Hawkstone Mining (ASX: HWK) has taken an option over the historic King Solomon mine in the US state of Idaho, located just 900m from its earlier acquisition of the old Lone Pine area.
King Solomon was explored during the early 1900s via three adits, although no production numbers have been uncovered.
But drilling in the 1990s turned up high-grade intercepts. The 18-hole reverse circulation drilling program unearthed assays such as 1.5m at 14.9 grams per tonne gold, 1.5m at 14.8g/t and 18m at 3.75g/t. However, that was at a time of low gold prices when many gold leads were mothballed.
Hawkstone says the proposed King Solomon acquisition will consolidate its land position and build the exploration potential of its Lone Pine project.
The acquisition includes significant historical data including previous drilling results, along with mapping and sampling records.
Hawkstone has been diversifying into gold after focusing on lithium with its Big Sandy project in Arizona.
Managing director Paul Lloyd said King Solomon increases Hawkstone’s known mineralisation in Idaho.
“The ongoing compilation of available data has demonstrated the significance of the acquisition of the Lone Pine project and suggests that both the Lone Pine and King Solomon mineralised zones may be part of a larger system — which we aim to explore further in the near term,” he added.
Drilling started at Lone Pine
The old King Solomon mine lies to the south-east of the Lone Pine vein zone, with both areas sharing a similar history of being explored in the early 1900s.
King Solomon was explored again in 1992, the then owner in joint venture with Teck Resources. Hawkstone said the records of that work indicate a broad north-east-trending, south-east-dipping mineralised zone parallel to that at Lone Pine.
In mid-June, Hawkstone began diamond drilling at Lone Pine, with the aim of this maiden program being to generate the first JORC compliant resource.
Hawkstone hopes to verify the 71,128oz gold at 18.6g/t historic non-JORC resource completed in 1935.
Lone Pine was discovered in 1882 but it was not until 1907 that a 10-stamp mill was erected — but operations lasted only six months.
Gold mining boomed in the US until 1942 ban
Lone Pine lies 5km west of the Queen of the Hills mine which closed in 1942.
By 1942, gold was being mined at peak rates in the US and taking labour, equipment and shipping space needed elsewhere. But that was still not enough to satisfy Time magazine which complained that the British Empire had 500,000 workers employed producing gold, while the US had 55,000.
As to the latter, President Roosevelt would soon see to that: in 1942 he ordered all gold mines in the country be closed on the grounds that mining gold was not a war priority.