Gila County, Arizona, U.S.A.
Northern Sphere Mining Corp. has entered into an option agreement with True Claim Exploration Inc. in Claypoole, Arizona to acquire 100% of the 127 claims owned by Black Diamond representing approximately 2,500 acres. The claims area is located in and around an area known as the Richmond Basin in the Apache Mountains of Gila County, located approximately 100 miles east of Phoenix, Arizona.
The property includes the former McMorris and Silver Seven mines, as well as several other smaller mines. The area is readily accessible by year-round roads and has extensive nearby local mining infrastructure. Acquisition of the claims followed an extensive review of the property, including a physical inspection by the Trueclaim geological team in early May, 2010. As noted by John Carter the President of Trueclaim “the site is rich in both potential and development history and is viewed by the Company as an outstanding opportunity. Our initial review of the property has included numerous historical geological reports on the Richmond Basin area. At current prices near $18 per ounce, and assuming these estimates proved reliable, we feel the Black Diamond property may have significant resource potential. Given the sustained rise in the price of silver, we also feel this acquisition positions the Company perfectly to take advantage of this growing market opportunity.”
The site was first discovered in the late 1800’s and surface mined by local prospectors. Documents housed at the Arizona Department of Mines and Mineral Resources outline stories of “native silver” in high concentrations. In the years that followed several shafts were sunk in the area of the claims with at least one of these going down to the 700 foot level. These workings produced silver along numerous and lengthy fractures from veins in various quantities and grades. At least one local area within the Jumbo vein was reported to have values of several hundred to several thousand ounces per ton of native and horn silver over a width of 6 to 16″. It should be noted that many of these early mining operations relied on hand grubbing techniques. Grab samples identified by these techniques are selective by nature and may not represent average grades across the property.
The site was subsequently prospected with limited production by a number of small operators between 1900 and 1980, but no formal drill program was ever undertaken. In addition no shafts were sunk beyond the 700 foot level, nor were there any efforts to create a comprehensive picture of the potential resource. The Company believes this is all the more remarkable given that several major mines are clearly visible from the hills where the Black Diamond property exists. Aside from many past producers, five major operating mining porphyry copper operations occur within a 20 mile radius include:
i) Freeport McMoran Copper & Gold- Miami, Arizona – operating a large open pit mine and smelter operation ramping up production to 100 million pounds of copper by 2011.
ii) BHP, Pinto Valley, Arizona – an open pit operation producing approximately 18.1 million pounds of copper per year.
iii) Quadra Mining Ltd., Carlotta Mine, Globe, Arizona – open pit producing approximately 65.7 million pounds copper per year.
iv) Resolution Copper, Superior, Arizona – an underground operation cited as potentially one of the largest, richest and deepest (7,000 feet deep) copper and molybdenum ore bodies in North America.
v) Grupo Mexico, Ray Pit and Hayden Smelter, Mission, Arizona – this company’s Arizona operations are producing approximately 232 million pounds of copper per year, as well as more than 600,000 ounces of silver.
As this activity indicates, the area has an extensive mining support infrastructure that the Company will be able to draw upon in its planned exploration and development activities for the McMorris and Buckeye sites. The Company’s consulting geologist Mr. Bob Komarechka, P.Geo. has also reviewed the property and described it in geological terms as follows. “the Black Diamond property occurs in the Richmond Basin Area of Gila County Arizona about 16 kilometers north from the prolific Tertiary porphyry copper mines of Globe, Arizona. The historic silver ore was mined primarily from steeply dipping mineralized faults & fractures with veins trending east-west and north-south, and the most productive being the east-west McMorris Fault. Sub-horizontal mineralized fractures were also noted. The fractures for the most part were mined within a large diabase body of Proterozoic age, although the fractures continue below into younger rocks as well. It has been proposed that these faults may be related to a post diabase anticlinal structure in the area. Near surface supergene enrichment along the mineralized faults resulted in native silver and silver halides being derived from the deeper argentite and sulphosalt proto-ores. Silver mineralization is also found within the pre-diabase basal Scandan conglomerate and within a post-diabase (Tertiary) diorite and andesitic porphyry. This diorite, along its footwall contact with the diabase, has been found to contain high silver values in the McMorris Mine. Previous authors (Bishop, O.M., University of Arizona Thesis, 1935) reported the silver mineralization to be of Tertiary age, perhaps contemporaneous with the latter stages of the diorite intrusion. Trueclaim should further investigate the diorite’s relationship to the later hydrothermal fracture mineralization within the structural complex of the area using modern geochemical and geophysical techniques.
A digital geo-referenced base map of tenure, topography and limited geological data has been prepared by Trueclaim. The company has engaged Arizona geological consultant Nick Barr to assist in the permitting process and to undertake a preliminary geological examination of the property to confirm geologic contact, structure, alteration and mineralization. The last detailed mapping of part of this area was undertaken in a thesis of C. E. Bishop in 1935. To further facilitate operations in Arizona, Northern Sphere Mining Corp. has incorporated a US subsidiary company, Trueclaim Resources (US) Inc. Currently, a preliminary geological study followed by a Magnetometer/EM survey is being considered to more effectively evaluate the property. A drill program would then follow based on positive results of this work.