Rex Minerals (ASX: RXM) has lifted the JORC-compliant resource at its Hog Ranch gold project in Nevada to 1.4 million ounces, 90% of which is less than 100m below surface.
The updated mineral resource estimate is 97.6 million tonnes at 0.45 grams per tonne.
The contained 1.4Moz resource is a 69% increase on the maiden resource figure released in September 2019.
Rex said Hog Ranch is “emerging as an exciting regional opportunity” with, so far, four separate deposit zones having already been identified.
These are Krista, with an inferred resource of 68.5Mt at 0.40g/t for a contained 890,000oz; and Airport and Cameco deposits with an inferred 4.7Mt at 0.70g/t for 100,000oz.
Then, there is Bells Oxide with a resource in two parts: an inferred 15.7Mt at 0.5g/t for 240,000oz and an indicated 8.7Mt at 0.63g/t for 180,000oz.
Resource delivered only eight months after acquisition
Hog Ranch is situated in northwest Nevada, United States, and accessible by highways and well-maintained gravel roads from Reno. It comprises 347 mining claims covering 2,900 hectares (29sq km).
Rex managing director Richard Laufmann said it has taken only eight months since acquiring the property for the company to have delivered a 1.4Moz gold resource, 90% of which lies less than 100m from the surface.
“With this upgrade, Hog Ranch is clearly emerging as a significant and exciting new gold opportunity,” he said.
“We are now in a fantastic position, with a plethora of new targets identified to grow this resource base… .Gold, Nevada, heap leach; we are unveiling a game-changing opportunity for Rex Minerals,” Mr Laufmann added.
Historical records have helped find more gold
Gold mineralisation at Hog Ranch was first discovered in 1980.
Gold mining began in 1986 with an open pit and heap leaching. Then, the mine was sold after 18 months in operation and the new owner began a significant exploration effort.
Mining ceased by 1994, coinciding with a gold price of US$330/oz. Other exploration companies subsequently undertook small-scale exploration.
Rex said a combination of factors has allowed the company to upgrade the resource.
There has been a more refined interpretation of the geology, the inclusion of sulphide material as part of the potential open pit heap leach option, improved gold prices (now trending about US$1,700/oz (A$2,633/oz), and historical production records, which helped with new modelling.
Historically, oxide ore was mined from five pits in the Krista project area, while gold mineralisation contained within the Cameco/Airport sulphide zone was not mined.