Greetings: The Bates Hunter is on one of the main roads in Central City. It’s almost at the bottom of the hills and mountains which comprise the Northeast side of the valley. Our mineral rights extend up into those hills as well as down and across the street. I was at the mine last week, and as the weather was perfect, I took the opportunity to hike up and get a better understanding of the location of our mineral rights; and to be able to pass that understanding along to our community. Following Matt Collins and Steve Humphray, I hiked up the hill looking for visible evidence of the Next President Mine. This was one of the properties whose mineral rights we acquired in a thirty year lease. Most of those mines and claims were closed in the early 1900s and there’s not a lot of reporting on them. The Next President was referenced in a United States Geologic Survey of the area which described the mine as operating “continuously from 1865 to 1878, spasmodically from 1878 to 1908 and continuously again from 1908 to 1910.” What’s most interesting for our purposes is that it was only worked to a depth of 460 feet. From 1901 to 1910 it averaged 1.04 ounces of gold per ton. In 1910 the average was 1.34 opt, providing evidence for the belief that the deeper one goes, the richer the veins. We located the site of the Next President about 9,000 feet above sea level (not the easiest walk for yours truly who spends most of his time at about 20 feet above sea level). I took the picture below standing on the Next President “dump” and looking across the valley from the Bates Hunter. The area that we walked around was replete with these dumps. These are all evidence of mining work, most of which were on veins that we now control. In the “old days” miners would work these veins, literally shoveling out the dirt and rock to get to the gold. When the holes became too deep to keep throwing dirt on top, they would sink shafts. The piles of dirt remain as guideposts to where the veins exist and were worked. So, I stood on the Next President dump and took this picture to show the reach of our mineral rights package which goes down and across the hill, across the street, and up toward the distant dump.
The picture shows just a portion of the surface under which our veins sit. Looking at the picture straight on, the Becker Bates is out of the shot to the right. What’s not shown, of course, is what’s under the ground. Take a look at the map (below) which is an exhibit to the 43-101 report. That map is only a portion of our mineral rights, but you can see the vein system. Take a look at the key that lists the various veins and, most importantly, their length.
To add additional perspective, here’s a map of our underground holdings that also shows what we’ve got and are going after. The blue portion represents our original rights in the Bates Hunter property. The thin green section is the Becker Bates property. Although it looks small, it adds a really rich vein to the project and is what one old report described as the best mining site in the area. The purple areas are all part of a thirty year mineral lease, and the yellow is three acres we are looking at as an additional acquisition opportunity.
Moving on from the hills, I can report on the status of the Golden Gilpin Mill. The progress that’s been made on the interior is impressive. I was there with a couple of investors who had seen the Mill some months ago, and they were of the same opinion. Everything that our team can do is moving right along. We are still waiting on some third party installations (like the conveyor belt), but these are all in process and we expect delivery in the next week or two. We are at the short strokes. For example, in preparation to turn on the ball mill we’ve engaged a millwright to make sure that when we flip the switch the motor is aligned. In operation, the ball mill rotates 23 times a minute and the ball charge will be about five and a half tons. So – alignment is important. Other machines and devices are being finished up and we are on the cusp of production and revenue which will commence very soon. The last bit of news involves the mine and mother nature. If you purchased a lottery ticket and “lightning struck”, that would be a good thing. Unfortunately, when you’re running a water treatment plant and lightning strikes it’s not so good. Apparently lightning hit somewhere in the ground and traveled into our electric system, frying the components which run our pumps. Fortunately, no one was hurt and we’ve been able to replace the destroyed parts and after a herculean efforts of Ed, Steve, Patrick, Scott, Tim, Ramon, Doug, Chris and Joel who all worked together to provide and implement a solution. I’ll provide more in depth details about the water situation in a follow up to this report which will be coming shortly. In the big picture, we are concentrating all of our efforts on the Mill, and we have hundreds of tons of ore bearing material sitting on the surface waiting for that switch to be flicked So, undaunted, we will not just persevere, but profit. Best, Franklin