Saturday, August 7, 2010

Nixon Fork - Forked if you Do ...

Meet Mr. Harry Barr of ultra long career pitching VSE paper to the dopey masses. Its one wicked track record but we are most interested in his latest and greatest active promo dopo for utter dum dums ... Fire River Gold.

The mine site is located approximately 32 miles northeast of McGrath and 8 miles north of Medfra in west central Alaska.

For a detailed history and St Andrews (SAS.t) operating plans from 2005 ...

"The property was originally staked in 1917 when placer gold was discovered in Mystery and Ruby Creeks. The Yukon-Treadwell Company and others worked lode deposits through numerous shafts and open cuts intermittently from 1918 through 1964. Total production is estimated to have been 42,000 ounces of gold, 11,282 ounces of silver, and 41, 440 pounds of copper from lode mining from 1920 to 1961.

Since 1984, the property has been explored by a number of companies, including Battle Mountain Gold from 1984 to 1988 and the Nixon Fork Joint Venture with Central Alaska Gold as operator from 1989 through 1993.

Exploration included soil and geophysical surveys, trenching and both reverse circulation and core drilling. Nevada Goldfields Inc. (NGI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Consolidated Nevada Goldfields Corporation (CNGC), acquired the property in July 1993 and carried out additional definition drilling and completed a feasibility study in 1994.

The positive feasibility study resulted in the commencement of construction of the surface facilities and underground development in March 1995. Total investment by NGI is reported (NGI March 1998) to be about US$34.4 million for life of mine. Production from the Crystal-Garnet and Mystery orebodies commenced in October 1995 and continued until June 4, 1999 when the mine was placed on care and maintenance.

Exploration by NGI from 1993 to 1998 included surface drilling, a helicopter-borne combined electromagnetic and magnetic survey, stream and soil surveys, and trenching.

The parent of NGI, Real Del Monte Mining Corporation, the successor to CNGC and its subsidiaries, filed for Chapter 7 liquidation on June 25, 1999. The property, including the surface facilities and equipment, was eventually returned to the original owners, Ted Almasy and Margaret Mespelt.

In 2004, St Andrew commenced an underground drill program designed to increase and upgrade the mineral resources. A total of 11,875 m in 121 holes were completed on the C3000 and C3300 orebodies, extending the mineralization to depth.

Underground drilling continued in 2005 and 2006 with 85 holes totalling 10,322.1 m drilled on the C3550, J2200, and Mystery. Although the resources have not been updated, the results from the drilling do not appear to have increased the resources. Surface drilling in the period 2004 to 2006, amounting to 36 holes totalling 4,235.9 m, was carried out on the Whalen, Warrior, Airport area, and Mystery targets.

From 2004 through 2008 approximately over US$50 million was expended on upgrades to the processing facilities and mine infrastructure. During this time 9,381 meters of reserve-resource definition drilling was conducted, an updated reserve-resource estimate and additional metallurgical testing were completed. Limited production in 2007 resulted in recovery of 6,775 ounces of gold and 78,644 pounds of copper. (The reported recovery rate was a truly horrid 68%)

Fire River Gold has big plans ...

2010 Re-evaluation Program in Progress

In 2009 the company began a $1.25M evaluation of the project to confirm the status of the geological work, confirm both the gold grade from the tailings pond, and further metallurgical assesment through testwork. The evaluation program is continuing into 2010, with key milestones including a determination of a go, no-go decision for completing the CIL circuit to process tailings by Spring 2010; defining exploration targets for underground and surface drilling commencing in Spring; the preparation of a new resource estimate for the property by fall 2010, and the determination of a go, no-go decision for the resumption of underground mining by the end of the year."

"Re-Evaluation of Tailings Pond
The first operator of the Nixon Fork Mine produced an average head grade of approximately 42 grams per ton (1.4 OPT) but only averaged 83% recovery. Based on previous engineering and metallurgical studies done on the tailings pond, between 150,000 tonnes and 170,000 tonnes of mill tailings are in place (at a grade of between 7 and 9 grams per tonne) which are currently being re-evaluated."

All thats wonderfully Barr bullish but a few key facts are getting skipped over here for some reason.

"Scott Wilson RPA has re-estimated that the tailings storage facility contains an indicated mineral resource of 58,000 t at a grade of 8.1 g/t Au,or 15,100 ounces of gold, and an inferred mineral resource of 58,000 t at 8.1 g/t Au, or 15,100 ounces of gold (Table 1-1).

The existing tailings can only be mined when the pond is not frozen. Existing tailings will be processed from June to September 2007 at 350 tpd. Recovery of gold is expected to be approximately 85% when processing existing tailings and 90% of the gold when treating fresh material."

At 85% recovery thats a confirmed "resource" of 12,750 ozs. and that "ore" would be exhausted in less than 6 months. Since completion of the plant will cost millions, it should be clear that tailings are a "no go"

On June 14 the Company had another "update"

"To properly assess these enhancements additional test work is required, which is being performed at the PRA Metallurgical Lab in Richmond, BC. G.R. Rawsthorne and Associates is overseeing this work on behalf of the company. The company is now projecting completion and release of the preliminary economic assessment on the tailings program by late July."

The promotional Barr hoopage poopage has changed too ...

"The evaluation program is continuing into 2010, with key milestones including a determination of a go, no-go decision for completing the CIL circuit to process tailings by Fall 2010

Here's the spin ...
"The previous operator of the mine designed and partially installed a 250-tonne-per-day CIL circuit for the purpose of recovering gold from the impounded tails and increasing gold recovery from continuing mining operations (refer to Stockwatch news release dated April 6, 2010, for an overview of the tailings reprocessing program).

The company's original plan was to complete construction according to the last operator's design, with only minor modifications and enhancements as required.

This base case has no provision for recycling cyanide in the circuit -- all leaching solution is passed to a cyanide-destruct circuit at the end of the process. It has become obvious through the course of work on the PEA that economics of the base case will be significantly enhanced by recycling the cyanide solution, reducing reagent consumption, and the associated purchase and transportation costs."

But this is what the SAS operation plan says ...

" Cyanide solutions will be recycled in the system, and tailings will go through a cyanide destruction process."


A typical carbon in leach circuit

The SAS envisioned process to extract gold from Nixon Fork ore.