Miranda controls 79 lode claims at the Red Hill gold project in Eureka County, Nevada (Figure 1). The claims cover an extensive area of hydrothermal alteration and high exploration potential within the Cortez Gold Trend. In 2006 Barrick completed four deep drill holes at the West Pediment prospect, an area covered by post-mineral pediment gravels. Hole BRH-013 intersected 80 ft of 0.146 oz Au/t (24.4m of 4.987g Au/t) from 1,920 to 2,000 ft (585.4 to 609.8m), including 45 ft of 0.237 oz Au/t (13.7m of 8.105g Au/t) from 1,920 to 1,965 ft (585.4 to 599.1m), in lower-plate carbonate rocks. This intercept confirms a sediment-hosted gold system is present at Red Hill.
On October 1, 2009, Miranda signed an exploration agreement with option to form a joint venture with NuLegacy Gold Corporation ("NuLegacy"). Under the terms of the Agreement, NuLegacy was committed to spend US$500,000 on or before December 31, 2010. NuLegacy may earn a 60% interest in the Red Hill project by funding US$4,000,000 in qualified expenditures over a five year period. NuLegacy may then elect to earn an additional 10% interest by completing a bankable feasibility study or funding US$10,000,000 in additional exploration.
Red Hill is located in the northern Simpson Park Mountains approximately 80 road miles (128 km) southwest of Elko, Nevada. The property is along the Cortez Gold Trend, a west-northwest alignment of bulk-mineable, sediment-hosted gold deposits including Pipeline, Cortez Hills, Gold Acres, Cortez and Horse Canyon (Figure 1). Red Hill is 15 miles (24 km) southeast of the Cortez Hills gold deposit, a +12 million ounce sediment-hosted gold deposit owned by Barrick.
Two distinct sedimentary rock packages occur on the property. They include:
- Upper plate, siliceous sedimentary rocks of the Vinini and Valmy Formations. Chert, mudstone and greenstone are typical rock types. These rocks are covered by pediment gravels in the northern and eastern portions of the property. Siliceous rocks are generally poor hosts for large, sediment-hosted gold deposits.
- Lower-plate, Silurian to Devonian age carbonate rocks dominated by silty to muddy limestone, fossiliferous limestone, siltstone and lesser chert. These rocks are included in the Horse Mountain, Devils Gate, Denay and McColley Canyon Formations. At Red Hill, lower plate carbonate rocks crop out in the mountains and are present beneath pediment gravel/upper plate rocks to the north and east. Carbonate rocks are the preferred host for multi-million ounce gold deposits along the Cortez and Carlin Gold Trends.
The upper and lower plate rock packages are separated by a low angle, regional fault known as the Roberts Mountains thrust. Erosion of the upper plate rocks created "windows" that expose favorable lower plate carbonate rocks. At Red Hill, the JD Window is one of five unique carbonate windows along a 35 mile (56km), west northwest-striking corridor through the Shoshone, Cortez and Simpson Park mountain ranges. The alignment of carbonate windows coincides with the Cortez Gold Trend (Figure 1). Within this corridor are the +12 million ounce Cortez Hills deposit and the +20 million ounce Pipeline deposit. They are located in the Cortez and Gold Acres windows, respectively.
Lower and upper plate rocks are complicated by numerous high-angle east-northeast, northwest, northeast and north-south striking faults and northwest-striking folds. These structural features provide pathways for hydrothermal alteration and metals. For example, the east northeast-striking Long fault contains hydrothermal alteration and anomalous gold along 7,000 ft (2,134m) of strike length. This fault cuts through a 3,200 by 4,000 ft (975 by 1,219m) area of pervasive red to yellow iron oxidation, decalcification and localized silicification in lower-plate carbonate rocks. Historic drilling in this area did not systematically tested favorable rocks of the Denay/Red Hills member and McColley Canyon Formation.
Initial work focused on economic evaluation of outcropping antimony mineralization on the east side of the property. Beginning in the 1960's, Cordero, Homestake, Kennecott, Pathfinder, Uranerz and Romarco completed gold exploration programs on portions of the Red Hill property. Exploration concentrated on silicified and brecciated carbonate rocks exposed along the east-northeast striking Long fault. Four dozen shallow rotary holes tested these altered rocks for near-surface, oxide gold mineralization (Figure 3). Drill results confirmed anomalous gold and pathfinder elements, but economic gold intercepts were thin and low grade. Other widely-spaced, shallow drill holes targeted geochemical and geophysical anomalies within the mountain range.
Figure 3 illustrates drill hole locations and grade thickness (GT) values. Grade thickness values are calculated by multiplying a mineralized interval by the corresponding gold grade. These intervals are summed for the length of a drill hole. The GT value indicates strength of gold mineralization in a drill hole where cooler colors (blue, green) represent lower GT's and warmer colors (orange, red) represent higher GT's. GT values are not tied to economic criteria.
The north and east portions of the project are covered by a thin veneer of unconsolidated pediment (alluvial) gravels. The pediment is a gently-sloping surface away from the mountain range where the gravels cover bedrock and potential exploration opportunities. Multi-million ounce, economic gold deposits have been discovered under pediment cover in Nevada including: Pipeline, Cortez Hills, Gold Quarry and Twin Creeks. Historic drilling at Red Hill did not test for large, sediment-hosted gold deposits beneath pediment gravels. This exploration opportunity was recognized by Miranda and Barrick and it led to the significant results in BRH-013: 45 ft of 0.237 oz Au/t (13.7m of 8.105g Au/t) from 1,920 to 1,965 ft (585.4 to 599.1m).
Joint Venture Exploration
Miranda initially optioned Red Hill to Placer Dome US, Inc (PDUS) in 2004. PDUS completed geologic mapping, a CSAMT survey, a systematic soils program, a CO2 gas survey and one drill hole in 2005. Drill hole PRH0508 was designed to test a gravel covered horst margin inferred from CSAMT data. The hole ended at 940 feet in upper plate chert/mudstone. Favorable lower plate carbonate rocks were not intersected and no significant gold intercepts were encountered.
In 2006, Barrick became Miranda's funding partner at Red Hill following its merger with Placer Dome. Barrick, as operator, completed 9,860 feet (3,006m) of drilling in four holes at the West Pediment prospect and detailed gravity at the East Pediment prospect (Figure 3). Hole BRH-013 intersected 80 feet of 0.146 oz Au/t (24.4m of 4.987g Au/t) from 1,920 to 2,000 feet (585.4 to 609.8m), including 45 feet of 0.237 oz Au/t 913.7m of 8.105g Au/t) from 1,920 to 1,965 feet (585.4 to 599.1m) (Figures 3 and 4). Gold mineralization is hosted by lower plate carbonate rocks of the Red Hill member of the Denay Formation. Altered lamprophyre dikes and high levels of arsenic, antimony, mercury and thallium are associated with the gold intercept (Figures 5, 6 and 7). These features indicate that a Carlin-style gold system is present at Red Hill.
In late 2006, Barrick offset BRH-013 with two inclined holes, BRH-014 and BRH-015. These holes were drilled from the BRH-013 site. Both holes tested the lower-plate stratigraphy that hosts the BRH-013 gold intercept. The inclined holes intersected the target horizon approximately 230 ft east-northeast (BRH-014) and 315 ft southwest (BRH-015) from the BRH-013 intercept. Although neither of the two offset holes intersected significant gold mineralization, both holes are locally anomalous in Carlin-style pathfinder trace elements. Silicification and clay alteration occur in both holes and dikes occur in BRH-014. Due to down hole deviations in the angle holes, drill hole piercepoints are aligned along a northeasterly trend such that stratigraphic and mineralization geometries in BRH-013 could not be defined. Mineralization in BRH-013 is open in a northwest -- southeast direction.
Based on their experience in Nevada's Carlin and Cortez Gold Trends, Miranda's senior geologic staff believe the gold intercept in BRH-013 signifies the presence of a new Carlin-type gold system and that extensive drilling will be required to define the geometry and size of the system.
In late 2007 Barrick completed 11,765 ft (3,587m) of reverse-circulation drilling in six vertical holes. Two holes (BRH-016 and BRH-021) were completed offsetting BRH-013. Two additional drill holes at West Pediment, BRH-017 and BRH-017A, ended prematurely in limestone voids / karsting before testing the intended targets. Two holes (BRH-023 and BRH-024) tested gravity gradients and projected splays of the Long fault at the East Pediment prospect. These holes are illustrated on Figure 6.
From drill hole BRH-013, BRH-016 was drilled 650 ft (200m) to the north and BRH-021 was drilled 720 ft (220m) to the northwest. The holes intersected intervals of variably decalcified, silicified and weakly oxidized lower plate limestone and sulfidized igneous dikes similar to those intersected in the BRH-013 gold-bearing interval. Gold mineralization was limited to 10 ft of 0.081 oz Au/t (3.1m of 2.776 g Au/t) from 2,125 to 2,135 ft (648 to 651m) in BRH-021.
At the East Pediment prospect two drill holes, BRH-023 and BRH-024, tested pediment-covered targets outboard from a series of historic antimony prospects. The holes were located based on three criteria: 1) prospect pits exposing strong decalcification, silicification, antimony mineralization and anomalous gold mineralization in lower plate limestone; 2) gravity data that identified structural features beneath shallow pediment cover, and 3) projected splays of the Long fault. The holes intersected similar geology: a thin veneer of alluvium, upper plate siliciclastic rocks and a fault gap that removed the targeted lower plate limestone. Anomalous gold was restricted to 5 to 10 ft (1.5 to 3.1 m) zones. Exploration opportunities remain near the historic antimony prospects.
In 2008, Barrick completed 5,110 ft (1,558 m) of drilling in two vertical reverse-circulation holes (BRH-025 and BRH-026) at the West Pediment prospect. No significant gold values were intersected in either drill hole. Barrick terminated the funding agreement in October 2008. Exploration expenditures exceeded $1.3 million.
Miranda geologists believe a variety of high-quality drill targets exist at Red Hill and that the property has not been systematically drill tested. Priority targets include (Figure 6):
- A high quality exploration opportunity exists on the strike projection of the CSAMT anomaly, east-southeast of BRH-013. This 2,300 foot by 4,600 foot (700m by 1,400m) area is defined by hydrothermally-altered bedrock, a gold/mercury soil anomaly, a gravity low, and a mapped syncline. Bedrock exposures indicate a shallower target zone than in BRH-013.
- Structurally-controlled, high-grade gold targets proximal to BRH-013 (Figure 7). The high-grade gold / lamprophyre dike association may represent a more compact and structurally-controlled Carlin-style gold system than previously envisioned. Widely-spaced drill holes may have underestimated the exploration potential of this gold system.
- Drill targets proximal to the historic antimony pits on the east side of the project. Twenty holes were drilled in this area; however only three holes exceeded 700 ft (213 m) depths. These three holes ended in 35-150 ppb gold. A review of historic drilling indicates these holes did not systematically test the Red Hill member of the Denay Formation, the unit hosting mineralization in BRH-013. Deeper targets in the McColley Canyon Formation have not been tested
NuLegacy has consolidated four separate properties that encompass approximately 45 square miles (28,800 acres) of mining claims into their "Red Hill Prospect" (Figure 8).
The first property, NuLegacy optioned was Miranda's Red Hill project in October 2009.
In 2010 NuLegacy optioned both the Barrick ground that is adjacent and west of Red Hill and the Idaho Resource property that lies to the east of Red Hill. Terms of these option agreements can be found on NuLegacy's website.
In December 2010 Miranda and NuLegacy amended the Red Hill Exploration Agreement to include Miranda's Coal Canyon property (64 mining claims -- 1,323 acres).
Miranda's management is pleased to see this district wide consolidation as it indicates NuLegacy will work to integrate all available information into one database that will form the basis for district-wide analysis and future drill targeting.
By the end of 2010 NuLegacy completed four reverse circulation holes in Miranda's Red Hill property spaced more than 3,280 ft (1,000 m) apart and totaling 4,920 ft (1,515 m). Two of three holes collared in a large 7,380 ft x 3,300 ft to 9,900 ft (2,250 m x 1,000 m to 3,000 m) CSAMT/IP/Resistivity geophysical anomaly intersected mineralization in RHM10-001 10 ft of 0.016 oz Au/t (3m of 0.546g Au/t) and RHM10-002 30 ft of 0.012 oz Au/t (9.1m of 0.409 g Au/t). The fourth hole collared in a gold-in-soil anomaly intersected 69 ft (21 m) of near-surface anomalous gold.See Miranda's press release dated January 13, 2011, for more details.
This disclosure contains information about properties which we have no right to explore or mine. We advise U.S. investors that the SEC's mining operations disclosure guidelines generally preclude disclosing information of this time in documents filed with the SEC as we must focus on properties in which we do have an interest. U.S. investors are cautioned that mineral deposits on adjacent properties are not necessarily indicative of mineral deposits on our properties.