst. A horst is a fault-upthrown bedrock block due to dilatent structural conditions. Blue sky potential exists for gold mineralization in the N-S directions as evidenced by the extent of normal faulting from the north and the detailed gravity-indicated horst extensions.
The Miller Project is at the greenfields stage of exploration. Historical information received from the property vendors indicates that up to seven historical drill holes were drilled in the western-most part of the property in 1997 and 1998. Austin Gold is in the process of trying to find information on these drill holes, however these holes are not in the area of the biogeochemical anomalies. Despite the Miller Project lying on the interpreted southern extension of the Carlin Trend, only the current claimants have compiled all available biogeochemical, geophysical, and geological data in an area of pediment (no outcrop).
Austin Gold has received approval from the Bureau of Land Management for its proposed drilling program and is preparing to drill a first phase of exploration holes designed to test for favorable Carlin-type host rocks under post-mineral cover.