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 50 kilometer southeast of Round Mountain.
The project is 100% controlled by Viva. A 2% Net Smelter Return Royalty (NSR) with a 1% NSR buyout option exists on 185 of the unpatented lode mining claims that cover the core of the known mineralization.
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. A discontinuity has been identified in drilling at the top of the Palmetto formation, where tertiary volcaniclastics and ashfall tuffs disconformably 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. It is interpreted that ascending fluids entering the contact zone deposit precious metals in a favorable chemical and textural horizon in the base of the tertiary volcanics and top of the argillite. 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 low angle mineralization. Geologically similar deposits in Nevada include the nearby large-scale Round Mountain mine.
The image to right shows the structural zones of mineralization identified in the Tonopah project area
Results available to date indicate that gold and silver mineralization from the Tonopah project are amenable to recovery by cyanide leaching. Test work has been completed on both fully oxidized and sulfide samples, with little difference noted in recoveries. Bottle roll tests on samples crushed at -200 mesh show gold recoveries of as high as 93%. A particle size versus gold recovery relationship has been demonstrated. It is noted in some of the test work that coarse gold present in samples maybe contributing to delayed recovery in cyanide solution.
Gravity pre-concentration was recommended in some of the early studies to segregate coarse gold from the material prior to cyanide leaching. Gravity testing indicates that gravity methods might be useful for pre-concentration, particularly in higher grade materials.
Flotation test work completed on high grade gold samples, indicates that a high percentage of gold can be recovered to concentrate by froth flotation. However, the test work appears to indicate that gravity/cyanidation showed better performance than flotation/cyanidation.
Additional testwork on a range of samples reflecting differing rock types and grade ranges is required to determine potential process routes and recoveries.
Plan view of the $1,250 pit shell. A pit slope of 42 degrees was utilized.
The Tonopah Project is currently an exploration/evaluation stage project. The site has excellent logistics and access for exploration, being a short drive from the town of Tonopah, Nevada, with good road access, communications, and access to contractors and labor. Las Vegas, a city of 2 million people with significant construction and manufacturing infrastructure, is located 340 kilometers southeast of the project via US Highway 95. There are major Komatsu and Caterpillar dealers and supply depots located in Las Vegas, as well as Cat and Komatsu parts depots and mining-specific machine shops in Round Mountain, approximately 50 kilometers north of the project. Power and water is available, although water rights will need to be acquired.
Viva has the permits and authorizations necessary to conduct mineral exploration activities on both public and private land. Authorizations include:
Studies by a prior operator 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.
Viva believes that the Tonopah deposit has the potential to contain over 1.0 million ounces of gold mineralization. It's current work plan is designed to demonstrate that potential.
The proposed work plan, including completion of the resource estimate, drilling, metallurgical test work and initial environmental field work, is expected to cost $1.5 million