The Tonopah property consists of 444 unpatented mineral claims, totaling 8,762 acres, that are located in the Ralston Valley, on the northeast side of the San Antonio Mountains in the Walker Lane structural trend of west-central Nevada, approximately 30 kilometers northeast of the town of Tonopah and 70 kilometers south of Round Mountain.
138 of the unpatented claims are subject to a 2% Net Smelter Return Royalty (NSR). 1% of the 2% NSR may be acquired at any time for $1.0 million. This option does not expire. The remaining 306 claims are not subject to any royalty.
The project is 100% owned by Viva's Gold Corp. The property is not subject to payments or obligations other than annual claim fees payable to the Bureau of Land Management.
The Tonopah property contains a low-sulfidation epithermal gold system with near vertical quartz-adularia-gold veins hosted by the Palmetto Formation and the overlying Tertiary rhyolitic volcanics. These a large dilatational break in the regional Rye Patch- Walker Lane fault systems. In addition, a discontinuity has been identified in drilling at the top of the Palmetto formation, where tertiary volcaniclastics and ashfall tuffs unconformably overlay the argillite. Significant alteration and mineralization is localized within a low-angle zone which includes and often parallels the erosion surface of the Palmetto, as well as several facies in the tertiary volcanics, particularly where veins and mineralized structures intersect this contact zone. With the exception of a single outcrop, the gold-bearing altered and mineralized zones of the Tonopah deposit are masked by alluvium, playas and sand dunes.
Analysis of gold mineralization demonstrates a bi-modal population of high grade mineralization associated with high angle structures and a lower grade population of mineralization associated with the argillite/volcanic contact zone.
Alteration and mineralization at the Tonopah property are typical of low-sulfidation, volcanic-hosted epithermal gold deposits found elsewhere in Nevada and around the world. The deposit type is characterized by overall low original sulfide content, and quartz-adularia and clay-sericite alteration assemblages, among others. Vein textures are indicative of high level, near surface emplacement and include void fills, crustiform coatings, colloform banding, and comb structures. Similar deposits in Nevada have proven to be economic, including the Midas, Bullfrog and Round Mountain deposits. The proximity and similarities of the Tonopah property to other gold deposits does not, on its own, indicate that the Tonopah property should be similarly mineralized.
Exploration potential is indicated along the extents of the NW Fault between Midway Hills zone and the main Tonopah resource zone (~1.0 KM), the West Fault zone (~+3.0 km) and in the southern extents of the Rye Patch Fault/Discovery Fault zones. Geophysical data, rock chip sampling, and recon drill results support these assumptions.
Gold mineralization shown in drill holes with modelled grade > 0.15 gpt shell shows show strong correlation to high resistivity survey readings. Project database includes total of 24 CSAMT lines over 15 kilometers of structural trends. In addition the database contains extensive gravity, magnetic, inverse polarization and a number of other forms of geophysical survey. Third party review of data in 2019 identified a total of 11 structural junctions for additional review and exploration.
(1) Assumes a 21% Federal Income Tax rate and 5% Nevada State Severance Tax
Note: A Preliminary Economic Assessment is preliminary in nature and includes inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic consideration applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves, and there is no certainty that the preliminary economic assessment will be realized.
After Tax NPV 5% at $1400 gold
Column leach testwork completed 4 composite samples ranging in grade from 0.38g/t to 1.98g/t head grade and divided by rock type
- Coarse Crush –RC chips used as samples, crushed to 80% minus 10 mesh and agglomerated with cement
- Tests not driven to completion in 60 days – additional time needed to increase recovery
- Impact of slow-leaching free gold content noticed on recovery
- +83% recovery on argillite (Opa) sample representing ~ 50% of resource base.
- +58% recovery expected with additional time in Tertiary Volcanics
- 71% average recovery expected
- Additional testwork required to optimize process route
The Tonopah project is accessed by paved highway and is located approximate 5 kilometers from water and power distribution points, 20 minutes drive from the Town of Tonopah and is in close proximity to equipment and supply distribution centers in Las Vegas and Round Mountain.
Viva has the permits and authorizations necessary to conduct mineral exploration activities on both public and private land. Authorizations include:
Studies by a prior operators on the project were undertaken to support a potential small-scale underground mining operations. The studies identified and evaluated baseline hydrogeologic conditions, groundwater quality, storm water controls, mine dewatering requirements, ore and waste rock geochemistry, and surplus water management options including re-infiltration and underground injection. Geochemical testing of waste rock that would be encountered in potential underground decline development reported a low or no potential for acid rock drainage.
Drill results demonstrate that the Tonopah gold system is large in size, but structurally complex. Over 500,000 ounces of in-place gold mineralization has been discovered and outlined and Viva believes that the Tonopah deposit has the potential to be significantly larger in size. Positive PEA results indicate that the project may be potentially feasible to develop with additional work and the results support continued investment. A two part work plan has been developed:
Part A, Development Focus: the next phase of work will include 3,000 to 4,000 feet of drilling targeted to infill gaps in the geologic model to reduce strip ratio in the pit designs by converting waste to mineralization; convert inferred resources to indicated; and to further expand inferred resource at the margins of the geologic model through step-out drilling. Work would also commence on long lead time studies including baseline water sampling, hydrology, rock characterization tests, and additional metallurgical testwork as a basis for commencing detailed feasibility study and development permitting.
Part B, Exploration Potential: This work would include detailed structural analysis of the project area to better define the locations of structural junctions and the potential for intercepting addition areas of high-grade mineralization. This phase would include follow-up field programs including close spaced geophysical studies and drilling when possible.
The proposed work plans, are expected to cost between US$2.5 and $3.5 million over the next 12 to 18 months.