The Phase 1 drill program at Castle Mountain was designed to twin and scissor historic drill holes in and around the previously mined pits as well as to test mineralization in certain exploration target areas allowing us to further define plans of a more extensive Phase 2 program. Based on logging, a surprise from the Phase 1 program has been that oxidation extends much deeper than had previously been assumed. Although sporadic sulphides have been detected at depth, the high level of oxidation bodes well with respect to metallurgical recovery for the potential reactivation of the Castle Mountain heap leach mine. The Company will continue geologic mapping on the property and work on interpretation of the extensive drill database until the start of the Phase 2 program.
Gold mineralization at Castle Mountain is hosted in a sequence of Miocene (17Ma-14Ma) rhyolite domes, flows and associated sedimentary units. The hydrothermal system is typical of other low-sulfidation gold deposits within the Great Basin. Very fine-grained gold and electrum occurs disseminated in and adjacent to quartz-stockwork veins, brecciated rhyolite domes, structures and silicified volcanic rocks.
Previous exploration at Castle Mountain focused on northeast-trending structures and rhyolite domes as the principle ore-controlling features. The initial targets for CMM's Phase 1 drill program focused on these features. As CMM's drill program progressed the importance of other structural and lithologic settings for gold mineralization became apparent. Later holes were re-directed to test targets identified through interpretation of early results. Intersections of northwest- and northeast-trending structures, and structural intersections within other lithologies other than the rhyolite domes, contain gold mineralization. An example of this change in interpretation is at the north end of the Oro Belle pit. Early holes (CMM-005 through CMM-009) were directed northwesterly to test projected northeast structures. Results from these holes were below expectations. After reviewing the information, CMM-036 was drilled in a northeasterly direction. Gold grades in CMM-036 were significantly higher and over longer intervals than in the earlier holes.
Additional holes were planned for the Phase 1 program in the area of CMM-015 and CMM-016 but these were not drilled. It is anticipated that some or all of these holes will be drilled in the Phase 2 program.
Upon analysis of the results of the Phase 1 program with the aid of computer generated models, Castle Mountain Mining expects to start a Phase 2 program at the property, subject to financing. Castle Mountain Mining has engaged RPA Inc. to work with the Company in developing a program that will, amongst other things, identify optimal drill locations, meet and exceed QA/QC standards, and allow the historic drilling on the property made up of 354,800 m of drilling across 1,729 drill holes to be used to create a mineral resource on the property that is in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 ("NI 43-101"). The Company anticipates the release of the technical report following the completion of the Phase 2 drill program.
About Castle Mountain Mining Company
Subject to certain obligations, Castle Mountain has 100% of the right, title and beneficial interest in and to the Castle Mountain Venture, a California general partnership, which owns the Castle Mountain property in San Bernardino County, California. The Castle Mountain heap leach gold mine produced over one million ounces of gold from 1992 to 2001, when mining was suspended due to low gold prices.
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