The Cahuilla Gold Property is located in northwest Imperial County, California. The Cahuilla Project is an epithermal, sediment-hosted, hot springs vein, stockwork and disseminated gold-silver system hosted along a major east-west striking structural zone. The majority of the deposit is hosted on the Torres Martinez Indian Reservation. It is management's intention to expand mineral resources by additional exploration and development drilling since mineralization is completely open in all directions along strike and at depth.
The Cahuilla project is localized along the western edge of the Salton Trough, which is characterized by active crustal extension and spreading center within the San Andres-San Jacinto fault system. The Modoc Fault, the most important geologic feature at Cahuilla, represents an antithetic, pull-a-part, fault zone within the regional San Andres-San Jacinto strike-slip structural zone. A Jurassic quartz monzonite stock comprises the footwall block to the Modoc Fault zone which strikes generally east-west to north 70 east, dipping to the south in the project area. The hanging wall is composed of the Quaternary Palm Springs Formation, a succession of fine- to coarse-grained, rhyolitic-clastic sediments, and siliceous sinter and fanglomerates adjacent to the Modoc Fault zone.
Along the Modoc Fault zone, both the quartz monzonite and Palms Springs Formation host ore-grade mineralization. A recent 25-foot channel sample across the brecciated and banded vein exposed at the surface returned 0.85 opt Au and 8.88 opt Ag and selective sampling of a portion of the vein hosting copper mineralization assayed 5.65 opt Au and 11.21 opt Ag. In 1988, Homestake collected an 80-foot sample that assayed 0.31 opt discovering the High Grade Hill vein mineralization along the Modoc Fault zone. Although the east-west trending Modoc Fault zones controls and hosts the majority of the high-grade veins and stockwork, mapping, sampling and drill hole intercepts indicate gold-silver mineralization is also hosted along north-south trending sub-vertical, poorly exposed faults. An extensive, disseminated lower-grade halo surrounds the higher-grade gold veins. Mineralization is known to extend over two miles along the strike of the Modoc Fault and more than one-half mile in width extending south under pediment cover and is open in all directions.
Two dominant styles of gold mineralization are recognized at Cahuilla and include:
1) Structurally-controlled, bonanza-grade, crustiform banded, sheeted and brecciated, gold-silver veins and stockwork zones hosting cutting disseminated gold mineralized sediments; Gold occurs as high-silver electrum and native gold.
2) Flat, tabular, extensive disseminated mineralization hosted in the Palm Springs sediments and volcanics; Intense, widespread silicification commonly accompanies precious metal mineralization. Argillization occurs along the Modoc fault zone, which resulted from both paleo-hot springs activity and younger supergene alteration of unsilicified material.
Alteration consists of intense silicification replacing the Palm Springs sediments and weak to intense argillization adjacent to the veins and upper fanglomerates along the Modoc Fault zone.
Historically, gold was produced from several mines located in the vicinity of Cahuilla beginning in 1897. Prospecting and mining activities are believed to have originated in the Cahuilla project area as early as 1912. These consist of five small prospect pits that were constructed in the project area, however no significant quantities of gold were produced from these workings. Since the late 1980's, an estimated $5 million has been spent on gold exploration in the Cahuilla area, with work performed by companies including Homestake, Newmont and Kennecott. A total of 112,168 feet of drilling in 214 RC and core holes have been completed on the Cahuilla property in four drill campaigns.
In 1990, the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians obtained Federal funding through the Bureau of Indian Affairs to undertake a gold mineral assessment. In 1991 and 1992, a total of 57 holes were drilled on Tribal lands, which resulted in a major gold discovery. Drill hole TM-28, the discovery hole, intersected 240 feet of 0.112 ounce per ton gold from 85 to 325 feet, including 45 feet of 0.359 ounces per ton gold from 160 to 205 feet and 15 feet of 0.315 ounces per ton gold from 230 to 245 feet. In 1994 the Torres Martinez Tribe offered the Cahuilla gold project to the minerals industry for lease, and in 1995, Kennecott was successful in obtaining exploration/mining rights to the property.
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