Great Western Mining PLC (LON:GWMO, Euronext Growth:8GW) is gearing up for a busy year on the ground in Nevada, with drilling work expected to get underway in April.
It said it will also continue its work assessing the production potential from spoil heap material as it noted that a simple technique called gravity separation has yielded commercial gold and silver in lab testing.
The company is focused on gold and silver exploration and production in the aptly named Mineral County, an area that has been prolific for gold and silver.
Its 14,900 acres-worth of concessions all lie within the Walker Lane trend, which has yielded significant discoveries such as Comstock Lode, Yerington, Pumpkin Hollow and Isabella Pearl.
Historic geological reports have identified seven lodes, prospectives for gold and silver on Mineral Jackpot, where previous exploration work has uncovered grades of up to 95.6 grams per tonne of the yellow metal.
It also has the Rock House (RH) gold-silver targets, where early exploration work has identified three new, unexplored mineralised zones.
At the Olympic Gold Project, over which Great Western has a four-year option to purchase, is an area that houses a now-disused mine that was “prolific with some good gold grades”.
GWR also has copper assets in the M2 and M4 projects and the M1 and M8 targets.
The 2021 drill programme, covering 10,000 feet, will target the Olympic project, and specifically the OMCO mine extension and Trafalgar Hill Prospect.
Work will also be carried out on the RH group, the M4 copper-gold prospects and the Mineral Jackpot area.
Away from exploration, a sample load from Mineral Jackpot has been analysed and the early data suggest spoil heap (waste) material can be processed using a simple and cheap method called gravity separation to produce commercial levels of gold and silver.
GWM is also assessing whether to use cyanide leaching with tests expected to be completed next month.
“Gravity separation offers an interim solution, but a decision to construct a stand-alone leaching project would need to take account of exploiting new veins in addition to processing existing spoil heaps in order to be viable,” investors were told.
The company produced a dore bar as a pilot exercise using material from test spoil heaps on the Mineral Jackpot.
The success of the trial proves the concept of being able to extract gold and silver from up to 12,000 tons of material available from 38 spoil heaps on the property.
GWM said promising new material has been collected in the last two weeks from and near the trenching carried on the RH area, which will also be processed.